Drugstore/Affordable Makeup Starter Kit Ideas
*insert Shane Dawson voice* HEY WHAT’S UP YOU GUYS. I asked my Instagram followers what they wanted to see for my next beauty post, choosing between an affordable drugstore makeup starter kit or specific drugstore brand favorites, and the starter kit won!
If you’ve recently decided you want to explore wearing makeup and you have no idea where to start, you’ve come to the right place. I remember being 18 and a freshman in college looking on Pinterest at all the different makeup and tools and cleansers and my mind just blanked. Where do you even start?? Not to worry: I’ve put together a user-friendly list of what to get when you start collecting makeup! And the best part? I know how to make it affordable!
Note: this post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase I get a small portion of the sale at no extra cost to you. The reason I use affiliate links is so I can make an income to keep providing you guys with quality content, and you know I would never promote anything I don’t love or trust completely. Thanks for helping me achieve my dream!
First of all, before you even THINK about makeup, you have to start with skincare. As I have told many clients and friends, makeup only looks as good as what’s underneath. So start with a good cleanser and moisturizer. Make sure your moisturizer also has SPF in it. Remember, good skin is not a gift, it’s an investment.
I’ve gone back and forth on primer, but I do believe deep down it should be included in a starter kit. Primer helps foundation go on smoother, and it can also give your skin an extra boost of hydration if needed. If you have large pores, like me, I’d recommend a poreless primer.
Now, depending on your skin type and specific needs, you may need to do some research on whether you need foundation with a certain coverage, or if you can just get away with BB or CC creams. This article explains the difference between the two.
As far as foundation goes, anyone knows there are so many different brands with different types. First thing you need to know before buying foundation is what skin type you have. This is truly the most affordable trick so you’re not wasting your money. If you have dry skin, you need a hydrating cream or liquid foundation. If you have oily skin, loose or pressed powder is your best bet, although there is a liquid foundation for oily skin I’ve had clients tell me works for them. I can’t speak for combination skin because I’ve had multiple clients where they could use both and it looks fine.
Picking a concealer can be tough because there are several that provide different levels of coverage. But concealer is important because it serves two important purposes: it covers blemishes and it primes your eyelids for eyeshadow. When picking a concealer, it’s recommended that your undereye concealer be TWO shades lighter than your foundation.
Now that you have laid the base for your face, now you need some contour. If you want the best bang for your buck, palettes with blush and bronzer, and sometimes also highlight are the way to go in terms of affordable.
NOW we move on to my favorite part: eyes. If you are not a big eyeshadow wearer, I would recommend just a flesh toned shadow to set your concealer you just used to prime your eyelids. This is a great way to even out the skin tones if you have any discoloration on your eyelids. But if you’re like me and want to try palettes, there are several palettes out there that compliment different eye colors.
For eyeliner, my personal recommendation is to start with pencils. Experiment with what makes you feel comfortable, and if you’re ready, you can graduate to liquid. However, if liquid scares you, try cream liner with an angled liner brush. If it dries out faster than you can use it, just put a few drops of saline solution in and it’s like new again!
As far as brushes go, I’ll keep it short and sweet and promise to make a brush-exclusive post later. With a brush collection, you only need a few. This brush can be used for face products like foundation and contour as well as blending. For eye brushes, I recommend this set. It may be a bit pricey, but these are very high quality brushes.
For mascara, you really don’t have to spend that much. I know there are the high end ones that make lashes look amazing, but there’s a perfect one that’s been around for decades that’s right around $5. Super affordable, right?
For brows, unfortunately it is a bit of trial and error trying to figure out if you’re a powder and pencil kind of person or if you need the brow gel. Of course, if you’re really down to save some money, you can always just used an angled liner brush and use an eyeshadow color closest to your brow color. That’s what I did for years before finally trying actual brow products.
Setting spray used to not matter to me, but when you live in the South and it’s brutally hot, you don’t want to be sweating your makeup off. For dry skin, stick to one that provides a sheer, dewy glow, and if you have oily skin, go for one that provides a matte finish.
So, what have we learned? Buying makeup is overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the scene. But I hope I helped in putting together this little guide and specific affordable product recommendation to aid in your journey to becoming a full blown makeup addict!
Here’s the even further broken down index for you list-makers:
- Foundation/BB/CC cream
- Mascara and lash curler
- Small brush set
- Brow kit
- Setting spray
So I will end this blog post with some questions!
- Were there any products in your starter kit that you still use to this day?
- What are YOUR personal recommendations for newbies?
Thanks for reading, and as always, I hope you guys have a wonderful rest of the week!