Who would have thought we’d still be buying jelly as adults? Only this is not the delicious fruity jelly we bought in our school days; this is jelly highlighter. Yes, there’s plenty of strange makeup products on the market and the fad for something new never ceases. From colour-changing lipsticks to body foundation, the list goes on.
So what makeup products do you buy when you’re just a beginner? Do you need a peach corrector or is a concealer enough? Do you need essential oils to prime your skin? Do you need a bronzer or will a contour accentuate your features more sharply? If you’ve struggled with curating the right beginner’s makeup kit, we’ve got news for you: it’s not as difficult as it sounds. You need to evaluate your needs, understand how each product performs, and buy makeup that will actually make a difference.
To help you kick off the process, here is our holy grail list of all the essentials a beginner’s makeup kit requires. Dive in!
Beauty must-haves: What to look for in a beginner’s makeup kit
After you’ve completed your skincare with a hydrating moisturiser, you need to pat down a layer of primer before the foundation. Understand the primer as the first base of your makeup – it smoothens your skin so the makeup can be applied evenly. Primers help blur out pores, reduce the appearance of fine lines on the skin, prevent your foundation from caking or creasing, and ensure that your makeup sticks onto the skin more naturally. Depending on your skin type, you can pick a silicone-based primer (smoothens skin), a colour-correcting primer (to even out skin tone), a hydrating primer (for especially dry skin), an oil-control primer (for oily skin), or a basic pigmented one.
Kool Kanya recommends: Colorbar New Perfect Match Primer
This hydrating primer has an oil-free gel formula that does not sweat your makeup out. The transparent formula is acutely effective on pores and fine lines, and is non-comedogenic which makes it ideal for sensitive skin types.
Even for beauty experts, picking the right foundation can take years. It’s like looking for your soulmate—it takes a lot of time, a lot of patience, and a lot of trial and error. But once you find the right one, you hold on tight and never let go. Your foundation can make or break your makeup look, so pick wisely. Foundation can be bought in varying textures (liquid or powder), finishes (matte or dewy), formulations (for different skin types), and a limitless range of colours. When buying makeup for a beginner, it’s wise to look for more natural, buildable formulas instead of high-coverage ones. This allows you to experiment and learn without your face looking like a freshly-painted wall.
Kool Kanya recommends: Maybelline New York Fit Me Foundation
Perfect for beginners, this foundation is easy to apply and goes on the skin effortlessly. Ideal for normal to oily skin types, it controls shine so you don’t look like a greasy oil pan at the end of the day. If you’re looking for a long-wear formula, it does not clog pores and conceals pores like a pro.
Tired of your foundation turning grey and ashy under the eyes? Call the concealer to the rescue. A concealer goes after the foundation, as opposed to a colour corrector that goes before it. If you’re a beginner, there are chances you don’t have prominent dark spots on your face. So, a concealer will be enough to do the job. Just dab a few drops on the pigmented areas of your face, and blend in lightly. If your complexion still looks uneven or grey-ish, chances are you need a corrector. When buying a concealer, you can go for one shade lighter than your skin (for slight pigmentation), a shade with a peachy undertone (to correct darker areas), or a neutral, darker shade (for very dark patches that don’t need correction).
Kool Kanya recommends: L.A GIRL HD Pro Conceal
One of the best concealers on the market, it is loved by beauty gurus and professionals alike. Thanks to its high coverage and thick consistency, it works wonders on all skin types. If you pick a lighter shade, it can be used to highlight your forehead and chin as well.
4. Setting powder
Once all the liquid/creamy formulas have been layered, the setting powder takes its turn. As the name suggests, a setting powder helps set your makeup in place. The right powder can help mattify and clean up your look, controlling shine and preventing feathering. Useful especially after applying concealer, it prevents creasing and shifting of your makeup products. As a beginner, it’s better to go for a loose setting powder instead of a compact one. The former is easier to work with, and can be easily brushed off if applied excessively. If you’re unsure of what shade to pick, you can start off with a translucent powder.
Kool Kanya recommends: SUGAR Cosmetics Set The Tone Tinted Powder
This mineral powder has a silky, lightweight finish which controls shine and smoothens out your skin. The tinted formula is lightly pigmented to give you a natural yet polished makeup look.
If you’ve been sleeping on blush all this while, you’re making a rookie mistake. Thanks to hundreds of Instagram videos, we know that blush can accentuate the shape of your face in so many different ways. One of the most common mistakes people make while picking a blush is going for overtly pink tones. Think of your blush as an addition to your natural flush. If you have a warm-toned complexion, you can go for peachy shades. If you have a very fair skin tone, pink blushes can do the trick for you. While it might look tempting to pick a liquid blush, thanks to the many options on the market, powder formula is a great place to start.
