Your overall look is only as good as the products you have in your beauty arsenal. It can be difficult to decide what you need most but there are certain items that can help ensure skin is smooth, imperfections are diminished and your best features are maximized.

We asked Angela Peralta, Los Angeles-based makeup artist for her picks for the most important beauty products to keep in your makeup bag.

1. Beauty essentials: Good moisturizer suited to your skin type

good moisturizer is a must for flawless skin and the only way to achieve the baby-smooth and ultra-soft complexions we spied at Donna Karan and J Mendel’s spring 2012 shows. “It’s essential because it preps the skin for makeup application and creates a smooth and hydrated look to the skin,” Peralta explains. She prefers moisturizers without sunscreen and suggests opting to apply the two products separately or looking for a foundation with SPF. “Sunscreen can become sticky on the skin prior to makeup application so I like to save the sunscreen for my foundation.”

2. Beauty essentials: Foundation with SPF for flawless skin

In order to create a smooth, even toned complexion you need a good foundation that is right for your skin tone and the texture of your skin. “If have a dry texture to your skin, look for a foundation that gives you some luminosity. If you tend to be oily make sure you find a foundation that has oil absorbing properties to keep shine at bay,” Peralta advises. She also suggests looking for foundations that mimic the skin and even out tone rather than mask the skin. “The days of heavy foundation are long gone.” It is also important to protect your skin from the damaging rays of the sun and having SPF built right into your foundation saves you time.

The best foundations for flawless skin

3. Beauty essentials: Concealer

Achieving the complexion you want comes down to having the right concealer. “This product is a must to keep blemishes, blotches, dark circles and redness from being seen,” Peralta says. Find a concealer that doesn’t look heavy under the eyes or on the skin to get a look that is more natural and gives the appearance of flawless skin. “I prefer concealer pens because they are easy to apply and fit perfectly in my makeup bag. They are also great for touching up throughout the day,” she advises.

More beauty products to have in your makeup bag, on the next page…

4. Beauty essentials: Foundation brush with synthetic bristles

This is one of the most important tools you can have in your makeup bag. “A
foundation brush is the best choice to apply foundation because it will give you the most even look on your skin,” Peralta says. While it might be tempting to use your fingers or a sponge, don’t. “Avoid using sponges that can harbour bacteria and/or your fingers that can not only spread bacteria all over your face, but can actually change the colour of your foundation,” she explains. Oils from your fingers mix with the foundation and cause it to oxidize, which can alter the shade once it gets on your skin. The synthetic bristles with not absorb too much of the product, therefore you get more mileage out of your foundation.

5. Beauty essentials: Cream blush

Neutral faces with a swipe of colour on the cheeks was a common sight on spring runways, from Michael Kors to Christopher Kane, meaning this beauty basic is a must for your makeup bag. “I love cream blush because it’s so easy to apply. It gives a pop to the cheek and keeps the skin looking smooth and luminous,” Peralta says. “If you’re in a pinch you can always add a little to your lips to give them some colour, too.” Cream blush is also very easy to blend, meaning you can build to the coverage you want.

6. Beauty essentials: Eyelash Curler

Lashes that get noticed are shaping up to be a spring staple. We took note of flirty, doll-inspired lashes at Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs to name just a few. “You should never be without a good eyelash curler,” says Peralta. “Curling your lashes makes your eyes pop and brightens your entire look.”

A few more beauty products to round out your makeup bag on the next page…
7. Beauty essentials: Lip balm

Keeping your lips looking smooth and youthful comes down to applying
lip balm regularly, especially in the winter, says Peralta. “It gives a natural looking sheen to the lips while conditioning them.” If you prefer not to wear lipstick, opt for a balm with a hint of tint to give your lips some colour without feeling overly made up.

8. Beauty essentials: Brow gel

We saw well-groomed, statement making brows steal the show at Derek Lam, Altuzarra and Jil Sander. Arches were striking and prominent yet perfectly in place. To keep them from straying, brow gel is vital, Peralta says. “Brows are a focal point on the face and pretty
groomed brows are essential for a flawless look,” she explains. “A clear brow gel will keep any out of control hairs in place all day.”

Read more:

The best winter face moisturizers

Double duty foundations

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