I don’t profess to be a makeup guru. I don’t think I own enough makeup or wear it often enough to even think of myself as being in that category. This is just my opinion, based on my experiences over the years as to what I think are essential tools and items for someone who is relatively new to the world of makeup and still trying to figure out what they should or should not buy.
You don’t have to buy a lot. In fact, when you are starting out, I would actively discourage it. I think it’s better to buy the essentials and then once you get more comfortable with what works for you, you can always top up your kit. You’ll be doing a lot of trial and error to find out what works, so no point in buying loads when you probably won’t like it and not use it.
You also don’t need to own expensive things to get a flawless face. There are some pretty good drugstore brands out there that will do the job just as well as the high-end or mid-range brands (Maybelline, Bourjois, L’oreal and Rimmel are the ones that spring to mind). There are also a lot of websites that you can buy makeup and tools at an affordable price (BH cosmetics, beauty joint, Two cosmetics and e.l.f are a few I can think of).
If you’re just starting out, these are the things that I would recommend.
– Foundation brush
– Blush brush
– Powder brush
– Eyebrow brush and comb
– Large eyeshadow brush
– Eyeshadow blending brush
– Medium eyeshadow brush
– Small eyeshadow brush
– Concealer brush
– Eyelash curler
– Pencil sharpener
– Liquid eyeliner (for lining your eyelid and creating dramatic eyeliner looks)
– Pencil eyeliner (for lining your bottom lid. You could also use liquid but I think the pencil is easier to work with)
– Face primer (put it on before foundation. It will help your foundation go on better and also helps it to last longer)
– Eyelid primer (put it on before eyeshadow. It helps to prevent your eyeshadow creasing.)
– Neutral eyeshadow palette (for your daytime looks. A palette is also a cost-effective way of getting a lot of colours.)
– Colour eyeshadow palette (for your evening look)
– Concealer (great for covering spots and dark circles under the eye)
– Face powder (useful for setting your concealer and foundation)
– Blush (I’d recommend two shades that will go with everything. Peach and pink are probably your safest bet.)
– Coloured lip glosses (I’d recommend getting 2 or 3 different shades that will go with your eyeshadow. I think lip glosses are a safer option than lipstick but if you prefer lipstick you can get those instead and just get a clear lip gloss to put on top to give it the glossy look)
– Clear lip gloss (for the days when you just want to rock the nude lip).
General tips to figure out what will work for you
Determine your skin undertone
Your skin tone is normally categorised into 3 undertones. These are warm, cool and neutral. The category you are in will help you to determine what makeup will suit you (especially when it comes to choosing lip colours, eyeshadow and blushes). To determine your undertone, you can try one of the tests suggested here.
Determine your face shape
In order to make sure that you get the best results, you need to work with your face shape. Study your face in the mirror to determine whether it is round, square, heart or oval. Once you have decided, read these tips on how to apply makeup to compliment each shape.
Figure out your eye shape
This is for the same reason as the ones for determining your face shape, working with your eye shape instead of against it will give you a better result. You will be complimenting the features you have instead of drawing attention to the things you don’t want to be a focus. This blog has a lot of useful tips on how to do your eye makeup to compliment your eyes and also what eye shadow colours would suit you. You can also read this article to find more tips.