The makeup capsule kit: 17 products that will allow hundreds of makeup looks

3 June 2015
Any products in this article have been selected editorially however if you buy something we mention, we may earn commission

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The makeup capsule kit: 17 products that will allow hundreds of makeup looks

We’re all impartial to a bit of makeup spending. A new eyeshadow palette? Well, I do need more mattes. That amazing new foundation? Just take my money.

Before you know it, you’ve gone a few (hundred) purchases too far and find yourself drowning in endless black eyeliners, red lippies and pink blushers, which you aren’t even sure suit your skin tone (damn that convincing sales assistant).

So we perused the makeup aisles to create the ultimate makeup capsule kit; our shortlist of the only products you’ll ever need for any day, night or a special occasion look. Whether you’re looking into a beauty starter kit or simply want to downsize, this lot will give you endless possibilities with limited storage issues, and limited spending…

Follow us on  @getthegloss  and Hanna at  @hanna_ibraheem

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Prime Time: Laura Mercier Foundation Primer

The most irritating part of makeup application is seeing your handy work melt away come midday. To ensure yours doesn’t slip and slide, apply this Laura Mercier Foundation Primer post-cleanse. Simply dispense a generous amount of the lightweight gel over your face and neck as you would a moisturiser.

The primer will help to create the perfect base for long-lasting and even foundation. What’s more, it’s packed with Vitamins A, C and E to shield your skin against the environment and its aging effects.

A product that protects your skin and helps your makeup last longer – double win.

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer , £29

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All about the base: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

Somewhat of a cult product within the world of foundations, the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation is lightweight, buildable and… just beautiful. Created with an exclusive Micro-fil technology, this foundation glides over lines and pores, rather than nestling in them, to create the perfect flawless and dewy base.

What’s more, it’s an oil-free formula, meaning you get a glow from within finish, rather than a result of I-just-finished-at-the-gym-covered-in-sweat. If you’re looking for more coverage, simply layer it on until you’re happy.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation , £36.50

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Cover and conceal: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

Next up, the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. This handy little tube packs the answer to under eye bags, blemishes and dark areas.  It provides medium to high coverage (so a little really does go a long way!), yet feels completely lightweight under the eyes. Thanks to this, it blends out under the eyes seamlessly without looking cakey or setting into lines.

It also has some pretty clever technology behind it. Makeup genius and NARS founder, Francios Nars, has a love for photography and wanted his products to come across picture perfect. To achieve this, he ensured that this concealer had light diffusing technology so that it couldn’t be seen under even the brightest of flashbulbs.

Creamy, brightening and natural; this concealer is a real eye opener (sorry), to how good coverage can completely alter your makeup look.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer , £22

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Off-duty coverage: Bobbi Brown BB Cream

Inside this handy tube lies a list of beauty benefits as long as your arm. First off, its been developed to cover imperfections with some of the best coverage we’ve ever seen in a BB Cream, ideal for off-duty days and vacations.

Simply take a 50p coin size amount on your fingers and rub it into the face. Thanks to thoughtful ingredients, such as sodium hyaluronate and emollients, your skin will be boosted with moisture and hydration. It’s also packed with SPF 35 to protect you from harmful sun damage. While this BB cream provides a flawless barely-there base, it contains light reflective pearls to give the dullest of skin a gorgeous yet natural brightening glow.

Throw in its botanical extracts to prevent redness, a vast skin colour range and collagen-boosting peptides to reduce fine lines; you’ll see that there’s nothing this BB Cream can’t do.

Bobbi Brown BB Cream , £29

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Set it off: Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder

Now that you’ve got your bases covered, it’s time to set it all into place. Our choice? The Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder. Created by in-the-know dermatologists, this setting powder has been carefully created to cater to even the most sensitive of skin types. It’s hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic and does not compromise on results.

Pat the powder around your face, concentrating on areas that are most likely to get oily, and watch all signs of grease and shine disappear. Its handy translucent shade doesn’t affect the colour of your base and means it can be pulled out all-year round to aid your makeup through even the toughest weather conditions.

Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder , £16

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Groom and define: Soap & Glory Archery Pen

Arguably the most game-changing yet overlooked part of a girl’s makeup routine; eyebrows. If cared to properly, these wisps of hair have the power to completely transform and shape your face.

To give yours the grooming love they deserve, we recommend getting your hands on the pocket-friendly Soap & Glory Archery Pen. This super skinny pen provides you with a crayon-like pencil on one side and a spooly brush on the other.

Using light strokes, simply fill in the brows with the pencil to cover sparse areas and define your brow shape. Then run the brush through your eyebrows a couple of times to ensure the product is spread evenly.

Soap & Glory Archery Brow Pencil , £8

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Shadow and shade: Smashbox Double Exposure Palette

Stacks upon stacks of chunky palettes not only make it hard to decide on an eyeshadow look but also make things difficult come travel season. However, once we got our hands on this nifty Smashbox Double Exposure Palette, we joyfully discovered that all of our eye needs could be fulfilled with this one product.

Comprising of 14 gorgeous shadows, this palette covers neutrals, purples ( this season’s must have, FYI ), blue and grey, meaning you’re sorted from a day in the office to a night out.

What’s more, each shade has been cleverly developed to change its appearance when adding water. Simply wet the double-ended brush and your shadow will transform in one of four ways: amped up vibrancy, deeper tones, metallic or sparkly. Meaning your 14 shades actually becomes 28 – talk about getting bang for your buck.

