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Sort It, Skip It, Stash It: The Time Has Come To Streamline Your Makeup Essentials

If you could choose just one part of the makeup process, what would it be?

While the emerging-from-the-pandemic look you’ve imagined will have to wait out the foreseeable future, it might be wise to assess your beauty rituals and figure out what your makeup essentials are.

Remember when the world was cautiously optimistic, trading the oddly cheerful “see you when all this is over” before signing out of that nth Zoom call? Well, it looks like we aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, because while significant strides have been made in the pandemic, what with the protocols and vaccines that have been inching us closer to the long elusive herd immunity, the threat continues with the mutated variants, the equity in vaccine supplies, and lest we forget, the hocus pocus of misinformation. This means that the emerging-from-the-pandemic-look you have imagined will have to wait for what will be a considerable while. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to abandon your beauty rituals either, because for some, this helps keep one sorted and sane. Sure, you will have to skip a few steps from your detailed process, but that only means making room for the makeup essentials.

As we enter yet another season of lockdown, some will understandably want to forego cosmetics altogether, which is totally fine. (Don’t forget though: Skincare is still an absolute must.) However, there will those who will still want to slather on a lightweight layer of foundation and dab on concealer for the many virtual meetings that will take place, pat on eyeshadow on the lids for a bit of joy, and a swipe of color on the lips for that puckered pick me up. The excess and the extremes will have to wait as we adapt to the times and structure our stashes with just the essentials in makeup.


Sort It, Skip It, Stash It

Easy as it sounds on paper, keeping things streamlined isn’t as simple as it sounds. Whether one is a self-confessed beauty junky or a thoughtful beauty casual, minimalism can be quite the challenge. With a lot in the bag and not to mention the saturation of releases day in and day out, this can be overwhelming, but apart from the basics and standards that have been hard-wired into our systems by every guru on the face of the internet, it is important to recognize what you need, what works for you, and most importantly, what are you non-negotiables. After all, this is your face we’re talking about here. You still get the final say on what your makeup essentials are.

With a lot of things out of our control, this what you can have a hand on. Here, you get to pick and choose, but remember: it is high time to exercise caution, because there is no messing with the makeup essentials. Once you’ve mapped out the staples, must-haves, and go-tos, everything else will just flow seamlessly. Once you’ve got this locked down, the beat will go on and you can start facing the rest of the world again, at least virtually for now.

When figuring out what to keep and skip in your beauty ritual, ask yourself, what part of the process makes me smile? From a fresh base after foundation or face-framing brows, check out where else you can streamline your stash.


For some, a clean and clear canvas is all the confidence they need to get on with their day—nothing more, nothing less. If you have been daydreaming for that uncomplicated, pure, and kind foundation that is lightweight and can layer nicely on your skin? Then blk Cosmetics guarantees all that and more with its Life-Proof Airy Serum Foundation. Breathable and buildable, depending on your preference, this light-as-air product will make you look naturally fresh and radiant with its air-tight blend of moisturizing hyaluronic acid and SPF 35 UVA/UVB.


On the hunt for a hardworking, multi-function makeup essential that does its job and more? Look no further because Laura Mercier has introduced its Secret Camouflage Duo, an easy and effortless two-in-one concealer that corrects, brightens, and soothes the highly sensitive under-eye skin. Aside from remedying dark spots, it evens out skin tone, and counteracts sallowness in a range of 16 pigmented shades. Realized in an innovative duo stick, the colors glide on easily, and on the reverse end, it can function as a contour for spots that need a cast of shadow or a glint of gold.


We don’t need to reiterate how important the brows are when it comes to making a statement. Sometimes it is all one needs for that all-too important few seconds of impact. Upping the ante of one of their bestsellers, Issy & Co. upgrades its Brow Refiner. Formulated with palmitic acid, synthetic beeswax, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, glycerin, and cucumber juice, the gel tints and tames eyebrows, sculpting them to perfection. The cult favorite also comes with a lash serum, which when applied will make your flutter even more alluring. (No mascara necessary, at least for now.)


Sometimes a dash of danger is necessary to command attention, even when in an online class or meeting. Part of its attainable assemblage of multi-purpose products, Generation Happy Skin has come up with essentials that are long-lasting and intensely pigmented, all of course honoring its credo of good skin, everyday makeup. With a focus on the eyes, as well of breathing life to the rest of one’s features, the Pretty Easy Budge-Proof Liquid Eyeliner is that flick that says is both precise and powerful. With promises that include 12-hour wear, waterproof, and an infusion of vitamins, points were definitely made here.


If there is anything to learn from TikTok (as well as of course, the experts on it), it is that not only blush is a makeup essential, but its placement on the face matters as well. Whether you want fuller cheeks or a lifted look, where the spot of rouge falls is important. Now, if this is the only thing you want to keep, then you have to try the iconic blush from NARS that truly defined its audacity, Orgasm. The award-winning and highly coveted peachy-pink shade now comes in a n oversized compact, and not only that, the bold brand dives deep into the action with the Orgasm Cheek Palette that heroes six coral and golden tones that call to mind an eternal summer. How’s that for multiple Os?


While some will argue that one can skip the eyeshadow when it comes to a minimal, pared down approach to beauty in the pandemic, this can actually stand as multi-functioning product that goes beyond just the lids. Sure, you can always go for the trusted and classic set of nudes and earth tones, which can work as contours and such, however, a little color wouldn’t hurt, right? With his assertive and sublime take on beauty, Tom Ford wants you to dust off a subdued edge to your peepers with the Eye Color Quad that is standard to his collections. Now, if you want a hint of abundance, then the Photosynthesex foursome is more your lane with its mix of shimmers, jewel tones, and yes, a deceptive bronze you can use to add warmth to your face.


A non-negotiable for many, a lovely and lacquered lip is often more than enough to bring a look together and even lift a mood. Yes, it can be a chore these days, especially when wearing the necessary layer of protection that is a face mask, but one cannot deny the sheer joy it brings. Even just looking at a tube of lipstick brings a smile to one’s face, especially when it is packaged beautifully. A cornerstone for MAC Cosmetics, the brand turned to the Philippines for inspiration for its set called WANDER.LUST. Now, this isn’t a new collection by any means. In fact, it has assembled three classic bullet lipsticks re-imagined to convey the Filipino culture and spirit.

Collaborating with Filipino graphic designer, Raxenne Maniquiz, WANDER.LUST pays homage to the colors of the country as realized in the flora and fauna that is signature to the charming contrasts and profound strokes of the artist in focus. Highlighting the cities of Manila (Mehr), Cebu (Mull It Over), and Davao (Taupe), this collection is a celebration on many fronts, as well as of a reminder that for those leaning towards makeup, a lipstick is all the essential of expression needed to perk one up, especially when the going gets admittedly tough.