What Every Makeup Beginner Needs in Their Kit

May 03, 2022
Caitlyn Martyn
By: Caitlyn Martyn | Makeup.com by L'Oréal

Knowing which makeup products to include in your kit can be tricky even for a makeup expert, let alone a beginner. With tons of products to choose from, it can get a little confusing, especially if you’re not sure which ones will work best for you. Ahead, we’re sharing must-have products for newbies plus the exact order to apply them


As the name suggests, primer is the first step in your makeup routine. Although primers can vary in formulation (some are water-based and others are silicone-based), they all help to smooth out your complexion prior to applying base products like foundation and concealer. The Urban Decay All Nighter Primer is perfect for beginners; it’s ideal for all skin types and works well for everyday use. For more options, check out 30 of our favorite primers.

Foundation First, Then Concealer

Although this one is up for debate, we recommend applying your foundation before following up with a concealer. If you prefer more natural-looking coverage, try the YSL Beauty Nu Bare Look Tint. It’s lightweight and goes on somewhat sheer, but it can be layered for more coverage. For full-coverage plus color correction (translation: a formula that conceals redness and discoloration), check out the Maybelline New York Fit Me! Matte and Poreless Foundation. In just a few swipes of your finger or a makeup brush, you’ll find that dark marks and blemishes practically disappear. 

After applying foundation, use a smaller brush (or your fingers, again) to apply concealer, like the NYX Professional Makeup Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Contour Concealer. Tap it on your under-eye area, as well as on top of any blemishes or imperfections peeking through your foundation. 

maybelline matte and poreless foundation


While you can use your fingers to apply makeup, brushes are way less messy (and sometimes make the finished look appear more seamless). Consider investing in a makeup brush starter kit, like the Luxie Beauty Golden Glow Set, so that all the tools you need are in one place.

Bronzer, Blush and Highlighter

Cream blush is the easiest to apply — all you have to do is tap it onto the high points of your cheeks and blend. We recommend starting your collection off with the Maybelline New York Cheek Heat Gel-Cream Blush or the EM Cosmetics So Soft Blush

After that, apply a bronzer in either a powder or cream formula. The Urban Decay Beached Bronzer is a great powder option for those who want to just dust on some pigment and go. For a cream option, we can’t rave about the Saie Beauty Sun Melt enough. 

Top things off with a highlighter, like the NYX Professional Makeup Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator anywhere that the light hits your face for a dewy, sunkissed look. 


We recommend doing your brows before the rest of your eye makeup (this ensures a mess-free application). Doing your brows is easy with the help of the NYX Professional Makeup Thick It Stick It! Brow Gel, which comes with a spoolie brush. 

nyx thick it stick it brow gel


After you’ve applied eyeshadow, line your lashes with an eyeliner.  For a sleek cat-eye, try the Lancôme Le Stylo Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner. It’s a little easier to manage than a liquid liner, especially if you’ve never used one before. 


After eyeshadow and eyeliner, top off your eye makeup look with mascara. For a classic look, you can’t go wrong with the L’Oréal Paris Bambi Eye Waterproof Mascara. If you’re looking for some va-va-voom, check out the YSL Beauty Lash Clash Mascara — it gives lashes a falsie-like appearance.
maybelline mousse mascara


While lipstick preferences differ from person to person, we can recommend a few options that get good marks across the board. The Valentino Beauty Rosso Valentino Refillable Lipstick in Ethereal Red is the perfect Old Hollywood-style red lipstick. For something more subdued, try Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Original Lipstick — it’s a fan-favorite (for good reason). 

Setting Spray

Finally, set your makeup in place by spritzing on a setting spray like the Dermablend Lock and Last Water-Resistant Setting Spray. Doing so will ensure your makeup stays put all day and all night.
Design: Juliana Campisi, Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn

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