If you’re looking for tips and ideas to help you create a basic makeup kit for beginners on a budget, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve rounded up a fool-proof list of must-have makeup products and brushes to get you started without putting a huge dent in your bank account.
While it can be tempting to blow an entire pay check in one trip to Sephora, we’re here to show you how to step up your beauty game with affordable alternatives that are just as effective.
From primer and foundation, to eyebrow pencils, eyeshadow palettes, and mascaras, to contouring and highlighting (oh my!), we’re showing you how to create a makeup kit for beginners that gets the job done at a fraction of the price.
Makeup Kit for Beginners: 17 Must-Have Makeup Products
Face primer allows you to set your skin for easy application and makeup that lasts all day. It helps smooth out fine lines, wrinkles and large pores, so your foundation and other makeup goes seamlessly on top. Massage the primer into your skin with your fingertips, working it into your skin.
Makeup kit for beginners must-have: NYX Studio Perfect Primer. It creates a smooth matte finish pre-makeup application, so you don’t have to worry about looking shiny throughout the day.
Concealer is a must if you have dark under eye circles, red spots or any discoloration on your face. It comes in an array of coverages from light to full, so it really depends on what and how much you need to cover up. You’ll want to use a shade that’s as close to your foundation shade as possible to avoid discoloration, and for under eye bags, you’ll typically need to go with a peachy or pink-toned concealer.
Makeup kit for beginners must-have: Maybelline’s Master Conceal Makeup. It works to camouflage flaws and dark circles without any build up or cakiness.
Foundation is one of the most important products for your basic makeup kit, but also one of the toughest to get right. You want to make sure your foundation is perfectly color-matched to your skin so it doesn’t look like a different color than your neck. Not only do you need to match the color of your skin, you also need to match your skin type (oily, normal, dry, etc.), so take the time to test different products on your skin before you buy.
Makeup kit for beginners must-have: Maybelline’s Dream Liquid Mousse. It’s a full coverage foundation that goes on silky smooth, and lasts up to 16 hours.
Eyeshadow base makes all the difference when it comes to the color of your eyeshadow. Not only does it help bring out the color, it also helps your eyeshadow blend properly and stay put all day, so never scrimp on this step of your makeup routine!
Makeup kit for beginners must-have: The NYX Eyeshadow Base is available in three tones, depending on the look you want.
An eyeshadow palette ensures all your bases are covered when it comes to creating a gorgeous eye makeup look. A great budget-friendly tip when creating a makeup kit for beginners it to get all the colors you’ll use in one palette instead of buying them separately, which comes at a higher cost.
Makeup kit for beginners must-have: The Beauty Glaze Eyeshadow Palette comes with 35 matte eyeshadow shades that are super pigmented and long lasting!
Mascara is the product that will accentuate your eyes, making them look big and gorgeous.
Makeup kit for beginners must-have: CoverGirl Lash Blast! It doesn’t clump, and makes your lashes look long and luscious.
Just like mascara, eyeliner is used to help your eyes pack a punch. Whether you prefer a basic line, a smokey-eye, or a cat-eye flick, a little liner can go a long way in making your eyes pop.
Makeup kit for beginners must-have: The NYX Matte Liquid Liner allows you to create a smooth line that has a matte finish, with a precision brush tip that makes it easy to create a cat eye. Draw a thin line along your lash line and wing it out just beyond your eye to get the look.
Don’t forget an eyelash curler to make your eyes pop even more!
Makeup kit for beginners must-have: A good lash curler like the Brilliant Beauty Eyelash Curler creates voluminously curled lashes that allows mascara to glide on seamlessly.
The right eyebrow kit can take your brows from dull to striking. Brows are such a defining feature for the face, so eyebrow makeup should be part of your everyday routine.
Makeup kit for beginners must-have: Maybelline’s Brow Drama Makeup Palette includes a double-sided application brush and a spoolie to help you create the brow look you love.
Blush gives life to your face, but be careful not to go too bright or apply it too heavily. You want it to look as natural as possible, applying it to the apples of your cheeks to help accentuate your cheek bones. Make sure to blend it in so it doesn’t even look like you’re wearing blush; instead it should look like a natural flush.
Makeup kit for beginners must-have: Milani Rose Powder Blush contours and highlights with shimmery shades and it’s silky soft on the skin to boot!
BRONZER / CONTOUR
To add a healthy glow to your skin, bronzer is key. Never go more than two shades darker than your skin, as you want it to look as natural as possible. Dust it lightly over areas like the hollows of your cheeks (below your blush), starting from your temples and working down to your cheeks.
Makeup kit for beginners must-have: Rimmel Bronzer will help you get that sun-kissed glow and can double as a fabulous contour.
Using a highlighter can bring a natural shine to your face, in the areas that need it most. Apply it to the bridge of your nose, tops of your cheekbones, your cupid’s bow and just below your eyebrows.
