I still remember when I first started wearing makeup.
It was around Christmas time in Year 8 and a friend had asked for some pencil eyeliner as a mini Christmas present so I went to Superdrug and was utterly clueless as to what I should get her. In the end, I went for a £1 eyeliner pencil from MUA and bought another one for the sake of it in case I needed a back up present (strange I know)
But after that, I remember searching for starter kits or makeup for beginners quite often but didn’t have much luck finding things in my price range or products that would suit my brown Asian skin tone. I had no idea what the difference between foundation and concealer was and primer was just something you used before you painted a wall.
At least now, I have some idea as to what I’m doing. Well, at least I think I do.
Which is why I’m going to try and break down what each product does as well as whether you actually need it or not. This was definitely something I struggled with, I had no idea what to use. Remember that if you want to start your kit, there’s no need to buy everything at once. You probably won’t need everything on the list! It’s completely fine to slowly collect products or just pick and choose what you like.
Get ready for a long post.
The very very basic kit
- Brushes: These aren’t an essential but I’d recommend that you buy 1 powder/blush brush if you’re planning on using any powder makeup products as this will make your life a lot easier. You don’t need to splurge on brushes when you start out, a cheap brush will do the trick if you’re only applying powder products. I quite like the W7 makeup brushes, they’re quite soft and work pretty well. I’ve got a double ended brush by them which has a side for powder and the other is angled. Cheap sets from amazon are also available but don’t get too hooked up on those, sometimes they’re not the greatest and you really have to check reviews.
- Mascara: I’d recommend a black mascara, the Maybelline Great Lash is £4.99 and is quite lengthening BUT it’s a hit or miss with some people so if you’re not willing to take the risk then go for the Maybelline Lash Sensation,£7.99 but so worth it, or the Miss Sporty Pump Up Lash Booster for £3.99
- Blush: This is sort of an essential for me, it can really change up your look. The Collection Speedy Blush Stick (My fave is Pinch Me) for £3.99 is a cream blusher in stick form which will last you forever. It can be used with or without a brush, just lightly swipe a little dot on each cheek and blend backwards by patting it with your fingertips towards your hairline. You could also pick up a blusher from MUA or Makeup Revolution for £1, they’re all fine to start off with but I wouldn’t recommend the cream blushes from MUA because they’re a little trickier to work with. Powder blush can technically be applied with your fingers but its a little more difficult to blend. The B. Vibrant Lip and Cheek Colour is brilliant for £1.50, it’s a 2 in 1 product too!
- Lip product: Now this could be a lipstick or a lip balm, it’s completely up to you. I don’t really have many recommendations because I’m loyal to my cocoa butter vaseline, but the Kiko lipsticks and lip liners are brilliant and feel as if you have nothing on. NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams are lovely and come in tones of shades. You can buy lipsticks for £1 from Makeup Revolution and MUA too. If you want to be really frugal and give yourself some options, then buy a dark red lipstick. This way you can use a small amount as a stain or build it up to full intensity depending on what look you want to go for.
Little bit fancier kit
This is if you want to expand your collection and start wearing face makeup. You might need to splurge a little more here to get better products.
- Concealer: Regular concealer (the kind that conceals and doesn’t highlight) can be found in many forms. I really love using the LA Girl Pro Concealers because they’re creamy which makes them easy to blend and have a brilliant shade range that makes it great for everyone to use. You can buy them on amazon for £2-£4 which is very affordable considering how great the product is! My first makeup mistake was incorrectly matching myself, I had picked a shade that was too dark and made me look a little orange which wasn’t very cute. Check swatches online and if you can find something in store then ask for help from a friend or try and match it to your neck, not the back of your hand. No7 and L’Oreal shade match in some boots stores so check it out if you want more professional advice.
- Foundation: I only recently started wearing this but I really love the EX1 foundation because it has the perfect shades and undertones for olive and brown asian skin tones. It’s amazing. I bought mine from feelunique.com for £10 with a discount code but I think it’s generally about £12. Bit more pricey but you only need a small amount of this, my first bottle lasted me a year! The Maybelline Fit Me range is also really good, I quite like the formula but I just wish they had more shades in the UK.
- Primer: This sort of became an essential for me, simply because it can change the appearance of your skin, make your makeup last forever and is perfect for no-makeup days. Primer is a game changer. My holy grail is The Body Shop Instablur Primer because it just makes the rest of my makeup appear flawless. It keeps me matte and fills in pores making my skin look really smooth. It’s £14 and can easily last me a 8 months but it’s so worth the price. Other primers I like are the Collection Prime & Ready in Pore Minimiser for £4.99 because it really makes my skin feel and appear smooth. I also enjoy the W7 Prime Magic Camera Ready Primer for £3.50-£4 (price varies depending where you buy it from) also because it really smooths out the appearance of my skin but it’s not the best for mattifying.
- Powder: Use a sponge or powder brush to set your cream products. I recommend the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder for £3.99 is great and comes in a few shades (just go for translucent) or the Miss Sporty So Clear Powder in translucent for £2.99 is a lovely little compact too.
- Sponges: It’s perfectly fine to blend your cream products with your fingers, I loved doing that for a long while and it still works great. Just make sure your hands are clean and you use patting motions to blend out concealer of foundation. Primer can be rubbed in. I have the B. Beauty Sponge which blends things out beautifully when used damp. I just soak it in some water and squeeze out the excess before using patting motions to blend.
Completing the kit, kit
- Bronzer: I was going to include this in the last step but if you’ve got blush, bronzer isn’t necessary. It’s a nice little extra that “warms up” your skin which basically means it can make you look a little more tan. Dust a little on your temples, jawline and slightly below your cheekbones. I like using the Sleek Blush in Sahara which is a dark orangey brown matte blush for £4.49 or the Miss Sporty Instaglow in Sunny Brunette for £2.99 because it’s a nice little shimmer to add to summer looks. I’m not really much of a bronzer person so I can’t say much here but I’ve heard Rimmel and Bourjois make some nice bronzers. Try to check reviews on Superdrug or Boots too, they really help!
- Eyeliner: The Collection Extreme 24 Hr Felt Tip Liner for £2.99 is really good, the felt tip applicator makes it easy to apply and it’s really pigmented! Take your time with eyeliner guys, it’s a tricky business. For pencil eyeliner I like the Rimmel Scandeleyes Kohl Kajals if I want something that will stay, but otherwise any pencil liner from any brand will do. The £1 pencil eyeliners from MUA still do the trick for me, plus they come with a sharpener! Scribble the pencil on the back of your hand to soften it before using it on your eyes, you don’t want it to feel scratchy or to tug at your eyes.
- Eyeshadow: If you’ve read my review, you’ll know I love the NYX Single Eyeshadows but I know they make the prismatic shadows too which are really beautiful. I like the Collection Eyes Uncovered Palettes for £3.99 because they contain matte shades and shimmer shades which helps create a look easily. You can use your fingers to apply eyeshadow but you might realise that brushes could make it easier.
And that’s about it! Hope this is useful to someone out there, I might make a more advanced kit version too 😊 If you have any suggestions for beginners then add it in the comments!
Thanks for reading,