Are you a preteen excited to give up borrowing your mom’s makeup every time you get ready for a party? Or maybe you’re someone who just never had the time to bother with makeup but finally found a reason to, for an event or just new-found interest? This article is for curious soles out there willing to start his or her own goodie bag of beauty. Let’s get started!
To Invest or Not to Invest?
I know that ringing together all the products you need to complete a full face can come with a hefty price tag. Personally, I didn’t have my own makeup starter kit! It was given to me by one of my aunts, who had the money to invest in such products, unlike broke 15-year-old me. But for starters, let’s talk about the basics, the things you absolutely need to have in your kit to be able to walk out the door put together. I’ll also be including which products you can splurge on and which products you can save on!
1. Primer as Your First Item in your Makeup Starter Kit
Rationale: Primer is like the skincare portion of your makeup routine. You have to “prime” your face before applying any sort of cover up so that your makeup application will be smooth and seamless. Primers can also come in many forms with lots of nutritive properties to help protect your face. With that, your primer should be top of the line!
Tip: Depending on skin complexion and certain skin problems you may have, choose the right primer for you. Personally, I have dry and sensitive skin, and I use very moisturizing products. Other primers come with pore minimizing technology for that uber pure foundation application. Also, just to further prep the skin, I like slapping on some face masks before makeup application, especially for special events when I want my makeup perfect!
2. Makeup Foundation
Rationale: Foundation is one of the most expensive elements of your makeup roundup, and for good reason. You will use a LOT of it, since you will be covering your entire face, neck and ears with it too. Since it is the product with the most coverage on your face and will be the base for the rest of your makeup, you will want that base to be as even as can be. And might I tell you, companies are well-aware of this! Which is why cheaper alternatives at the drugstore will suffice! I’m telling you, Maybelline’s FIT ME line will do you wonders!
There are lots of foundation finishes on the market specific for different types of skin tones and complexions. Choose one that will work with your skin, counteracting your skin problems (e.g. dryness, oiliness) and matching your undertone (e.g. yellow, pink or neutral).
Tip: Since you’re only beginning to try and test out foundation shades and are probably unsure of all the undertone business I mentioned, try looking for CC Creams and Tinted Moisturizers. They have a sheerer coverage and it’s more forgivable to mess up the color match!
Rationale: Concealer is the next all-around coverage product you will be needing a lot of. You will be placing this on areas on your face that catch light, and trouble areas like pimple scars and discoloration. Having said that, you’ll need the best there is! In my experience, shopping for concealer was even harder than shopping for foundation. It’s less forgivable to get the wrong shade and finish for concealer because of 2 problems: caking and flashback. The skin under the eyes is so tender, placing the wrong type of product under there could make your bags even worse. Also, if you choose the wrong color, goodbye amazing pictures from what could’ve been the best night ever! Yea, you’ve covered the darkness but girl you’ve walked way wayyy into the light! Best be very careful and search for the best brand and type of concealer out there!
Tip: There are different concealers to choose from depending on the way you want to look. Choose one a tone lighter than your skin tone for highlighting, one that matches your skin tone for days when you don’t want to commit to foundation, and a peach based one to color correct dark under eyes. Also, concealer comes in many finishes, just as foundation. Remember your complexion type, and choose according to that.
Rationale: This product is basically the first type of makeup anyone has ever used in their lives. Baby powder? Yea, I thought so. You use this to set your makeup, and prep your skin for oiliness throughout the day. Some people use this product solely and skip the rest of base makeup for this. I tagged this as save because the market is open to all kinds of powders, and they come in heavy packages! You’ll really get a bang for your buck on this one! (Although, I might want to splurge should this be the only product as my base!)
Tip: To set makeup, I’d go for a translucent powder to keep your oils at bay and makeup in place. If you’d rather skip all the liquid and cream bases, go for a tinted pressed powder. Since powder won’t last as long throughout the day, I’d recommend choosing one in a compact with makeup tool inside (e.g. sponge, brush) for traveling and retouching purposes. Be sure to pick one in your color!
