When I started getting into makeup, I purchased pretty much one of everything! I ended up picking out so many products that just weren’t good, or weren’t right for me, and I started to watch ‘Drugstore Starter Kit’ videos on YouTube. I went from a girl who wore BB cream/ foundation and mascara every day to fully made up fairly quickly, but had a lot to learn.
People start getting into makeup at different ages. My mother worked in cosmetics many years ago when I was quite young, and I ended up working in cosmetics at one of my first jobs, but neither of those really got me too excited about it. I wore foundation and mascara because my skin was uneven and you can hardly see my eyelashes, but that was about it. I believe it was around when I met my boyfriend that I started realising how much I liked beauty and skincare, and it was his encouragement that led me to creating this blog, to which I’ll be forever grateful! I’ve purchased a lot, thrown out a lot and learnt a lot, and I hope I can share some of that with you today!
Primers are important, so so important. An artist primes their canvas before they paint, as should we all before applying makeup. I have mostly dry skin, but I still apply primer because it hydrates and evens out my skin, extending the longevity of my makeup. Before primer I’d get home and half my foundation would have disappeared, but not anymore! I love the Maxfactor Facefinity All Day Primer* because it hydrates and smooths the skin whilst also having some SPF to help protect skin from the sun. For anyone who has pores that are obvious and that they want hidden, the Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser is perfect for that, and very affordable. For colour correcting on any redness, dark circles, pimples etc. the best affordable corrector I’ve found is the Models Prefer CC Colour Correcting Quad which I use daily, it lasts all day and is fantastic at hiding imperfections.
Base Products: Now it’s really a personal preference as to the coverage they like. I have personally found BB Creams are very inconsistent in terms of quality, and would recommend them to be mixed with foundation or used as primer, rather than as an all over base. (Also, the majority are way too dark for me, pale girl problems!) If you’re at school and makeup is required to be ‘natural’ something like the Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless would be ideal, it has a light-medium coverage depending on if/how you build it, it blurs and perfects the skin and would last long enough for all day. I personally used throughout school, and almost every day since, the Revlon Colorstay Foundation in the Normal/Dry Skin version, however there is a version for oily skin too. I used it throughout school as it gave a nice medium finish, and I continue to wear it daily because it lasts all day! Plus it has SPF. If you prefer a lighter coverage, powder foundation is always a good alternative. It can also be used to set the areas of your face where you get any oil, or you want to guarantee your makeup will last. I recommend the Rimmel Lasting Finish 25Hr Waterproof Powder Foundation* because it is finely milled and is flawless on the skin, and has a light coverage so it isn’t too heavy looking on the skin.
Concealers: The Maybelline Fit Me concealer is a medium coverage concealer, perfect for skintones light-medium skintones, fairer girls like myself may find the lightest shade too dark. It’s perfect for under the eyes, as well as to hide any pesky blemishes. Another good one for under the eyes is the Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous which has shades to match everybody, and is very light on the skin, a good option if you like a little highlight anywhere. For blemishes, I really recommend the Body Shop Tea Tree Concealer, the tea tree oil in this formula helps to treat and dry out your pimples whilst covering them up, it’s a winning combination!
Brows: Now it’s up to you what you do with your brows. When I had darker hair I had them tinted to match and so I didn’t have to fill them in. If you love your brows and are comfortable without colouring them or drawing them up then you do you! I personally always fill in my brows. The Ulta3 Eyebrow Kit in Light* is what I’ve been reaching for recently, it has a clear wax which most other brow kits don’t, and three different shades of powder to fill in the brows. I also use the Ulta3 Brow Pencil in Blonde* on days where I’m not doing much, just to feel a bit more put together! Then to set them, a clear gel is perfect if you’ve got the colour right and the Ulta3 Clear Mascara* is a cheap and fantastic option. Ulta3 have some amazingly affordable products in general, and they are fairly good quality! I need more of their lipsticks, which are available mostly in chemists!
Blush/Bronze/Highlight: When I was starting out I never wore colour on my cheeks because I just didn’t know what to do or what went where! For blushes, the e.l.f Blushes and Essence Silky Touch Blushes prove that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a good result, I often reach for these over higher end ones! They are between $5-$8 each and have the right amount of pigmentation where it’s difficult to go overboard, and easy to build up the colour – good if you’re just starting out to avoid any clown face! (We’ve all been there before!!) For bronzer, the Colourpop cheek colours are good for the price, however they would need to be ordered from America and they don’t ship worldwide just yet! They have a cream to powder texture, and are easy to work with using a stippling brush. (I don’t generally like Colourpop products, I’ve found their eyeshadows aren’t great and the lip products a bit ‘meh’ but the cheek products are good if you can get your hands on them!) The Essence Soo Glow! Cream to Powder Highlighter is perfect for a subtle highlight, or buildable to an intense glow. For someone new to makeup, I’d recommend putting it on your cheekbones prior to applying foundation until you get the hang of it, then once you feel more comfortable, applying on top! A great all in one product is the Maybelline HiLighting Bronzer for a flush of warmth to the cheeks. It’s a highlight and a bronzer in one, and creates a gorgeous warmth and glow to the cheeks, the perfect all-round product!
