Makeup Essentials

The 15 makeup essentials you absolutely need

Makeup is a resource that has evolved over time, achieving different purposes in its use and application.

For its functionality, in the time of the Egyptians both men and women resorted to the use of khol in their eyes in order to protect them from the sun and insects. Socially, since anthropologically it can be applied as a means to show belonging to a tribe or social group and corrective, when we apply it in order to improve those areas of our face that need more symmetry or cover blemishes or dark circles.

Today, makeup has taken great relevance in many different creative ways and can be used on any part of face: eyes, lips, cheek…

What age is appropriate to wear makeup?

According to experts, it is recommended that the use of makeup does not begin until the age of 14. If you start at an earlier age you run a greater risk of presenting allergies or skin reactions, since young skin is more likely to show these kinds of side effects.

These tips should also be taken into consideration in the case of adolescents with oily or prone to acne skin, since the use of certain types of products can increase the appearance of breakouts.

What should you have in your makeup bag?

Now, to start talking about makeup essentials, we talked with an expert on the subject; Mayela Vázquez who in addition to being the Co-Founder of Within The Trend is a Makeup Artist with over 14 years of experience and has worked with important brands such as Marc Jacobs, Bobbi Brown, MakeUp Forever, Fendi, Tibi, Zimmerman, to name a few and has been published in the most important fashion magazines such as Vogue, Glamour, Elle and Allure.

Mayela shared her list of makeup essentials to start your makeup kit, as well as several tips to make your makeup last longer and look more natural.

15 Essential products to start your makeup kit

  1. Foundation 
  2. Concealer 
  3. Anything to define brows (pencil, pomade, gel, brow mascara or powder)
  4. Blush and/or bronzer 
  5. A basic eyeshadow palette (recommended to start with neutral colors)
  6. Lip Product
  7. Loose Powder
  8. Lashes (Optional)
  9. Lash Glue
  10. Eyeliner 1 or 2 eye pencils of your preference (liquid, gel or cream)
  11. Lip Liner 
  12. Mascara 
  13. Highlighter (Optional)
  14. Fixing/Setting Spray  (Optional)
  15. Primer (Optional)

How to pick your makeup essentials?

Mayela recommends focusing on the following areas of the skin to create the perfect balance:

  • Face / Skin (Foundation, concealer, powder)
  • Cheeks (Blush, Bronzer and Highlighter)
  • Eyes (Eyebrows, eyeshadows, eyeliners and mascara)
  • Lips (lipsticks, lip balm, lip gloss, lip liners)

Face essentials

Foundation. Mayela recommends using one that, in addition to fulfilling an aesthetic function, has other benefits such as spf, antioxidants/vitamins.

“Foundation for me is essential and a product that I have always used since I started putting on makeup. The key is that you pick the right product according to your skin type. For example: Oil-Free and non-comedogenic for those who have oily skin and maybe fragrance free or a mineral foundation for those with sensitive skin.”

Correctors and concealers. These can have different uses because in addition to covering dark circles, spots and blemishes, they are an excellent option for when you are in a hurry and do not have time to put on full makeup. After using the right concealer, you can only add mascara to open up your eyes, blush, brush your brows, hydrate your lips and voila!

Powders. The Mexican makeup artist mentions that it is important to apply over the areas where you tend to be more shiny or in the areas where you want to set up your makeup for a longer duration.

Cheeks Essential

Bronzer and Blush. To achieve the appearance of healthy skin, Mayela mentions that the best option is to mix blush and bronzer. As a rule of thumb, bronzer works to define your face shape, while blush gives a nice fresh color to your skin and both create the perfect balance for a radiant and healthy looking skin.

Highlighter. This product is key to achieving a glowy skin, it is usually applied on specific areas of the face and could be an “optional product” in your kit if you tend to go for a much matte finish instead.

Eyes Essentials

Eyebrows. These make a big difference, they frame the face and balance the shape of the face, they are also an essential part of makeup; To define your brows, you can choose products like a wax or gel, which tends to last longer and is usually applied over brows that need more definition and shape.

If your eyebrows do not need to be outlined or defines so much, another type of products that also work and tend to be more common these days are brow mascara and brow pencils.

Eyeliner. This is key to add definition and dimension to the eyes, this is why Mayela advises having one in black and another in your favorite shade, as well as a palette of shadows with at least 4 different shades.

Lips Essentials

Finally, it is important that your lips are always hydrated and then to pick either a lipstick, a lip tint, balm or lip liner in your favorite shades.

As extra tips, Mayela mentioned to always remember you should have a basic skincare routine before applying makeup and remove the products before going to sleep. If you want to elevate your makeup game you can always add primers and fixing sprays to improve duration and as many colors for eyes, cheeks and lips as you desire.

Essentials products to take in your bag

  • Lipstick
  • Dust
  • Blush

“For me the essentials are a lipstick, powder because you use it to avoid being too shiny, blush and if I wanted to add more I would have my concealer and something for the eyebrow”, Mayela suggests.

Make-up brands for oily skin or acne-tended

We know that all skin types have different needs, some require greater hydration and other products that help balance oiliness throughout the day.

Co-Founder of Within The Trend, mentions that brands such as It Cosmetics, Sisley, MakeUp Forever, Estee Lauder, Chanel, Bobbi Brown, Bare Minerals have formulas that are non-comedogenic, oil-free and leave the skin matte.

How to choose your foundation?

First of all, the main thing is that you recognize what type of skin you have, as well as its needs.

It is key that you know if you want a foundation that leaves your skin looking matte or luminous, one that has sunscreen or offers benefits to protect the skin during the day. Mayela explained.

Read ou article about foundation for oily skin.

To select the tone that most closely resembles your skin, you should try the product on your neck or chin as the goal is to balance the shade on your face, neck and chest.

We know that this can be a bit complicated, especially if the purchase is made online.

However, there are already different options that can help you have a more successful purchase.

Findation is a website that helps you find the right shade even if you just want to switch from one brand to another.

Estee Lauder has an application in which, through a photograph, you can analyze your skin and select the shade (s) that best work.

The ideal shade for your foundation

Should the color of my foundation be lighter or darker than my skin?

This is a constant question, as mentioned before, the shade of the foundation should be as close and/or balanced to the one between the neck and the chest.

“It should not be very light or very dark, you can neutralize it with a bronzer but I do not recommend that you pick a shade that is too different from your skin tone at all,” explains Mayela.

What are the steps when applying makeup? 


Here we share the steps that Mayela Vázquez suggests to create a look for beginners.

1. Start by prepping the skin, moisturizing your face, eyes and lips.

2. Correct blemishes and under eye circles using a concealer.

3. Apply and blend foundation well.

4. Add a little bit of powder with a soft brush to seal the foundation and concealer only in the areas where it is necessary and to remove shine. Usually “T zone” and under the eyes.

5. Use a mattifying bronzer to contour and define the cheekbones (cheekbones, forehead and jaw); for this step remember blending is very important.

6. Add blush and highlighter to create a healthy glowy effect.

7. Brush eyebrows up to see where they need definition, use your favorite brow product to improve the shape and frame your eyes.

8. Eyes, you can be as creative or natural as you want by using some eyeshadow and/or eyeshadows to give dimension to your eyes.

9. Apply mascara on top and bottom as optional.

10. Hydrate, define and/or add some color to your lips.

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