I think we can all agree that when we started wearing makeup, it was just horrendous. Who remembers the orange face, barely there eyebrows, different eyeliner wings and picking a lipstick in a color you like over a color that would actually suit you? Yeah, let’s try to leave that in the past. We never talk about those days. Thankfully, with years of practice, hours watching Youtube tutorials and following every makeup artist on Instagram, we have finally (somewhat) mastered the skill!
Now, we can teach the youngin’s what NOT to do based on our silly mistakes.
First of all, you need to know your skin type if you’re going to be using products such as foundation and concealer. Most, if not all, face products are made for different skin types. Determine whether you are oily, normal or dry and then you can go from there! How to deal with problematic skin will be in a future post.
My skin type is oily/combo so some of these products may not work for other skin types.
After doing your whole skin care routine, you need to prime your face. Why? Priming your face gives your makeup a smooth canvas to work on and to stick on. You don’t want all your hard work to slide off your face, do you?
- ELF Poreless Face Primer: This primer is at the lower end of the price spectrum at only $6. I have terribly oily skin, especially during the summer, and this primer isn’t targeted towards a specific skin type. Sadly, this primer couldn’t help with my shiny nose, but it did make me look pretty darn poreless. One pump gives out the perfect amount to cover your entire face, and once it rubs in it feels really soft like silicone. It couldn’t keep my makeup put for longer than maybe 10 hours, but that’s pretty good for a $6 primer.
- Bare Minerals Prime Time: This primer has been my top favorite since I first started wearing makeup and it is 100% worth the $25 in my opinion. Like the ELF primer, it does have a silicone feeling to it. You also don’t need much to cover your entire face, so I usually don’t use too much which makes the bottle last longer! My favorite thing about this primer is that it feels comfortable. My skin doesn’t feel terribly dry or like my nose is a disco ball after a few hours. It’s also perfect for keeping your makeup on your face! I love being able to still see my blush and highlight at the end of the day.
- Urban Decay Primer Potion: While I do have other eye primers that I love like Lorac’s Behind the Scenes and Bare Mineral’s Prime Time, this one tops the list. It’s a cult favorite for a reason. I find that with eyelid primers you don’t need a lot. You just need a few dots, pat it in, and voila! For $20, you’re getting quite a bit and it will last you a long time. This primer prevents my oily/sweaty lids from creasing my eyeshadow and from transferring my eyeliner to my brow bone. Definite life saver.
Foundation was/is crucial to my makeup routine. It hides any imperfections I may have (which is also why I started wearing makeup) and it can also double as protection if it has SPF in it!
- Rimmel Stay Matte: This is the cheapest foundation on my list at only $4-6 depending on where you go. I love and hate this foundation. What do I love? I love the price, the coverage, it doesn’t oxidize on me and it does what it says (stays matte). The cons? It has a very limited shade range. There’s 7 shades on Ulta’s website, but at any other store like Target, there’s only about 4 shades available. It’s terribly heavy! It feels like I’m buffing icing onto my face. There’s also horrible flashback, meaning that in any photo with flash you will look like a ghost. I would recommend this if you’re on a budget, have oily skin, and won’t be wearing it to special events where you’ll be taking flash pictures.
- Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue: This is more of a tinted moisturizer than a foundation, but if you are looking for light coverage then this is perfect! It has SPF 30, it feels comfortable on the skin, and it doesn’t make you look oily. This is my top favorite foundation/tinted moisturizer to use in the summer, and it’s somewhat affordable at only $30.
- Bare Minerals Bare Skin Serum Foundation: Like the Complexion Rescue, this foundation is $30 but is well worth it. However, this is the only foundation I’ve used that works best with the special brush that is sold separately. Thankfully, my sister bought me both the foundation and the brush! You can control the coverage with the number of drops you put into the brush. 4 drops should give you full coverage, which it did for me. This foundation feels like a second skin to me because of how light it is, but it’s also very full coverage. It has SPF 20 and comes in 20 different shades!
- YSL Touche Elat Le Teint: This is another foundation that I prefer to use in the summer. While it is the most expensive foundation on this list at $58, it probably does the best job. During summer, I prefer to look a bit more dewy and this foundation does just that! It makes me look dewy, not oily. It makes me look bright and luminous! My skin feels so pampered and perfect with this foundation. It comes with SPF 22 and there are 22 shades available.
