Basic Makeup Kit for Beginners on a Budget

If you’re just starting out in makeup, you’re probably interested in a makeup kit. I recommend you shop for a basic makeup kit for beginners on a budget to use for your everyday look.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on this. It is possible to get some great products that are very affordable price with modern formulas and colors that will work with your skin.

I’m going to give you some options and some brands that I like for budget-friendly beginner makeup kits. Instead of recommending specific products, I will guide you into some product categories. You will be able to pull together a full face makeup starter kit in no time at all.

Start with Complexion Makeup Products

Drugstore complexion products will work a lot better if you use a primer. From my personal experience, I can only skip the primer if I’m using a high-end foundation. Of course, if you want to reapply your makeup midday, then skip the primer. It saves you the cost of buying an additional product.

Wet and wild and elf have some of the best primers in the drugstore. I consider them all to be affordable. If you have oily skin look for a mattifying primer.

If you are in a hurry just throw a foundation in your makeup bag to get started. But for a more complete beginner’s bag, include a primer too.

If you have dry skin look for a blurring primer. Look for a gripping primer, if you’re concerned with your makeup wearing off too soon.

The purpose of wearing a primer is twofold. The first is to have your foundation look better. The second is to make it wear longer on your face. Your higher-priced foundation product goes further if you wear a less expensive primer underneath.

BB Cream and Tinted Moisturizers

You may not need foundation, you may be happier with a BB cream, a CC cream, a skin tint, or a tinted moisturizer.

A basic makeup kit for beginners on a budget often contains a BB Cream or Tinted Moisturizers instead of a higher-priced face primer and foundation. Both the BB Cream and the tinted moisturizers are multi-purpose products. this stretches your money a bit further since one product replaces two.

These are all-in-one products that don’t typically offer as much coverage but still smooth out your skin complexion and skin tone a bit.

If you need more coverage than a BB Cream or tinted moisturizer can provide; opt for a medium coverage or full coverage foundation designed for mature skin.

Makeup Powder

Finishing powder or setting powder is another product that most women wear over their foundation. The finishing powder is more opaque. This type of powder gives a more seamless look to your skin if you wear it over your foundation. It’s not for everyone, it’s definitely not a natural look.

Setting powder will help you greatly if you have oily skin. It’s more translucent. You will get a much longer where time with your foundation if you will “set” your foundation with powder. You can use a brush or a powder puff for application, each has its pros and cons.

If you have dry skin or normal skin you may be able to get by without powder. I would wait and see how your foundation wears first before adding this to your makeup kit. It’s just another step and another level of complexity. I have a detailed article, Best Setting Powder for Mature Skin Over 50, that also speaks to this topic.

Brows are optional

If you’re over 40 years old you may want to add a brow pencil to your beginners makeup kit. I’ve been wearing makeup for a while, so I use a more elaborate three-step brow process. Keep in mind I’m 58 years old and my eyebrows need a lot of help.

But for most people under the age of 50, you can get by with just a brow pencil. These are usually economical. I can’t tell I whole lot of difference between the Super cheap ones at the drugstore and the pricier drugstore brands such as L’Oreal or Nicks.

Basic Eyeshadow for a Beginner Kit

Your beginner makeup kit definitely needs a small eyeshadow palette. Pick something that’s considered nude for your skin tone.

If you are light-skinned you’re going to pick an eye shadow palette with lighter colors. If you’re dark-skinned you’re gonna pick up a palette with darker tones.

This is generally cheaper than buying a larger palette that contains a full range of colors. Most people find out they only wear three or four colors in a large palette over and over for their everyday look.

Eyeshadow Palettes are Overwhelming for Beginners

It is really easy to get overwhelmed by eye shadow. The market for eye shadow is crazy. There are huge palettes, tiny palettes, themed palettes, every sort of palette you can ever imagine is available for eyeshadow.

Start with one. Buy some inexpensive eye shadow brushes have a little fun and enjoy yourself. You can always buy more trust me you probably will buy more.

Every beginner makeup kit needs two or three matte powder eye shadows that are neutral or nude. Later as you build a larger makeup kit you can wear these nude colors with the more exciting colors.

Most makeup tutorials will start with a base neutral color all over the lid as a blending color. Then the other colors are put on top and blend this color into this color.

Don’t forget to include 3-4 travel size makeup brushes to your kit if you are choosing to use powder eyeshadows. They are nearly impossible to apply with just your fingers.

You can buy single matte powder eye shadows in almost every drugstore brand for this purpose. Wet and wild Color Icon single shadows are usually priced just over $1. This one tiny product is iconic. Women in all income brackets swear by this eyeshadow as your to go – one and done – neutral eyeshadow. Pick a matte color close to your skin tone. It’s commonly referred to as the “your eyes but better look”.

Almost everyone looks better with mascara

Next up, I definitely think you should add mascara to your beginner’s makeup kit. Hands down the best choice is Lash Princess false lash mascara from essence. It’s highly rated. Everyone raves about it it works for almost everyone. It is only three dollars. You may not be able to find it in your local stores, but it’s easily available on Amazon.

