11 Best Makeup Products For Beginners, As Per A Makeup Artist (2024)

Hone and master your new makeup skills worry-free with these foolproof formulas.

Reviewed by Tina Tempest, Makeup Artist & Hairstylist Tina Tempest Tina TempestMakeup Artist & Hairstylist youtube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (Mass Communication & Media Studies) Esha Saxena MA (Mass Communication & Media Studies) Experience: 3 years
Edited by , MA (English & Literature), Certified Style & Image Consultant Srijita De MA (English & Literature), Certified Style & Image Consultant Experience: 2 years
Fact-checked by , BSc Shatabdi Bhattacharya BSc Experience: 2.5 years
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If you are a novice in the makeup world, you might have tons of questions in your mind regarding makeup, basic makeup kits, makeup application techniques for beginners, brushes, and more. However, since you are a beginner, you will benefit from knowing about the basics. You will also need the beginner makeup essentials to come to the rescue. In this article, we have curated a list of the best, must-have makeup items that will get you started in the makeup game. You will learn the essentials from scratch. Keep scrolling to begin your makeup journey.

Top PicksCheck Price
Moisturizer
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Primer
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Foundation
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Concealer
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Blush
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Nude Eyeshadow Palette
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Eyeliner
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Mascara
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Makeup Brushes
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Compact
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11 Makeup Staples Every Woman Needs To Have In Her Makeup Bag

1. Moisturizer

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4.4
 Moisturizer Image: Kiehl's

Ladies, we can’t stress the importance of moisturizing your face enough before you go in with any kind of makeup. This essential makeup product not only hydrates your skin but also protects its moisture barrier. You shouldn’t skip moisturizing even if you have oily skin because it helps regulate oil production. Find a product that works for your skin type and use it religiously after cleansing and toning your face. It is even better if you find one with SPF as it protects your skin from sun damage and hyperpigmentation. Remember – a clean canvas is key for flawless makeup application.

It’s a good idea to use a moisturizer that’s lightweight and gets quickly absorbed into your skin. We highly recommend the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. This one’s a cult favorite, and once you apply it, your foundation and concealer will blend into your skin like a dream. It also works well on all skin types. It is clinically tested and dermatologically proven for gentleness and safety. To find out more about this product, check out this video detailing a reviewer’s experience with it.

Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 2.1 x 1.8 inches | Weight: 4 Ounces

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Quick-absorbing
  • 24-hour hydration
  • Reduces hyperpigmentation
  • Minimizes acne scars
  • Adds natural glow
  • Softens the skin
  • Gentle formula
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons

  • Expensive

My Personal Experience

"I like this cream's hydrating qualities which work without leaving a greasy residue. It's quite thick but it spreads easily, and a small amount goes a long way. It keeps my skin smooth and well-moisturized. It's scent-free, which is great for sensitive noses. It's on the pricier side, but the investment is worth it."


2. Primer

If you want your makeup to stay put through the day, a primer works like magic. It not only creates a smooth and flawless base but also makes foundation application a whole lot easier.

So, if you’re dealing with concerns like large pores or redness, your primer will take care of it all, giving you velvety soft skin and minimizing the appearance of pores. If you have never tried it, it’s about time you do because it makes a world of difference to how your makeup looks by the end of the day.

One of the best primers to start with is the POREfessional Face Primer from Benefit Cosmetics. It is a silky, lightweight, and oil-free formula that delivers exceptional results like mattifying excess shine and instantly minimizing the appearance of fine lines and large pores. It also contains vitamin E, which is known to protect your skin from free radicals. You can also use this to spot-conceal by applying it over blemishes and blending it out.

Skin Type: All

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Long-lasting
  • Smoothens the skin
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Nourishing formula
  • Suitable for all skin tones

Cons

  • May cause skin breakouts and allergies
  • Expensive
protip_icon Pro Tip

To get the perfect finish, use just a thin layer of the product using your fingertips or a makeup sponge.
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has received 839 positive Amazon reviews from its users, stating its numerous benefits.

