Your foundation is where should spend the bulk of your budget. “Skin is so important. If you can, splurge a little!” says Vanessa Jarman, Toronto-based makeup artist. Invest in a more full-coverage, liquid foundation formula – it’s the most versatile as you can use it to cover redness and discoloration and/or mix a drop or two with your favourite day cream to create a more sheer, DIY tinted moisturizer.
ELLE Canada pick: Estee Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover Face and Body Foundation, $44. esteelauder.ca
The skin sidekick you can’t be without? Concealer. Go one shade lighter than your skin tone (anything too dark just accentuates trouble spots) and choose a product with a texture that focuses on what you want to cover up. “For breakouts I reach for a densely pigmented, thicker concealer that sets well,” says Coleen Campbell-Olwell, an L.A.-based makeup artist. For redness, she recommends a concealer that is thinner in consistency for ultimate blendability. “For undereye circles or darkness, I like a peach tone to brighten.”
ELLE Canada pick: Rimmel London Wake Me Up Concealer, $8. At drugstores and mass-market retailers.
Try a duo palette with complimentary blush and bronzer in one. “Bronzer can double as a contour and give you a sun kissed glow,” says Campbell-Olwell. Swirl blush on the apples of your cheeks and then use bronzer to define and highlight. “A fluffy bronzer brush, with super soft bristles is a must” for the most believable glow.
ELLE Canada pick: Flower Beauty Glow, Baby Glow Blush and Bronzer Duo, $10.98 exclusively at Walmart.
Even if you don’t wear a lot of makeup, chances are mascara is just as much a part of your morning ritual as a Starbucks stop. Jarman likes to stick to drugstore classics for mascara. “I love L’Oréal Voluminous as it hugs on to every lash with superb definition,” she says. “It comes in a couple different blacks and really thickens up the look of your natural lashes. Remember – mascara has a three month maximum lifespan (every time you slide the wand out of the tube, air dries out the formula which means flaking, clumping and that the colour will be less intense over time).
ELLE Canada pick: L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Original Volume Building Mascara, $5.96 at Walmart.
Since brows continue to be a huge trend, you’d be remiss not to snag a brow-enhancing product. Brow powders yield the most natural result, but the hottest trend is brow mascaras – the wand applicator means you have a lot of control to coat each and every hair with colour. Plus the wax formula holds everything in place.
ELLE Canada pick: Maybelline New York Brow Drama Brow Mascara, $9. At drugstores.
Buying new lipsticks is the most fun part of any makeup bag re-boot. Look for hydrating formulas that are packed with pigment, says Jarman. This season, there’s not a lot of middle ground – either it’s bold, hot hues like tomato reds as seen at Zac Posen and bubble gum girly pink hues as seen at Moschino – or completely nude lips seen at Marc Jacobs and Stella McCartney. A satin or matte finish is still the go-to finish (nothing hyper shiny, please).
ELLE Canada pick: Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick in HD Gladiolus, $11.49. At drugstores.
In the buff nails
Gorgeous, milky nude nail shades are a mani must this season. An opaque formula will be less streaky and easy to get right in a couple of coats. Remember to apply it with a steady hand, but don’t use super firm pressure. Smushing the brush against the nail makes nude hues look streaky.
ELLE Canada pick: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Nail Polish in Almost Almond, $8.99. At drugstores.
Your makeup bag reboot grand total: $98.42