What Every Beginner Needs in Their Makeup Kit, According to Experts

makeup tips for beginners - What Every Beginner Needs in Their Makeup Kit, According to Experts

Getty Images

When it comes to makeup, we all start somewhere. That's why it's so important to start by following makeup tips for beginners rather than jumping to a cut-crease or advanced contour technique. Of course, before we start with simple tips and tricks, we need to put together a solid makeup kit.

Putting together a good makeup kit can be quite challenging and overwhelming for even the most seasoned makeup connoisseur — let alone a makeup beginner. With thousands upon thousands of products to choose from, it can start to get a bit confusing when figuring out which ones work best for you.

If you're just starting out on your makeup journey and are looking for a good guide, we put together a list of all the makeup staples, products, and tools you need in your cosmetic bag. What's more, we consulted experts in the makeup industry to find out which products are the best of the best. Here, Manhattan-based makeup artist Sharon Becker, as well as the Emmy-winning makeup director for HBO's Euphoria and co-founder of Half Magic Beauty, Donni Davy, both weighed in on all the essential products for your makeup starter pack.

QUIZ: What's Your Style Personality?

You can trust us that not only are they easy for newbies to use, but they've also been put to the test and have quickly become pro favorites.

Discover exactly what you need to have on hand with our selects below.

01 of 10

Skin-Prepping Products

makeup tips for beginners - Skin prepping products, including Aveeno cleanser, Evian Facial Spray, Embryolisse moisturizer and Elta MD sunscreen.

Great makeup begins with great skincare. So, a clean and smooth canvas is always important. Davy recommends to start by washing your face with a gentle cleanser, such as Aveeno's Positively Radiant Brightening Cleanser. Then follow it up with a lightweight moisturizer, like the cult-classic Embryolisse Face Cream and Makeup Primer — in case you're wondering: Yes, you need moisturizer no matter what your skin type. Then always follow your moisturizer with some SPF — Davy likes Elta MD UV Clear SPF 46. Right before application, Davy suggests adding another layer of hydration with Evian Water Facial Mist. Now that your skin is clean, moisturized, and prepped, you're ready for makeup application.

Pro tip: Davy says you can also use the Evian facial mist to wet makeup sponges to avoid any chemicals, such chlorine, in tap water.

02 of 10

Concealer and Foundation

makeup tips for beginners - Concealer and foundation products, including Make Up Forever Ultra HD foundation, NARS concealer and Kevyn Aucoin concealer

Since your skin color will change from season to season, Davy recommends having a range of foundation shades. But you don't have to break the bank buying every shade — you can mix a couple of shades together to get that perfect match. She suggests Makeup Forever Ultra HD Foundation as it lasts for 24 hours and comes in 50 shades.

Dark under eye circles or blemishes? Don't fret because a high coverage cream concealer like the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancers or the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer can both create buildable coverage that looks completely natural — sans a cakey finish.

03 of 10

Brown Pencil, Powder, and Gel

makeup tips for beginners - Brow makeup items, including NYX Eyebrow Mascara, Covergirl eyebrow pencil and Anastasia Powder Brow Duo

Your eyebrows are among the most important features on your face. We weren't all born with perfectly shaped brows, but that doesn't mean you can't have them. Becker suggests shaping the brows and filling in any bare spots with the vegan CoverGirl Micro Fine Fill +Define Eyebrow Pencil. Next, you can tint your brows and fill in remaining gaps with Anastasia Beverly Hills Powder Brow Duo. Finally, finish shaping and hold your brows in place with the NYX Eyebrow Mascara.

04 of 10

Eyeliner and Mascara

makeup tips for beginners - Multiple eyeliner and mascara products, including both dark colors and bright colors

We recommend that beginners skip false lashes and go straight for an all-star mascara and liner combo, instead. Both Becker and Davy swear by L'Oréal Voluminous Mascara. (Becker adds that you "can't go wrong" with this "most consistent" mascara). In terms of a cream eyeliner with staying power to last on even the longest days on the set of Euphoria, Davy swears by Chanel Cream Eyeliner. If you're more of a pencil person, though, she recommends Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner.

