As a makeup beginner it can be overwhelming with all the products available on the market. I created this guide to help any beginner figure what makeup they actually need. For beginners I recommend starting with products from affordable drugstore brands so you can get an idea of what you like and what does not work for you. For the recommendations I focused on products from NYX since they were one of the first brands I used, and I still use their products today. Their products are also affordable, good quality, and available in numerous countries. Let’s begin!
Primer: When I first started wearing makeup, I did not wear primer. Once I discovered what a primer was, I had to try it out. I found that primers can make your makeup last a little longer than normal, but the main benefit is they provide a smooth base for your foundation and the rest of your makeup. I currently use the NYX Shine Killer, but it is for oily skin. The NYX Hydra Touch Primer is highly rated and would be great for dry skin.
Foundation: There are several different kinds of foundation including powder, liquid, and cushion. I recommend starting with a powder foundation since it is much easier to apply. However, powder foundations only have light to medium coverage, so if you have any dark circles under your eyes or imperfections you want to cover, I suggest using a concealer as well. If you want to try a liquid foundation, I definitely recommend getting the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge to apply the foundation since it is a better and more affordable alternative to the Beautyblender (another highly rated makeup sponge). I do not recommend buying cushion foundations since it is just a liquid foundation soaked in a sponge, and they do not have that much product. I regularly use the NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder Foundation and the NYX Total Control Drop Foundation.
Concealer: Concealers are great for covering any imperfections. There are cream and liquid concealers, and I would recommend liquid concealers since they come with an applicator wand that makes them easy to apply. Again I would recommend using the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge to blend the concealer with your foundation. I recommend the NYX HD Photogenic Concealer Wand since there are 23 shades included 3 color correcting shades: yellow to cover dark circles, veins, and bruises, green to neutralize redness, and lavender to neutralize yellow spots.
Blush: I always use a blush when I wear makeup, and they add color to your cheeks so your face looks more youthful. There are liquid, cream, and powder blushes available and I would recommend using a powder blush since it is easier to apply and blend. The NYX Ombre Blush is one of their best sellers.
Highlighter: I have never really been big into highlighters, but they are good for adding a glow to your skin. Once you have the basics down, I would suggest trying out a highlighter. Highlighters come in liquid, cream, and powder varieties and like with the blush, I would recommend starting with a powder highlighter. The NYX Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder comes in a variety of gorgeous shades.
Bronzer: Like with highlighters, I rarely use bronzers and I would only recommend using a bronzer once you got the basics down since they are difficult to apply. Bronzers can give you a natural sun-kissed glow, which is something I do not care for. There are liquid, cream, and powder bronzers available and I would recommend starting with a powder. The NYX Matte Bronzer has good reviews and is available in 5 shades.
Setting Spray: To actually make your makeup last all day or night I would recommend using a setting a spray as a last step for your face makeup. To use a setting spray you spray it directly on top of your makeup and as it dries it makes your makeup stay in place. I currently use the NYX Makeup Setting Spray – Matte, which is for oily skin. If you have dry skin, there is the NYX Makeup Setting Spray – Dewy available.
I recommend applying your eye makeup before starting with your face makeup because eyeshadow can be powdery and have a lot of fallout when you are applying them. It is much easier to clean up any eyeshadow fallout if you have not applied your face makeup yet.
Eyeshadow Primer: I always recommend using an eyeshadow primer before applying your eyeshadow because it makes your eyeshadow more vibrant as well as last longer without fading, creasing, or smudging. The NYX Proof It! Waterproof Eyeshadow Primer is highly rated and it is also waterproof!
Eyeshadow Palette: Eyeshadow shades vary from neutral to vibrant and come in a variety of finishes from matte, satin, shimmer, and glitter. As a beginner I recommend starting out with a neutral palette that can be used for both light day looks and darker night looks. The NYX Lid Lingerie Shadow Palette has good reviews, and it comes with 6 neutral shades. I would also recommend the NYX Full Throttle Shadow Palette which come with 4 shades each, and I have the Take Over Control, Stunner, and Haywire palettes. If you are feeling more adventurous, you can try a more vibrant palette like the NYX Ultimate Shadow Palette in Brights (as well as the other palettes). You can also buy individual eyeshadow shades, but I believe it is more cost-effective to buy a palette.
Eyeliner: Eyeliner can be tricky to apply, and I do not use it even now. I suggest practicing using an eyeliner before using it with eyeshadow. There are liquid, gel, and pencil eyeliners available and I recommend starting out with a pencil eyeliner since it is easier to work with especially compared to liquid eyeliners that are much less forgiving. The NYX Slide On Pencil is highly rated and comes in 16 shades.
Mascara: A mascara is used to add length and volume to your lashes and it helps complete your eye look. The most common color for mascara is black, but there are other shades available. The NYX Worth the Hype Volumizing & Lengthening Mascara has great reviews and it is available in 4 shades.
A lip product is a great way to complete your makeup look.
Lip Gloss: Lip glosses are very easy to use and they add shimmer to your lips. Lip glosses do not last that long on the lips, but they are great for adding shine. I have several shades of the NYX Butter Gloss, and I would highly recommend it. There are also 34 different shades of the gloss available.
Lipstick: There are all kinds of lipsticks from sheer, cream, matte, and liquid and it is up to your own personal preference what type of lipstick you prefer. I suggest starting with a non-liquid lipstick since they are easier to use, but like with lip glosses, they do not last long. I have used the NYX Butter Lipstick which has 34 shades available and comes in a satin finish. Once you have gotten the hang of applying lipstick, I suggest using a liquid lipstick since they are longer lasting. I would highly recommend the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream which comes in a whooping 46 shades.
What makeup brands and products did you first use?