Makeup kit for beginners must-have: If you’re new to makeup and highlighter, start with a highlighter stick like the NYX Strobe of Genius for easy application.
From blush to brows to foundation, there are a lot of different makeup brushes you need to make up your face. Instead of buying them separately, which can be more expensive, add a complete brush set to your list of must-haves when creating your makeup kit for beginners.
Makeup kit for beginners must-have: BH Cosmetics has a fabulous and inexpensive 10-Piece Pop Art Brush Set set that comes with a storage case, and it has all the tools you need!
Use a beauty blender sponge to effortlessly blend your foundation and concealer so it looks flawless before you apply your blush, bronzer and highlighter. Use the rounded sides to blend large areas of your face and the tip to cover blemishes, imperfections, and under eye circle. The flat edge can be used for contours around the eyes and nose
Makeup kit for beginners must-have: BEAKEY has a set of 5 beauty blenders at a super affordable price!
Lip gloss is perfect when you need a little somethin’ somethin’ on your lips, but don’t want to go full out with a lipstick. It’s great when you’re going for a subtle lip and you can find them in an array of colours.
Makeup kit for beginners must-have: Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Snow Pink has been my go-to shade for over 10 years! It goes on smooth and I love that my hair doesn’t stick to it when I’m out and about.
Every girl needs a few shades of lipstick in her makeup arsenal. A good rule of thumb is to contrast your lipstick with your makeup. So if you have a more natural makeup look, you can go with a bolder lip, and if you have a more intense makeup look, go with a more natural or subtle lip shade.
Makeup kit for beginners must-have: Burt’s Bees lipsticks are 100% natural and come in a range of gorgeous colors at an affordable price.
Setting spray ensures your makeup lasts all day. It’s the final step of your makeup regime and should be spritzed lightly on your face.
Makeup kit for beginners must-have: The e.l.f Makeup Mist, Set and Clear is a light-weight finishing spray that keeps your makeup fresh all day.
6 Best Drugstore Make Up Dupes to Invest In
Once you’ve built your basic makeup kit for beginners and start experimenting with different looks and techniques, it can be easy to get sucked into the wonderful world of makeup and the freedom of self-expression that it offers. Many popular YouTubers will lead you to believe you need to invest in high end products if you want a flawless face, and while I stand behind the idea of splurging on a few items here and there if it fits within your budget, affordable makeup can make you look just as amazing as the expensive stuff! As long as you do some research and find the right products, you can have high quality makeup at really great prices, and no one will be able to tell the difference. Here are 6 drugstore makeup dupes to prove it!
CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara
[versus Christian Dior Diorshow Mascara]
CoverGirl LashBlast is my absolute favorite mascara, and it’s such a steal! My lashes always look long and voluminous, and it never smears. It spaces out your lashes so they look defined and lush. It’s the perfect mascara to wear from day to night!
Revlon PhotoReady Airbush Effect Makeup
[versus Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation]
Since foundation is applied all over your face, it’s important that the one you use is very good quality. But that doesn’t mean it has to cost an arm and a leg. Revlon’s PhotoReady foundation provides a poreless, airbrushed look, with a lightweight formula. It will give you medium to full coverage and holds up throughout the day. The formula is great for oily, acne prone skin.
Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lipstick
[versus Tom Form Lipstick Lip Color]
The creamy liquid base of the Maybelline lipstick will make your lips soft and touchable for a very affordable price. It’s one of the best beauty dupes, seeing as it has so much pigmentation that leaves gorgeous, vivid colour. Your lips are sure to stand out, and with the velvety matte finish, they’ll feel amazing all day!
Maybelline Instant Pore Eraser Primer
[versus Makeup Forever Skin Equalizer Primer]
If you’re looking for a primer that helps blur your pores, go for one that doesn’t come with a hefty price tag. With Maybelline’s Pore Eraser Primer, your skin will be left with a smooth matte finish, a perfect canvas for your makeup. It’s lightweight and breathable so you don’t have to worry about it clogging your pores and you can use it even if you have sensitive skin!
Rimmel Magnifyeyes Eye Palette
[versus Kat Von D Chrysalis Eyeshadow Palette]
When it comes to high end makeup dupes, there are some eyeshadows that never disappoint. This affordable eyeshadow palette by Rimmel boasts quality shadows at a fraction of the price. The blendable formula allows you to contour your eyes with 12 different shades. It’s high shimmer and ultra smooth for any look you want!
Milani Rose Powder Blush
[versus Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush]
Milani blush will give you rosy looking cheeks all day. It contours and highlights with shimmery shades and i’s silky soft on the skin. With a natural finish, you’ll be glowing from morning to night, and it will look pretty on your makeup table too!
I hope the tips and ideas above provide you with all of the details you need to create the perfect basic makeup kit for beginners on a budget! Do your research and test each product on your skin before you buy, and remember that affordable makeup can make you look just as amazing as the expensive stuff!