Here are a few of my favorites:
ELF Studio Finish Foundation
Rimmel Clean Finish
2) Mascara. If I was only able to bring one one makeup item with me anywhere, it would be mascara. You want one that will add length and volume. Everyone always says the eyes are the windows to the soul, and my eyes always have mascara on them. Even my husband admits that he likes it when I wear mascara, and he is one of those men that says all the time, "You look beautiful without makeup."
3) A good eyeshadow palette. I don't just mean lots of colors. I mean staying power, with great pigments, and different finishes. It's very important to me to be able to grab a single palette if I am going away on a long weekend, and feel completely safe that I will have the right colors. I like to bring a rather large palette with me when I go places, and this one just happens to be my absolute favorite. It has all the colors I will ever need.
ELF Studio Palette 144 pc
4) Eyebrow filler. You may not think that this is an important item, but let me tell you, it is. Nothing ruins a beautiful look like sparse eyebrows. Defining your brows can take any regular makeup look and bring it over the top. This is a very important step. Don't skip it. If you don't feel like hauling another product with you, make sure your eyeshadow palette has a color to match your brows, you can use that shadow to fill them in in a pinch. Sometimes I even use a brown eyeliner. Make sure to groom your brows afterwards though when do this step!
ELF Studio Eyebrow Kit
5) A good concealer. This is one I even have a problem with. I always think I love a concealer, but then it turns out after using it for a week or so... I don't actually love it. I always buy a concealer lighter than my skin tone so I can use it as a highlighter.
Match Perfection Concealer
6) Contours. This is a funny one. Many people do not actually use "contours" when they do their everyday makeup. I think it's one of the most important parts of my routine. Nothing brings out your facial features than knowing how to contour. It really is easier than you think!
Coastal Scents Contouring Palette
7) Polish. I was on the fence on whether or not to include this in this list, but having beautiful nails is a big part of your look. Nail polish is one of those things that you tend to accumulate over time. Sometimes you buy one, use it once, and then forget about it. The next time you go to use it, it has gone bad! Here is a quick tip I will let you in on... Store it in a container in your fridge! Yes, you heard me correctly. It makes the polish last a lot longer. If you are looking to start your own collection, I would recommend buying a set of polish. Then you have several colors to choose from. Here is a great buy, and it is great polish.
ELF Nail Cube
If you are willing to spend a little more, then I would recommend OPI polish! They make great quality products, and come out with a new collection every few months!
8) Primers. Primers are very very important. Especially if you are going to an event, and you want you makeup to stay in place, or your eye shadow to not get those dreaded creases. You can use a couple of things for a primer: Shadow sticks, cream eyeshadow, or an actual eyeshadow primer. For a full face primer I would recommend biting the bullet and spending the extra Moola for a high quality primer. You can tell the difference as soon as it touches your face.
MAC Prep & Prime
ELF Studio Infused Mineral Face Primer
9) A great Lip Product. I used to hate wearing a product on my lips, until I figured how to pair it well with the rest of my look. I have started to love lipstick. It adds so many more options to my look. You don't have to wear lipstick, even lipgloss adds a finished look.
ELF Studio Moisturizing Lipstick
10) A good brush set. I understand not everyone has the money to go out and spend $20 on a single brush. I happen to be one of those people. Until you can save up and buy quality brushes, I would recommend the Studio Brush set from ELF. They are dense, and my set that I use daily, does not shed. This particular Brush set comes with every brush you need to do basic looks.
ELF Studio 11 Piece Brush Set
I personally have tested each of these products. Many people say "You get what you pay for" and generally, that holds true. Every once in a while you can find products that are a great price and a great quality. Beauty doesn't always have to be expensive!