Chances are from the time you were a little girl makeup sets were a staple in your array of toys and dress-up supplies. By now, you’ve probably moved on to a real makeup kit, but do you have all the pretty tools you need to create your signature look? Whether you’re new to the world of makeup or just looking for some product recommendations, here are some things to know before stocking your stash.
For your makeup starter kit, there are some staple products you’ll want to consider purchasing. Take these as a guideline, though: If you have an aversion to eyeliner or foundation, for example, focus on the makeup products you do love instead! When creating your makeup kit, you’re going to want to think about the looks you like to create, your personal taste in makeup and what products will work best for you.
Foundation is exactly what it sounds like: This sets the tone for your entire look. Some people will want to apply a primer to their clean face before putting on foundation, and while it’s recommended, it isn’t necessary. What is necessary, though, is ensuring you choose the correct shade of foundation to match your natural skin tone.
To test shades of foundation and find your match, choose three to four shades you know are close to your skin tone. Swatch each one on the side of your neck, not your hand or directly on your face. Whichever shade blends seamlessly into your neck is the correct one to use.
Another tool you’ll want to have in your makeup kit is setting powder, such as a translucent or banana powder. This will help set the foundation on your face and keep it from budging or smudging easily. You do not need a lot of powder; in fact, applying too much powder will make your makeup look cakey.
Do some research and find a good powder brush: Some of the top-rated ones are sold by Elf, It Cosmetics, and Real Techniques.
Blush and Bronzer
While foundation gives you a base for your desired makeup look, it also tends to take away some of your natural colors. That’s where blush and bronzer come in. Oftentimes, blush and bronzer come together in a set, sometimes even with a highlighter included.
Arguably one of the best parts of putting on a full face of makeup, eyeshadow is a must. There are palettes available boasting eyeshadow colors in every color of the rainbow and beyond. For your at-home makeup stash, full-sized palettes are a great bargain. If you’re putting together a makeup kit for on-the-go looks, try a mini or travel-size palette with four to six colors for touch-ups.
Eyeliner is a great tool to accentuate the eyes. Decide first which type you prefer — a pencil, liquid, or gel liner. A pencil is best for beginners and those with unsteady hands, while liquid and gel liners can be a bit trickier and more advanced to handle.
Mascara is absolutely essential for your makeup kit and is easy to swipe on in a rush or if you only want to wear minimal makeup. You can choose between regular and waterproof formulas, a myriad of applicator styles, and full- or travel-sized mascaras to fit your needs.
Lipstick is the icing on the cake, finishing off any look seamlessly. Have a few colors to choose from in your makeup kit. Keep some nudes and pinks for wearing during the daytime, at work, or casually. Darker colors, including reds, are a great choice for dressing up a look at nighttime, date night, or for special occasions.
Buying Makeup Kits
For some people, curating their own makeup kit is the way to go: After all, you know what products you like, what colors look best on you, and what you will actually use. However, makeup starter kits for beginners and pro makeup sets are great investments for the amateur and the advanced makeup artist, respectively.
Lancôme’s Makeup Set Must-Haves
This Lancôme makeup set includes many of the basics you’ll want to keep around the house or on the go. It contains full-size mascara, vitamin-infused mascara primer, a five-pan eyeshadow palette, hydrating lip color, and eye makeup remover, along with a cute bag to keep it all in. Get it at Ulta for $59.
Exclusive MAC Lover Vault
MAC lovers, it’s your time to shine. This MAC makeup kit box contains all your favorites and more. Contents of the 19-piece kit include primer, eyeliners, mascara, lip liners, and five lipstick colors. Grab it from MAC for $261.
Tarte Full-Face Faves Discovery Kit
This kit provides all the best makeup for beginners. The Tarte discovery set includes an eyeshadow palette, matte lipstick, liquid eyeliner, mascara, setting spray, and a cute makeup bag. Discover what products you like from this cruelty-free brand for $39.
Ulta All Things Pretty 25 Piece Collection
Another great makeup kit for beginners, Ulta’s 25-piece collection, includes an eyeshadow palette, face palette, face mist, primers, and a holographic pink case, among other essentials. Find it on Ulta’s website for just $20.
Benefit Cosmetics Mini Superstar Wardrobe Makeup Value Set
This Benefit Cosmetics set includes a bunch of travel-sized beauty essentials, from mascara, primer, and bronzer to highlighter, eyeliner, and brow-taming tools. Get it at Sephora for $90.
Not every makeup product is everyone’s cup of tea, so make sure you play around with some products and find what you like and learn how to apply makeup properly. Discovering your own personal essentials is crucial to curating your makeup kit and truly making it your own. Try any of the above kits to test out new products — you never know, you just might find your new favorite.