Contouring: Now I didn’t feel comfortable with contouring until a few months ago to be completely honest. If you’ve got strong cheekbones or you just don’t want to/don’t feel comfortable contouring then skip this. For a starter, the Designer Brands 3 in 1 Contour Kit* provides the perfect option for you – it has a contour shade, a highlight shade for under the eyes and an illuminating shade for the cheekbones, all in a small handy trio. If the contour shade isn’t the right colour for you/ you want more variety, the Models Prefer Contour Collection is going to be perfect. It’s something I lean towards most days, it’s really easy to blend and hard to apply too much, it has three different highlight shades for different areas of the face and three contour/bronzer shades. Plus these two are both under $17 each, so you’re looking at much cheaper than higher end options!
Eyes: If you’re just starting out, eyeshadow may not be your thing and that’s okay. I would say I’m still a beginner with eyeshadow myself, I don’t really branch out too much from neutral colours – probably because I work 5-6 days a week but hey! Most important thing again is eye primer, and the Essence I Love Stage Eyeshadow Base helps to colour correct the eyelids as well as prolong the wear of your eyeshadow. If you can get your hands on Wet N Wild, their eyeshadows are extremely pigmented and good value. I paid around $5AUD for the Walking on Eggshells Trio and use it almost every day, it has three perfect shades and is easy to blend, long-lasting and simply perfect! (Mine is battered and bruised so this is one of my three backups!) Essence also do great eyeshadows, I use their single shadow in Hazel Me Not a few times a week as a transition shade, and their little 6-shadow palettes are perfect for playing around! For a simple wash of colour, or as a base, the Maybelline Color Tattoos are amazing. They last all day and are really easy to apply – the shadow in Bad to the Bronze is the only eyeshadow I’ve ever fully used up!
Mascara and Eyeliner: Again, personal preference as to what you wear here – I don’t personally wear eyeliner very often at all because I don’t need it, and I suck at it! For mascaras, I have three options for you. Something natural is the RImmel London Wonder’Full Argan Oil Macara which is a more natural mascara that lengthens and lifts your lashes. Something perfect for school, or a quick few errands. Something that I love for lengthening and volumising is the ModelCo Lash and Line* because the mascara is phenomenal at making my lashes stand out! I also recommend the Maybelline Big Eyes Macara for the bottom lash mascara, to help those little babies stand out! The top lash mascara side of it is also fabulous! I haven’t used yet the liner side of the ModelCo Lash and Line* so I can’t recommend that for liner as I haven’t used it, but what I can for liquid liner is the Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Liner. It’s what a lot of people recommend for beginners, and it’s easy to work with and easy to remove if/when you make a mistake! (My tip with liquid liner – use tape when creating a wing to outline the shape, and go slowly – it can sense your fear!) I also recommend the Maybelline Big Eyes Liner because it has a white liner which can be used on the waterline to give a brightening effect to the eyes, as well as a black liner to be used to give some depth and definition to the eye!
Lips: I’m not going to recommend a specific lipbalm because everyone has something that works for them! A balm or a tinted balm is perfect when you’re just starting out for a bit of colour! I graduated from tinted balms to glosses, and some of the ones I recommend are the Nyx Butter Glosses for their pigmentation, but my biggest recommendation is the Rimmel Oh My Gloss!* range because they’re long lasting, pigmented, moisturising and non-sticky – the formula is just perfection! Liquid lipsticks are an option if you’re watning something that will last all day and not budge, and two of the best are the Rimmel Provocalips* and the MUD Matte Lip Creams*. Now I don’t personally wear a lot of matte lipsticks/liquid lipsticks because I have very dry lips, but I’ve tested these out and they’re two of the best for sure! The Provocalips* have a gloss coat to stop them from being too drying, and the Matte Lip Creams* aren’t quite as long lasting but they work well with a balm over the top for hydration. Some of my favourite affordable lipsticks come from various brands. Shanghai Suzy is an Australian brand, and the lipsticks are only $12.95 and are fantastic for the price – plus they smell like grape bubblegum! The Maybelline Color Drama Lip Pencils have a wide variety of colours and are incredibly long lasting, and the L’Oreal and Rimmel Kate lipsticks are some of the best in terms of colour payoff and lasting!
I just want to make it clear that I’m not saying that you need all of these items! I am just a crazy makeup hoarder! I have a specific skin type and skin tone (combination-dry, NC15 aka neutral undertones but yellow foundations suit me best) and these are my favourite drugstore makeup items, and things like these I think are essential for beginners/those just getting into makeup! I’d love to hope this has helped at least one person, I know I wish I had have seen one of these sooner when I was starting out with makeup!