You finally decided to give makeup a try and want to do your own makeup so you can eventually create some of the makeup looks you see on social media. You may have a few makeup products here and there, but you know that in order to some looks you’ll need more makeup so why not learn how to build a makeup kit with the products you’ll need to create those amazing looks.
But where do you start?
The amount of beauty products on the market is astounding and it’s all just so confusing. You’ve watched Youtube videos and headed to the stores, but you’re no less confused about the products you need and the ones that can be bought later. You’re struggling, wondering if you should even bother with this all the while knowing that you do want to learn makeup but you’re just no closer to actually getting started creating your own makeup looks.
I get it, I know because I’ve been there, honestly sometimes I feel like I still am when it comes to learning how to use certain products or learn new techniques, but that’s a story for another time.
I’m going to walk you through the products and brands I use for my simple everyday looks so you begin building you a makeup starter kit. Whether it takes you a week or a few months to build your kit, by the end of this post, you have a basic understanding of most makeup products in a daily makeup routine and what they are used for.
How To Build A Makeup Kit For Beginners
A primer is used to prep your skin for your makeup application. Primers help your makeup last longer and can help you keep your makeup in place during seasons that aren’t so kind to your skin. People have gone back and forth on whether you need primer recently, personally I’m for because I like how much better my makeup turns our and how long it lasts when I do use it.
My Current Favorite Primer is the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer for $32. There is also a mini size which is half the normal size and price. I love this primer because of how easy it is to blend in with my hands if I choose to, it’s not tacky, and it smells amazing.
If you’re trying to stay on a budget, which I highly recommend otherwise you’ll go in to purchase 2 items and come out with 10 instead, and don’t want to spend $30+ on one product, check out BH Cosmetics Studio Pro Mattifying Primer currently for $9, normally $12 on the BH Cosmetics site. I’m not a big fan of the gel consistency because I don’t like the way it feels on my fingers and my sponge, but I love this primer otherwise. I wore had my makeup on for 8 hours, fell asleep still wearing it and when I woke up I was so impressed with how everything held up. A few touchups to the shiny areas of my face and quick touch up of eyeliner, my 8-hour makeup look would have easily refreshed. Don’t make a habit of falling asleep while wearing makeup it’s terrible for your skin.
Your foundation is the base for all other makeup, it gives you an even-toned canvas (for lack of a better word) to apply the rest of your makeup routine.
I’ve really enjoyed using the (Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation) for $35. The foundation comes in a glass bottle with a pump top. The way it looks on the skin is amazing, it gives you a great natural look. However, this foundation is runnier than I would have liked, it makes it harder to avoid getting foundation other places besides your face. The Soft Matte Longwear Foundation also oxidizes as know that it will look slightly darker when picking out your shade. I would love to give the Hydrating Longwear Foundation a try, it’s supposed to give your skin more of a dewy type finish
If you don’t want to try this Fenty Beauty Product, you could try one of my drugstore favorites, Maybelline’s Super Stay Full Coverage Foundation. I’d been looking for the right shade for this foundation for a while and I was finally, finally able to try it and I’vee been wearing it for the past few weeks. This foundation also comes in a glass bottle and has a pump top.
Concealer is used to help you brighten the dark areas under your eyes and highlight certain areas of your face.
The first concealer I ever tried was Tarte Cosmetics Shape Tape Contour Concealer for $27 and I really liked it. The bottle was bigger than others that I’ve purchased over the years so it’s really easy to hold. The applicator is also big which can be a pro or a con depending on several factors.
For example Pro: Big Applicator means lots of product so you probably won’t need to dip back into the bottle. Con: Since the applicator is big can be easy to apply too much product. Use a brush or a makeup sponge to blend in the product or your hands until you can practice more with your makeup tools.
As much as I liked Tarte’s Shape Tape Contour Concealer, I’ve shopped around for some others, a few of other concealers I have in my collection include Colourpop’s No Filter Concealer ($12), Fenty Beauty’s Pro Flt’r Instant Retouch Concealer ($26) and La Girl’s HD Pro Concealer
Eyebrow Pencil: An eyebrow pencil helps you to define your eyebrows. This is usually my last step in my routine if I even attempt to do them that day. Honestly, this is something I haven’t mastered yet, but I’m working on it.
