10 Makeup Essentials Everyone Should Own + Popular Holy Grails

Updated on July 12, 2021 by Amber & The Team

makeup essentials

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woman with perfect makeup

When it comes to makeup essentials, most women get overwhelmed and end up buying stuff they don’t even need. Let’s be honest – when you walk into Sephora, the urge to buy all of the gorgeously packaged makeup is STRONG! Trust me, I know.

However, does anyone need so much makeup? Not only is makeup expensive (most high-end brands), it also comes with a rather short expiry date. So why spend all your hard-earned money when you can buy a few makeup essentials that will be enough for your everyday use?

Today I’m researching & listing ten makeup essentials that every woman should own if they wear makeup regularly. And just in case you’re a notorious makeup lover, I don’t say that it’s bad to own a lot of makeup!

This is more about beauty products that can be counted on as makeup essentials and it will be especially useful for people who want a simple makeup kit with perfect results. 🥰

I will also list the most popular makeup products for every listed makeup essential. Alrighty? Let’s dive in!


10 Makeup Essentials Every Woman Should Own


PART 1: Makeup Essentials For PERFECT SKIN


1) Primer


For makeup to go on smoothly, you need to prime your face. And if you want your makeup to stay put all day without fading or caking up, skipping the primer is not a choice!

Primer is a makeup essential that evens out your skin, blurs the pores and acts as a sticky background for your makeup. Usually, primers have silicone added in their formula which creates a fantastic, smooth and soft skin texture. It then becomes so much easier to spread and fade foundations, eye-shadows and all other makeup you’re going to apply.

The most beloved makeup primer is probably the e.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer:

A makeup essential - bottle of E.L.F. Hydrating Face Primer

e.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer

It’s a hydrating, vitamin-infused formula that primes your face without drying it out. The price is very affordable as well – lovely!


2) BB Cream


There are days where your complexion needs a little help, but applying a foundation seems a little too much. A BB cream is the perfect makeup essential for such days!

Most BB creams have lighter, sheer coverage, which can be built up to provide the desired result. It also moisturizes the skin, acts as a sun shield (if your BB cream has SPF protection, of course), and can be applied in minutes! What’s not to love?

Maybelline has a wonderful, highly-popular BB Cream called BB-Fresh 5-in-1 Beauty Balm which actually is one of my all-time faves!


A makeup essential - bottle of Maybelline Dream BB Fresh Beauty Balm

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream

It’s a hydrating and perfectly blurring BB Cream with SPF 30 that is probably irreplaceable on hot summer days when putting on foundation is simply not an option. It’s very affordable (maybe that’s why it’s always sold out where I live!) and delivers wonderful results so a big thumbs up to Maybelline for creating such a great makeup essential!


3) Foundation


A foundation is arguably one of the most important makeup essentials, and its purpose is to form a beautiful base upon which you lay the other makeup products. A good foundation (that matches your skin tone!) is definitely a must-have in every makeup bag.

If you want your foundation to work double-time, I really recommend choosing a breathable foundation that is also buildable. This way, you can control how much coverage you need.

One of the most popular, holy grail foundation is Maybelline Fit Me! foundation which has a staggering 14.000+ positive reviews on Amazon! I personally haven’t tried it yet, but people seem to love it for great coverage, a very wide range of shades and excellent quality for a good price:

Hands showing range of Maybelline Fit Me foundation shades

Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation

P. S. Here are some tips that help your foundation last the whole day.


4) Concealer


Most women are blessed (read: cursed) with dark circles, under-eye bags, and blemishes on the face that simply laugh at your foundation – it’s simply not enough to cover them. A concealer is a makeup essential that allows you to hide imperfections, discolorations while brightening up the skin for a flawless finish. It’s simply a must-have whether you’re wearing light makeup for work or going for a full evening makeup routine:

A makeup essential - bottle of Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser concealer

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser




5) Blush


If there is one makeup essential that can instantly freshen up your face, it has to be the blush. A slight dab of neutral-toned blush on the apples of your cheeks can provide you a much-needed pick-me-up on days where you need it. You can choose a powder or cream according to your skin type.