3. Foundation

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4.9

Your foundation is the key to getting flawless looking skin (after your skincare routine, of course.) It’s also the hardest thing to get right when it comes to your makeup routine. Why? Because you have to consider a few things before you head to the store to buy a formula. First, is this the coverage you want? And second, will this work for your skin type and undertone?

If you are new to wearing foundation, it is important to either test it on your face or jawline before buying. Or head to your nearest department store (or a MAC or Sephora) and let a makeup artist help you pick a shade that matches your complexion and fits your coverage needs. You can also request a sample if you want to see how a formula works for your skin before making your purchase.

We recommend the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation if you are looking for a lightweight formula that offers seamless coverage. It keeps your skin healthy and hydrated and doesn’t feel like you have makeup on. This is available in a diverse range of 40 shades.

It is suitable for all skin types and leaves you with a very natural finish.

Tip: Apply your foundation with a damp beauty sponge and blend it out nicely for a beautiful, flawless finish. If you are using a blending brush, use it in a dabbing motion and avoid dragging it across the skin for streak-free finish.

Color: Y435 - Caramel

Pros

  • Long-lasting
  • Smooth finish
  • Medium to full coverage
  • Waterproof
  • Sweat-proof

Cons

  • Sticky consistency
  • Expensive

4. Concealer

Concealer is one of the most essential items in your makeup stash. It is a basic (and we’re not saying that in a mean way). Whether you want to cover blemishes, redness, or dark under eye circles – your concealer works like a charm. Typically, it is best to apply concealer after your foundation because if you do it the other way round, you’ll end up smearing it. If you want to go easy with the makeup and feel like skipping foundation some days, you can just use your concealer to spot-conceal and end up looking flawless and put together anyway.

It can be a little tricky to find a concealer that’s perfect for you as you need to consider a few factors like its consistency, coverage, and staying power. You can choose from a liquid, cream or stick concealer depending on the coverage you want.

We recommend trying the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, which is ideal for all skin types. Its multi-action formula instantly hides imperfections and blurs the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This one’s free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. This dermatologist-tested formula provides medium to full, buildable coverage and is available in 26 shades.

Skin Type: NormalColor: Vanilla | Product Dimensions: 0.83 x 1.2 x 5 inches | Weight: 0.02 Ounces

Tip: For your under-eyes, pick a shade that’s no more than two shades lighter than your natural skin tone. This will prevent those bright white rings under your eyes. For your face, pick a shade that exactly matches your foundation.

Pros

  • 16-hour wear
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Hydrating formula
  • Crease-resistant
  • Sweat-resistant
  • Humidity-proof
  • Transfer-resistant
  • Water-resistant
  • Alcohol-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Ophthalmologist tested

Cons

  • Expensive
protip_icon Quick Tip

Apply your concealer in the shape of an inverted triangle under your eyes and blend using your ring finger for the perfect finish.

5. Blush

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4.2

When blush is applied correctly, it can instantly lift up your face and give you that gorgeous, youthful glow. It is best to choose a color that complements your skin tone. A color that is too bright for your skin tone look loud and very fake. Choose a shade that subtly adds color to your face and sculpts your cheeks.

If you are a beginner, it’s a good idea to start off with a powder blush. For the application, pick a fluffy brush that’s tapered along the sides as it targets the correct areas. Remember, always apply your blush with a light and gentle hand, and use soft, circular motions to blend out the color. Blend a bit into the hairline, on the tip of your nose, and jawline for a natural-looking flush of color.

We recommend the NARS Blush to all you freshers. This is a pressed-powder blush that delivers a healthy-looking color to flatter any skin tone. It is available in about 21 different shades and is really easy to use.

Product Dimensions: 1 x 3 x 2.25 inches | Weight: 0.16 Ounces

Tip: Coral, light pink, or peach tones work well on light to medium skin tones and plum, rose and deeper shades work well on dusky skin.

