It's difficult to find the right makeup when you're just starting, especially when you're trying to figure out what works best. More and more beauty brands are releasing new eyeshadow palettes, lipsticks, and foundations every season, so putting together a timeless kit seems like a daunting task. With the growth of numerous online businesses, there has also been a surge in entrepreneurs selling products that are mild and nourishing, as well as representing a more comprehensive skincare programme.
So yes, it was just a challenge for me as it might be for you, but I hope my top suggestions below give you an idea of what you should look out for and what you need to create that ultimate curated makeup starter kit for every woman or man.
Must-haves in your curated makeup starter kit
1. Moisturiser and Primer
A good starting point is always having a good base before you put on your foundation, and that is ensuring that your skin is well moisturised and protected as well as primed. This creates a good base that allows a better application of your makeup. The moisturiser you buy should match your skin type and its needs. As for the primer, this should be included in your starter kit to help your makeup last longer, create a more flawless look, and prevent any shininess (depending on the type of primer). Some primers creating a buzz include Huda Beauty, Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow, Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch and Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer.
2. Makeup Brushes & Tools
Aside from having a good base, another thing that impacts the way your makeup will look is making sure you have all the right tools in place to ensure a better application process. Whilst some people prefer beauty blenders to brushes, the basic starter kit should include the following brushes: a foundation brush, a concealer brush, an eyebrow brush (preferably double-ended with a spoolie), a blending brush, an eyeshadow brush (perhaps a few of these to minimise the cleaning), a fan brush, a contour brush, and a large powder brush. If you are on a budget check Out Amazon. However, brands like Sigma, Real Techniques, and Zoeva all are great cost-effective options. Aside from brushes and beauty blenders, also consider having makeup wipes, q-tips to help clean up an excessive fall out from your eyeshadow, or just for a more clean look. You’ll need them until you’re used to how each product works and how much to apply.
3. Eyebrow Products
Eyebrows help frame your face and can give more definition to it. it's amazing what a good pomade or eyebrow liner can do for them! It definitely can help bring your face to life (in a non-creepy way). Some of our favourite eyebrow must-haves are the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, and Tom Ford Brow Sculptor, but if you are on a budget try the Barry M Brow Wow, which retails for under £6.
Since you are starting, I recommend keeping it simple by purchasing a more neutral palette, as it can be difficult to get the blending technique right in the first few stages of use. If you are on a budget, check out drugstore brands such as Makeup Revolution. If budget is not an issue, then check out brands like NARS, and Juvia’s Place as they have a wider range of palettes.
5. Eyeliner - If you want to give your eyes a bit of pop and make them stand out on top of your new eyeshadow technique, why not add a good eyeliner to your starter makeup kit? Some of my favourites are NYX Professional Makeup Matte Liquid Liner (affordable, great intensity and lasts throughout the day), Charlotte Tilbury Rock ‘N’ Kohl Eyeliner Pencil (comes in different shades), or Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner.
6. Concealer and Foundation - Having concealer helps to hide any blemishes or dark circles when topped with the right foundation. Together, they can create a more flawless look. Some of my favourite concealers are Black Opal Concealer, UOMA Beauty Stay Woke Concealer, Too Faced Born This Way Super Coverage Concealer, Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Concealer, and, if you want to splurge, then why not try the Tom Ford Emotion Proof Concealer? It’s worth it, I promise. As for foundation, it depends on your skin type and what you want to achieve. However, some of my foundation brands for the foundation are Fenty Beauty (especially the Pro Filter Soft Matte Long Wear Foundation), Charlotte Tilbury, L'Oréal Paris, Huda Beauty, and Pat McGrath.
7. Mascara - to me, speaks volumes — literally. It definitely can add more to your eye makeup and helps create more boldness to the eye for that true finishing touch. There are so many mascaras out there and the best way to choose is to have an idea of what you want to achieve. For example, are you looking for length? Are you looking for more thickness? Those are the questions you need to ask yourself when shopping for the right mascara. It's more about the wand and what the application will be like. Some of my favourites are L’oreal Paris Air Volume Mega Mascara (affordable), Nars Climax Extreme Mascara (great for lengthening), or Christian Louboutin’s Les Yeux Noirs Mascara, which is definitely worth the price.
8. Lipstick - To add a pop of colour elsewhere, definitely consider having three to four lip kits. They can include lipstick right down to lip gloss, as lip kits are subjective. I also recommend sticking to neutrals, but have one pop of colour for those special occasions or just when you want something new or different. Also consider topping your lip kit up by adding a lipliner, too. It gives you a longer-lasting and sleek finish. As for recommendations, we prefer Fenty Beauty, Charlotte Tilbury (especially Matte Revolution), MAC or Pat Mcgrath. (For that bold vibrant colour, check out my article on wearing red lipstick from the high end to the high street).
9. Setting Powder - To ensure your makeup stays in place and lasts longer, add a setting powder as well as a setting spray. Not only does it help with your makeup lasting longer, but depending on the brand, can help to reduce shininess as your face builds up oils throughout the day. Some of my favourites are the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder (great for oily skin), the Kevyn Aucoin Loose Powder and Chanel Poudre Universelle. A setting powder is well worth the extra step!
10. Blush, Highlighter and Contour - If you want to add some warmth, colour, and more definition to your jawline, nose etc, contouring is crucial! Blush brings warmth to your face, whilst a highlighter helps reflect light onto your face and brings more of a glow. Contouring sticks or creams can help enhance, as well as define, certain features on your face, too. One of our favourite brands for this is Fenty Beauty.