However, you could be one of those people that lucked out in the eyebrow department and the only thing you need to do is get them shaped. I get them waxed (less jumping with my startle reflex, thankfully) and that’s it, at least for now. Although I don’t use the product much outside of practicing makeup skills, the eyebrow pencil I’m currently using Revlon’s Colorstay Brow Pencil. These products are $6.50 and $8.99 respectively.
Eyeshadow Palettes / Eyeshadow Sticks:
Eyeshadow, eyeshadow, eyeshadow. In my opinion, it is the holy grail part of your makeup kit. Eyeshadow gives you so many options with your makeup, you can do anything from a simple daily eyeshadow look to a smokey eye to full glam.
Applying eyeshadow is one of if not the most difficult makeup processes for me especially since I’m trying not to look like I did my makeup in the dark. I am a work in progress with this product. Believe it or not, there was a time when I thought I would never be able to master it, but then again I thought the same thing about eyeliner and now I can do that pretty well so I’m hoping the same happens with eyeshadow.
Now before I get off track let’s get back to eyeshadow for your makeup kit. There are several types of eyeshadow options to add to your burgeoning makeup collection. I prefer the common eyeshadow palettes and the increasingly popular eyeshadow sticks.
I’ll start with eyeshadow sticks first because if you have fine motor skill troubles like me these might be easier to use. Years ago I had to search to find eyeshadow sticks and they never had the same number of shades you would get in an eyeshadow palette, as someone who bought them because I thought they would be easier to apply that was incredibly frustrating.
The first eyeshadow sticks I bought were from NYX Cosmetics, they had a nice collection of shades that were very pigmented meaning you don’t need a lot of product when you use it. You can apply them in whatever way works best for you, for me it’s applying the color to my eyes then using my fingers to blend it. Although they may have been difficult to find years ago, I’ve seen several brands with them including Mally Beauty, Fenty Beauty, just to name a few.
After getting comfortable with eyeshadow sticks you can give eyeshadow palettes a try. I wanted to work up to using them because you get several shadows in a palette. There are a few ways to apply this just like the eyeshadow sticks and as I said before, don’t be afraid to use your fingers to start, if works who cares if it wasn’t the way most people do it?
I’m currently using two palettes from BH Cosmetics. The Fairy Lights and The Beautiful in Barcelona palettes are $20 and $16 respectively. The Beautiful in Barcelona is easy to use because the squares of eyeshadow are so big that you have to don’t worry about accidentally mixing the colors when picking up shadow on the brush, but applying it correctly to the eye is another story, a work in progress for me.
Eyeliner like eyeshadow helps to draw attention to the eyes. This is one of the first skills I worked on after foundation and one I thought I may never be able to do, but I was wrong, ( still working on the winged liner and lining my bottom lashes though).
Many makeup products come in different forms just like eyeshadow and eyeliner is no exception. The first eyeliner I tried was NYX Cosmetics Retractable eyeliner. The other was Covergirl’s Perfect Point Plus liner in Black Onyx. I love these liners which are $4.99 and $8.99 respectively. The Nyx Cosmetics one is my go-to right now. Eyeliner one of my favorite parts of a makeup routine I’m always adding new ones to my makeup collection.
The Covergirl Perfect Point Plus eyeliner is a retractable pencil so you don’t have to worry about sharpening it which is great because it’s so hard to do if you have the dexterity and fine motor skill issues like me. The L.A. Girl Gel Glide-on eyeliner is amazing and goes on so easily, however, it’s a regular pencil so I have to sharpen it which is always a chore for me. In my opinion, it’s worth it sometimes but there are days when I just don’t want to put up with it.
The eyeliners n my makeup collection include L’Oreal’s Infallible Longwear Eye Pencil ($), Fenty Beauty’s Flyliner ($), Nyx Cosmetics Retractable Eyeliner, Covergirl’s Perfect Point Plus ($8.99), Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil to name a few. I’m currently loving the NYX and eyeliners though I’m practicing with felt tip liners like Fenty Beauty’s Flyliner because it’s easier to get a finer line.
