From Nothing to Something – 9 essentials to building a makeup kit.

Image by Psoup215 on flickr

If you know nothing about makeup and cosmetics, having to step into the shiny cosmetic halls of myers can be daunting and scary. I remember the first time approaching the cosmetic counters and feeling like the stupidest person on earth. I remember how scared and nervous I felt and how sure I was that the sales assistants were going to think I was such a big idiot.

And you know what, if the first counter I had approached was MAC with its amazing reputation of SAs who bite your head off, I’d probably never be sitting here today surrounded by my vast collection of my makeup products and loving it quite like I do now.

Everybody has to start from somewhere. Amazing MUAs were not born that way. Huge beauty product collectors started from a humble foundation once upon a time. If you are newly starting out, don’t despair. If you are reading this, you are already making a first good step – research.

If you are looking to build a good basic kit, here are my recommendations on what you should have in your beginner’s kit and also my current fave product for it.

1. Face Primer

Never start the day without face primer. It smooths out your face, primes your face and gets it ready for all the makeup and powders that are going onto your face. That flawless complexion starts from a good face primer.

I use: Face of Australia’s Face Base Primer

2. Eyelid primer

A must for folks with oily lids (like me!) Before I started using an eyelid primer, I was wondering why my liner was transferring to my lower eye area. By the end of the day, I was looking like a panda and here I thought I was just feeling really tired! But ever since I started using the primer potion, my panda days are over and I’ve never had an issue since.

I use: Urban Decay’s Primer Potion

3. Foundation

Foundation is a no brainer. Unless you were blessed with amazing skin, all of us do tend to need something to smooth out our complexion. Getting a good foundation to match your skin is paramount as you really don’t want to be seen as though you are wearing a mask. Use brushes or sponges to blend it out well so you have a flawless base.

An alternative to foundation can be BB cream. That’s what I prefer to use. Much like a tinted moisturizer, bb creams are light and perfect for warm weathers. However seeing as we are moving back into colder months, I will be getting some new foundations to add to my collection.

Brands I use: Bobbi Brown, Illamasqua, Bloom

4. Concealer

This may or may not be necessary for you but it is always handy to have around to cover up red spots, dark circles or those irritating zits. The correct concealer is very important as you want to lighten the spots enough to blend in but not too much that you highlight the area.

I use: Bobbi Brown’s Corrector and Concealer

5. Eyeliner

Nothing makes the eye more than eyeliner. I learnt this way way, WAY too late into my learning makeup career. You can put all the colour you want, but if you don’t line your eyes to define them.. well, sister, you just ain’t working hard enough.

I prefer liquid eyeliner over every other one because it goes on with such ease. You may need a few practice runs to get the hang of it, but in my opinion, it is the king of all eyeliner types. Plus who doesn’t love a good wing eyeliner?

I use: Benefit’s Magic Ink.

6. Eyeshadow

There are so many different eyeshadow palettes or single eyeshadow pots out there. Where do you start, and which brand do you go for? Many people say that huge eyeshadow palettes (88 colours, 150 colours etc) scare them. But in my opinion, that’s actually the best place to start. If you are new to makeup, would you know which colours suit you? The colours that may suit your eyes, features and face may not necessarily be the colours you wear with your clothes. So what better way than to get a huge palette that contains all sorts of different colours from neutrals to vibrant and try, try, try? One may argue that you can never imagine yourself wearing colour. But you never know till you try. If you have the option and the resources to (in that very same palette), you never know that one day you might actually feel curious enough to try a different colour.

I use: Coastal Scents 88 colour palette

7. Mascara

Mascara can be a tricky one. What works for me might not work for you depending on how your lashes are. I also find that I can be allergic to quite a few different mascaras. They make my eyes water.

But getting a good mascara is essential. They frame your eyes and when done well, can really make your eyes go va-va-voom. People say that eyes are the windows to the soul, so it makes sense that you’d do your best to make sure those windows have the prettiest curtains ever.

