Tips When You Buy Makeup for the First Time – A Beginner’s Guide 2023!

Tim Parry


woman applying mascara

The makeup industry is massively successful and over the last few years, with social media, in particular, it has seen huge growth and explosion. The fun thing about makeup is that there are no rules; it’s all about expression and adventure! However, if you are new to makeup, it may seem slightly daunting, but I’ve got you covered!

As a huge makeup junkie myself, I have come to understand what works on different skin types, which colors complement different skin tones, the products that can have multiple uses, and everything else a beginner wants to know.

The first and most important tip I can give is to always remember that makeup is a tool that can be used to enhance your natural beauty. While it’s fun to go crazy and experiment with more bold looks, as a beginner sticking to the basics is the best way to ease into the wonderful world of cosmetics. Now that you’ve got that down, the real fun can begin…

Makeup 101: The Basics

There are so many steps that can be included in your everyday makeup routine, but as I mentioned before, there really aren’t any rules. Whether you want to incorporate every step or merely stick to what you’re comfortable with, that’s up to you. What I do suggest before any makeup application however is a clean canvas. I like to think of the face as your canvas and the makeup as your tools to create the masterpiece.

To create a clean canvas, you need to start with a cleansed, moisturized face. Whatever your skincare routine may be, even if it’s only a few splashes of water on your face followed by a simple face cream, as long as you are starting on a washed face, that’s all that matters.

A basic makeup routine will consist of a primer, a foundation with the finish of your choice, a concealer, a setting powder, some bronzer and blush, mascara, an eyebrow pencil, and a lip product. This may sound like a lot, but as it’s broken down it will become a lot less frightening!

The Basic Makeup Kit for the Beginner on a Budget

First thing’s first: Makeup primer. A primer is a product that gets the face ready for makeup; it smooths out the surface of the skin and will help the longevity of your makeup throughout the day. Depending on your skin type, whether oily, dry or combination, you can find a primer that will work for you.

For an oilier skin, a pore filling primer like this Tatcha: The Silk Canvas would be a great option. A pore filling primer is used to blur the pores and help maintain a matte finish throughout the day, controlling your oil.

If you have more of a dry or combination skin, you may enjoy more of an illuminating primer. The Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Hydrating Primer would be the perfect choice for this skin type. A glowing formula like this will help keep the skin looking hydrated and will get rid of the dull appearance dry skin can sometimes have.

Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer, No. 3 Hydrating Primer, 1...
  • Lightweight creamy and seamlessly blends on
  • Enhances skin firmness smoothness and moisture level
  • Unifies skin tone and boosts the wearing ability of foundation

Foundation is next. Again, the finish you choose can depend on your skin type. Though if you use a primer, you can also get away with any finish of foundation because the primer will ensure your desired finish remains.

You can choose between a full coverage foundation or one that is more sheer, but this is just based on personal preference. A good full coverage foundation is the Too Faced Born This Way Foundation. This offers extremely good coverage! It can also be a very good option if you want something more glamorous for evening events.

Too Faced Born This Way Medium-to-Full Coverage Foundation in Light...
  • Medium-to-full undetectable coverage
  • Longwearing for 12 hours
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Hyaluronic filling spheres for a smoother, more youthful appearance
  • Coconut water to aid in delicately replenishing skin’s moisture...

In terms of a more sheer coverage foundation, you can go for the NARS Natural Radiant Foundation. A plus with this foundation is that it’s incredibly easy to blend and it’s so natural-looking. A sheer foundation is lovely for every day as it simply evens out the skin and adds a little bit of coverage for any small imperfections on the skin.

NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation - Fiji Women Foundation 1 oz...
  • Full-powered radiance: instantly provides a lasting radiant finish
  • Full coverage without the weight: superior blendability for an...
  • 16-hour fade resistant wear: 16 hours of fade-resistant wear with...
  • Resists oxidization so color stays true all day
  • Transfer-resistant sweat-resistant.

The next product for your basic kit is concealer. Concealer is more concentrated than foundation, which makes it better for targeting blemishes and dark circles or bags underneath the eyes. With concealer you can choose your desired finish again, either matte or illuminating.

