One of my favorite celebrity makeup artists, Katey Denno, says she's always asked the same question: What are the top five to 10 things every woman should have in her makeup bag? So she decided to offer a detailed answer on her blog (The Beauty of It Is)—and it's such a great primer/reminder that I had to ask if I could share it with you!
1. A good eyelash curler. My favorite has been the one by Shu Uemura because of the texture and shape of the pad, and overall shape and sturdiness of their handle and the part into which the pad fits.
2. A creamy, neutral eyeliner. Depending on your hair and eye color, as well as your skin tone and personal preference, this could be a pale taupe, a deep brown, a medium gray, or a deep, dark black. Keep some cotton swabs on hand to smudge the line you draw, buffing it out ever so slightly.
3. A mascara that gives the look you favor, whether that's longer, thicker, darker, or all of the above. I prefer all of the above.
4. Tweezers. I can't emphasize the benefit of a good tweezer enough. Shaping your brows and whisking away unwanted hairs from other regions of the face where they begin to show up—it's a necessity. I've been a fan of the Rubis for years, but it's really all about finding one that feels right in your hand.
5. Two cheek colors: one that makes you look warm and glowy, and one that mimics the color your cheeks turn when your heart rate has been pushed. I generally favor creamy cheek colors, but this is a personal-preference thing.
6. Two concealer shades: one with a bit more peachy/orange undertone to cut the purple inherent to undereye circles. Then, one concealer that matches your skin tone and texture perfectly to cover spots as needed. I always like to finish a concealer/tinted moisturizer/foundation application by pressing a slightly dampened Beauty Blender into the skin to ensure that the texture of the product matches the texture of your skin. Don't skip this step if you can help it.
7. Three lip colors. Most women I know have many more than this, but if you have limited funds, a desire to keep your purse as light as possible, or become overwhelmed at the thought of keeping up with lip trends, three shades is perfect. Start with a sheer, tinted lip balm in a color that's pretty similar to your lips, add a similar shade in a proper lipstick formulation that's somewhere in the satin range—moist, not matte yet not glossy—and finally, a color that you love and that gets smiles from others when you wear it. This could be a bright pink, an orangey red, or a deep berry.
8. A sheer gloss. I lied: Having a fourth lip product that feels good and has a bit of a moist look is always a good idea. This can be layered over any of the above, or worn alone when you're feeling glossy.
9. An eyebrow brush/pencil/powder/gel: When we're young, our brows are usually at their fullest. You may want to brush them into a lovely shape in the morning and forget about them. As we age, however, even in our early thirties, our brows may start to look a bit less full, particularly toward the tails. Finding a brow pencil or powder that looks super natural is the way to go. Light strokes mimicking the hair growth pattern is all you need, along with good lighting, to create a frame for your face.
What do you think of Katey Denno's suggestions for makeup items every woman should own? Would you add or subtract anything from the list?