Makeup Bag Makeover

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Beauty Basics You Need

Once you've decided what to discard, make sure you've got the key beauty products for a fresh-faced look. Here, suggestions for the bare essentials in any makeup bag:

  1. Fundamentals of foundation. At most, you need two shades of foundation -- one that matches your skin now, and one that will work in a different season when you're either lighter or darker. Remember, foundation should disappear into your skin when you wipe a swatch of it on the side of your face.
  2. Pucker up and pare down. Lipstick is where many women overbuy. Be realistic about what you're going to wear. Chances are you're not going to wear the shade that you bought to match your last bridesmaid's dress. You should have a tried-and-true shade that you can put on without looking in a mirror -- imagine the color of your lips, taken up a notch.
  3. Three basic eyeshadows. All you need is three shades of eyeshadow to make eyes stand out. Get a base color -- like white, bone, banana, or toast -- that blends into your skintone. You'll also need a medium-toned color -- like taupe, grey, or heather -- that doesn't require blending. Use a dark color -- like mahogany, charcoal, or navy -- as liner. Stick to black mascara, or try brown as a softer alternative.
  4. Blush basics. Your blush should instantly make you look healthy. Own two shades: One that is the color of your cheeks when they're flushed, and a slightly brighter shade for a pop of color.
  5. Tools of the trade. The right makeup tools are just as important in getting the look you want as the makeup itself. Get makeup brushes that have their purpose printed on the handles ("eyeliner" and "blusher"), so you can't get mixed up. For easy application and on-the-go needs, use travel-size professional brushes.
  6. Bag it up. Choose a makeup bag that's as functional as it is stylish. It should be roomy enough to hold all your essentials yet compact enough to slip comfortably into your purse.

Continued on page 3:  Save or Toss?


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