The Tarte Shape Tape Concealer is an especially good product for beginners because a tiny bit goes a long way. Its formula is great for covering up blemishes and for brightening the under eyes, while the matte aspect allows it to stay put all day! When you want to cover a multitude of sins, here’s your answer.

TARTE Shape Tape Contour Concealer Light Beige 22B - Full Size
  • Color: 22B Light Beige (light skin w/ pink undertones)
  • Meet Tarte's iconic, ''can't live without'' concealer & discover why...
  • Benefits: Full coverage with flawless matte finish Conceals all...
  • Skinvigorating Ingredients: Shea Butter: A natural skin emollient that...
  • Always formulated without: Parabens, Mineral Oil, Phthalates,...

For a creamier formula with the same coverage, a stick concealer is often the preferred choice. Cle De Peau Concealer does the job perfectly for an all-rounder concealer. Its creamy formula allows for a more moisturized feel and you have maximum control over the amount of coverage desired. It’s particularly convenient because of its size to easily slip into your bag during the day!

The next step in your makeup application is your setting powder. This is either a loose or compact translucent or skin-toned powder that is used all over the face to set it in place for the day. No one wants to see their makeup running down their faces during the day, especially after all your hard work applying it!

Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder will be your best friend, especially on hotter days. This has a very soft texture and it feels so gentle and calming on the skin. You’ll want to be setting your face even when you don’t have makeup on!

Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder. Invisible Setting Powder...
  • Super-fine powder instantly glides on
  • Enhances makeup for longer wear
  • Formulated with light-reflecting particles to blur imperfections...

If you feel like a compact powder will be better for you, as it can add a little bit more coverage and is easier to take within your bag, the Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder is an excellent way to go. This powder is also very soft on the skin, and when applied over a full face of makeup, you can be assured that your makeup won’t budge!

Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder, No. 05 Soft Sand, 0.38 Ounce
  • It smoothes the skin’s texture and control shine.
  • A versatile powder that comes pressed in a compact
  • Itcan be used on all skin tones.
  • Country of origin is United States

To give your face some shape and depth a bronzer and blush are used. These products instantly make you appear more awake, glowing and can give a very healthy and youthful impression.

A personal favourite bronzer of mine is the Becca Sunlit Bronzer. I could go on about this for hours! It has the one of the best textures and it is so easy to apply for that natural “sun-kissed glow”. It will make you feel like you’re on a tropical vacation!

Becca Sunlit Bronzer - Capri Coast By Becca for Women - 0.25 Oz...
  • A bronzer that’s inspired by sun-drenched destinations for a...
  • It blends pigments with liquids to deliver its unparalleled, creamy...
  • Sulfates free

As for blush, one of the best parts of makeup, in my opinion, the options are endless. However, one worth mentioning is the IT Cosmetics CC+ Vitality Brightening Crème Blush. It gives the cheeks a magical glow that instantly completes any look! The creamy consistency is perfect if you prefer a natural cheek flush.

Eyebrows are an important feature to remember as they add a lot of shape to a face. I would suggest a pencil for beginners since it’s easier to control and therefore harder to mess up!

When buying an eyebrow pencil, it’s useful to find one that has a spoolie (brush) attached at the end, like this Benefit one. The spoolie is very handy to have because if you apply too much product to the brow, the intensity can be reduced by brushing through the hairs a few times. Don’t forget to create hair-like strokes when filling in your eyebrows!

Benefit Precisely My Brow Pencil (Ultra Fine Brow Defining Pencil) - #...
  • 0.08g/0.002oz
  • Precisely My Brow Pencil (Ultra Fine Brow Defining Pencil)

To make your eyes pop, a quality mascara is advised. There’s many you can choose from depending on if you want volume, length, or curl, though I find that the Lancome Monsieur Big Volume mascara works amazingly on everyone! It’s meant to provide extraordinarily voluminous lashes, which it undoubtedly does. You’ll be fluttering those lashes all day long!

LANCOME PARIS Monsieur Big Volume Mascara #01 Big Is The New, Black,...
  • A BIG volume mascara that delivers instant heart-stopping volume with...
  • You'll know Monsieur Big Mascara is the one at first stroke. The BIG...
  • Monsieur Big's brush has a unique shape with soft, wavy fibers to...
  • Research results: 95% feel this mascara glides easily on lashes during...
  • To take Monsieur BIG to the next level prep your lashes with Cils...

