Back-to-Basics Beauty Tips and Tricks
Primer: Look for a color-correcting formula if your skin is ruddy or sallow, a gel if it’s oily, and a cream if it’s dry.
Foundation: To find your ideal shade, test the product near your jawline—not on your hand, which is usually darker than your face.
Eyelash curler: A minimalist’s must-have, this sturdy tool can be tossed in your bag for an instant lift even on no-makeup days.
Mascara: Trash it after three months. (Really.) And to avoid clumps, refrain from pumping the wand in the tube; this dries out the makeup.
Clear brow gel: While it may not sound essential, nearly every makeup artist stashes this no-color groomer in her kit. It makes even unplucked brows look polished, and it can be used as mascara when you’re in a bind.
Eye-shadow quad or trio: Skin-tone pinks and browns can take eyes of any color from day to night; the brown can also fill in brows.
Eyeliner: A brown pencil is the most goofproof and suits everyone, says Jemma Kidd, a London-based makeup artist.
Bronzer-and-blush duo: Use the bronzer where you would tan and the blush for a pop of color on each cheek.
Tinted lip balm or moisturizing cream lipstick: Something a shade or two lighter or deeper than your natural lip tone will complement everything else in your makeup kit.
A big, fluffy brush: If you can have only one tool, this multitasker is good for blush, bronzer, and loose powder.
Real Simple Picks for Your Makeup Tool Kit
Clockwise from top:
YSL Rouge Volupté Shine in Pink in Devotion, $34, yslbeautyus.com.
Fresh Sugar Petal Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15, $22.50, sephora.com.
Burberry Beauty Complete Eye Palette in Pale Nude No. 3, $59, nordstrom.com.
Rimmel London Match Perfection 3 Tone Blush, $5, walmart.com for info.
Clinique Superbalanced Makeup, $23, clinique.com.
Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush, $25, urbandecay.com.
Sephora Collection Microsmooth Blush Duo in 02 Fuchsia Flushed, $17, sephora.com.
Mally Beauty Volumizing Waterproof Mascara, $20, mallybeauty.com.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel, $22, anastasia.net.
Tweezerman ProCurl Lash Curler, $20, tweezerman.com.
Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer & Brightener, $48, shop.janeiredale.com.
Laura Mercier Eye Pencil in Special Brown, $20, lauramercier.com.
Bobbi Brown Face Blender, $48, bobbibrown.com.