Natural Beauty: 15 Vegan Makeup Bag Essentials
Many of us plan to revamp our beauty routine in 2015—whether that means wearing simpler, more sophisticated makeup or being bold and trying new things. Beauty newbies and veterans alike can benefit from checking in with the status of their makeup bags. A well stocked yet carefully edited makeup collection is the best place to start—whatever your beauty resolutions may be. Not only can keeping an orderly kit help streamline your mornings, staying “in touch” with your current collection may prevent you from purchasing items you forgot you already have!
Customize this list according to your beauty preferences and needs. Remember, this is your vegan makeup kit! Throughout, I’ll point out items that can be combined/substituted for an even simpler collection. As you go through your makeup bag, be prepared to toss anything that too old or that never ended up working out (these items may also be brought to a makeup swap as long as they’re not too old!).
1. Primer. Many natural beauty enthusiasts are on the fence about the necessity or primer, so this one is completely up to you. Most primers contain silicone, which causes breakouts and/or dryness on some complexions. I usually skip this step on my face, but I never skip primer when it comes to my eyelids. Without a well-prepared base, my eyeliner will crease within an hour. While eye-specific primers are available, you may find that a regular face primer works just as well. Try: DeVita Prime Corrective. (Read review here.)
2-3. Two shades of concealer. One to match your skin tone—perfect for covering blemishes—and one concealer a shade or two lighter than your regular skin color for highlighting. If you’re lucky enough to have perfectly clear skin, just invest in a highlighting concealer. Try: Au Naturale Cream Concealer.
4. Foundation. Most beauty junkies have a few different foundation formulas floating around their makeup bags. While it’s nice to have a light and heavy formula to choose from, you really just need one formula that helps even your skin tone and provide a good base for the rest of your look. Most days, my go-to “foundation” is actually a BB cream. I like it because it feels and looks more like skin! Try making your very own custom BB cream.
5. Blush. Cream, powder, cheek stain—there are several options out there! Lately, I’ve been in love with cream blush because it appears so natural, giving my cheeks a dewy flush. Check out our in-depth guide to vegan blushes for more inspiration.
I love cream blush!
6-7. Two eyeliners. It’s handy to have a soft, daytime liner (brown and gray are nice options) and a bolder (i.e. black) liner for evening and formal events. Alternatively, just pick one liner for all occasions (I admit to wearing black liner almost every day!). Try: Antonym waterproof eyeliner.
8. Eyeshadow quad. (Maybe this counts as four rather than one?) An eyeshadow quad suited to your eye color and complexion can provide endless options. Your basic quad can take you from soft and casual to smoky and sexy with a little creative layering. Consult our guide to selecting eyeshadow color. If you can’t find the quad of your dreams, pull together four individual eyeshadows of your choosing. Lily Lolo, Alima Pure, and Modern Minerals make beautiful eyeshadows in a variety of textures.
9. Bronzer/contouring powder. While not completely necessary, a slightly darker-than-your-skin powder can make it look like you haven’t actually been deprived of the sun (no thanks to you, Old Man Winter). The trick to apply it just where the sun normally tans your face: temples, forehead, and notes. Bronzing powder can also give you enviable cheekbones when used for contouring. Try: Alima Pure Sombra Contouring Powder.
10. Illuminating powder. Just like bronzing powder will emphasize the contours of your face, illuminating powder will give a 3-D effect to the apples of your cheeks, Cupid’s bow, and inner corners of your eyes. Dazzling! Try: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder.
11. Setting powder. It’s an essential for setting spot-covering concealer and matte-ifying an oily T-zone. Avoid applying setting powder to your entire face—too stuffy! Try: Too Faced Primed and Poreless Priming Powder.
12-13. Two lip colors. One can get a lot of mileage out of two lip shades (in formulas of your choosing). A rose or dusty-peach is ideal for work and daywear to give your lips a little definition, and a deep berry or classic red will instantly turn up the heat for your date-night look. Go crazy for all things lip at Josie Maran.
14. Mascara. Like your foundation, the type of mascara you choose will depend on what you’re looking for. Someone seeking a little definition may not choose the same tube as someone on the hunt for some serious lash drama. Experiment until you find that magic solution. A good basic mascara: Pacifica Beauty Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mineral Mascara. For more va-va-voom lashes, try Beauty Without Cruelty Full Volume Mascara.
15. Brow color. This is one is easy to skip if your eyeshadow quad contains a shade slightly lighter than your natural brow color. Simply use a thin eyeliner brush to fill in sparse areas of your brows. Find more on brow beautification here.
More vegan makeup: How to Nail “Less Makeup is More”
Dewy Lip Products for a Natural Look
Vegan Dupes for Allure’s Best of 2014
Photos: Mary Hood