Smashbox Double Exposure Palette , £37

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Line up: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion

Sweat-proof, waterproof and forever-lasting, Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil can provide subtle lining, ultra definition and everything in-between.

Its creamy formula is easy to blend once applied. Just line your eyes and smudge it out within 30 seconds. Once your time is up, it’ll set stubbornly in place until a makeup remover whisks it away. Though don’t think its long-lasting properties will irritate your eyes; with soothing ingredients, such as jojoba oil, vitamin e and cottonseed oil, meaning no tears (not that you would need to worry about your liner running).

We recommend starting with perversion, a blacker-than-black shade that provides intensity to the eyes. Once you’ve got this, venture towards the other shades, which cover everything from party metallics to exotic holiday tones.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion , £15.50

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Fan and flutter: Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

Another product that can be layered (it’s all about versatility, guys) is this recent release by Maybelline. Unlike other mascaras, the Lash Sensational Mascara can be built upon, without the risk of clumping calamities.

Its ingenious new Layer-Reveal brush comprises of 10 layers of bristles to create a gorgeous full fan effect. Use the inner curve to get right into the roots of the lashes and comb through to the tips using the longer bristles. If that’s not enough drama for you, swish a few more strokes through your lashes and watch them continue to lengthen and volumnize.

These impressive results thankfully stay in place all day but the product also be taken off easily with a good makeup remover – saving you from tugging at your eyes repeatedly. Concerned that it might not prove so long-lasting for you? We recommend the waterproof version for the more watery eyed among us.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara , £7.99

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Bronze and glow: Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Bronzer Powder

Didn’t you hear? A sunkissed glow is now in fashion all-year round and we’re constantly reaching for this Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Bronzer Powder. The colossal compact is filled with a deluxe powder bronzer that delivers the ultimate sunkissed glow.

Sweep and buff this matte powder around the face, neck and décolletage to avoid your makeup looking flat, or add it to your eye crease to add dimension. The powder is finely milled so you can build up the bronze dependant on the look you’re trying to achieve. Its oil-free formula sits comfortably on the skin and helps to reduce signs of shine.

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Bronzer Powder , £32

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Blush to flush: Chanel Jouse Contraste Powder Blush

These handy little compacts have gathered quite the reputation within the beauty world. Created to add shape, enhance your complexion and create a healthy glow; the Chanel Jouse Contraste Powder Blushes impart radiance to highlight your cheekbones. To take it one step further, sweep it along your forehead, brow bones and chin and along the nose.

Also ideal for travelling, the compact comes with a mini brush, made out of natural hair, and a decent-sized mirror for touch ups. Just glow and go.

Chanel Jouse Contraste Powder Blush , £31

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Illuminate and shine: theBalm Mary Lou Manizer

A highlighter, eyeshadow and shimmer all in one; this Mary Lou Manizer from theBalm is one of the most gorgeous shades on the market. While its playful name and fun packaging may put some off, we urge you not to knock it until you’ve tried it.

Upon application, this golden champagne shade will brighten your complexion, make skin appear softer and give you an overall younger and healthy glow. Its pigmentation provides the perfect radiance but can be built upon if you want something more glam.

We just can’t get enough of it.

theBalm Mary Lou Manizer , £17.50

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Get Nude: Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk and Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Penelope Pink

All girls need a nude in their life. Whether it is for a casual day look or the solution to balancing a heavy smokey eye; it’s a must-have in every makeup arsenal.

Start with the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk, a gorgeous your-lips-but-better shade that suits all skin tones and occasions. Its creamy texture glides on smoothly to outline the shape of your lips and prevents your lipstick from feathering.

Follow up with the K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Penelope Pink, the perfect accompaniment to Pillow Talk and a breakthrough in lipstick creation. Using an anti-oxidant that Charlotte calls ‘The Lipstick Tree’, this product works hard to protect your lips against UV and environmental damage. Upon application, its special wax blend seamlessly fills in lip contours to deliver the perfect lip shape and shade.

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk , £16, and  Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Penelope Pink , £23

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Lady in red: MAC Russian Red and Ruby Woo Lipsticks and Ruby Woo Lip Liner

Coveted by everyone from Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor to Alexa Chung and Taylor Swift, the red lip has become the easiest way to make the ultimate chic statement.

To achieve this look, we find ourselves countlessly turning to the icon MAC duo Russian Red and Ruby Woo. Say those words to any beauty obsessive and they’ll eagerly pull out their trusty black tube with proclamations about how it’s changed their life.

Russian Red is a deep red that suits all skin tones. Since launching in the 1980s, it cemented its place as MAC’s most popular shade and has stayed firmly on the shelves ever since.

Ruby Woo, a mattified version of Russian Red, is a medium red with cool blue undertones. It’s another shade that has won the heart of many; so much so, it even influenced Rihanna to create her own take on the shade. To help it last longer, MAC have recently released an accompanying Ruby Woo Lip Liner - *beauty fans rejoice* - meaning there’s no need to fear the dreaded lipstick-faded-line-around-the-mouth situation.

Both shades are able to hold their shape without bleeding and, in our opinion, the pièce de résistance to setting off any makeup look.

Follow us on  @getthegloss  and Hanna at  @hanna_ibraheem