I use: YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils

8. Blush

I’ve often had friends or readers who are starting out in makeup comment on the fact that putting blush on made them feel like clowns.
Damn them clowns for putting that idea into their heads! Blush isn’t meant to make you look like you have pink painted onto your cheeks. A gentle dab and some artful blending will give you rosy cheeks and a healthy glow. Always remember to tap the excess off the brush before putting it on your cheeks. And smile!

I use: Face of Australia’s Outback Primrose

9. Lipstick

Don’t forget those lips! More often than not, if people arent’ looking at your eyes, they’ll be drawn to your mouth. So make sure your lips are well hydrated, not flaking dead skin and looking absolutely to kill with your best lipstick. To be honest, it’s actually quite hard to keep to the one lipstick as you’d be swapping colours to suit what you wear and the rest of your makeup. But I do believe that every girl needs to have that one bright lippy in the collection. One bright lippy, one nude, and one pink. Bare minimum.

I use: MAC’s Heartless

I hope that was helpful, even by a little tiny bit! For all of you girls starting out and building your kit, don’t worry! It can be very daunting and truthfully, it took me a good 4 years before I really got into it. And you are definitely not required to buy every single release that comes out. No need to go broke to look good. Just spend some time playing with a few different products, doing your research and you will get the hang of it before long.

Good luck!


13 Responses to "From Nothing to Something – 9 essentials to building a makeup kit."

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  1. Neena

    May 25, 2011 at 11:59 am

    The first counter I went to was MAC! I felt like such an idiot, I didn’t realize how much it would cost for a 266 brush and a fluidline! :/
    Neena recently posted..Swatch Time! MAC Lip Products

  2. Michelle

    May 25, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    MAC sales assistants are petrifying. d:
    Michelle recently posted..Wednesday Wishlist

  3. Nessbow

    May 25, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    What a great post. I totally agree with you about massive eyeshadow palettes. Sometimes, having all those colours at your fingertips is enough to inspire you to try new colours and blends.
    Also, I bought my frist BB cream today, and I’m now wondering how I ever lived without this stuff. It’s magic!
    Nessbow recently posted..Surviving In A New City

  4. Claire

    May 28, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Now if only I had the money to actually start buying make-up that works :P

    • Claire

      May 28, 2011 at 6:00 pm

      p.s Great post! Its all really helpful and informative :D

    • Shawna

      March 4, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      Check out ELF. They have great makeup, and are inexpensive. Also, if you check your local mall, in Claires/Ice, they have palates of 120 for $20. ELF has primers of all sorts, as well, which helps concealer stay put. There is no need to spend ridiculous amounts of money on make up….especially since its like coffee: you buy it, but cant keep it.

      • Celeste

        March 13, 2012 at 10:31 am

        Thanks Shawna, ELF does have some awesome products that are incredible value for money!

  5. Jeneara

    June 3, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Great List!
    I live in SA too and i’m just wondering were you go to buy your Benefit’s Magic Ink. I’ve been looking for a good liquid eyeliner but can’t seem to find a brand i like.

    Jeneara recently posted..Update 28-05-11

    • Celeste

      June 3, 2011 at 11:13 am

      I got mine from Sephora, but you can purchase them from the Benefit counter from Myers. I definitely recommend trying out Benefit’s. I’ve tried so many different brands and still go back to my magic ink liner!

  6. Claire

    June 17, 2011 at 6:14 am

    Where did you get your costal sense palette?

    • Celeste

      June 17, 2011 at 9:33 am

      Hi Claire, Coastal Scents ships internationally via their website so you can obtain them through the website directly. =)

  7. Courtney

    December 29, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    I have everything but the primers! I saw a deal at Nordstrom Rack for both face and eyelid primer, which I should’ve bought at $11! But, I usually get pretty good deals at: too.

    • Celeste

      January 16, 2012 at 2:54 am

      Ahhh, hopefully you get to pick up primers later on then, as primers are really quite important! They allow colours to pop more and last longer plus prepares our face to be a much better canvas. Love my primers!


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