Tricks of the Trade: Get to know your makeup essentials


Whenever I go shopping for makeup, I get overwhelmed and don’t know what to buy. Is there any way to know which ones to buy? I know I need eye shadow. I don’t really know much about makeup, but I’d like to learn more. Thanks.

When it comes to makeup, my philosophy is: “Less is more.” It may sound cliché, but makeup should enhance your beauty and not cover it. You’re really not out to create a new face totally different from your own, but to highlight features you like and maybe downplay parts you’re not too crazy about (like dark circles or a pimple). What I’m trying to say here is you don’t need a whole lot of makeup to look good. A few essentials are all you need, unless you want something trendy like metallic eye shadow or red-orange lipstick. I’ve listed down must-have products to start your makeup wardrobe.

Foundation. This depends on how great your skin is. If you have beautiful skin, you wont need to cover it with foundation. Using loose or pressed powder should do the trick. But if you want to correct uneven skin tone and cover blemishes or acne scars, then add this to your shopping list. The most important part is to find one that matches your skin color and tone; next is to select its coverage (choose from sheer, medium to heavy coverage). Also consider the finish (foundation can go on matte, have a natural sheen or carry a little shimmer). Try foundation on to be able to distinguish color, consistency and coverage. Check out different brands and shades and compare them. Soon you’d be able to notice the difference, allowing you to select the best one for your skin’s needs.

Loose powder. Powder works in many ways. It gives skin a smooth, even tone; sets your foundation; and helps soak up oil. This is one item you can’t do without. Powder comes in different shades, so, like your foundation, you have to select one that matches your skin perfectly. But if you need a powder that will disappear into your skin, look for one in a translucent shade. Tip: To get an even application, use a big, fluffy makeup brush.

Neutral eye shadow. You said this is one of the things you need, and you’re right. The good thing about buying eye shadow in neutral colors is that it can complement most skin colors and tones. They can also be used to create pretty smoky eyes to make your eyes appear bigger. Colors to look for are shades of beige, taupe, brown, gray and black.

Eyeliner. This is another must-have. But for this one, you may need to stick to the waterproof kind. Eyeliners in black and brown really help complete the smoky-eye look.

Mascara. Choose the waterproof formula, though it may be more difficult to remove. There are many different kinds of mascara: lengthening, volumizing or one that does both. You’d want one that will coat each strand of eyelash without clumping or smudging.

Blusher. This works to add a healthy flush of color on your face, and can be bought in seemingly endless shades of coral, peach, pink, fuchsia, orange and red. Choose what suits your skin color and tone, and remember, a little goes a long way. You’d want to recreate that color you get after a good workout.

Lipstick. This item works to finish off your makeup. It is usually the final product you apply on your face, and its color can be practically any shade of the rainbow. For starters, though, I recommend pretty shades of pink and nude.

Now that you’re all set with the basics, you’ll be able to learn how to incorporate trends and experiment with color. What’s important is starting off with neutrals and finding makeup that will complement your skin color. From there, you can keep adding on and play with different kinds of makeup.

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