The final product in your beginner kit is a lip product. Here is where you can really experiment and change up your look effortlessly. With so many rich colors to choose from, lip products will quickly become a favorite of yours!

A nude shade is probably the safest choice in the beginning, as it goes with everything and is easy to use. The NARS Sheer Lipstick is fantastic for a beginner. It has a hydrating formula, meaning your lips won’t feel uncomfortable in the day, and it also has a beautiful shine to it.

NARS Lipstick, Dolce Vita, 0.12 Ounce,NAR-5608
  • The long-wear lip color you love to wear
  • It stays and never fades
  • Improves the lips condition with regular use

Psst. Do you find it difficult to find a winter jacket that is both warm and looks good? Check out our guide, where we offer solutions to this problem!

How to Apply Makeup for a First Timer

Now that your basic kit is sorted, applying all these products is the next step. There are hundreds of tools available, however, I would suggest a simple brush set and possibly a makeup sponge.

The SIXPLUS Coffee Makeup Brush Set includes a set of 15 brushes for different areas of the face. This is a truly lovely beginner’s set, with the combination of eyeshadow brushes, foundation and powder brushes. They are also black with rose gold accents, which just screams sophistication! Packaging is half the fun.

SIXPLUS Makeup Brushes Set, 15Pcs Coffee Professional Makeup Brush Set...
  • ❤️15PCS MKEUP BRUH SET IS ENOUGH: This 15 pcs makeup brushes is a...
  • ❤️100% SOFT AND SKIN-FRIENDLY: The handles of cosmetic brushes are...
  • ❤️PERFECT TRAVEL MAKEUP BRUSHES SET: Super magnetic force ensures...
  • ❤️ DETAIL USER GUIDE AND LABELS : Each makeup brush collection set...
  • ❤️NO HASSLE RETURN POLICY: SIXPLUS makeup brushes have quality...

In terms of makeup sponges, this pro makeup sponge set includes three sponges of the same egg shape, making it super easy to get into more difficult areas, such as the inner corners of the eyes. The opposite side is flat, and this helps blend in foundation or concealer on larger areas of the face.

The method of makeup application is down to what you prefer. Sponges are better if you are looking for a sheer finish because they can soak up excess product, though brushes also provide a beautiful finish when used to blend properly. With a little bit of practice, you’ll master both methods in a flash! 

Should I Buy a Makeup Kit or Individual Makeup Products

As a beginner purchasing an entire kit of makeup picked out by someone else is not going to be beneficial to you. You may not want half of the products included in the kit and besides, the chosen products may not even be your correct shades or desired finishes.

It would be wiser to make a point of going to purchase your makeup, whether that’s two products or 20. You’ll feel more comfortable knowing that what you’ve got will work for you and will be worth your money spent! You’ve got this!

In this article, we cover many aspects on kits and products for your very own home spa!

Essential Makeup Product for a Beginner

Everyone wants to look their best, that’s not a secret. Because of this, an essential makeup product for a beginner would be an extremely wonderful foundation that is perfectly matched to their skin tone.

A foundation that evens out your skin tone and blurs any imperfections will instantly boost your confidence and help you feel amazing in your skin. Once you have this down, you can focus on other products.

Best Eye Makeup for a Beginner

A neutral eyeshadow palette is something everybody needs to own once they have their basic kit. This is because it can generally be used to create very natural, everyday looks, and then also be amped up for a bolder evening look. A good eye makeup can even replace a female plastic surgeon

The Tarte Tartelette In Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette is the ideal eye makeup essential. It includes a mix of matte and shimmery eyeshadows, all in neutral shades. The exciting thing about this palette is that it can be used for several different looks, all of which will suit any skin tone due to the neutrality. A perfect addition to any beginner’s kit.

Whether you’re terrified of picking up a lipstick or ready to fully dive into the makeup world, it’s important to remember that makeup is meant to be enjoyed, and that there’s no such thing as too much mascara! Just have fun with it.

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Tim Parry