1. The perfect foundation shade. Even if you don’t wear makeup every day, it’s good to have foundation on hand for those times you want to look ~flawless~. Brands such as CoverGirl, L’Oréal, and Clinique have a wide-range of shades for both fair and dark skinned girls, as well as everyone in between. If foundation feels too heavy for you, a tinted moisturizer, and BB and CC creams are lighter options that are great for every day.
2. A multicolor bronzer. Choose a mosaic bronzer with multiple colors, and you’ll be able to wear it year round. Dust on the lighter, more highlighting shades during the winter months when you’re paler to give your cheeks a gorge, natural-looking glow, and swipe on the darker bronze shades for an easy summer tan without the sun damage.
3. Tweezers that really, really work. Ditch those blunt tweezers that make it impossible to pull out tiny hairs. Invest in a sharp pair of quality tweezers, and you’ll have them forever. Tweezers are a life-saver when you need to clean up stray eyebrow hairs at the last minute, or when you find a hair on your body that really shouldn’t be there. Tweezerman makes super-cute mini ones in bright, fun colors that you can get sharpened for free, so they’ll last forever, making them worth the splurge.
4. Waterproof mascara. If you only have one mascara in your makeup bag, make it waterproof. That way, you’ll be prepared for everything, from a pool party to a movie cry fest with your besties. Just be careful when you’re removing it. Waterproof mascara can be tough to get off; use an oil-based makeup remover so you don’t pull at your lashes.
5. A set of makeup brushes. Don’t just rely on the little brushes you get with your blush or eyeshadow. Having the right tools is key, whether you’re trying to nail the perfect winged eyeliner, contour your cheeks, or just get a natural glow.
6. Nude eyeshadow palette. Having an eyeshadow kit with beiges, tans and browns in it will have you basically set for life. You can go from a natural, everyday look to a glam smokey eye. If you’re really into eye makeup, invest in the Urban Decay Naked palette, but you can also find a great dupe at the drugstore.
7. Brown eyeliner. You might think you need a black liner, but dark brown is more wearable for every day. Depending on your skill level and preference, you can go for a powder version, pencil, or a liquid liner. Smudge the liner for a pretty, brown smokey eye look, or layer it on thick for a mod style.
8. A bold lipstick. Even if you are more of a lip gloss girl, you need one good lipstick in your makeup bag for special occasions. It’s also a lifesaver on days you oversleep. Just swipe it on, and you’ll look instantly polished. Plus, you can use it as a cheek or eyebrow stain when you’re in a pinch.
9. Concealer. To cover zits, dark circles, and redness, a good concealer is key. On days when you want to skip the foundation, you can just dot on concealer and go.
10. The perfect blush for your skin tone. Blush is a must-have all year round. The right shade will instantly brighten up your face and make you look less tired even if you were up all night studying. But it can be challenging to find the right formula for your skin type that doesn’t leave you looking like a clown. If you’re skin is more oily or acne-prone, go for a light, mineral blush that will let your skin breathe. If you’re skin is dry, cream blush works wonders and won’t leave you cakey.