Starting Your Makeup Collection (Basics & Tips)

30 May

The first time I shopped for makeup, I was determined to buy everything I needed in one trip. My mother reluctantly allowed me into the unexplored but much-anticipated glittering aisles…and I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of products packed into a such a small space. I picked out a mascara, an eyeliner (which turned out to be purple), and a lipgloss, then ashamedly scurried back to our cart.

If you don’t want to make the same mistake I did (and by that I mean not knowing a darn thing about makeup), make sure to know a) what you’re planning to buy, b) how much you’re willing to spend, and c) what you “need.” “Need” meaning want very badly.

For basic makeup, you’ll need:


Unless you have incredibly long/thick lashes (I’m jealous already:)), one of the first things you’ll probably want to try is mascara. I’ve found mascara formulas differ only slightly (“waterproof” and not waterproof), but the shape of the mascara wand (the applicator) makes a mascara either volumizing, lengthening, or both. I’d recommend a non-waterproof formula for everyday wear because it won’t do as much damage to your lashes. If you have oily lids and notice that your mascara flakes under your eye, use a primer to minimize oils or use a waterproof mascara for those lashes only.

-eyebrow product(s)

When I first began experimenting with makeup, eyebrows were the last things on my mind. Now that I’ve become (somewhat) wiser in the ways of cosmetics, I’ve started caring about them more and more. If you already have thick brows, congratulations! You are almost done. Just neaten them up by plucking/waxing/threading/some other method of eyebrow torture and use a clear or tinted brow gel to keep them in place. If you don’t, you can fake it with eyeshadow or an eyebrow pencil. The trick with this is LESS IS MORE. Try to stay within the outlines of your own brows.

I watched A LOT of youtube videos on the subject before I was confident enough to practice on my own eyebrows. Remember, light hair=brows 2 shades darker & dark hair=brows 2 shades lighter. If you have black hair, you CAN fill your brows in with black eyeshadow, but use a very light hand; otherwise you’ll end up with sharpie brows (not attractive).


Eyeliner isn’t a must, but it is a staple in a basic makeup collection. Liquid liner can be a bit tricky for beginners, so go for dark eyeshadow on a liner brush, pencil, or gel. Start by smudging it along your lashes (top and bottom) and work your way up to bolder winged liner.


Primers create a clean, oil-free base for eyeshadows to stick to and last longer. A good primer doesn’t have to be expensive (the ELF (eyeslipsface) one is $1-2 and it works very well). Experiment to find the one that fits your skin type.

Whew! Let me know if I forgot anything or if there’s something you’d like me to go more in-depth about, I’d be happy to do it. Since this post is so long, I’ll make a separate one later in the week about starting your brush collection. I’m crazy about makeup brushes so expect another novel:) Cheers!


One Response to “Starting Your Makeup Collection (Basics & Tips)”

  1. beccawills June 8, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    Reblogged this on Becca's Beauty Blog and commented:
    LOVED this post.

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