Advanced search

Whether you’re a beauty novice or a confirmed fashionista, this topic is for consulting Mumsnetters on all things style-related. Plus, check out our Swears By page for the inside track on the next Mumsnet must-have.

What are your must have basic make up products?

(60 Posts)
Monr0e Tue 05-Dec-17 14:55:08

And how do you use / apply them?

I am in need of help. My 40 something skin is looking tired and pasty. I have never been particularly girly and have muddled through adult life using basic foundation, powder and mascara. I feel the need to update myself and would love some advice on what products work best and also how to apply them. And all in a budget please if possible (not asking much I know hmm )

Thank you

JoJoSM2 Tue 05-Dec-17 15:52:17

Sounds like a good start. You could add a blusher. I’d say the key thing is to use proper brushes for application as that always makes it look the business.

Monr0e Tue 05-Dec-17 16:01:25

Thanks JoJo Do you apply your foundation with a brush also or a sponge? I always feel like it doesn't look quite right or give much coverage. I feel at my age I should know this stuff!

JoJoSM2 Tue 05-Dec-17 16:26:20

On a day to day basis, I use a sponge and a brush when I’ve got more time. Just dab it in gently.
What might be quite useful is to get a mini lesson from a beauty counter somewhere- they can show you what and where to use. I know Mac are good at that although I don’t live their products.

misscheery Tue 05-Dec-17 16:31:42

My top tips: (qualified make-up artist here)

Best products to invest in: foundation (for day to day basis I don't recommend face primers especially not silicone based ones as they clog pores!), good powder according to your necessities (i.e if you have oily skin a matte powder), nice mascara, nice eyebrow product (gel/crayon/powder whatever it is easy for you to use so you can fill in your eyebrows if necessary), nice warm blusher, and a nude lipstick.

You need AT LEAST 4 brushes; foundation kabuki brush, powder brush, blusher brush and eyebrow brush. ( you can find pictures of how they look online). I recommend real techniques for beginners, fairly decently priced, though not cheap and they're good quality.

For better coverage apply foundation with brush and make sure you blend it properly and carefully. For natural coverage you can use a beauty blender (a sponge), ALWAYS wet!!! before you use.

Any other questions you might have, pls shooot! smile

ApplesTheHare Tue 05-Dec-17 16:35:52

Thanks MissCheery Can I ask what you'd recommend instead of primer? I just started using it to give a smooth surface and stop foundation sinking into my wrinkles but think it's started to clog pores.

misscheery Tue 05-Dec-17 16:47:22

@ApplesTheHare very welcome! From what you're saying you might be having a similar skin to my mother. May I ask first, what's your skincare routine?

For example: in the morning I cleanse with a Bioderma cleanser, use a toner then an SPF lotion from Bioderma as well, SPF 50, which makes a great primer for make-up!

Cakescakescakes Tue 05-Dec-17 16:52:48

A little bit of blush would be my first suggestion too. The Mac Factor ones in the little round pots (think called Creme Blush?) have a gorgeous texture which is very flattering on non-super-youthful skin. I have ‘seductive ounk’ which is a natural rosy cheeked pink. Very flattering. Just apply a little to the apples of your cheeks. Makes me look alive! I’ll try to link.

Cakescakescakes Tue 05-Dec-17 16:53:42

Cakescakescakes Tue 05-Dec-17 16:54:56

Seductive pink obviously. No idea what a seductive ounk is!

Juanflewover Tue 05-Dec-17 16:55:33

Watching this thread with interest. Never really worn make up at all, but feeling like I should probably start making a bit more of an effort - but no idea of where to start!

Allwashedup Tue 05-Dec-17 16:58:48

Also light reflecting concealer is a must - for me anyway!

Cakescakescakes Tue 05-Dec-17 17:00:34

The Bourjois Color Boost lip crayons are also a fantastic entry level lip colour. Very balmy texture, sheeny finish and just swipe and go so super easy to apply. I like the colour Proudly Naked for everyday which is a natural slightly pinkish neutral.

They are better than the equivalent Clinique Chubby lip crayons or the No7 ones as they have a nicer non-drying texture.

Witchofthenorth Tue 05-Dec-17 17:08:23

I use benefit porefessional, I luffs it, allows me to go out without foundation on.

Good brushes, absolute must have and a nice light foundation for when you need extra coverage.

I have 40 something skin and loads of big open pores and I find less is absolutely more. If I do my face like I used to even 5 years ago, I just look like I have put the scaffolding up that morning and applied with a trowel confused

I have one foundation, one mascara, a light blush and a nude and a red lip stick. I also have a brow powder due to years of over plucking, I need powder to fill them

Monr0e Tue 05-Dec-17 17:09:39

Some great tips, thank you

misscheery I'd love some more eyebrow tips if you wouldn't mind. I'm a red head with fair skin. The one time I had hd brows it did not go well. I asked for subtle and ended up with thick black lines above my eyes. I've been too wary to try again but think I'd feel more groomed with my eyebrows sorted.

