Tips | Basic Drugstore Make Up Items for Beginners

When you are new to makeup, especially when you are still in school or not working, you do not need to spend a ton of money on beauty products.  I always tell people that you slowly acquire beauty items through the years and as your budget allows, you will also learn which products to keep and to discard, whether they are drugstore or high end.  I was telling the Mr. about when I started to use makeup and what products I used (literally one to two items from Wet N Wild) and it was pretty funny remembering how clueless I was back in the day.  This is probably why it took me so long (other than my extremely sensitive skin and allergies) to get into makeup (I started trying out more stuff in 2011, like six years ago).  

Anyway, these are the following products that I would recommend to any makeup beginner and why. I also did a video on this topic on my YouTube channel back when I was active, but honestly, that one might have been an overkill because I provided alternatives on every single category.  I did not have  a highlighter (surprise, surprise) on this beginners because not everyone who is new to makeup will be using a highlighter.  I feel that highlighters are not a "basic need" for a beginners kit, but should anyone feel like going one step further early on, they can always use any shimmer eyeshadow as a highlighter (the L'Oreal Infallible 24HR Single Eyeshadow in Iced Latte which is what is on this photo, will make a good highlighter).  I also did not include a brow powder as you can use an eyeshadow shade that matches your brows as an alternative for those.  A couple of other items I did not include are eyeliners (those require a higher skill level) and false eyelashes (I do not use them so I will not recommend something I do not use, plus again, it requires a higher skill and comfort level).

1. NYX Angel Veil Primer ($15.99, Ulta) - This is a great oil-free primer for all skin-types.

2. L'Oreal Infallible Pro Glow Foundation ($12.99, Walgreens) - This is my favorite drugstore foundation.  It provides a good coverage and can be built up.  There is also the matte version of this foundation for those who have oily skin.  If you have combination skin, you might want to mix the two formula as recommended by many YouTube Beauty Gurus.

3. Milani Retouch + Erase Light Lifting Concealer ($8.99, Walgreens) - This is my favorite drugstore concealer.  It is similar to the Tarte Shape Tape although not a dupe and for a cheaper price.

4. No 7 Match Made Brozer ($12.99, Ulta and Target) - The quality and texture of this bronzer is beautiful. They have shades available for light, medium and dark skin tones.  I did not recommend the Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer because they only have two shades and there is not a lot of difference between the two shades.

5. Milani Baked Blushes ($7.99, Target) - These are my favorite drugstore blushes.  Of course, I love it even more that they are baked.  They have a wide range of colors and finishes (they also have matte ones).  They provide a nice flush of color and luminosity to the skin.

6. E.L.F. Beautifully Bare Sheer Tint Finishing Powder ($6.00, E.L.F. Stores, Target and Ulta) - This is a nice overall setting powder for the face.  I prefer a baked overall setting powder, but for a drugstore brand, this is lightweight but you can build it up if you want.  It does not look cakey on the face.

7. NYX HD Finishing Powder in Banana ($9.99, Ulta, CVS) - This is probably my favorite undereye setting powder from the drugstore (as you can see on the photo, I have hit pan).  I use this to brighten the undereye area but if you have a lighter skin tone, you can probably use this as an overall setting powder.

8. Milani Everyday Eyes Eyeshadow Palette ($8.99, Target) - I specifically used this palette and the shade "Bare Necessities" because not everyone will be comfortable with a bold and colorful look in the beginning.  Plus, some palettes with way too many options might be overwhelming for a beginner.  This palette has a matte, satin and shimmer shade perfect for the crease, brow bone and the lid.  

9. L'Oreal Infallible 24HR Single Eyeshadow ($6.99, Target) - Even though the basic eyeshadow palette mentioned above is already simplistic, some may still want single eyeshadow shades and L'Oreal has beautiful shimmer and matte shades.  I know there are cheaper ones from Wet N Wild but I feel that you really get a good bang for your buck with the quality of L'Oreal Infallible 24HR Single Eyeshadow.  Also, as mentioned on the introduction of this post, their Ice Latte or Eternal Sunshine shades can double up as highlighter (depending on your skin tone), should you feel inclined to step it up a notch.

10. NYX Tame & Frame Brow Pomade ($6.99, CVS) - Brow products are optional but I recommend either a pomade or a pencil (listed below).  Adding a brow powder might be too complicated for a beginner, but as mentioned on the introduction of this post, any eyeshadow powder that matches your brow color can be used as an alternative.  I use the NYX Tame & Frame when I travel as I try not to bring any of my Anastasia Beverly Hills products since they are my holy grails and god forbid they go missing or break.  Sad day.

11. L'Oreal Brow Precise Eyebrow Pencil ($9.99, Target) - This is a nice alternative to the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz.  This is also in my makeup travel kit.

12. E.L.F. Eyeshadow Primer ($3, Target, E.L.F. Stores) - You can always use a concealer to prime your eyes prior to eyeshadow application (make sure you set the concealer with powder) but for $3, you cannot go wrong with this.  

13. Milani Color Statement Lipstick ($7.99, CVS) - What else can I say about Milani in general? They are my favorite drugstore brand.  Their Color Statement Lipsticks are amazing.  They have matte, satin and pearlized finishes.  They are pigmented and hydrating on the lips.  They smell good, too.

14. NYX Lingerie Liquid Lipstick ($6.99, Target) - Not sure if a beginner needs a liquid lipstick but since it is the fad these days, this is the one I would recommend.  The formula is not as drying as most high priced ones out there.  They also have a variety of shades to choose from.

15. L'Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara ($8.99, Target - I would also recommend the MAX Factor Masterpiece Mascara but I ran out of it but you can get it at Target for $9.99). - These are my favorites and they are easy to use.  They both have a drier formula which I think applies better and has less clumps.

16. Maybelline Brow Precise Volumizer ($7.99, Target) - Whether you choose to use a pomade or brow pencil, this is probably the easiest to use in order to make your brows look fuller.  This deposits pigment on your eyebrows evenly.