Lockdown Makeup Essentials

Here are six makeup products that are perfect for working or studying from home.


Image source: Ruby Tull

Back in the first lockdown I absolutely jumped at the chance to go makeup free for months. The sun was shining, I had a nice natural tan… how times have changed. Since then, I’ve gone back to uni and started studying for a masters degree which means I’m sat at my desk working from home almost every single day. Personally, I have found that without setting myself a routine of getting up, getting ready and applying a bit of makeup in the morning I am generally less productive and less motivated to study throughout the day. The ritual of taking some time for myself in the morning to do my hair and apply some makeup is really soothing and sets me up on the right path for the day, and it also makes me feel a lot better about turning on my camera for impromptu Zoom calls! I don’t go crazy with a full face of makeup, but I’ve been loving a more casual look with tinted moisturisers and natural colours, so I thought it would be great to share some of my lockdown makeup favourites with you in case you were in need of some inspo!

1. It Cosmetics CC Cream, £25.60 from Boots


This is one of my all-time favourite makeup products and the perfect base for me. It offers a surprising amount of coverage - much more than any other CC/BB creams or tinted moisturisers that I’ve tried before. The It Cosmetics CC cream is a colour correcting product which offers a hydrating and concealing base and even provides an SPF50 in the form of a physical sunscreen. I love the way it feels on my skin. It's super lightweight and easily blendable and I don’t find it oxidises throughout the day like some similar products I’ve tried. It’s really a ‘your skin but better’ type of product and actually acts as a really good base for building up your makeup look too. I usually don’t find any need to pair it with a concealer because the coverage is just that good. I’ve been applying the product with my fingers as I find it easier to blend and work into the skin that way, but it also works well applied with a foundation/buffing type brush. I have the mini size at the moment which I bought just to try it out but I definitely plan on getting the full size when I run out. The one thing I would say is that the shades do run a little dark (I use the shade 'Light' at the moment and I don’t have particularly pale skin.)


An Instagram post by It Cosmetics advertising its CC Cream and Airbrush Dual-Ended Flawless Foundation Brush.

2. Glossier Boy Brow, £14.00 from Glossier


Personally, filling in my brows is just not my favourite part of any makeup routine. I just feel so much pressure to not mess them up and ruin my entire face. Whilst at home, I’ve been opting for something a bit easier, in the form of Glossier's cult favourite: Boy Brow. Super easy to apply, Boy Brow is a brush-able creamy wax that can be worked through the brows to thicken, shape and groom into place. I love it because it holds my brows in place without that stiffness that you often get from the traditional brow gel type product, which means they look a lot more natural and flexible. It does also claim to be conditioning and moisturising for the brows, which isn’t a benefit I’ve noticed but it does show that it offers something different from other brow gel products which are often harsh on the brows and flake which can cause brow hairs to fall out or clump.


An Instagram post by Glossier showing a model wearing Boy Brow.

3. Glossier Lash Slick Mascara, £14.00 from Glossier


I have quite short stubby eyelashes, so during lockdown I've liked using something subtle to just give them a little bit of length and volume, nothing too extreme that’s going to weigh my lashes down. This has been the ideal option for that! I don’t find it to be clumpy at all and the brush is perfect for adding volume to the outer corner lashes. I also don’t find that it smudges at all throughout the day, nor does it flake off, it just provides a really natural lift for my lashes which is perfect for day to day wear.


A review of Glossier's Lash Slick mascara by YouTuber okaysage.

4. Milani Baked Blush, £11.00 from Beauty Bay


I have never really been a big blush wearer. I’ve hated most blushes I've tried in the past but I bought this recently after a friend recommended the brand and I absolutely love it! It’s really subtle but buildable and gives me such a perfect little pinky glow. I really like baked products as I think its much easier to control the application and this added touch is perfect to bring some life and colour to my cheeks.


An Instagram post by Milani advertising its Baked Blush.

5. Benefit Hoola Bronzer, £21.60 from LOOKFANTASTIC


This bronzer has been a staple in my routine since, well, forever. A favourite in the beauty world, this bronzer from Benefit is the perfect way to add warmth to the face and is super easy to apply and blend. I love using this in lockdown to give some much needed colour to my cheeks, as the lack of sunlight has definitely left me looking a bit pasty. I use the original Hoola shade but it now also comes in 'Lite', 'Caramel' and 'Toasted' to suit a variety of skin tones and it just gives a really natural bronzed look that isn’t too overpowering, which I really love.


A video by Refinery29 about how the Hoola Bronzer is made.

6. NYX Butter Gloss, £6.50 from Cult Beauty


A rediscovered fave of mine, this was my go-to gloss back when I was in high school. I use the shade 'Praline', which is a barely there brownish nude. It makes the perfect addition to my lockdown makeup look and brings everything together. Sometimes I think my makeup can look harsh and unfinished if I have nothing on my lips so usually a little swipe of this does the trick whilst I’m around the house for just that little bit of added colour and shine.


An Instagram post by NYX showing a range of its products, including three shades of Butter Gloss.