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Makeup Essentials: A Beginner’s Guide
Sometimes you just can’t be sure what you are going to get with us! One week we are posting right on schedule and the next week it is TOTAL CHAOS! Luckily for you today, it’s all in the title. Devyn and I both only recently became obsessed with makeup and all things beauty related. We spent the better part of our “youth” skimming by with just the essentials so we know how hard it can be to figure out what to buy when starting out! The beauty world and especially the makeup world can be SUPER costly and really difficult to navigate.
There are so many products out there that all look the same, have different names, and range in price from $1-$100’s! We thought it might be helpful for those of you who are starting out in the same place we did, to have a makeup essentials guide. The two of us worked together this week to figure out what products we wish we would have known about, what items we should have avoided, and of course we want to show you how to get the most bang for your makeup “buck”!
Makeup Essentials Terminology:
Here are a few terms that you might read today and not quite understand what we mean…If you do, that’s awesome…you probably don’t need a makeup essentials guide but you might still enjoy some of these awesome finds 🙂
Drugstore – Refers to brands that you can pick up at your local drug store (CVS, Walgreens, Dollar Stores, etc.)
High End – These are specialty brands that are only carried at specific retailers like Ulta, Sephora, Cosmetics Outlets, and others. These are typically pricier items.
Pigmentation – Especially in the case of eyes hadow, blush, bronzer, and other powdered products, you want items that are as pigmented as possible. This refers to the level of color you can get with small amounts of the product. For example a product with good pigmentation will typically cost a little more but will last a lot longer because you only need to use a tiny bit at a time!
Color Payoff – Refers to the level of pigmentation per swipe essentially. If you can dab your finger on top of the product and swipe it on your hand is it opaque? Crumbly? Does it show up at all?
Makeup Essentials: What to Buy!
These are mostly going to be items that will “make sense” but they’re all things we didn’t really know about when we were starting out. We will also give you the PLUS UP option which is how you can upgrade or boost your routine once you are more comfortable with the makeup scene!
- Tinted BB Cream: We LOVE tinted BB cream because it is such a good base for lots of different makeup looks. You can totally avoid foundation in some cases because the coverage is awesome! BB Creams are typically a lot easier to color match than foundation/primer combos so they are a great start to our makeup essentials guide!
- We love the Garnier BB Cream – It has almost full coverage for redness, SPF for sun protection, and it is a matte finish so even in the summer heat it won’t make your face feel damp or squishy!
- PLUS UP: If you want to kick up your makeup essentials you can swap Tinted BB Cream out for a great primer and foundation combo! We recommend the ELF Primers because they feel amazing, they’re CHEAP AS DIRT, and you can find them everywhere. I like the pore minimizing lavender, Dev uses the color correcting green!
- Eyeshadow Palettes: Shadow Palettes are kind of an obsession of ours…we collect them like preppers, waiting for the end of makeup as we know it. Oddly enough they are an excellent starting point for makeup essentials because they give you the option to really experiment with your look! You have a variety of options that are coordinated already so they will definitely go together well, you also get a great variety for an awesome price. Pigmentation can be tricky with these so we recommend heading straight for the brand Makeup Revolution. Sold at Ulta but in the drugstore price range these suckers are AWESOME. They have dupes for all the high end palettes, they are super pigmented, and on almost any given week you can get them for less than $10 each.
- Brushes: This goes right along with Eyeshadow palettes….you don’t have to spend crazy money on brushes, especially in the begining. ELF brushes are awesome for the price and there are also some really awesome AVON brushes out there (I use the shadow and crease brush from AVON almost everyday)! The main thing here is that you are never going to get the look you see on instagram using the little padded applicators from the palettes. Whoever invented those things was clearly a raging lunatic!