Lip Liner: A few months ago, I never would have included this in a makeup kit, but after using one for a while, I’m telling you this is a must-have for learning how to apply makeup to your lips. A Lip liner helps you define your lips in order to make applying makeup easier and help it last longer. My go-to lip liner is M.A.C. Lip Pencil in Chestnut for $18. This liner s very pigmented and not too hard to sharpen either.
Lipstick / Lip Products From tinted lip balm to lip gloss to lip liner and lipstick, lip makeup is another place where you have several choices to complete your look. Tinted Lip Balms and Lip Glosses were my go-to when I was struggling with applying lipstick.
These days my go-to lipstick products are the BH Cosmetics Cashmere Comfort Cream Lipsticks for less than $7. They are so amazing that I bought 8 of the 12 shades Although I’m now a fan of lipstick, most days I’m just reaching for my Fenty Beauty lip gloss in the shade gloss bomb which is $18. Although I consider Fenty Beauty’s gloss bomb lip gloss the holy grail of lip gloss especially since it smells like candy, there are when I still find myself reaching for NYX Cosmetics Butter Gloss in the shade Ginger Snap which at the time of writing this post is on sale for $5. I love this color, it’s a great option for a nude lip for dark skin girls.
We’re finally done with the makeup part of your makeup kit let’s move on to the next part, the tools you’ll need to apply it all.
Before we get to that though: I’m sharing two very important tips when it comes to makeup application. Ready?
Don’t be afraid to use your hands
Everyone talks about using makeup sponges or brushes to apply makeup which is true, but not nearly as many speak about how you can use your fingers, especially when you’re first learning.
When I first started practicing with eyeliner, I used to trace the area with my finger so I could get used to the feeling of having something that to my eye and feel where the eyeliner was supposed to go. These days applying eyeliner doesn’t take nearly as much effort and no longer use my finger, though I might start again when practicing my winged liner also known as the cat-eye.
Eyeliner isn’t the only place I use my finger, I currently use my fingers in combination with a brush to help me apply my eyeshadow, and while I’m not where I want to be yet when it comes to that, my skills are better than they were.
Your Makeup Is For You
There are some who will have a negative comment for those who love using makeup. Don’t mind them. If you love makeup and all the creative looks you see and are excited to create some of your own, then that’s all that matters. Whether you want simple natural looks or work your up to full glam, is up to you. Have fun deciding your makeup style, your makeup looks are for you.
Let’s get to those other makeup tools for your makeup kit now, shall we?
Tools For Your Makeup Kit
The Makeup Sponge: The makeup sponge is the holy grail of makeup tool in my opinion. This product comes in various sizes for different purposes such as blending foundation, applying concealer and highlighter, or blush. You can get them from e.l.f. Cosmetics for $6. In fact, that’s where most of my tools come from. E. L. F. Cosmetics is an inexpensive brand with great quality makeup tools. BH Cosmetics is another place for good inexpensive makeup tools, I bought a few sponges for $10 on sale a few weeks ago, the regular price of these makeup sponges is $5, a great deal either way.
** The next few products I’m going to mention are my makeup brushes, you can get your brushes individually or as a set. I purchased my makeup brushes as a set from E.L.F Cosmetics. I bought the Professional Set of 12 Brushes for $12 and I love using them. E.L.F. Cosmetics is one of those drugstore brands with great quality. **
Foundation Brush: This brush is one of the ways you can apply your foundation makeup. You may find that using a foundation brush is easier than using a makeup sponge, for me the opposite is true. I discovered soon after using a foundation brush for the first time that my hand got tired a lot faster than using a makeup sponge, weird with the repetitive motion of pressing the makeup into my skin, but it is what it is.
Blending Brush: This brush is used to blend your eyeshadow. It helps to apply it so that the color doesn’t look pigmented in certain areas and not in others. Eyeshadow doesn’t have to be a part of your everyday routine, especially if you’re just starting out it can be frustrating to apply, I’m just telling you the things I wish I knew when I was figuring out how to build a makeup kit. You can get a blending brush by e.l.f. Cosmetics at Ulta or a few other drugstores. There are several other brushes out there, e.l.f. Cosmetics brushes are just a personal preference.
