Makeup Essentials for Beginners (Basic Makeup list)

When I first started wearing makeup as a clueless teenager, I made every mistake possible. I caked on thick foundation that made me break out, overplucked my brows into oblivion, and lined my eyes with the chunkiest black pencil you have ever seen. But eventually, with practice, patience, and the right products, I figured it out.

If you are just starting out with makeup, this blog post will guide you through building a basic makeup kit tailored for beginners. You will learn about the essential products for makeup beginners, step-by-step application techniques, common mistakes to avoid, and tips to make makeup easy, fun, and enhance your natural beauty.

Basic Makeup Essential Products

Face Primer

Face primer creates a smooth, even canvas for foundation and makeup by filling in pores and fine lines. For beginners, stick to water-based primers that feel lightweight. Apply a thin layer before the foundation, focusing on areas prone to shine, like the t-zone.

Try: e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer


Choosing the right foundation takes some trial and error. Pay attention to the formula and coverage. Liquid and stick foundations tend to work best for beginners. Start with light to medium coverage for a natural look. Always shade match first at your jawline.

Try: L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation


Use concealer after foundation to cover and correct imperfections. Opt for a creamy formula that blends easily. Apply in small dots under the eyes to brighten, on blemishes to conceal, and near the nose or mouth to define.

Try: Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer

Setting Powder

Dust a light layer of setting powder over liquid makeup to set it in place all day. Avoid flashbacks from silica powder by choosing “blurring” powders instead. Apply with a large, fluffy brush across the t-zone and areas prone to shine.

Try: Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder


Warm up your complexion with bronzer swept across your cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead. Pick matte bronzers over shimmer. Using a fluffy brush, lightly dust in a “3” shape to subtly mimic the sun’s kiss.

Try: Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer


Add a healthy flush of color with blush on the apples of your cheeks. Cream or powder blush works well. Focus application mainly on the center of the cheeks in a blended circular motion. Adjust the intensity based on your preferences.

Try: Milani Baked Blush in Rose Perfection


For a subtle glow, use a liquid or powder highlighter lightly across cheekbones, nose bridge, cupid’s bow, and brow bones. Apply delicately with fingers, a damp sponge, or a small tapered brush. Build up the sheen gradually.

Try: NYX Born to Glow Highlighter in Sunbeam

Eyebrow Pencil

Shape and fill brows with a pencil, mimicking hair-like strokes. Soften the tip on the back of your hand first before drawing in sparse areas for natural dimension. Spooly on the other end blends pencils.

Try: NYX Micro Brow Pencil

Eyeshadow Palette

Start with a neutral matte palette in rose gold or brown skin tones. Use the lightest shades across the lid up to the brow bone. Darker shades in the crease add definition. Add shimmers selectively to the inner corner or center lid for accent pops.

Try: Wet n Wild Rose in the Air Palette


Line the upper lash lines to define the eyes. The liquid liner takes practice, so try softer pencil liners first. Draw short strokes close to the lash line’s base. Smudge gently with a brush or cotton swab for a smoky effect.

Try: L’Oreal Paris Infallible Never Fail Eye Liner


Finish off your eye look by coating lashes with mascara for extra volume and lift. Wiggle a wand at the base, then comb up through the tips. Let each coat dry between 2–3 layers so the mascara does not clump.

Try: Essence Lash Princess Mascara

Lip Liner

Define your lips with liner in shades close to your natural lip color. Outline lips fully before filling in. Be sure the liner blends with the lip edges seamlessly. Apply lipstick or gloss to the lined edges afterward.

Try: NYX Suede Matte Lip Liner


Find your perfect red, pink, or nude lipstick shade for full, smooth coverage. Test out a few classic bullet styles first before trying liquid lipstick. Apply directly from the tube in layers, allowing each coat to set. Finish with setting powder or gloss for longevity.

Try: Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick

IGXO social lite lipstick

Makeup Brushes

Invest in quality brushes for seamless blending and perfect control. Start with the basics: complexion brush, blush brush, eye blending brush, smudger brush, and fan brush.

Try: BH Cosmetics Studio Pro Brush Sets

Beauty Blender

These popular makeup sponges blend liquid and cream formulas for a flawless finish. Run underwater first, so they expand slightly. Use a dabbing motion (never rubbing) to press makeup into the skin.

Try: Original Beautyblender Makeup Sponge

Basic make list recommendations by IGXO Cosmetics

Additional Products to Consider

Once you perfect the basics mentioned in the makeup essentials section, try adding these products to your basic makeup list for more advanced looks:

  • Color corrector: neutralize undertones before the foundation
  • Contour Kit: Sculpts and defines facial structure
  • Eyeshadow primer: grips powder shadows in place without creasing
  • Setting spray locks in makeup for up to 16 hours
  • False lashes: amp up eye looks for drama
  • Lip gloss: a Shiny, non-drying lip topper
  • Lip balm provides moisture and relief from dryness, chapping, and other conditions.
  • Makeup remover: breaks down longwear makeup gently

Take makeup removal as seriously as application. Invest in micellar water or a bi-phase eye makeup remover to protect the skin while removing even stubborn products.