- PLUS UP: I am so in love with the new line of Urban Decay brushes. I swoon just looking at them on the website. Honestly, while you are over there looking at those brushes sign up for their beauty rewards program! They offer free shipping on ANY order once you sign up, you can earn your first $10 reward just by following them on social media, completing some reviews, and adding items to your wish list! When I placed my first orders through the program I ended up getting $65 worth of product, a bunch of deluxe free samples, and shipping UPS style 🙂 for $20. I got two of the Naked Flushed palettes for less than half the price of ONE! It was just like a dream…so yeah, check that out!
- DOUBLE PLUS UP: Once you feel comfortable with brushes and what not you mighttttt want to get a beauty blender. They’re awesome for getting an airbrushed look for BB cream, foundation, and more! They take a little bit of getting used to but it’s worth it!
- Mascara: There are days when even our makeup obsessed faces leave the house with just BB cream/foundation and mascara. You’d be amazed what a good black mascara can do for your entire face! Devyn always talks about this because her lashes are blonde like her hair…you can’t even see them until she puts on some mascara and then BAM! She’s suddenly awake and ready to go! Same goes for you: grab a tube of the new Covergirl Fibers Mascara in Black and trust me you won’t regret it. Out of all the high end mascaras out there this one is still SO AMAZING to me!
- PLUS UP: I could not recommend the Dior Show Mascara any more highly than this…The next time you see me say “head on over to Nordstrom and get free shipping on a $2 eye pencil sharpener” it’s really because I want you to get three free samples and one of them had better be the Dior Show Mascara. It’s fantastic. The brush is perfect, no clumps, it’s easy to apply and the results are phenomenal.
- Setting Spray: I wish I would have known about Setting Spray YEARS ago. I never used it. Didn’t even really know it existed….I could have saved myself some serious embarrassment over the years. I have always been a black eyeliner and waterliner. I wear that kohl ring ALWAYS. I don’t know if some people in my life have ever witnessed my face without that part of my look. I’ve since expanded to a more toned down version (Hey, when you dye your hair purple you have to have the goth eye rings to go with it okay)! I remember once after a particularly sweaty softball game I was chatting it up and being my typical adorable self and then I happened to look in the mirror after the game and saw my eyes had basically turned into two giant black circles…thanks for the heads up guys! Stacey, Devyn, Maggie, Jordan, I’m talking to you. No help for the oblivious from this crowd! Setting Spray. Get some.
- PLUS UP: I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t kind of a UD sucker. Their All Nighter Setting Spray is awesome. BUT I will also give credit where it’s due and say that on the daily I use NYX Matte Setting Spray. It works well for daily use and I keep my UD All Nighter for days like weddings, fully outdoors summertime parties, and when I am super worried about repeating my terrible eyeliner massacre of 2008, again: THANKS GUYS.
- Concealer: If you are surprised to see this on the makeup essentials list don’t be! I wish I had known how versatile concealer can be! It’s great for covering up spots, redness, and other blemishes but it can also make a great highlighter for under eyes, a tacky base for eyeshadow, and more! So definitely pick up two tubes/sticks/whatever you pick…one in a color appropriate shade and one in the next shade lighter for highlighting!
- PLUS UP: You can easily get into gel type pencil once you have mastered concealer. Grab this cheap color correcting palette and get to work learning how to adjust problem areas with these fun colorful cremes!
- Eyeliner: I saved my favorite for last! I love that you can get so much pop out of just one little action! Don’t be intimidated by eyeliner! Get a good gel type pencil and go to town! You can do the waterline (lower line) and your upper line with a gel pencil and have total control!
- PLUS UP: I’ve recently jumped into the world of liquid lining because it’s a little more defined and precise but I’m crap at it. Gel liners are awesome and they’re easy to use but the liquid calligraphy type pens are also pretty easy to use and they give you a more crisp line!!
What’s in your makeup bag?! We hope you’ve found some awesome new ideas for your makeup essentials and we’re happy to hear from, answer questions, or just chat about all things beautiful!
Also check out our Top 10 Under $10 Post for more inspiration!!