If you want to play around with some color — à la Euphoria — Davy recommends using the ColourPop Gel Liner Vault. Finish your the look with a colored mascara, like Benefit's Bad Gal Bang Mascara.

"To level up to even brighter colors, try lining just your upper lashes with an electric blue, orange, or bright purple," says Davy, who is obviously no stranger to color. "I also love a bright-colored water line, which is probably the easiest and quickest way to add a pop of color."

05 of 10

Lip Balm and Lip Stick or Color

makeup tips for beginners - Multiple lip balms and lipsticks, including Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Swivel Stick, Mac Pro Lip Palettes and ColourPop lipstick

When you're going for a bold lip, just as you prep the rest of your face, you'll want to have a good base. Davy uses the Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Swivel Stick. Then for a bit of color, she says she loves the MAC Cosmetics Pro Lip Palettes, which have six color options in one. Becker's favorite are ColourPop's vegan and cruelty-free lipsticks, which are also incredibly budget-friendly.

06 of 10

Brushes, Sponges, and Q-tips

makeup tips for beginners - Makeup brushes of various sizes and shapes, along with Q-Tips

In order to apply your makeup properly, you'll need to use the right tools. The cult-classic Beautyblender is perfect for effortlessly blending foundations, blush, and concealer. Davy also recommends a good set of quality brushes — her favorite is the Luxie Brushes. For precise eye makeup, Davy recommends the Eyeconic Eye Set. If you're looking for a cheaper option, Becker says that e.l.f. brushes are "great entry-level brushes" — try its Flawless Face Six Piece Brush Collection.

To correct any mistakes or do precision work, Davy says that pointed Q-tips are a great tool to have in your kit.

07 of 10

Blush, Bronzer, and Highlighter

makeup tips for beginners - Blush and bronzers, including Makeup Forever Ultra HD Cream Blush, Glossier Haloscope Highlighter Stick and The Balm trio pack

Add healthy color and a subtle glow to your skin with a classic blush, bronzer, and highlighter. Davy loves Makeup Forever Ultra HD Cream Blush followed by a swipe of the very-glowy Glossier Haloscope Highlighter Stick. If you're looking to simplify your routine, Becker recommends The Balm blush, highlighter, and bronzer trio as it has all your needs in one, on-the-go compact.

08 of 10

Eyeshadow Palette

makeup tips for beginners - Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion and ColourPop eyeshadow palette

Before applying any shadow, be sure to prime your lids. The Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion will keep your eyeshadow in place all day and prevent any creases. If you're just starting your makeup collection, Davy says you really just need one good eyeshadow palette with lots of neutrals. She recommends ColourPop's palette in Bare Necessities.

09 of 10

Setting Products

makeup tips for beginners - Makeup setting products, including Indeed Lab's Nanoblur, Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, Urban Decay's All Nighter Setting Spray and NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray

You just spent all this time doing your makeup so you're going to want it to have some lasting power. If you tend to have an oily T-zone, Davy recommends Indeed Lab's Nanoblur: "This is a mattifying cream that can be dabbed on top of makeup with a Beautyblender. I use this in the T-zone when actors get a little oily and shiny." If you would rather use powder, keep the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder. Finish it off with a spritz of setting spray, like Urban Decay's All Nighter Setting Spray or Becker's favorite, the NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray.

10 of 10

Makeup Remover

makeup tips for beginners - Makeup removers, including Simple Cleansing Wipes and Simple Cleansing Wipes

Even pros make mistakes, so it's always good to have some type of makeup remover in your arsenal just in case (paired with those pointed Q-tips to completely erase any makeup mishap). Plus, at the end of the day, you're going to want some gentle makeup remover that will swipe away every last trace of makeup. Davy likes the Simple Cleansing Wipes and L'Oréal's Clean Artiste Eye Makeup Remover.

Related Articles