I’ve been asked by a friend who never wears makeup to compile a list of what I believe to be essential makeup products. She wants to go and stock up on makeup for the first time, and wishes to know which items she should purchase when putting together a beginners makeup kit.
When starting out with makeup, you want to spend your money on basic items that will work well when worn alone, but which will be useful later down the track when you decide to expand your makeup collection. I think it’s also a good idea to buy items that can be worn several different ways, to give each product a little more mileage, and give you plenty of potential looks to experiment with.
Every girl needs a basic foundation in her makeup arsenal. When buying your first foundation, I would choose a medium coverage liquid foundation that matches your skin tone exactly. The medium coverage can be worn on its own on days when you want to look made-up without going overboard. If you want a sheerer visage, you can mix this foundation with a little facial moisturizer before applying it to your face. On days when you need a full coverage, you can apply powder on top of the foundation to pad out the colour. My favourite mid-coverage foundation is Revlon New Complexion.
You should choose a concealer in a creamy texture. This way you can use it underneath your eyes to cover dark circles, to camouflage any blemishes and even on your eyelids as a primer for your eye shadow. Try Covergirl Invisible Concealer.
Pressed powder is important for setting your foundation and for touch-ups throughout the day. If you tend to have dry skin, you might not need to buy powder at all. My favourite pressed powder is Get Even by Benefit, which has a slightly green tinge to it, which helps to counteract any redness in your complexion.
For first-time makeup users, I would recommend a bronzer rather than a blush. This is because a bronzer tends to be more versatile, so you get several products in one. You can use your bronzer to give your cheeks a healthy flush, to contour your cheekbones, to give your skin a sun-kissed glow and even as an eye shadow in a pinch. I love Avon’s Arabian Glow Bronzing Beads, which come in a cute packaging. The colour isn’t too dramatic, so you can build it up gradually to the shade that you are after, and you won’t run the risk of turning yourself into an orange nightmare with a single swipe!
Black eyeliner pencil.
A smudgy black eyeliner pencil is a must. Not only can you use it to line your top and bottom lashes, you can smudge it to create a cats’ eye look, shade in your eyelids and even use it to draw on a beauty spot if you are feeling saucy. Australis do great kohl pencils that won’t break the bank.
Eye shadow palette in browns and neutrals.
Brown and neutral shades suit all skin tones. Be sure to select a palette that is suited to your individual skin colour. To begin with, brown and neutral shades are best because they can be worn on their own, or you can combine them to add contour and definition to your eyes. As you build up your makeup collection, these colours can be used to blend most coloured shadows. Also, you can use a wet brush to turn a brown shadow into a liner.
A lip stain is a good introduction to the world of lip colour for a few reasons. They are easy to apply, they will last all day and the colour tends not to be too scary. If you choose a subtler stain, you can build the colour up gradually, so in a single tube you get sweetly stained lips and a raspberry pout. You can wear your stain on it’s own or add a gloss over the top. Benefit’s Benetint is a wonderful lip stain that can also be used on your cheeks. For a less costly version, try the Body Shop’s lip stain.
A clear lip gloss can be worn on its own or over lipstick. There are a million different varieties of lip gloss out there, but I maintain that Bonne Bell does the best range. They come in so many yummy flavours, are not too sticky or slimy and are cheap and cheerful.
Select a defining mascara in black for best results. Defining mascaras tend not to get too clumpy, so you can wear a single coat for a natural look, or apply two or three coats for dramatic lashes. I love Maybelline Great Lash mascara, or Maybelline Full and Soft mascara.