Makeup staples for beginners

Makeup staples for beginners

I know makeup can be very overwhelming and somewhat confusing for a beginner. How are you to know what you’ll need in your makeup bag and what you won’t ever use, what to invest your money in and what not to? Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of cosmetic products out there!! Trust me I know the feeling. Even as a professional makeup artists it can get overwhelming and I have over 12 years experience working in the field. So that’s exactly why I decided to write this blog. I want to give a little insight and direction to the makeup beginner.

So what are the must haves for a basic makeup kit? First thing is the tools! Everyone, man or woman, who’s venturing into the makeup world for the first time must invest a little money into a good set of makeup brushes! I cannot stress this enough. For more in depth info as to why, see my Makeup Brushes 101 post where I go over why you need them, which ones to get and how to care for them and where to get affordable, good quality brushes!

Next you’ll need a good pair of tweezers (for grooming those unruly brows) and a beauty sponge (this is my favorite sponge). These handy dandy little sponges can be used dry or wet to apply foundation, concealer and powder. But don’t forget to clean them regularly.

Now that you have the very basic tools let’s get into makeup staples. (Staple means a very basic item that is considered a must have, for example the perfect little black dress would be a staple for any woman’s closet).

The first thing everyone needs to have as an absolute staple is a good skincare routine. Because our faces aren’t usually covered up at all times it can be subjected to the elements and pick up all kinds of dirt and grease. That’s why it’s important to keep your face clean and clear, especially if you’re wearing makeup on a regular basis. (I’ll have a blog post soon that goes into further details about skincare.)

Now into the makeup side of things. The first thing you’ll need is a good foundation. If you have oily skin, try a foundation that’s more on the matte side, or even a powdered foundation. If you have dry skin, like I do, I like to use a water based liquid foundation with a nice dewy finish. I absolutely love Makeup Forever Ultra HD Foundation because it’s full coverage, super easy to blend, has an amazing flawless finish and photographs beautifully. And if you’re looking for very sheer coverage you can mix a drop with your moisturizer or a primer. But it is on the more pricey side. There are a number of amazing drug store foundations out there but I personally haven’t yet found a MUST HAVE. But many makeup artists rave about Loreal Paris True Match and True Match Lumi as well as Loreal Infallible Pro Glow Foundation.

Next is concealer, preferably in 2 different shades; one that matches your foundation exactly and one that’s a shade or two lighter. If you have areas of your face that you want a cover up, like spots or blemishes, use a concealer that matches your foundation as close as possible. And for areas of the face you want to highlight, like under the eyes, the bridge of the nose, center of the forehead, etc, you will want a concealer that’s 1-2 shades lighter than your foundation. There are sooooo many different concealers out there it’s crazy! I personally don’t use concealer that often so it’s taking me forever to find my personal must have. I’ve tried many, many different brands and formulas and have yet to find something I can’t live without. But every beauty guru out there raves to the heavens about Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer. It’s apparently the worlds greatest concealer every to exist in history. I have got to try it one of these days, seriously! Anyway here’s a link if you wanna check it out: Tarte Shape Tape, World Greatest Concealer According to Every Beauty Guru!!

Next is powder. Everyone should have at least one powder compact in their beauty bag. I’ve come across soooo many women who complain that their makeup doesn’t last and melts off their face and I always ask, “well do you use a powder after your foundation and concealer?” And one for one the answer is, “no.” Well ladies that’s why your makeup disappears. Most foundations and concealers are liquid base and throughout the day as our skin warms up and starts to sweat the liquid breaks up and melts off the face! Using a powder “sets” the makeup so it’s doesn’t budge or melt. Obliviously if you run a marathon or go clubbing until 3am it will melt and breakup on your face regardless but I’m telling you it will melt away 100Xs faster if you didn’t set it with a powder! My favorite powders have been MAC Skin Mineralize SkinFinish Powder and my favorite drugstore price powder, BH Cosmetics Studio Pro Matte Finish Pressed Powder.  These 2 powders are both bomb!!!! The MAC skinfinish has a slight dewy finish and the BH Studio Pro is totally matte. Both are awesome and I’d recommend either for a beginner or a professional makeup artist for that matter.

Next you’ll need an eye shadow pallet of some kind. For starters you’re better off getting a pallet with neutral colors then later on if you want to get a little more adventurous you can get something with more colors. For now something simple is all you’ll need. My favorite place to get eyeshadow pallets from is BH Cosmetics and Morphe Cosmetics. They have TONS of different quality pallets to chose from at amazing prices! And if you’re thinking, “well they must be crappy quality because they’re so cheap,” think again. I use these eyeshadow pallets in my makeup kits on hundreds of clients and I swear by them! Of course there are millions of different eye shadows out there that might be better for double, sometimes quadruple the price. But why spend the money if these more affordable ones do the job just as well.

Next you’ll want at least one eye liner, black is the most commonly worn eye liner. I personally very, very rarely wear eyeliner but it is all the rage these days so have at it. You can get a liquid liner if you want that famous winged look (practice, practice, practice) or a pencil for a more smokey, smudgy look. Or if you’re really adventurous you can get a gel eyeliner and an angled brush which would work for both looks. I personally think it’s best to buy a higher quality eyeliner like Kat Von D or MAC because personally I find that the cheaper ones are either too waxy or smudge too easily.

Next I believe everyone wearing makeup needs a good black mascara. This one I believe is pretty self explanatory. There are a million good mascaras out there and everyone like something a little different. But if you have tiny eyes and short lashes like me you might like Loreal Telescopic Carbon Black Mascara. It’s the absolute best mascara I’ve ever used! Give it a try and let me know how you like it.

And lastly a lip moisturizer/lip balm for the very basic makeup wearers. And if you want something little more you can add a nude lipstick, red lipstick and lip gloss to your makeup bag. I’ve tried a million, million different kinds of lipsticks and lip glosses and in my opinion the best brand to try for the makeup beginner is NYX. I absolutely love their lip products. I personally LOVE LOVE LOVE their Liquid Suede Creme Lipsticks and their Butter Gloss.

And that about sums it up for your basic makeup kit! Give it try and let me know if you have any questions! Happy makeuping….that’s not a word but you get what I mean.



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