Kool Kanya recommends: SUGAR Cosmetics Contour De Force Mini Blush
This lightweight powder blush is perfect if you’re looking for a natural, radiant flush of colour. The buttery formula does not dry out the skin, and the silky finish adds a nice sheen to your otherwise basic makeup.
Wondering how to steal that sunkissed glow for your midnight party? A highlighter is what you need. While a lot of beginners might shy away from using a highlighter, the product is not as complicated as it looks. Just dab a little on a fanned brush, and touch it on the high points of your face (cheekbones , inner corner of the eye, on the brow bone, tip of the nose, and the chin). Since a lot of brands confuse highlighters with glittery, chunky powders, picking a good one can become a little complicated. The thing to remember is that you’re looking for a wet, glistening look as opposed to a sparkly one. The closer the shade is to your natural complexion, the more natural the finish.
Kool Kanya recommends: Wet n Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder
If you’re a fan of cruelty-free, vegan makeup products, this highlighter might be the one for you. Touted as the dupe for a lot of high-end brands, the Wet n Wild highlighter is easy to blend and gives a buttery-soft finish.
Whether you’re team ‘winged liner’ or team ‘cat-eye’, everyone needs eyeliner in their vanity. The complicated gel liner with an applicator and the modern sketch pen liner might have hogged all the attention, and rightfully so. If you’re not huge on expansive eye looks, get a lasting eyeliner for minimal makeup looks. While a lot of brands offer oily, glossy formulas, it’s better to stick to the waterproof matte ones that don’t feather. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, coloured liner pencils can prove to be an exciting option for you.
Kool Kanya recommends: LAKMÉ Eyeconic Eyeliner Pen
This smudge proof, waterproof eyeliner stays transfer-proof for as long as 14 hours. The Lakme liner comes with fine and block tip variants that allow you to attain the perfect flick everyday.
Mascara is that mystic product which can take you from looking tired and unwell to looking happy and swell within seconds (you’ll still be tired and unwell on the inside though). There’s a lot of drama in the eyes; leave it to your mascara to bring it out for you. A good mascara can lift your eye shape, make you look more wakeful, and give your lashes a dramatic flair. Whether you’re investing in a lengthening, volumising, or curling mascara, make sure to get a waterproof one. You don’t want your face dripping with blackened tears every time you call your ex, do you!
Kool Kanya recommends: L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara
Enriched with castor oil, rose oil, and cornflower extract, this ultra-creamy mascara gives you a comfortable finish. The unique hourglass-shaped wand prevents clumping, and the wavy bristles give you luscious lashes.
Eye makeup is one of the scariest parts of any makeup routine. We watch step by step tutorials, go through endless trials, and spend atrocious amounts of money to perfect the most basic nude look. If you gotta learn, you gotta practice. When buying an eyeshadow palette as a beginner, it’s better to buy one that comes with basic, nude colours that can be used in multiple ways. Pressed pigments and shimmers can prove especially tedious, so stick to soft, matte formulas in the beginning.
Kool Kanya recommends: Swiss Beauty Ultimate Shadow Palette
Each nine-pan palette features intensely pigmented colours to give you an easy, single-stroke application. Easy to blend, these colours have a long-lasting finish. Highly affordable, these palettes are loved by influencers and beauty gurus alike.
Back in the day when we got excited about our mothers putting lipstick on us, we thought it was the only makeup we needed. We haven’t been completely wrong. While lipstick might not be the only makeup you need, it’s certainly one of the most important makeup products. The wrong lip shade can make or break your look. While buying lipstick is no science, a lot of people end up investing in the wrong shades or brands. If you find yourself confused about what sort of lipstick to buy, always go for regular bullet lipstick. Once you understand what are your expectations of the lip product, you can switch to matte, transfer-proof formulas, liquid lipstick, lip tints, or stick with the glossy bullet ones. While packing up your vanity, don’t forget to include at least one nude shade that compliments your skin tone.
Kool Kanya recommends: Lakme 9 to 5 Weightless Matte Mousse
This matte mousse is the perfect mix of a soft creamy matte and a lasting liquid formula. Perfect for long wear, this lipstick doubles up as a soft lip and cheek tint; just put a few drops and dab softly with your fingers.
If you’re a makeup enthusiast, you know there’s no cap on the number of makeup products you own. But while buying makeup, it’s imperative to be budget-conscious as well as being mindful of wasteful shopping.
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