Brows are definitely important because they frame your face. Thicker brows give a more youthful appearance while thick brows give a harsher look. Unfortunately, the Anastasia Brow Kit isn’t going to be on this list because I tend to keep my brows low maintenance.
- ELF Brow kit: This kit is only $3 but works wonders! It comes with a gel and a powder (I never used the powder oops) and a little double ended brush. This made it easy for me to shape and fill in my brows when I was just starting to work on them.
- Essence Eyebrow Designer: This little pencil is a bit cheaper at about $2. It’s your standard pencil with a brush on the cap, but I feel like the pencil is much softer than most. My only complaint with this is that I constantly have to sharpen it to get the perfect shape for my brows.
Finally, we are looking at the fun stuff! I think we can all remember going through our mom or sister’s makeup and trying the eyeshadows when they weren’t looking. There are so many colors and finishes to choose from, palettes are beginning to look more and more like they’re the same, and we have to deal with the occasional few chalky eyeshadows that we just regret buying. Luckily, there are some palettes and drugstore shadows that are popular for a very good reason. Some of them include:
- Wet n Wild Palettes/Singles: I would highly recommend the Wet n Wild eyeshadows to anyone starting to use eyeshadow and just wants some fun colors to play with (or even safe, neutral colors). The singles are 99 cents, whereas the palettes tend to range from $3-8. While they may not have the sturdiest packaging, the quality of the product is out of this world! They’re crazy pigmented, hardly have any fall-out, and there’s a wide range of colors to choose from. They even have special edition collections that work wonderfully too. I still use mine from time to time.
- Naked Palettes: This collection from Urban Decay has gained so much popularity and has become such a reputable palette that it’s a must-have for anyone interested in makeup. I have the Naked 3, and I am absolutely in love with it. Every palette is filled with 12 natural everyday shades, hence “Naked”. You can create so many different looks with these palettes which is why it’s so popular. You can get so much use out of these.
- Lorac Palettes: These Lorac palettes are somewhat like the Naked palettes, but they’re also not. They have a collection of Pro palettes, and the one I have is the Pro 2. Unlike Urban Decay’s Naked, these are filled with fun and neutral shades. There’s plums, blues, pinks, silvers, a green, etc. These also have 16 shades in each, and each one of them is so incredibly buttery and pigmented! A little bit of shadow on your brush goes a long way. Lorac also make different palettes, and like their Pro palettes, they all have the same amazing quality.
Honestly, I have been through so many different eyeliners that I can tell you my top favorites without having to think. A cat-eye is part of my every day makeup and you’ll never see me going out without it. My favorite type of eyeliner to use is a felt tip. I used to use normal liquid eyeliners, but found that the felt tip was a lot easier to handle and dried down faster and straighter.
- Kat Von D Tattoo Liner: I find that most people who do cat-eyes on a regular basis tend to say that this one is one of their favorites. Well, that’s for a good reason! It applies like a dream, it’s nice and dark and doesn’t budge!
- Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner: Whenever I can’t get my hands on the Kat Von D, I tend to reach for this one. It doesn’t apply as well as the other, but out of all the drugstore eyeliners I’ve tried, this was the best. Unfortunately, it’s been a bit harder to find this liner in drugstores lately. You can definitely still find them though! I highly recommend this eyeliner if you’re looking to do nice, crisp eyeliner on a budget.
- Sephora Classic Line 24Hr Felt Eyeliner: This is another budget friendly eyeliner that applies silky smooth. It’s probably the cheapest eyeliner you can get from Sephora (it’s their collection, duh) that will make you feel like you don’t want to try any other type of eyeliner. It does everything you need to do! Applies easily, crisp lines, nice and dark, lasts and it’s affordable! The only con I have for this is that it only lasts for about a month with regular use. If you’re okay with constantly having to buy a new tube, then I would recommend this one.
I’m not too big on using mascara just because I don’t see much of difference between some of them, but hey, I may be wrong.
- Maybelline Volum’ Express Colossal Mascara: This mascara was one of the first ones I’ve ever used and I loved it! It dries fast, doesn’t create spiderweb lashes and it’s affordable!
- Bare Minerals Lash Domination: This mascara obviously feel a little more luxurious since it is more expensive and has nicer packaging. Just like the colossal mascara, it gives you longer fuller lashes without clumping them up.
These are all the products that I would recommend to anyone starting to use makeup or anyone looking to do their makeup on a budget! I can’t wait to try more so I can add to this list!