With the blusher do you use a brush also? Sorry for the very basic questions!

Seductive ounk sounds interesting!

I've never used concealer before though I probably should. Where would I even begin?

DarthMaiden Tue 05-Dec-17 17:16:06

For general everyday...

I slap on some hyaluronic acid, then moisturiser.

Then a tinted moisturiser or B.B. cream (I tend to reserve foundation for evening/special events). Light reflecting Concealer under the eye - mine has a dual end with eye cream also - so super easy.

A creme eyeshadow in a neutral brown colour over the lids and a small amount under the eye and then cream blush - all of which I can apply with my fingers in a hurry and easily.

Powder over my T zone.

Then mascara and lipstick - job done.

I can do it in about 5 mins.


My favourite products are (at the moment):

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid

M&S sleep cream (note I have dry skin)

Bobbi Brown BB cream

Charlotte Tilbury miracle eye wand concealer (I also use the under eye cream it comes with)

Charlotte Tilbury colour of youth blush (or Stilla watercolour blush in rosewood)

Bobbi Brown cream eyeshadow stick in the colour shadow (as it's a stick it's good for application under eyes but can also be smudged onto the lid and does away with the need for eye kohl which I find to heavy/harsh now

Hourglass Ambient lighting powder - I have a 6 pan pallets (I think the one I use most is Dim Light) but I dip into the others

L'Oréal Paradise mascara

Charlotte Tilbury lipstick in Bond girl - maybe a bit of lip liner if I need it (pillow talk - again Charlotte Tilbury)

misscheery Tue 05-Dec-17 17:18:16

They're not basic if you never used make-up.

firstly, eyebrows. Anastasia beverly hills does this amazing brow crayon for redheads in shade caramel. You can find her products on cult beauty. For tips of filling in, my best advice is have a quick search on youtube for "eyebrow tutorial redhead", and similar searches as there are thousand of videos and tutorials which would help as they are visual.

Regarding concealer: how does your under eye skin looks re wrinkles? If it's rather wrinkly I'd say no concealer.

Blusher: can I see a pic of you? Sure, if you want to post it. I want to see your hair, your skin, and especially the skin undertone so perhaps I could recommend more specific blushers.


DarthMaiden Tue 05-Dec-17 17:20:03

Apologies I know some of above it quite pricy but you can get cheaper duplicates for nearly everything.

That said I'd generally work on the basis that I'd rather have fewer good quality "hard working" products than a lot of cheaper less effective ones.

misscheery Tue 05-Dec-17 17:21:13

Yes, look, this is a blusher brush, so you can get a better sense of shape!

Hammy12345 Tue 05-Dec-17 17:22:50

I'm 35 and wondered the same a few months ago. I wanted a quick, natural look I could do before school run. I booked an appointment at Bobbi brown counter in John Lewis. They were amazing, gave me loads of tips and weren't pushy at all. I bought a few items and have been really pleased with them and have used them everyday. They didn't make me feel silly at all not knowing how to apply it!

DarthMaiden Tue 05-Dec-17 17:23:21

I'd really recommend the Stilla watercolour blush in rosewater. It's really easy to apply (with fingers) and lasts brilliantly.

It's also a lovely very natural colour that would suit most people.

misscheery Tue 05-Dec-17 17:25:01

@DarthMaiden another vote for that blusher! It's AMAZING!

Monr0e Tue 05-Dec-17 17:30:59

Aw you're all fab, thank you.

misscheery can I pm you? Don't really want to put my make up free face on here grin Although you're welcome to put any comments and suggestions on here, they may be useful to others

Darth I appreciate what you're saying and thanks for such a detailed post. I'd much rather have quality over quantity and would invest in one or two things. I just struggle knowing where to even begin and knowing which products would make the most difference. I tend to think if I can get the foundation right it's a start so any tips for that would be great

nong45 Tue 05-Dec-17 17:48:28

I have 40 something skin, always used basic minimal makeup and felt dowdy. Then I ready Sali Hughes Pretty Honest for help and made a list.

I now also use a cheap non-glittery bronzer on cheeks and nose. Then a highlighter on cheekbones, then pinky blusher. All from Superdrug. Only a bit though so I’m not too ‘made up’ but I do look much healthier!

I love Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadows and lipsticks though and I always buy a decent sheer foundation and SPF primer. My view is spend more on the things that will get noticed, go cheap on the bits that don’t.

LentilBaby Tue 05-Dec-17 18:02:02

@misscheery Can I be cheeky and ask a question? My skin is combination/oily. Currently use Bare Minerals Powder only which is fine. I’ve fortunately got pretty good skin. Is there any foundation that works well for my skin without being totally shiny by the end of the day?

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: