I am fairly sure that we all have some regrets about our early days of makeup, I know I certainly do – oh the panda eyes. So I decided to look at what are my staples of makeup and what I’d recommend to someone just starting out on their makeup journey and here is what I’d put in a makeup starter kit:
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend all of these items to begin with, but this is also my staple makeup kit for travelling light, so here goes!
I know that moisturiser isn’t technically makeup but I honestly cannot think of anything more important in my daily facial routine so I had to include it. I recommend having a daily moisturiser with SPF 15 at least in it, especially if you are fair skinned and maybe add in a night time moisturiser too once you’re into that routine as you probably don’t want to bombard your skin with too many new products at once and if you’re younger then you probably don’t need both, but moisturising from a young age is important too.
These are a few options of moisturiser that I could recommend, but don’t forget to take your own skin type into account!
- Avon Solutions Complete Balance Day Cream (not currently available –similar here)
- Nivea Q-10 Plus Energising Day Cream (or similar non-anti-wrinkle)
- Boots Botanics Mattifying Day Cream (not currently available – similar here)
I personally prefer these cream concealers as opposed to the liquid ones, which I feel are more suited to those who also wear foundation, but as I don’t and would recommend not wearing it for as long as you can get away with it, I much prefer these for blending into the skin as they are forgiving to being blended in with your fingers as well as being great with makeup brushes, sponges, or beauty blenders. Some are creamier than others, but you just need to find one that works for you!
A few tried, tested and approved by me are:
- Miss Sporty So Perfect Stay Concealer
- Natural Collection Cover-up Stick
- Collection Cover Up Stick
- Miss Sporty So Clear Anti-Spot Concealer
For me pressed powder is a must, and always has been; it just takes the shine off your face without adding a thick layer of makeup which will hugely dry out your skin. I frequently just wear pressed powder and a coat of mascara and am ready to go. It’s great for evening out your skin tone a little, taking the shine off in any problem areas and disguising redness. My all time favourite is the Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder as it is just amazing at its job and comes in a range of shades that really work for my skin tone all year round, but I’d also recommend the Natural Collection Pressed Powder if you’re looking for an even cheaper option to give it a try.
Something that has never left my beauty routine and I never leave the house without is lip salve. I have a variety of flavours and with a hint of colour, glitter, neither, or both. They’re so versatile and keep your lips healthy and moisturised and I always put it on at the start of my makeup routine, even if I will later be applying lipstick.
A few to recommend are:
- The slightly rosy toned Vaseline Soft Rosé
- The completely plain Vaseline Lip Therapy + SPF15
- The bright pink toned Collection Pink Strawberry Lip Balm
- The pink and slightly glittery Blister Lip Brilliance
Neutral Eyeshadow Palettes:
My most used palettes are definitely the neutral ones, and I feel like it is so much harder to mess up with a neutral look than with a bold and bright colour. If you want to experiment with eyeshadows it is definitely best to start with neutrals and there are so many great neutrals palettes out there for all sorts of price ranges.
A few I recommend are:
- A cheaper option – Revolution Redemption Palette in Iconic 1
- A more expensive option – Urban Decay Naked Palette
- A more travel-sized option – NYC Individual Eyes Palette
I feel like mascara is such a must in any girls makeup bag and you can see I like to have my options as this isn’t even half my collection. I switch up mascaras so frequently, rarely buying the same one twice and like to have a range of options: they are probably the makeup product I have the most of after lipsticks. I wouldn’t recommend waterproof mascara if you’re new to wearing mascara, and go for a brown/black rather than a completely black to make it seem more natural to begin with, but if you’re going on holiday then waterproof is a must! If you’re unsure then maybe start with some travel-sized ones to try them out, like the two below you can see are much smaller:
Mascara is a very individual thing and every girl wants something slightly different because we all have very different lashes; I, for example, need volume and darkening for my lashes as they are really blonde for over half their length, but are actually pretty long, but for some women it’s really important to lengthen them so I can recommend a few mascara options, but this is a pretty individual thing and mine are all geared towards volumising pretty much:
- NYC Big and Bold Mascara
- MUA Mega Volume
- MUA eXtreme Volume
- Max Factor False Lash Effect (or the Waterproof version)
- Max Factor Masterpiece
- 17 Va Va Voom
This is such an essential for me to keep my brows in place, and is also great if you want a light mascara day where you want to make the most of how they are naturally, without adding any coloured mascaras. My favourite has always been the Natural Collection Lashcare Mascara, but clear mascara is pretty much just clear mascara.
I never really thought that lash curlers were all that important when it came to my beauty routine, but since adding it into my routine I can’t imagine not curling them. It makes the most of your natural lashes and now I never have to wear falsies; which is uh-may-zing because I seriously struggle with that eyelash glue. Mine are from No7, but so long as you invest at least £5 in a decent set you can’t really go wrong.
I don’t think that eyeliner is an essential to a newbie, but it’s certainly something that a lot of us wear a lot of the time, I have two options; one which isn’t waterproof and has been my favourite for so long and is completely irreplaceable to me from Natural Collection, and one Waterproof one from Collection. Eyeliner is a staple in my makeup routine a lot of the time so I felt it needed to be said, but I seriously recommend learning to use liquid or gel liner for your top lash line as it just stays so much longer.
I would recommend starting out with some neutral lipsticks as I often found they would wear throughout the day and I wouldn’t notice, but with natural lipsticks other people aren’t likely to notice either. I love a bold red lip, but neutrals are still my favourites and my go-to.
These are a few starter recommendations I have which come in a variety of colours:
- Natural Collection Moisture Shine
- Estée Lauder Pure Colour Lipstick
- Maybelline Colour Sensational
- Rimmel Lasting Finish
Highlight and Contour:
Highlighting and contouring have become so popular so I felt like I couldn’t not mention my favourite products for this technique but it is by no means necessary. I like to use a contour kit, a bronzer and both a cream and powder highlighter, but if you’re new to all this then I’d try with either a contour kit (I recommend the 17 Define & Conquer Contour Kit to start off with) or combining a powder bronzer and powder highlighter before building on that and using them all. My current favourite bronzer is the Collection Bronze Glow Bronzer and you can choose that in either a shimmering or a matte shade, and my favourite powder highlighter is the Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter as it just gives a sheer highlighted glow and doesn’t overpower.
I hope you enjoyed this as I really enjoyed writing this and thinking about what my absolute essentials are and what I’d be telling myself to buy if I could start all over again. My advice is to try out neutrals and natural looking things and building on it from there. I was so afraid of eyeshadows until I was in my 20’s and really wish I hadn’t been because I love them now. I love makeup and I love to play with it and it’s completely my own thing and everyone is different and individual so you do you and stay beautiful.