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    How to Build a Beginner’s Makeup Collection!

    Posted by Gin Mabey on Nov 14, 2018

    how to build a beginners makeup collection

    How to Put Together a Beginner’s Makeup Collection!

    Perhaps you have a daughter, son, niece, nephew, or friend who is just starting out with makeup. Or you may be introducing makeup to your own routine. It can be very overwhelming when trying to choose makeup products when you really have no idea which are necessary and which can be left on the shelf. You may be thinking “do I need highlighter?”, “what about contour, is that necessary?”, “what kind of foundation should I buy?!”.

    Here is my guide to putting together a small but versatile starter kit for makeup beginners!

    1. Base 

    A BB cream, CC cream, or tinted moisturizer will be more than enough for young makeup wearers with perfect skin. For older wearers or those who want a little more coverage, a liquid foundation with a buildable coverage will be perfect. This means they can work with a small amount of product, get used to the application and coverage, and add more if they need to.

    I would go for a satin or dewy finish as opposed to a matte finish, as matte skin may feel too heavy and unfamiliar to a first-time makeup user. I would recommend the Mac Face and Body Foundation ($30.00), as it is comfortable, easy to apply with the fingers, and buildable. For a more affordable option, the Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth ($7.99) offers a pretty, dewy finish and is easy to blend with the fingers, sponge, or brush.

    best foundations for beginners makeup collection

    2. Concealer 

    Concealer is a key feature in anyone’s makeup bag. Something like the LA Girl Pro Conceal ($5.00) is easy to work with for blemishes and redness, and very affordable. For under the eyes, you can’t go wrong with the Maybelline Age Rewind ($9.99). It has a sponge tip and is so blendable you really can’t mess it up.

    best concealer for beginners makeup collection

    3. Cheeks 

    Brightening the cheeks is important, as it adds color and dimension without looking too made up. A cream blush is best for beginners as you can simply pat it onto the cheeks with your fingertips. Try the Stila Convertible Color ($25), it’s expensive but it’s easy to apply and can be used on the lips too. A highlight isn’t totally necessary, but I can’t live without it so I’d hate to deprive someone else! The LA Girl Velvet Contour Hi-Lite Stick ($6.00) in the shade “Radiance”is a super easy highlight to swipe right onto the cheekbones or dab with the fingers over the brow bone. Cheeks done!

    4. Eyes 

    One palette, one eyeliner, mascara, and a brow product is all a beginner will need. Something like the LiveGlam ShadowMe Marbled L.A. palette ($19.99 for members, $26.99 for non-members) gives a beginner a range of subtle shades to practice with, as well as a couple of darker colors to experiment with deeper shading and shaping the eyes. Add a brown or black eye pencil for defining the lash line, and a mascara for opening the eyes. A clear brow gel such as the Rimmel Brow This Way Brow Styling Gel ($4.59 at CVS) will set the brows with ease. If they have pale brows and want more definition, I recommend getting them tinted so they don’t have to bother with shaping and shading the brows themselves. As they get used to creating eye looks, they can add different colors and textures to their collection.

    best eyeshadow for beginners makeup collection

    5. Lips 

    I recommend a nude lipstick, a bright lipstick, and a sheer gloss for beginners. A nude lipstick will serve as their everyday shade and ease them into applying and wearing a lipstick. A bright color can be used as a light stain, or eventually as a full-on feature look. A sheer gloss with a pinky or peachy tone is flattering on everyone, and the easiest lip product to keep handy for a mirror-free application on the go. As the seasons change, they can add new lip products to the collection.

    The LiveGlam KissMe liquid lipstick in Slaylor ($10) is a bright pink to flatter all skin tones, great for keeping as an option for a bold lip. The LiveGlam KissMe liquid lipstick in Champagne Kisses ($10) is a braver nude option for beginners who gravitate to a shinier, more metallic finish. Take your makeup newbie out to the drugstore and have fun swatching and playing with different shades to find the right ones for them.

    best lipsticks for beginner makeup collection

    6. Tools 

    A large eyeshadow makeup brush, a smaller crease brush, a small liner brush, and a powder brush is all a beginner needs. A fresh spoolie for the brows also comes in handy. Don’t bombard them with too many brushes and tools, as it will just get confusing! And remember, your fingertips are often the best tool for applying cream products as the warmth of the skin helps to melt product into the face. You also have complete control of blending when you use clean fingers, so don’t feel as though a multitude of brushes is necessary at first.


    When it comes to foundation and concealer shades, it’s best if they’re matched on the person who will be using them. You could buy a gift card to give to your makeup-newbie friend, and offer to go with them to help pick the right shades. For eyeshadows, blush, liners, lips, and mascara you can go ahead and purchase those for them if you’re planning on giving them a makeup package as a gift. Pop a few brushes in there and you’ve got the perfect kit for the makeup beginner in your life, or for yourself!

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    Gin Mabey

    Gin is a beauty enthusiast with a passion for makeup she's had since kindergarten when she would raid her Mum's makeup drawer. When she's not playing with new products and writing about makeup, she's a theatre actress, director and producer.

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