Pros

  • Easily blendable
  • Buildable formula
  • Highly pigmented
  • Offers natural glow

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Too shimmery

6. Nude Eyeshadow Palette

When it comes to doing your eyes, a nude eyeshadow palette is all you need. Just like your favorite pair of jeans, this beginner-friendly makeup palette is essential for a newbie to practice the technique of eyeshadow application.

What we love most about a nude eyeshadow palette is how it consists of all the colors you’ll need to create a perfect natural makeup look. It is incredibly versatile and can never go out of style.

We recommend the Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette for you beginners. It is loaded with 12 shadows in different textures that are insanely pigmented. You can use them to create different eye looks, ranging from subtle day looks to statement-making party looks.

Number of Items: 1

Pros

  • Highly pigmented
  • Blends easily
  • Suitable for all skin tones
  • Velvety texture
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Expensive

My Personal Experience

"This is one of the few makeup staples in my kit that I use regularly. The shades are suitable for daily use and also last throughout the day. I like the pigmented hues and the subtle tones that help me get elegant eye looks. Along with the brush, it's also good for carrying around and on-the-go touchups."


7. Eyeliner

Eyeliner is an integral part of any makeup look. It could be an elaborate cat-eye or a barely there, natural look that involves just a wee bit of eyeliner. If you’re not very skilled at applying it, it’s best to start off with a pencil eyeliner before moving on to a liquid one. However, you need to make space for both of these in your makeup bag.

The Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil is great for novices. It is super easy to use, and the formula itself is creamy, long-lasting, and waterproof. And the best part? It comes in 46 shades! What’s more? This pencil is free of animal testing and is vegan, ensuring a guilt-free experience. The brown and black shades are must-haves.

Number of Items: 1
protip_icon Quick Tip

Sharpen your eyeliner for a more detailed and dramatic look. Curl your toes while application to get a steady grip and cancel out shaky hands.

8. Mascara

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4.4
L?Oreal Paris Makeup Voluminous Original Volume Building Mascara Image: L'oreal Paris

A mascara, with its magical wand, can transform your eyes and instantly amp up those lashes with more volume, definition, and length. It is the one makeup tool that will instantly make you look bright-eyed in the morning (even if you did not get your full 8 hours of sleep). When you’re choosing a mascara, you need to consider factors like the brush shape and what the formula is designed to do.

The best mascara for beginners is the L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara. This drugstore makeup product from the celebrity-endorsed brand is incredibly pigmented and does not smudge or flake. It is tested by ophthalmologists to ensure it does not irritate the eyes.

Color: Washable Black Brown | Product Dimensions: 0.75 x 2.75 x 7.07 inches | Weight: 0.32 Ounces

Tip: It is best to curl your lashes BEFORE applying mascara because curling them afterward will not only break your lashes off but also get product all over your curler.

Pros

  • Clump-proof
  • Adds 5x volume
  • Conditions the lashes
  • Flake-free
  • Softens the lashes
  • Suitable for sensitive eyes and lens wearers

Cons

  • None

9. Makeup Brushes

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4.6

The way your makeup turns out depends a lot on the brushes that you use. As a beginner, you don’t need or want a dozen brushes in your makeup bag. You only need a few basic brushes that are perfect to start with.

We recommend trying the Real Techniques Core Collection or a Beauty Blender to start off. This makeup brush starter kit will come in handy for foundation application, concealing, contouring, and buffing.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • None
protip_icon Quick Tip

Use micellar water to clean your makeup brushes.

10. Compact

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4.1

A pressed powder or a compact comes to the rescue when you are in need of a quick touch-up. Carry it around in your bag because it is quick and easy to use and also helps seal your makeup. We highly recommend it to those with an oily or combination skin type.

Try the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Pressed Powder for picture-perfect, flawless skin. This translucent powder for beginners from the expert-recommended brand will help control excess shine on your face and give you natural coverage.