5.Bronzer, Blush and Highlight
Rationale: Blush is the easiest to find from the bunch, while a good highlight and bronzer can be more difficult to come by. I rated this on “Save!” since these three can easily come in one palette. In the long run, it’ll be cheaper buying a palette with all three inside, than buying all of them separately. It’s, honestly, quite a challenge to find a really nice palette with all three working at top quality at the drugstore. Some bronzers can come off as too warm, and some highlights can be chunky and glittery. (But if that’s how you roll, go for it!) I would suggest keeping your options open for this category. You’ll still be saving either way!
Tip: Start with powders! They are easier to apply, and easier to correct than their cream/ liquid-based counterparts.
6.Brow Pencil/ Pomade/ Powder/ Gel
Rationale: In comparison, brow products are already one of the cheaper things you can buy, and splurging on them will add that tiny hint of spice you’re looking for! For starters, I’d choose powders over gel or pencils since, as I said, they’re easier to work with. But once you have that down, look for a brown pencil that meets that perfect line between waxy and creamy. You’d want a waxy pencil for precise application, and a creamy pencil for the easy blend. To set your brow hairs down, look for clear brow gels. It works like hair spray and can get your brows feathery and on fleek all day long!
Tip: If you’re into the bold the brow trend, akin to that of Lily Collins, choose a color closest to that of your head hair. Make sure you’re using a product that deposits enough product to fill in all the sparse areas while still being true to the colour of the product (e.g. brow pomade). For a sheerer application, I’d opt for brow powder of the same colour, or a lighter color of brow pencil to that of your head hair. Just remember to keep the colours within the same undertone of your hair!
Rationale: Yet another product abundant at the drugstore! Mascaras basically do two things, either: lengthen, or volumize. (or both!) And honestly, most mascaras can do this. All you need is the proper technique and the right tools to achieve fairy perfect fluttery lashes. There are thinner formulas for lengthening, and thicker formulas for volumizing. The wands that come with the tubes also vary. Fluffier brushes bring volume, and comb-like brushes bring length.
Tip: To fully maximize your mascara, you’ll need an extra mascara wand. The usual problem with mascara is that putting too much can leave your lashes clumpy, chunky and uneven. To fix this, take away the excess product from the wand before applying it to your lashes. Once applied, take the extra wand and brush through your lashes a second time. This will even out your application as well as separate the strands. Also, if all else fails, you can always apply some falsies and call it a day!
Rationale: Ok, if there is one thing the drugstore has to work on, it’s their eyeshadows. I know, I know, what about Wet n Wild? Or Elf, maybe? For the past couple of years, they have been stepping up their game, I’ll give them that! But if you want a wide range of buttery and unique colors, high-end is the way to go. I’d also bank my money on a palette with at least 9 colors, to really get a bang for my buck. You’ll be thankful to have splurged on your eyeshadows because they can also double as versatile powders.
Tip: When picking your first palette, I’d cling towards neutral shades close to my skin tone, that would either be warm browns or cool taupes. Check the palette for a balance of mattes and shimmers, crease shades and all over shades, and, most importantly, a matte skin tone color and a black. All these shadows will give you the freedom to create and edit your facial features to your heart’s content.
Rationale: Some people find eyeliner to be an everyday staple; be it smudged on the waterline, or as an iconic cat eye. And, these formulas are hard to perfect. I know many beauty gurus who took many years trying to find that perfect formula for their eyes. So, I must say, if you find the one, stick with it!
Tip: I’d go for a pencil before trying out gels and pens that require a more accurate application. Should your liner come out wonky, just smudge the product with a brush and you’re good to go!
Rationale: Like blush, lipsticks are very easy to find anywhere. Heck, Colourpop started their line with lippies! They are also easy to work with, and layer on. Also, with a little research, you can find a dupe for any high-end lip product on the market. Lipstick can also be customized! With just 5 colors, you can create a color to match any look you choose!
Tip: If you don’t like the finish of your chosen lipstick, layer it with another product. Before applying a matte, put a lip balm underneath or apply some lip gloss on top. If your lippie is too glossy for your liking, put some tissue over your mouth and dab a little powder to matte it out.