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Mastering makeup: The essentials

Due to popular demand, an article on makeup tips has turned into a series. This will be the first of a number of makeup articles to put those less makeup savvy on the right track.

But before we can begin, the makeup expert-to-be must be equipped with the essentials: a makeup kit that encompasses enough to cover you no matter the situation.

Firstly, choose a foundation tone that suits your complexion. Try the color on the back of your wrist as it is the closest to your face color. Go for a water-based foundation if your skin is oily. I recommend L’oreal Matte Morphose or Mac Satin finish foundation.

A good concealer would be you next buy. Your concealer should be half a tone or one tone lighter than your foundation–any more, and you’ll end up with the “raccoon eye” effect.  

Good mascara is also a must. Check the brush before you buy, as you’ll want it thick and full of bristles. Helena Rubinstein or Maybelline Colossal Volume’ Express are my personal choice. Both black and brown colors should be available in your makeup kit.

Blush, eye shadow and lip gloss colors change every season, so you’re bound to make seasonal purchases to stay up to date. However, there are basic colors that a make-up diva can’t do without, such as nudes for the lips, rose for the cheeks and nude, white and black for the eyes.

Mascaras should be disposed of six months after you open them. Most other cosmetics expire a year after it is first opened.

In addition to your essential colors, you have to have a basic set of good brushes: Bobbi Brown and Mac brushes are a bit pricey, but they’re the best. You’ll also need a blush brush and a foundation brush, which spreads foundation evenly and does not leave residue on your face like sponges tend to do.

An eye shadow brush also ensures a better application of the product–and don’t forget a smudge brush to spread and smudge eye liners and kohl. Finally, pamper yourself with a fluffly powder brush.

Hygiene is crucial, so make sure to clean your brushes at least once a week. Wash your brushes in lukewarm water and a delicate shampoo for all hair types and leave them to dry on a clean towel.

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