With practice, you can safely experiment with these add-ons. But focus first on mastering the fundamentals before complicating the routine.

IGXO lip gloss

Step-by-Step Basic Makeup Application

Follow these steps to apply your new makeup kit for a gorgeous everyday look:

  1. Find your skin type so that you can buy the must-have products specifically made for your skin to be radiant.
  2. Prep skin with moisturizer first, then apply primer to create an even base.
  3. Dot foundation all over the face and neck. Blend outwards with a damp beauty blender or brush. Set with powder.
  4. Apply concealer with a doe-foot wand or small brush where needed. Tap gently around the eyes with a finger or sponge to blend seamlessly into the foundation.
  5. Sweep bronzer lightly across the perimeter of the face in a “3” shape using a large, fluffy brush. Apply blush with a similar brush to the apples of the cheeks.
  6. Highlight cheekbones, nose bridge, and cupid’s bow with subtle strokes. Fingers or a small, tapered brush work best to gently pat and blend.
  7. Brush brows into shape with a spooly brush and fill in gaps with precise hair strokes using a pencil.
  8. Prime eyes, if desired. Paint the lid up to the brow bone using a light eyeshadow shade. Define the crease gently with a transition brown shade using a fluffy blending brush. Deepen the outer corners selectively with a darker shade. Pop a shimmer shade across the center of the lid for an accent.
  9. Line the upper lash line with soft, short strokes. Smudge the liner edge lightly with a brush or cotton swab.
  10. Finish eyes with 2-3 mascara coats, wiggling from the base of the lashes to the tips.
  11. Line lips fully with a liner slightly darker than the natural lip tone. Fill the lined area with a lipstick shade of your choice. Apply gloss or setting powder if desired.

And you are done! Do not forget to set the entire look with setting spray for extended longevity.

Make sure to choose only cruelty-free and vegan brands for makeup products.

Makeup Tips & Tricks for Beginners

Here are some helpful guidelines for making makeup routines faster and easier as a rookie:

  • Start off practicing basic techniques like eyeshadow blending daily
  • Find your perfect complexion product shade by testing at your jawline
  • Invest in quality brushes and sponges suited for different areas of the face
  • Analyze your face shape to determine the most flattering placement for contour, blush, highlight, etc.
  • Practice core makeup looks until you perfect them before attempting trendy styles
  • Follow step-by-step video tutorials to visualize techniques
  • Learn brush care basics like deep cleaning and regular upkeep

The key is being patient with yourself as skills develop over time. Take the pressure off doing Insta-glam looks immediately. Instead, embrace the journey of playing with makeup, finding the best shades for you, and having fun with cosmetics!

Common Beginner Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

It is normal to make makeup mistakes as you learn. Here are some common beginner slip-ups, along with fixes:

  • Cakey foundation: Blend outwards in thin layers using damp makeup sponge
  • Visible concealer lines: soften edges by gently patting with a finger or brush
  • Harsh bronzer/blush edges: Always blend out the perimeter for a seamless look
  • Bumpy lipstick texture: exfoliate with lip scrub first and finish with setting powder or gloss for smoothness
  • Clumpy mascara: Let each coat dry before adding the next to avoid spidery clumps
  • Overplucked brows: Use brow stencils and avoid over-tweezing while learning the ideal shape

We all make makeup mistakes, so do not beat yourself up! Pay attention to application techniques, tools, and face shape to determine what works best for your unique features.


Here are answers to some frequently asked beginner makeup questions:

How much should I spend starting out?

Aim for $100–$150 to cover all the makeup basics. Amazon offers quality on a budget!

How do I shade match foundations accurately?

Test shades in natural indirect sunlight on the jawline for your best match.

What tools are absolutely necessary?

Splurge on a few nice brushes, a sponge, and an eyelash curler first.

How do I properly remove makeup each day?

Gently remove eye makeup first, then wash your face twice to clear any residue.

How do face shapes impact makeup application?

Highlight features you want to accentuate and camouflage areas you want to downplay.

How should I clean makeup brushes? Deep-clean brushes weekly using brush soap and water. Allow to fully air dry before next use.


Hopefully, this beginner’s guide covers everything you need to start your makeup journey on the right foot! Follow these tips to curate an easy makeup capsule suited for rookies. Master basic application techniques first before attempting advanced looks. Proper brush care and removal are just as crucial as flawless application.

Most importantly, remember that makeup should be enjoyable, not intimidating! Don’t compare yourself to Instagram influencers right away or feel pressured to achieve a full-glam look every day if that’s not your style. Find colors and products that make you feel confident, and let your inner glow shine through!

Now that you know the basics, it’s your turn to start practicing and developing your own signature beauty look!

At IGXO Cosmetics, I partnered with different influencers and introduced different cruelty-free and vegan makeup products and kits, like:

  • Glamazontay
  • Dream by Bubzbeauty
  • ZAMFAM Lip Gloss
  • Cult by Channon Rose
  • F**k Yeah Mua kit
  • Still Glamorous
  • Hothead by Ashley Marie
  • BomBom
  • Girl next door by Lindy tsang
  • Jessi Smiles

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