It’s worth mentioning that Maybelline is also very well-known for good mascaras too. My personal favorite Maybelline mascara is called Sky High Lengthening Mascara.

Keep in mind that mascara formulas are very personal. You will most likely need to try 3-4 different types before you find one you really like. Try waterproof vs regular, lengthening, or volumizing. Also, try brownish-black if you feel like black is too harsh with your natural hair and skin color.

To build your basic makeup kit for beginners on a budget, I would opt for a regular formula because waterproof mascara will often require you to purchase an eye makeup remover to use every night.

Typically all makeup kits will contain some color for your face. What I mean when I say that is blush. If you have the budget you can add a bronzer and blush, but that is not always necessary. I notice the 20-somethings wear only bronzers now, so that is a look that may work for you.

Most of us want a blush. Powder blush is the most popular formula, as well as beginner friendly. It typically wears a little longer requiring fewer touch-ups.

Read: Pat McGrath Mascara Dupes

Revlon powder blush seems to come in at the top of everyone’s list year after year. It is not a new or exciting product, it’s a workhorse. I think you’ll be very pleased if you select this one. I’m personally not crazy about the powder blushes from elf or wet and wild.

Do I need eyeliner?

I’d suggest holding off on eyeliner until you get used to wearing your eye shadow and mascara. Practice makes perfect. As you practice every day with your eye shadow you will become more adept at blending it. And you’ll feel more confident wearing it. And then it might be time to add your eyeliner.

Not to make things sound too complicated, but it’s sort of like learning any other skill.

Add lip color to your beginner’s makeup kit

Complete your budget-friendly beginners’ makeup kit with a lip color. If you can only choose one color, pick something that is just a shade or two more intense than your natural lip color. One of the Trident rude most budget friendly lipsticks on the market is from wet and wild. They generally just over a dollar each. You can experiment with different colors this way and still stay on a budget.

after you’ve played with different lip colors for a while, you will tend to have a better idea of which color ranges you like the best. Then you can branch out and try some other brands in those same shades. Formulas vary greatly, as well as longevity.

Lip stains wear longest but can be drying. Matte and cream lipsticks are a sure bet and come in a larger selection of colors.

I personally prefer a glossy lip balm-type lip color. These are more hydrating on my more mature lips.

Lipliner is optional for beginners makeup kit on a budget.

You can probably do without lip liner and your life will be complete. A beginner makeup kit doesn’t necessarily need a lip liner in it. It’s just making things harder while you’re getting used to applying lipstick.

The biggest challenge with lipstick is it wears off way faster than any other makeup product that you have. So if you want to have color on your lips all day. You have to reapply it quite frequently. Another problem with lip color is it wears off in weird patterns. It’s not like it all wears off at once.

Although lip liner is optional in a beginner’s makeup kit, there are advantages to starting out with it right away.

It helps your lip color from feathering into the wrinkles in your lips. Lipliner also helps your lip color last a little longer. Some people use lip liner all over their lips and then apply their lipstick or lip gloss or lip balm on top of that. When the lipstick wears off the lip liner is usually still there.

I say keep things simple at first and explore lipstick lip balms lip glosses first then at the next level of complexity which is using a lip liner first.

Be sure to include a met all-around good cleanser, as part of your beginner makeup kit. Taking your makeup off is just as important as putting it on. You will avoid so many problems with your skin if you can get in the habit of taking your makeup off every single night and cleansing your face.

Skincare kit is a whole different topic. It is not covered in this article. I highly recommend you grab a simple moisturizer at the same time if you are not already using one. If you’re on a very tight budget, store brands usually have a decent cleanser and daily moisturizer on the shelves. These generic products can save you a lot of money.

Basic Budget Makeup Kit for Beginners

I hope this helps you put together your basic makeup kit for beginners on a budget.

I take a little bit of a more practical approach. When you’re just starting to wear makeup it can be completely overwhelming to walk around the makeup aisles at the store. Building a well functioning makeup bag can be a bit of a challenge.

It’s even more intimidating to look at all the fancy stuff behind the glass counters. When I first began wearing makeup, the salespeople seemed to be pushing me to spend more than I want to.

Start slow enjoy the ride you can always buy more later. Most of us do buy more later. As you get older you may need more products for your everyday look to feel confident with your make up look. Lots of women enjoy wearing just two or three products in their basic kit.

For instance, they like lipstick mascara, and brow pencils. They skip the foundation powder and blush. Others just actually like to add a little color to their face with blush and lipstick.

There are a million different variations on a complete makeup kit. If you’re wanting a full face and makeup each day then you’ll enjoy more items in your kit. I would avoid buying those huge boxes full of lots and lots of different products for one price.

You will be disappointed in the results. It’s better to buy a few individual products and get used to using them. After this, you then add more products one by one.

Keep your receipts

My final and most important piece of advice is to keep your receipts. Just to make sure you heard me I’m gonna repeat it one more time and say keep your receipts.

Yes, you can return makeup back to almost any store. Even if you’ve tried it for several days in a row, you can still get a refund.

I’ve never had a store deny me a refund on makeup when I returned it if I had the receipt. Not everything will work for everyone and if you’re on a budget this will help you immensely.