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How many makeup products do you really need?


9th Jun 2023 Fashion & Beauty

How many makeup products do you really need?

There's so much makeup out there that it can be tempting to buy out the whole Boots inventory, but hold your horses! These are the essentials

Just as skincare can be overwhelming, so too can makeup. There are so many products out there, surely you don’t need all of it? A sigh of relief for those struggling to know what to buy is the “no-makeup” makeup trend. This refers to makeup looks that are natural and lightweight, as if you're not even wearing makeup at all. And the good news is, experts think this trend is here to stay. 

"We’ve seen a real shift to makeup being more about accentuating rather than masking"

“We’ve seen a real shift to makeup being more about accentuating rather than masking, specifically for everyday, and I think as people adopt more skin tints, lightweight coverage, and creamy formulas, they won't look back,” says Elanna Pecherle, founder of Pearl Beauty. “Our obsession with skincare also plays a part in this as many of us are using skincare products to make our skin look as healthy as possible that we're loving our skin and happy to go out with a brush of this, or a few dabs of that rather than a full makeup beat."

So when it comes to paring down your products so that your makeup bag isn’t overflowing, what should you hold on to?

A base

Depending on the coverage you want, this may be a foundation. However, Elanna recommends opting for a skint tint or a BB cream. "They offer a lovely amount of coverage that just evens out skin tone, hides any redness or blemishes but makes my base feel and look super weightless,” she says. BB creams also often come with a higher SPF rating (although you should be applying SPF to your face anyway). 

A smiling woman with glowing skin - must-have makeup products

BB creams and skin tints offer a natural glow

If you have dry skin, look for hydrating BB creams like L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect BB Cream, which is infused with a hydrating serum. For oily or combination skin, you might like a BB cream with a matte finish such as Garnier Oil-Free All in 1 BB Cream.


Even those infuriating people with seemingly perfect skin get the odd breakout from time to time, and a concealer is good to have to hand if you want to cover up any blemishes. There definitely shouldn’t be any pressure to do this, but we all have days where we just a bit of extra coverage!

"A concealer is good to have to hand if you want to cover up any blemishes"

Elanna says, “I use small amounts under my eyes to make them look a bit brighter and then a few dots here and there over places I feel I need it.”

When choosing a concealer, look for one in a shade that matches your BB cream or foundation. Look out for hydrating and soothing ingredients like hyaluronic acid and vitamin E for smooth, lightweight application. 

Setting powder

A good setting powder is the icing on the cake for your base. Setting powder keeps wet products such as foundation or BB cream in place, reducing the risk of looking oily and helping your makeup look good for longer. Apply it on your face with a brush for a long lasting makeup look.

"A good setting powder is the icing on the cake for your base"

“I like translucent one to lightly dust and set my makeup in place, but a pigmented powder is also lovely at adding extra coverage, brightening under eyes, and darker shades can add a lovely depth to a bronze look,” Elanna says. “They're also handy to take around if you need to do touchups.” She recommends the Pearl Beauty Setting Powder

Lips and cheeks

A great tip for reducing the amount of makeup products taking up space in your bathroom is finding products that do more than one job. The idea of using your lipstick as a blush has been around for a little while, and it’s a great way to make your products work twice as hard. 

Woman putting blush on her face - must-have makeup products

Lip products can often double as a blush for a cohesive look

“The Pearl Beauty Multi Purpose Lip and Face Stick is multipurpose, giving it multiple effects,” Elanna says. “I love using the shade ‘Real Depth’ to bronze and warm up my skin. It's a gorgeous deep rose colour that definitely warms the face but acts as a blush as well. It's super creamy and stays put all day. I also like to dab some on my finger and brush it on my lips as a gorgeous lip stain as it's super hydrating, too.”


Mascara is the final touch to pull a makeup look together. Different mascaras offer different looks, from dramatic, full eyelashes to more subtle enhancement.

The exact mascara you’ll want depends on the effect you want to achieve but a good everyday option is Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara, which lifts your eyelashes without weighing them down or having a clumpy effect.

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