Hope you’re all doing well. Today I thought I’d share with you what I consider the basics for a makeup starter kit. If you’re looking to start getting into makeup but are overwhelmed by the amount of products available in shops and have no idea what to get, I’ve got you!
BB / CC Cream
If you’re not used to wearing foundation, I’d start slowly, with a BB or a CC cream. BB creams provide coverage with added skin care benefits like SPF and anti-oxidants–the list goes on depending on what brand you choose. They’re lighter than foundation but heavier than tinted moisturizers.
The difference between BB and CC creams is subtle: CC generally stands for “colour-correcting”, and the products are meant to address issues like redness or sallowness (usually with light-diffusing particles), whereas BB creams are like lighter foundation with a few skin care benefits thrown in.
Something that you should pay attention to when getting your first base product is to make sure you get the right shade for you (nothing worse that looking like an oompa loompa when you’re trying to go for a natural, effortless look!). If you’re not sure which shade to get – it can get confusing with all the shades available, even more so if you don’t know your undertone.
- Hint Hint Skin Tint, Morphe 2
- Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30, bareMinerals
- Acne Solutions BB Cream SPF 40, Clinique
- Pretty Fresh Hyaluronic Acid Tinted Moisturizer, Colour Pop
- Effaclar BB Cream For Oily Skin, La Roche Posay
- Perfecting Skin Tint, Glossier
- Your Skin but Better CC Cream, It Cosmetics
- Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector Broad Spectrum SPF 30, Laura Mercier
Concealer can be scary at first, especially when you start hearing about colour correcting, contouring, and highlighting. Let’s start with the basics, though: pick one close to your skin tone to get a more natural result. This will work both under your eyes, and on any blemishes you might be wanting to hide.
- Instant Age Rewind Eraser Concealer, Maybelline
- HD Photogenic Concealer, NYX
- Born to Glow, NYX
- Flex Concealer, Milk Makeup
- Stretch Concealer, Glossier
- Radiant Creamy Concealer, Nars
- Conceal and Define Concealer, Revolution
This step is entirely optional and will depend on your skin type. That being said, it’s a step I recommend not to skip, even if you have dry skin. Nowadays you have so many products, ranging from hydrating powders, formulated with hyaluronic acid, to mattifying/pore-reducing ones.
You can also pick from two different formulas: pressed or loose. The former is, in my opinion, the best for beginners as it’s easier to apply. It can, however, look quite heavy on the skin if one’s not careful. Loose powders give a more natural, radiant finish, but are more difficult to apply.
Once you figure out which formula to get, you need to decide whether you need a mattifying powder or an illuminating one. This will depend on your skin type — if you have dry, dehydrated skin, you should pick an illuminating powder. If, however, your skin is more on the oilier end of the spectrum, you’ve guessed it, mattifying powder it is!
Final thing to be aware of when choosing your powder, as with foundation and concealer, is making sure the shade matches your skin tone.
- Lock-It Setting Powder, KVD Vegan Beauty
- Translucent Loose Setting Powder, Laura Mercier
- Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, MAC
- Fit Me Matte + Poreless Powder, Maybelline
- Blur + Set Matte Loose Setting Powder, Milk Makeup
- Mineral Finishing Powder, NYX
- Healthy Skin Pressed Powder, Neutrogena
Given that we’ve just created a perfect, blank canvas with our first three products, we now need to bring some colour and life back to the skin! Bronzer, though optional for some, for me is a crucial step in making sure you look as natural as possible. As I just mentioned, our skin is not just one tone. There are places the light naturally hits, and there’s no light without the dark. So adding a bit of bronzer will ensure your face has more dimension, and that your makeup looks more natural. It also makes it looks like you’ve been sunkissed, and who’s not about that life?
When it comes to bronzer, you also have a few options to choose from:
- Stick, liquid, or powder — for beginners, I’d suggest starting of with a powder bronzer, as it’s easier to use and blend out.
- Matte or baked — baked formulas have a slight sheen to them, where as matte ones don’t. For a more natural look, and for beginners, I’d recommend starting things off with a matte bronzer.
As a reference, I’ve been using Benefit’s “Hoola” for years, and think it’s the most universal bronzer out there.
- Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream, Chanel
- Hoola Matte Bronzing Powder, Benefit
- City Bronzer, Maybelline
- Matte Bronzer, Milk Makeup
- Baked Bronzer, Milani
- Matte Bronzing Powder, NARS
- Butter Bronzer, Physicians Formula
As with bronzer, blushes come in the same types of finishes. My recommendations are the same as with the previous category — if you’re starting to get into makeup, I would advise to opt for a matte, powder formula.
Blusher, for me, is the fun part of the makeup look (apart from eyeshadow, but that’s more advanced). You can play with different colours, pick match the blusher to your outfit, go for corals, pinks, nudes, or more purply shades. If you can, I advise going into a shop to get advise on the shade to pick, as undertones can play a big role on how a blush will look on each person. And I’d start with a shade that’s fairly close to your natural blush colour, so that it looks more natural.
- Amazonian clay 12-hour blush, Tarte
- NARS Blushes
- Sweet Cheeks Creamy Powder Blush Matte, NYX
- Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm, Clinique
- Ambient Lighting, Hourglass
- Little Round Pot Blusher, Bourjois
- MAC Blushes
- Baked Blush, Milani
- Color Icon Blush, Wet n Wild
Instead of choosing a blusher and a bronzer, another option is to go for a palette. The downside to this is that you can’t choose the shades. Sometimes the bronzer will be a perfect match for you, but the blusher not so much. You can also start by buying a blush palette, with more than one shade, so that you can play with them and see what works for you.
- The Basic Moment Blush Palette, Zoeva
- Cheeks Stars Reunion Tour: Blush, Bronzer & Highlighter Palette, Benefit
- Smart Essential Face Palette, Kiko Milano
- Ambient Lighting Edit – Sculpture, Hourglass
- Complexion Pro Face Palette, Morphe
- Stay Naked Threesome, Urban Decay
- PRO Sculpt & Glow Face Palette, LaRoc Cosmetics
- Blusher Quad Palette, Barry M
Mascara’s got to be one of my favourite steps in my makeup routine! I love how it opens up my eyes, making them look bigger, and myself more awake. It also ties the look together, and brings it to life.
A bit of a disclaimer: I like my lashes looking very “natural”. They have to be long, separated, and absolutely not clumpy! So I gravitate towards mascaras like Benefit’s “Roller Lash” or “They’re Real!”, NARS’s “Climax”, or Make Up For Ever’s “Smoky Extravagant”.
- Lights, camera, lashes™ 4-in-1 mascara, Tarte
- Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara, Too Faced
- Waterproof Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara, e.l.f.
- Lash Discovery Mascara, Maybelline
- Climax Mascara, NARS
- They’re Real!, Benefit
- Super Fan Lash Lengthening Mascara, Smashbox
- Roller Lash, Benefit
- Smoky Extravagant, Make Up For Ever
This final step is one I used to skip altogether until about 4 years ago. However, I do believe adding a bit of a tinted brow gel to one’s brows makes all the difference! It ties the look together, just having the brows tamed and in their proper place. I tend to prefer the ones with the tiny wand, like the ones I’ll show you below. Benefit’s “Gimme Brow” has been my go-to for the past few years, and I would 100% recommend checking it out if you haven’t already.
Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel, Benefit
- Boy Brow, Glossier
- Double Duty Beauty Busy Gal BROWS, Tarte
- KUSH Fiber Eyebrow Gel, Milk Makeup
- Make Me Brow, Essence
- Tinted Brow Mascara, NYX
- Wow Brow Gel, e.l.f.
“Alice, this is all very nice, but how do we apply all of these products?”, I hear you asking. You’ll find below some of the brushes I recommend, as they’re some of the ones I’ve been using for years. Zoeva is, in my opinion, the best (affordable) brand for brushes. I also have a few from Real Techniques, which are about the same price as Zoeva’s but aren’t quite as good. One thing I love from Real Techniques and can’t live without is their Miracle Complexion Sponge! I’ve been using them for years, they last well, and do the job brilliantly. If you want to know how I use them, keep your eyes peeled for the next post 😉
The good thing about the sponge is that you can use to apply your foundation, concealer, and powder! But for a beginner I think brushes might be easier to use. I’d recommend the first 2 for face powder, the 3rd one for concealer, the next one for bronzer, the following one for foundation, and the last two for blusher.
I’d love to know what you use to apply your face products — regardless of whether you’re a beginner or someone who has more experience with makeup. Also, feel free to let me know if you’re a beginner reading this post and found it helpful! 🙂
Thanks for reading!
4 thoughts on “Makeup Starter Kit”
Loved reading this post!!💖💖
Awesome in depth post! Great for beginners 😊 I have only recently purchased the Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless powder and am enjoying it so far, since it’s so new to my routine I have forgotten about it a few days at a time 😂
I always just use a brush to apply my foundation and then a mini beauty blender to apply my concealer, blush/eye makeup is with smaller brushes too. Thanks for sharing 😍 xx
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Thanks, Chels! ☺️ Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless is a nice powder, I’ve got one in my makeup collection as well. It’s affordable and gets the job done — though it doesn’t really leave me matte for long, at least during the summer (but I have failed to find a powder that does). I too love using a mini sponge to apply concealer! It just gets in the little corners in a way the bigger sponge doesn’t. And it literally just takes a couple of seconds and the end result is flawless 👌🏻 thanks for reading, dear 💖 xx
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Yeah I’m the same, doesn’t leave me matte for too long either but can’t complain 😊 have a great day Alice! xx