Milani makes mega-popular baked blushes (Jeffree Star approved) that look great on different skin tones. You can never go wrong with a neutral, pinky-peach blush with a hint of shimmer like their shade Petal Primavera:

A makeup essential - Milani Baked Blush

Milani Baked Blush – Petal Primavera


6) Bronzer


Bronzer works like magic. This makeup essential is a multitasker: it adds a healthy glow to your face, a matte one can even work as a contour + you will look sun-kissed in just the right spots (as if you just came back from the Bahamas!). Plus, no one will know that you actually spend all your time in front of Netflix…

A makeup essential - Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer

Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer

Physician Formula makes a wonderful bronzer enriched with precious exotic butters, so if you’re prone to dry skin, this can become your new favorite makeup essential!

P. S. here’s the right way to apply bronzer without looking dirty


PART 3: Makeup Essentials For EYES


7) Eyebrow pencil


Eyebrows are an incredibly important part of your face, and your makeup won’t look complete unless you properly shape your eyebrows.

Now, you can fill in your brows using eyeshadows, eyebrow gels, etc. but nothing is as fast and simple as a good old eyebrow pencil. This is why I think eyebrow pencil is a makeup essential that every woman should own!

If you choose a pencil with a brush (or a comb, if you like) you can use your pencil to outline, fill, comb, and shape your brows in no time – and it will frame your face perfectly.

I couldn’t find a holy grail eyebrow pencil anywhere, but it seems like Maybelline Total Temptation Eyebrow Definer is pretty much loved by a LOT of people:

A makeup essential - Maybelline Total Temptation eyebrow pencil

Maybelline Total Temptation Eyebrow Definer Pencil, Deep Brown


8) Mascara


Probably the queen of all makeup essentials, I bet we can all agree that mascara is a must-have product that makes you go from plain to glam at any time! Even if you are not blessed with naturally long lashes (and here’s how to make your eyelashes longer naturally…), a good mascara can add length and volume to your eyelashes for the ultimate glam effect. Even a single swipe of mascara will open up your eyes and get you ready for the day!

Now, there are tons of mascaras that can be called holy grails since everyone seems to have their own one. So I decided to list my own holy grail mascara until I found out that it’s also one of the most popular mascaras on Amazon! It’s the L’Oreal Paris Makeup Lash Paradise mascara and seriously, I am not buying any other mascara until they discontinue this one! Just kidding, it’s a very good mascara that makes your lashes big, long, glamorous, and sexy + it never flakes. Ever!


A makeup essential - Loreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara

L’Oreal Paris Makeup Lash Paradise Mascara

9) A nude eyeshadow palette


One of the most important makeup essentials for eyes, an eyeshadow palette with neutral, nude, matte colors will be one of your best investments. If you love wearing eye makeup, you can use neutral shades for everyday looks without looking overdone.

On top of that, cool browns, blushy browns, and even greys complement almost all skin tones, so you will never go wrong by choosing a good neutral eyeshadow palette.

Urban Decay Naked palette used the be the holy grail for a long time, but now there are plenty of dupes to choose from without going broke. One of the most popular nude palettes right now is the L.A. Girl Beauty Brick Eyeshadow which is very affordable and gives high-quality results:

A makeup essential - neutral eyeshadow palette by L.A. Girl

L.A. Girl Beauty Brick Eyeshadow, Nudes


PART 3: Makeup Essentials For LIPS


10) The King Of Makeup Essentials! Red Lipstick


In fact, I should have listed this at the top of the makeup essentials list because red lipstick is still a classic beauty tool that probably fits everyone! Nothing can empower me more than my favorite shade of red lipstick (well, okay, working on your confidence works as well), but hey – want to simply look confident? Wear Red lipstick. Want to glam up for an event? Red is the answer! Once you choose a shade of red that complements your complexion, it’s impossible to look back!

A makeup essential - red lipstick by Revlon

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Love That Red


Makeup Essentials: a Recap


And we have made it to the end! These makeup essentials will make you look and feel your best every day, and they are a must-have for all women.

P. S. Scroll down for more beauty & makeup tips or try here to check out them all!

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