In this day and age — as Clarence Lee says — it’s very hard to find bad makeup. But with all the countless options available to us as consumers, how do we pick that one item to use? It’s hard, but here’s my list of what my makeup kit would be like if I stripped it down to just one of each type of makeup item.
It would be these 13 items:
1. Makeup Base — YSL Beaute All Hours Primer, $82
This is one of the best primers I’ve ever used (it makes skin semi-matte and gives it a smoother texture), and if I had to choose just ONE makeup primer to live with, at the moment, this would be it. And with a pared-down makeup kit, I wouldn’t include a face brush. Instead, I’d apply this primer with my fingers or the puff from the cushion compact.
2. Foundation — Shiseido Synchro Skin Glow Cushion Compact, $55
Like many Singaporean girls, I’d choose a cushion compact for my everyday foundation (it’s just too convenient!), and it would be the one from Shiseido. This compact is as close as it gets to a liquid foundation — it really comes out of the sponge like liquid, and offers high coverage. Also, Pony swears by it.
3. Concealer — clé de peau beauté Concealer, $105
In my opinion, this is the best concealer money can buy. It covers blemishes, dark under-eye circles, freckles, sun spots, pigmentation, redness around the nose and light rash. If I could only choose ONE makeup item to have on me, it would be this concealer.
4. Brows — shu uemura hard formula eyebrow pencil, $33
I know some people love their brow palettes, brow gels and even brow swords… I’ve tried them all and this classic one from shu uemura still remains my favourite. It’s extremely easy and fast to draw brows with this pencil. And it’s not just the slanted tip (our pencil isn’t shaved yet; go to the store and get them to fashion the tip for you); it’s also the incredible formula that only magically appears on your brows (try swatching it on the back of your hand… nothing will come out!).
5. Eyeshadow Primer — Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion Original, $35
It really is a potion; my eyeshadow doesn’t crease with this base.
6. Eyeshadow — Urban Decay Naked 2, $83
Every week I receive new eyeshadows from collections launching, but every morning when I do my makeup, I keep returning to the Naked 2 palette because to me, it is perfect — it is everything I want and need in an eyeshadow. The formulas barely have any fall-out (UD really makes the best eyeshadow formulas!), and every colour in the palette is something that I would actually use. Oh, and it even has a pretty decent eyeshadow brush.
7. Liquid Eyeliner — Chanel Signature De Chanel Eyeliner Pen, $52
I used to have many favourite liquid eyeliners (Clio, K-Palette, Dolly Wink) — until this one from Chanel came along. I’m so impressed by it, that I haven’t used any other liquid liner since the day it came along in June 2017. It won our beauty awards (across 7 judges!) that ran just a few months ago.
8. Pencil Eyeliner — Kate Tokyo Fit Rare Gel Pencil (Bk-1), $19.90
After trying countless eye pencils over the years, I find that this is the best one for drawing below the eye. You can read my full review here. I also recently gave this eye pencil to three professional makeup artists (Clarence Lee, Peter Khor and Dollei Seah) for their review on it — and unsurprisingly, they loved it too!
9. Lash Curler — shu uemura Eyelash Curler, $30
It’s hard to go wrong with this cult eyelash curler; the curved shape makes it very easy to use.
10. Mascara — Maybelline Total Temptation Waterproof, $21.90
I think this is the only mascara anyone will ever need. It has a semi-matte, intense black formula that fixes the lash curl in place, adds volume, some length, and doesn’t clump — even with a few coats! You just need to try this product one time to be sold.
11. Blush — Shiseido Makeup Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush (01 Sonoya), $48
I find this new “whipped powder” texture faster and easier to use than a regular powder or liquid blush. It is so soft, and gives off a soft finish too. Beautiful. Like the model this shade is named after.
12. Lip Balm — Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Advanced Therapy, $39
Fresh has pretty much perfected the lip balm; and they know it (they raised the price of this product in recent years!). The formula is extremely hydrating and keeps lips comfortable and primed for hours.
13. Lip Colour — THREE Lyrical Lip Bloom (11 Run Free), $48
I don’t use a lot of lip colour, but when I do, I like it natural and healthy looking, and this is my current obsession (and really, the only lip colour I need in my makeup box). It gives a nice semi-matte stain that isn’t drying at all. You can read my review on it here.
There you have it. The only items that I really need in my makeup kit (although I’m probably hitting close to 50 now). And to be honest, I wrote this piece as a reminder to myself that everything else is excess… and if I want to live my minimalist ideal, I should really start cleaning out. And that’s what I shall do before the new year.