The beginning is always the hardest, and that applies even to the simplest tasks. Putting together your first makeup kit is definitely no exception! Add the struggle of sticking to a budget, and you’ve got yourself a challenge.
I started out as a lipstick-and-pressed-powder girl. But a hundred Youtube makeup tutorials later, I realized that there is a world of color and fun out there for me to explore. My next struggle was figuring out which products to buy. With help from YouTube (and later, Supregreat) beauty gurus, I found out how to do that without spending a fortune.
In this article, I’ll talk about everything I learned about how to build a basic makeup kit for beginners on a budget. The best part? The most expensive product on this list is $20.
Preparing your skin for makeup starts with a good primer. A primer can help you make a smooth and flawless base for all the products you’ll apply later. If you’ve been on Tiktok lately, you’ll know that the e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer is getting hyped for helping so many makeup lovers achieve a poreless look. This primer moisturizes and smooths skin just as well as high-end brands, but it only costs $8!
To even out your skin tone, you’ll need some good foundation. Foundations come in different forms—liquid, pressed, cream, or powder—and choosing the right one will depend on your shade, undertones, and skin type. When trying out foundation, test it on your chest or directly on your face instead of swatching on your hand since your arm area tends to be darker. Additionally, remember that dewy foundation works well with normal or dry skin types, but matte foundation is best for oily skin.
A foundation that works well on a variety of skin types and tones is the Wet ‘n Wild Photo Focus Foundation. For oily-skinned babes, the Toofaced Peach Perfect Comfort Matte Foundation is fine and dandy, especially this summer. Meanwhile, gals who swear by dewy foundation will love Maybelline’s New York Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation.
It’s a great idea to use a concealer, especially if you’re camouflaging dark circles after pulling an all-nighter. Concealers can also be used on age spots, blemishes, acne breakouts, and pigmentation. Remember: always apply concealer after foundation because of its thicker formulation.
Your concealer should be in the same shade as your skin. But on your under-eye area, go for something that’s one or two shades lighter. The NYX Gotcha Covered Concealer is a fantastic concealer for just about anyone.
Now that your face is smooth and poreless, it’s time to add color and contour! Give your skin a warm and healthy color by applying a classic blush. You’ll find lots of fun and extremely pigmented powder blushes from ColourPop. If you prefer a liquid blush, try the Soft Pinch Liquid Blush from Rare Beauty. Don’t forget to pick a blush that matches your skin’s undertone.
Meanwhile, when choosing a highlighter, you’ll need one that’s two shades lighter than your skin tone for a natural-looking finish. The Tower 28 Beauty SuperDew Shimmer-Free Highlighter Balm is excellent at giving a natural, shine-free look.
Every makeup starter kit for beginners should include eye makeup. Eyeliner is first on my list because I have slightly asymmetrical eyes. It is the perfect tool for balancing and reshaping the eyes, or making them look bigger. Plus, there are big, bold, and bright-colored eyeliners that can be used to glamorize your getup. Or you can use magnetic eyeliner with eyelashes. You can rock absolutely any look with the right kind of eyeliner!
Mascara is the next step to drawing attention to your beautiful eyes. It adds thickness, length, and a darker color to your eyelashes. This is especially helpful to women like me who were not born with long, fluttery lashes. A lengthening mascara does wonders for eyelashes that lack length. On the other hand, if your concern is thin eyelashes, your best bet is to use a volumizing mascara. And for those who are into modern and graphic eye makeup, colored mascara is perfect.
Of course, your eye makeup won’t be complete without eyeshadow. Choosing the perfect eyeshadow color will make your eyes pop and your look popular. Make sure you’re choosing a color that matches your skin tone, undertone, and the color of your iris. Another consideration you should have is how often and where you will wear makeup. If you’re buying makeup to wear to the office, neutral eyeshadow colors are usually best. But if you’re buying eyeshadow for parties and dates, you’ll need an eyeshadow palette with many colors.
I used to think lip balm was for tweens who couldn’t use lipstick yet, but lip balm is necessary for moisturizing, exfoliating, and priming your lips. You can even use Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm to get both the brightness and the moisture your lip’s need.
Lipstick is no doubt my favorite makeup item. Nothing makes a smile sweeter and more dazzling than lipstick. For starters, a basic makeup kit for beginners on a budget should contain one red and one nude lipstick. Red lipstick is a timeless and sexy color that can beautify someone in an instant. The red lippie by Queendom is loved by lots of beauty influencers. On days that you prefer minimalist makeup, however, you can wear a nude lipstick that compliments your skin tone. Nude lipsticks may be lowkey, but they will always uplift your look. Maybelline’s Color Sensational Nude Lipstick line offers nude shades to flatter all skin tones.
Here are all the products that should go into every basic makeup kit for beginners. For your face, you need primer, foundation, concealer, blush, and highlighter. For your eyes, get eyeliner, mascara, and eyeshadow. And don’t forget your lip balm and lipstick. Last but not least, buy makeup that suits both your style and your budget.