Product Dimensions: 3.1 x 3 x 1.6 inches | Weight: 0.11 Ounces

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Nourishing formula
  • Long-lasting
  • Velvety, silky finish
  • Smoothens the skin
  • Minimizes fine lines
  • Reduces oil and shine

Cons

  • No applicator pads

My Personal Experience

"I have used this pressed powder for everyday wear, and it offers a very natural finish without feeling heavy. It gives light to medium coverage and does not clog the pores or look cakey at midday. It's a good product to carry in my purse for touchups and quick saves."


11. Lipstick

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4.4

A good lipstick shade can not only help brighten up your face but also prevent it from looking washed out. And when it comes to lip color, the choices are infinite. If you are entirely new to lipstick, we suggest starting off with less pigmented hues and gradually moving to bolder shades.

Try the celebrity-favorite MAC Lipstick range in neutral shades before moving to darker ones. This high-end makeup product has always been a constant favorite of ours and will surely become your top choice too!

Skin Type: All | Color: 621 Instigator

Pros

  • Glides easily
  • Lightweight
  • Buildable coverage
  • Nourishing formula
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • Expensive
*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

To all the makeup amateurs – makeup is meant to enhance your natural beauty, not cover it up. You really only need a bunch of essentials to play around with different looks. Just keep it simple and real.

As a beginner, if you start with the wrong makeup products, you might lose faith in the art of makeup altogether. This is why it is crucial to consider a few things before you buy a makeup product. Let’s discuss them in the section below.

Factors To Consider While Buying A Makeup Product

  • Compatibility: Before you buy any product, understand your skin type. What are your skin tone and undertones? Buy a formula specifically made for your skin type and address issues you usually experience. Go for a shade that matches your skin tone and complements your skin undertone.
  • Ingredients: You will find many products with a huge list of ingredients. Stay away from the most common harsh ingredients used in makeup, like parabens, silicones, artificial fragrances, formaldehydes, and alcohol. Instead, look for gentle elements like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and organic natural extracts. If you have sensitive skin, look for products packed with dermatologist-tested ingredients to avoid irritation. And, if you follow a sustainable lifestyle, look for products that do not contain animal-derived ingredients and are not tested on animals.
  • Long-Lasting: Whether you are buying nail polish, a face cream, or a foundation, you would like it to be long-lasting. A long-wearing formula is always more desirable since you do not have to touch up on your look repeatedly.
  • Special Features: Most products come with special features like SPF, waterproof, smudge-proof, and streak-free. Choose a product with a combination of special features that best suit your needs.
  • Ease Of Application: Your beauty products must be easy to apply. They should not tug on your skin or form streaks. Makeup products must glide smoothly on your skin and offer a natural-looking finish.

If you have all your makeup items ready in your green room, let’s learn how a basic makeup look is done. Read the section below!

How To Apply Makeup (For Beginners)

  1. Always start by cleansing your face and patting it dry.
  2. Moisturize and prime your face and let it sink in.
  3. Use a little bit of concealer where you have a darker skin tone. Dab it until the margins are faded.
  4. Top it off with an even shade of foundation. Use a beauty blender to spread it evenly on all your face.
  5. If you want a little more coverage, apply another layer of foundation. And your base makeup is done!
  6. Move to your eyes to apply your eyeshadow, eyeliner, and finally your mascara.
  7. When you are satisfied with your eye look, you can use a blush and a highlighter if you wish. Blush goes on the apples of your cheeks, and a highlighter is for the high points on your face.
  8. Use a lip liner of the same shade as your lipstick to line the lips. Fill in the lips with the lipstick of your choice.
  9. Use a setting powder or a compact to set your look.

Note: Before you use any new makeup product on your whole face, perform a patch test. Apply the product on the inside of your arm and leave it for 24 hours. If the skin area feels irritated, do not use the product.

