If you are just starting out in makeup but not quite sure where to begin because there are so many product options, we completely understand. It can be extremely overwhelming to navigate the endless rows of shelves at Sephora and Ulta. This is where we come in. Here are 12 products you need to help get your makeup collection started.
Primer can be used both with or without foundation, but a good primer is key. There are different types of primers that address different skin needs so chose the one you feel would work best for your skin type. We recommend trying e.l.f.’s Poreless Putty Primer for a flawless and poreless skin finish as well as Laura Mercier’s Pure Canvas Illuminating primer for a glow from within.
A good concealer is essential for a beginner’s makeup kit as it can be applied in a variety of ways. It can be used to cover imperfections, highlight certain features, contour (with a darker shade), as well as brighten your undereye area. We recommend e.l.f.’s Hydrating Camo Concealer. This concealer is full coverage yet very blendable and comparable to the cult favorite, Tarte Shape Tape.
Foundation, though not essential for a beginner as concealer can be used in its place, is a good staple to have in your makeup kit. The right foundation will give you a flawless complexion thereby elevating any look you create. We recommend using L’Oréal Infallible 24 Hour Fresh Wear. This foundation feels lightweight on the skin but has coverage that can either be sheered out or built up as desired. Additionally, there are 40 shades making it one of the best shade ranges for the drugstore and even high end.
Bronzer is important to have in your kit because it instantly adds dimension and warmth to your complexion. Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer is one of the best on the market, both at the drugstore and high end. The formula is smooth and creamy and will glide effortlessly over any other makeup set below it. Additionally, you can use it with no other makeup to create a natural sun-kissed look.
Blush is used to add color and a rosy sun-kissed look to your cheeks and is important in any makeup kit. We recommend trying bareMinerals Gen Nude powder blush as it blurs your pores while still giving your cheeks color. There are 10 shades in this line ranging from nudes to corals to berry shades. Simply swirl this product on the apples of your cheeks and brush upwards to add a cute flush to your face.
Highlighter is important to have in a beginner’s makeup kit as it adds a subtle dewy glow to your skin. It can also double as a shimmer eyeshadow! We recommend trying Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector. This highlighter has a buttery formula resulting in a wet glow to your face without being too shimmery or chalky. It also comes in 10 shades, the most popular being champagne pop and opal, as well as two different sizes. The smaller size, which is also less expensive, would probably be most practical for a beginner.
A simple eyeshadow pallet is important to have in your kit as you can create endless looks with these basic colors. Additionally, as you add to your collection, these colors will provide good neutral bases for your looks. We recommend trying Morphe 9B Bronzed Babe eyeshadow pallet. This pallet is a mix of mattes and shimmers. All of the shades are very pigmented yet blendable. There are also many other eyeshadow palettes by Morphe to try as you begin expanding your collection and playing with color.
Mascara is vital to have in your beginner’s kit. A good mascara will add length, volume, and emphasize the curl to your lashes. Additionally, mascara can be worn during a no-makeup makeup day to amp up your natural look or it can be worn on a full glam day to add definition to your eyes. We recommend L’Oréal Lash Paradise mascara as it lengthens, curls, and defines your lashes without getting clumpy or flakey.
Eyeliner is not essential but this one by Marc Jacobs is useful to have as it is extremely versatile. The formula is extremely pigmented and creamy yet long-wearing and doesn’t smudge. This means you can use this eyeliner for your waterline, tightline, and lashline. Additionally, you can wing it out for a cat-eye or smudge it out for a smokier sultry look. This eyeliner is the Beauty Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner in the shade black by Marc Jacobs Beauty.
10. Eyebrow Pencil
An eyebrow pencil is important to have in your kit as it will add shape and definition to your eyebrows. An eyebrow pencil is the perfect tool as depending on the amount of pressure you apply, a very natural or very bold look can be created. We recommend Benefit Cosmetics Precisely, My Brow Pencil Ultra-Fine Shape & Define. This pencil has 12 shades and it comes with a spoolie brush attached on the other end to help comb up and fluff out your brows.
11. Eyebrow Gel
This new take on an eyebrow gel, inspired by the viral soap brow trend, is the Makeup Revolution Soap Styler. We recommend this product as it fluffs up your brows and holds them into place all day. All you need for this product is a little bit of water and a spoolie (pro tip: use the spoolie brush that comes with the Benefit Cosmetics Precisely, My Brow Pencil rather than buying another one). Simply spray water onto the product and rub your spoolie brush around then voila! Your brows are set for the day.
12. Setting Spray
Setting spray is essential for every beginner’s makeup kit as it sets your makeup in place, makes it last longer, and eliminates any over powdered look your complexion may have after finishing your makeup. We recommend using Wet n Wild Photo Focus Setting spray as it is inexpensive yet effective. Additionally, Wet n Wild carries different versions of their setting sprays including matte, natural, and a 3-in-1 primer water which does essentially the same thing as the setting sprays. These primer waters also have fun scents like coconut, cucumber, and rose.