Eyebrow Brush: The eyebrow brush is used to blend in the work you did with your eyebrow pencil to help you fill and shape your eyebrows. Personally, I just use the brush to shape my brows right now, it’s really up to you if you want to do your brows, some do some don’t. Check out some styles on Instagram and Youtube and play around with the makeup while you’re practicing. This will help you figure out your makeup style and help you determine how you want to do your eyebrows and decide if you want other products to be a part of your daily routine such as highlighters and blush as well as a few other products, more on that in a bit.
A Makeup Pencil Sharpener: I love and hate this product. I am glad this product exists sometimes because when my pencils get dull after so many uses, I like that I can sharpen it and get it in pristine working condition… well mostly. Now for the hate part of the equation. I can barely complete one rotation in the sharpener before my hands are tired, which is why for the most part I use retractable pencils so I can skip the whole process.
Beauty Blender Defender Storage Case: I bought this case because it’s good to keep your beauty blender separate from the other products in your makeup bag. I like this case, but I’m not 100% solid on it like I am the other beauty blender product on this list. I washed two of my beauty blenders and put them in the case. The first thing I noticed was that this case was probably for smaller beauty blenders, this is the beauty blender that I’m currently using and I put two in the case. It was hard to get the case to stay closed with the two sponges without one of them looking like they were being squished. After 24 hours the sponges were still wet, I guess with two of them in there the holes in the cases weren’t enough to dry them, but (does it work with one? put answer in Sunday)
Beauty Blender Blender Cleanser Solid (Soap Bar): Cleaning my makeup products was so hard for me, that I preferred to throw out the products and buy new ones then clean them. I couldn’t find a good cleanser either. I saw this product in a Youtube video and decided to give it a try. I used it on a beauty sponge that I had been using for a few weeks and never cleaned, (horrible I know) especially since you couldn’t tell this particular sponge was purple anymore.
Nevertheless, after lathering the sponge for a minute and rising, I saw a slight difference. After 10 minutes, the original purple was back on a majority of the sponge. I kept going to get it as clean as possible. If you don’t regularly clean your sponge, you might not be getting them to look brand new, but it will look great and you can feel better knowing you’re not putting all that old makeup and other things bad for your skin on your face. I want to try the liquid version to see how it works, but I chose to try the soap bar first because I figured it would be easier to manage and compare the ease of use between the two. Bottom line I LOVE this cleanser, it is definitely a worthy addition to your makeup kit and worth the $16 price.
These are products that’ll you’ll need to get started on your makeup journey and building your makeup kit. However, there are a few items I left off this list such as highlighters, contour palettes, bronzer, and blush. I chose to do so because you don’t necessarily need them for simple everyday looks. If you know you’ll use these makeup products in your everyday looks great, if not you can always purchase them later on.
Well we finally made to the end of how to build your makeup starter kit, but just in case you didn’t read anything above and scrolled way down here let’s recap:
In your makeup bag the makeup you’ll need includes:
- Eyeshadow Palette or Stick
- Eyebrow Pencil
- Lip Liner
- and Lip gloss or Lipstick
The tools you’ll need include:
- A Makeup sponge
- A Foundation brush
- An Eyebrow Pencil
- A Makeup Pencil Sharpener
- A Beauty Blender Defender Storage Case
- A Beauty Blender Blender Cleanser Sold (Soap Bar)
I hope you feel like you have a good point to start building your own makeup kit after reading this post. Feel like by the time you go shopping for all your makeup, you’ll forget half the things on this list?
One of my favorite things about makeup is how creative you can be, whether you choose to go full glam or basic everyday looks, there is still so much you can do. I read a quote in the book of a beauty influencer with a disability, My Beautiful Struggle: “You can be glamorous and a paraplegic, there is no rule that says otherwise”. Remember that. Just because you may have a disability and it may be hard, doesn’t mean you should give up on doing some of your own makeup if you really want to.