A basic makeup look is not very hard to master if you put some will and dedication into it. It can become even easier if you know a few makeup secrets. In the section below, let’s check out a few beginner makeup tips that will help you nail a basic makeup look.

Pro Makeup Tips For Beginners

  • Exfoliate and moisturize your lips thoroughly before applying lipstick. This will prevent the color from settling into creases or cracking.
  • Do your makeup under natural light. If natural light is not available, make sure your vanity is well lit.
  • Even if you are not using any eyebrow product, use a spoolie brush to groom it a little bit.
  • Stick to basic contouring for beginners, that is, highlighting cheekbones, nose bridge, and brow bones and emphasize other areas with a contour.
  • If your skin is not thoroughly moisturized, the products and the brushes will tug on your skin, and the finish will look cakey. So, be generous with your moisturizer.
  • If you are going for a winged eyeliner look, outline both eyes before filling them in. This way, you can ensure even wings on both sides.
  • If you are using an eyeliner brush (which gives you a little less control), you can use a spoon to guide your outline.
  • Dip a Q-tip in a makeup remover to correct any mishap in your eye or lip makeup.
  • Use a long-lasting primer and a setting powder to increase the longevity of your makeup look.
  • If you have oily skin, use a blotting paper to dab over your makeup before touching it up with your compact powder.
  • Blushes bring life to your makeup look. Never skip the blush.
  • If you want more volume in your eyelashes, apply a coat of mascara. Then buff some baby powder on your lashes and apply a second coat of mascara.
  • Always keep your brushes and sponges clean.
  • Always remove your makeup thoroughly before sleep to keep your skin healthy.

Infographic: 5 Must-Have Makeup Items For Beginners

If you are a newbie to the realm of beauty and makeup, seeing a wide range of products and not knowing which ones to get can be pretty daunting. Don’t worry! We are here to help. Check out the infographic below for a quick guide that will get you covered on the makeup essentials.

5 Must-Have Makeup Items For Beginners (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The Bottom Line

If you are new to the makeup world you need to know about the basics when it comes to makeup products and tools. There are plenty of options available in the market, and it might be overwhelming for you to know where to begin. In this article, we have listed all the products from a moisturizer to makeup brushes that you will need to achieve a full face of well-done makeup. For instance, the Moisturizer is essential to hydrate the skin and create a smooth makeup canvas. The Mascara instantly elevates your lashes, giving them volume, length, and definition. The Compact Powder sets makeup, controls shine, and maintains a polished appearance throughout the day. With this bunch of essentials, you can play around with different makeup looks. However, remember to conduct a patch test to check if a product suits your skin before incorporating it into your makeup kit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is primer necessary for makeup beginners?

Yes, primer is a necessary step in makeup. Applying primer will help your makeup to last longer.

What is the basic makeup?

The basic makeup includes concealer and foundation, along with a bit of liner and lip gloss to impart a natural look.

Is setting spray necessary for beginners?

Yes, a setting spray is the last step in your makeup routine to ensure it does not melt away.

What is the most important step in makeup?

Applying primer is the most important step in makeup. Whether you are going for full face makeup or only foundation, always apply primer to make it last longer.

What are the 3 primary colors in makeup?

Red, yellow, and blue are the three primary colors in makeup.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author of this article, Esha Saxena, is a makeup enthusiast. She keeps herself updated with the emerging makeup trends and spends hours exploring products related to makeup. This list of makeup products for beginners is curated after extensive research and reading many reviews from trusted platforms. The products included in the list make the beginners’ journey easy, and are a must-have.


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Tina Tempest

Tina TempestMakeup Artist & Hairstylist

Tina Tempest is a highly qualified makeup artist and hairstylist. She is extremely passionate about helping women feel confident and beautiful through the power of makeup. Tina teaches makeup artists and women from all backgrounds through her makeup masterclasses, in person, and online makeup videos. She also travels the country for weddings, creative makeup shoots, theatrical makeup, photoshoots, and all...read full bio

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