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Finding makeup products that you actually enjoy using can be a real challenge sometimes. There are all kinds of great options out there, but not all of them will be the right choice for you. Then there are all the products that go viral online, only to turn your face into a clumpy mess when you actually try to use them. However, there are still plenty of makeup products that are reliable enough to belong in any makeup collection. 

When you’re on the hunt for your next favorite makeup item, keep in mind that there’s nothing wrong with being adventurous. It’s easy to stick with the brands that everyone’s familiar with, but brands like Pamplemousse could contain some hidden gems that you’ve been missing out on this whole time. Refining your makeup collection is all about trial and error, so don’t be shy about trying out new brands and products! You never know what you might discover. 

Essential #1: Robust concealer

Concealer has one job: to hide blemishes. The problem is, a lot of sub-par concealers stop getting the job done as soon as there’s any friction, heat, or humidity. Environmental conditions could turn your flawlessly finished makeup into a streaky, faded mess, which is arguably even worse than wearing no makeup at all.

This is why a robust concealer is truly a treasure – you can rely on it to get you through the day with no drama, regardless of what life brings. Bonus points if the concealer has ingredients that promote the health of your skin, like licorice root extract. If your concealer can conceal and heal at the same time, you’ve got a winner on your hands…or rather, on your face!

Suggested concealer: Kulfi Beauty Main Match Concealer

Essential #2: Glowy foundation

Glowing skin is in for 2023, so if you want to wear full-coverage foundation without dulling your own natural radiance, you’ll need a foundation with a luminous finish. Liquid foundations are usually best for this, especially if you have dry skin – just look for an option with hydrating qualities. Your liquid foundation should give full coverage without looking cakey, and make your skin look hydrated and glowy without making it look greasy. Foundation gets buffed into every part of the face, so if you can find one that benefits the health of your skin that’s even better.

Suggested liquid foundation: Juvia’s Place I Am Magic Natural Radiance Foundation

Essential #3: Cream blush

From bronzers to blushes to eyeshadows, 2023 is all about using creams instead of powders. Just take cream blush, for example: it’s easier to blend, easier to build, and definitely more forgiving than its powdered counterpart. For those who want only the slightest hint of extra color, cream blush can be applied and blended with the lightest of touches. For those who want a more intense look, the same cream blush can be built up without looking overdone. Plus, a cream blush is the way to go if you want to preserve the glowy look from your liquid foundation.

Suggested cream blush: Half Magic Cheek Fluff Soft Blur Blush

Essential #4: Blush oil

The blush oil from Youthforia has been making waves all over TikTok, but is it really worth the hype? According to testers, the answer is yes. The special thing about this product is that it goes on as a neutral-colored oil, then reacts with the skin’s pH to create a uniquely flattering blush effect. Each person essentially gets their own customized results based on their skin’s chemistry. Plus, with dermatologist-approved ingredients like aloe vera and jojoba oil, it also acts as skincare. Those with oily skin may feel inclined to avoid this product, but dermatologists say it’s suitable for all skin types. 

Suggested blush oil: Youthforia BYO Blush Color Changing and Tinted Blush Oil

Essential #5: Cream bronzer

When correctly applied, bronzers can add the perfect sun-kissed glow to your face. When incorrectly applied, bronzer can make you look like the Tin Man with a tanning bed addiction. Enter cream bronzers: they’re easier to apply, and blend more smoothly than powdered bronzers. They also tend to rest more lightly on the skin, which is an advantage if you’re using multiple other products like foundation, blush, highlighter, etc. If you get the right cream bronzer, you could also enjoy some hydrating benefits – something you’d never get with a powder. Whether you’re blending with a brush or with your fingers, cream bronzer will be forgiving enough to look good either way.

Suggested cream bronzer: Saie Sun Melt Natural Cream Bronzer

Essential #6: Liquid highlighter

Just like creams, liquid makeup products are a hot item in 2023. As far as highlighters are concerned, it totally makes sense that they’d come in liquid form – it’s perfect for adding a bit of extra sheen to your look. Highlighter isn’t known for doing the heavy lifting in most makeup ensembles; it isn’t usually applied in areas that are prone to cracking, like around the eyes or along the smile lines, so most people don’t focus on the technical aspects of their highlighters. However, you should still look for one that’s non-sticky, easy to apply and blend, and maybe even comes with a few beneficial ingredients.

Suggested liquid highlighter: e.l.f. Cosmetics Halo Glow Liquid Filter

Essential #7: Volumizing mascara

There’s always room in the makeup bag for some volumizing mascara; all but the most conservative makeup fans want to pump up their lashes now and again. The best volumizing mascara will have a combination of features that make it versatile, effective, and absolutely essential for most of your makeup looks. These features include having a lengthening effect, being waterproof, and coming with an applicator that amplifies the effects. In fact, some applicators are so good that people will wonder which fake lashes you’re using, or which eyelash curler you’ve got at home. With the right combination of mascara and applicator, a great volumizing mascara will never let you down.

Suggested volumizing mascara: Bossy Cosmetics Extremely Bossy By Nature Lengthening and Volumizing Mascara