What are the beauty essentials that are worth investing the time, effort and expense in finding? We found out...

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What goes into making a makeup  It kit? The answer is surprisingly simple: 5 key rules.

We kid you not, nail the following magic five and everything else in your makeup regimes will just fall into place. We sought the help of makeup artist  extraordinaire Lee Pycroft  for a lesson in beauty  school etiquette in order to nail the basics and create the best foundation for all our makeup aspirations.

1. Eyebrow know-how

Lee says: “This is an area of the face that is often neglected and makes such a significant difference when the shape, texture and colour complement the eye shape and skin tone of a person.”

Lee’s top makeup tips

  • Don't skimp on getting the right eye pencil or a brush and shadow if that is your preference.
  • Check the tone isn't too dark for the skin as this is often a common mistake.
  • Make sure the brush is angled and with soft bristles as this helps keep the edges soft yet defined. Always use a brow gel to enhance and volumise the brow hair as this will not only keep brows in place but also gives the illusion of thicker brows.

Get The Gloss loves...

Tom Ford Brow Sculptor , £34 for its sharpener-free ease and its angled edge.

L’Oréal Paris Perfection Brow Artist Plumper , £5.99 for a subtle tint, volume and natural finish.

...and MAC 208 Angled Brow Brush , £16.50 for pin point precision teamed with Dipbrow Pomade , £15 should you have a preference for a tool and shadow combo.

MORE GLOSS: Mary Greenwell shows us how to get fuller brows

2. Concealer

Lee says: “If dark spots are a problem, then an opaque concealer is a must. If under eye shadows are present, then often a cocktail of a light-reflecting concealer plus a more opaque one is required to erase them. Strategic placement of concealer whether it is covering a blemish, age spot or shadows will help target the problem more effectively and result in a more seamless finish.”

Lee’s top makeup tips

  • Use a pointed brush such as Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Pull Apart Brush , £22.50 to dab concealer onto blemished areas to achieve the best cover and a fluffy blending brush like MAC 286 Duo Fibre Blending Brush , £23 to buff concealer onto areas of the face such as around the nose or cheeks and under the eyes if the concealer needs more blending. The fluffy texture of the brush helps stop concealer becoming too heavy and blends any excess away effectively.

Get The Gloss loves...

For an opaque concealer that’s pint-sized but potent, try Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer , £19.50 with Charlotte Tilbury the Retoucher , £25 on top to disguise dark circles.

MORE GLOSS: The 10 best concealers for olive and dark skin tones

3. Makeup brushes

Lee says: “What brushes you buy will depend on preference and the looks being created, but a bit of careful consideration will help avoid making expensive mistakes.”

Lee’s top makeup tips

  • If eyeliner is your thing, then double up and use an angled liner brush that you can also use on the brows.
  • A fluffy blending brush for eyeshadow is a must as it can be used to create a sculpted look on the eyes, to blend the edge of darker shadows and to blend concealer, (obviously making sure the brush is washed after use on shadow and before blending concealer!)
  • A foundation brush such as Becca Foundation Brush , £33 is great for applying cream blush as well as base and a lip brush like the London Brush Company All About Lip , £19 can also be used to apply precision concealer to a blemish.
  • Wiping the brush on a wet wipe in between uses will prevent the crossing over of any colour.
  • A small, soft blush brush such as Suqqu Cheek Brush , £85 is a must for the application of bronzer, sculpting powder and blusher. Squeezing the brush hairs together will reduce the side of the brush head and target a smaller area of the cheek if necessary.
  • If a brush sheds or feels rough to the touch, move on!

4. Khol eyeliner

Lee says: “I have yet to meet a woman who doesn't benefit from using a khol eyeliner.”

Lee’s top makeup tips

  • Applying the pencil from underneath the top lashes is the key to creating a luscious, dark looking lash line that will make lashes appear fuller and give definition to the eyes.
  • Go for a gel pencil formula as the hold and depth of colour is impressive. Hold the lid up with ring finger and lightly pencil into the roots of lashes and under the upper waterline for a quick and artful way to define the eyes.

Get The Gloss loves...

The colour payoff and intensity of Avon SuperShock Gel Eyeliner Pencil , £6 makes it our gel liner of choice.

MORE GLOSS: The Gloss Report - kohl eyeliners

5. Fake eyelashes

Lee says: “Never underestimate the impact of a set of corner lashes. They are easy to apply, look natural and give an instant lift to the eyes.”

Lee’s top makeup tips

  • Always make sure mascara is applied perfectly before and the natural lashes are spread out in a semi-circle shape. This will help create a seamless flow from the natural lash to the fake corner lash.
  • Apply so the lashes point in a upwards direction, allow glue to dry then blend natural, lashes and corner lashes together, squeezing them with the forefinger and thumb so they blend naturally.

Get The Gloss loves...

Try these Shu Uemura Black Flared Layer Eyelashes , £23.50 on for size to add subtle but noticeable volume to your flutter.

Follow us  @getthegloss  and Ayesha  @ayesha_muttu .