Thursday, August 25, 2011

Makeup For Beginners

I've only gotten into makeup 2 years ago (ever since I've started university), although I'm no professional nor have I taken any classes I would say that I've gotten pretty good at it. Makeup is a creative thing, something to enjoy doing - like a hobby. To me, it's a form of art. It's not something you do for other people and I guarantee you'll have more fun with it if you try to express, not impress ;) The more you play/practice with it the better you get, and there isn't really a right or wrong way...just do what's most suitable for you.

Recently I've been asked for some recommendations for beginner makeup so.... here I am making this post on anything that comes to mind. I've listed a few items in each section to give some variety so that you can go pick and choose at the drugstore. (I'm not telling you to get everything hehehe although when you get addicted like me....oh dear XD bwahahaha)

*** For a beginner kit I'll just recommend getting an eyeliner, mascara, a lash curler, a pink/natural colored blush, a concealer, and one or two eyeshadow trios/quads. This should be sufficient especially if you're starting out in high school - keep everything easy and natural :)

My Recommendations & Tips....

Part 1: Eyes

>> Eyeliner 

If you have oily lids or a fold/crease on your lids i do not recommend pencil liners as they will just crease/smear and fade on you even though it's the most user friendly out of all the different types. 

*** Tip: For easy eyeliner application and if you still want to get a pencil liner - use the pencil liner as a base, so that you have a line already to your liking and then go over it with a liquid or gel eyeliner to make it last throughout the day. Although it is a 2 step process, I personally don't find it that time consuming b/c you don't have to worry about screwing up and fixing it or having to do it slowly so....actually taking an extra step might be faster :O

  • Pencil liners: Annabelle Smoothliner, Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner, Rimmel Exaggerate Auto Waterproof Eye definer
  • Liquid Liners: Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner, Maybelline Line Stiletto, L'oreal Linear Intense? (I personally haven't tried this but it's been highly raved about by bloggers & youtubers so I guess you can give it a try ^^)
  • Gel Liners: Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Eyeliner and Wet n' Wild Mega Eyes Cream Liner (I prefer the Maybelline one because it comes in a glass jar - the product is sealed better so it doesn't dry out so fast like the wet n' wild =.=)

Note: For everyday/school appropriate purposes use brown or black for a more natural look (if this is not apparent to you already lol...)

>> Lashes & Mascara

No matter how good of a mascara you have, you must first have a good lash curler. I have the typical asian eye shape and lashes - flat eye shape and worse - I'm a monolid :( with short lashes that points straight down... so curling them is a necessity. 

A good curler will probably last you a really long time so this is where I think an investment is needed. 

  • If you have the same eye qualities as me I highly recommend: Shu Uemura ($22) or Shiseido's lash curler (these fit my eye shape perfectly and curls my lashes really well! I prefer the Shu Uemura more though, I don't know what it is....maybe the band? it just makes nicer/better curls than the Shiseido one imo but shiseido is still pretty good)
  • If you have a more defined eye shape....well honestly I don't know as this is all just from experience...and i don't have defined caucasian eyes - sorries! But you can always go ask the representatives at the makeup stores/counters. Or maybe even try the ELF $1 lash curler? I've heard good things about it and obviously you have nothing to lose here since it's so cheap! :)
On to mascaras....when I go pick out mascaras the first and utmost important criteria is that it needs to hold my curl so usually I go for waterproof formulas (for holding the curl and also lasting effect too). Since everyone have different needs, mascaras can be quite controversial. But I'll still recommend the ones I liked the most and probably worth your try :)

  • Maybelline The Falsies Waterproof (original formula - fat purple tube w/ aqua labeling)
  • Maybelline The Falsies Black Drama Waterproof (fat purple tube w/ black labeling)
  • Maybelline Volum' Express The Colossal Waterproof (fat yellow tube)
  • Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume Waterproof  (fat orange tube)
  • Cover Girl Lash Exact mascara (skinny purple tube)
  • Maybelline Lash Stiletto Ultimate Waterproof (skinny black tube)

Right now I'm loving The Falsies line I like both the original and the black drama one. But I would recommend this if you like/need more dramatic looking lashes (volume & length). For a beginner I'll recommend the Cover Girl ones or the Maybelline Define-A-Lash mascara because they are more natural and less dramatic.

*** Tip: Whether you are a beginner or not I don't think mascaras should be something to splurge on as it is something that you will use up very quickly compared to any other makeup product (unless you have that kind of mula to spend). 

>> Eyeshadow

For beginners get palettes or quads and trios because you can do different combinations and get different outcomes depending on how you style the colors. And of course....stick with neutral eyeshadows, get used to the techniques of applying eyeshadows, get good at it and then gradually go into experimenting with colors :)

  • Wet n' Wild: Color Icon Palette (Vanity), Color Icon Trios, Color Icon Collection palette
  • Maybelline: Expertwear Eyeshadow Quads (Chai Latte, Natural Smokes)
  • Cover Girl: trios and quads (Shimmering Sands trio, Golden Sunset trio, Country Woods quad, Drama Eyes quad, Tropical fusion quad) 
  • NYX: 10-Color Eyeshadow Palette, the eyeshadow Trios
  • Coastal Scents: (order online) 88 Warm Palette, 88 Original/Shimmer Palette 
  • Sephora Collection: the big palettes that come with eyeshadows, lipglosses and blushers ~$36 seems pricey at first but think about it and do the are getting soooo many things in one palette, it is actually pretty reasonable and cheap. And now they've made it so that you can pop out eyeshadows and separate them into a smaller palette for on-the-go now THAT is awesome. So it is definitely something to consider getting :)

And if you are getting serious business with eyeshadows I would highly recommend you getting an eyeshadow primer, not only will it make your eyeshadows last longer but also enhance the color intensity as well. 

  • Urban Decay Primer Potion ($23 Sephora)
  • Too Faced Shadow Insurance ($24 Sephora)

*** Tip: you only need very minimal amount so a primer would last you a very very verrrryyyy long time (even if it is used every day) 

Part 2: Face

>> Foundation

In this section I don't have much to recommend, since I rarely use foundation myself because I don't need a full face coverage so I can skip it - same goes for you newbie! :P And I honestly don't think you need foundation unless you actually have really REALLY bad skin (red blotchyness, noticeable uneven skintone and severe acne etc). 

  • Maybelline SuperStay 24hr Foundation - long lasting & medium to full coverage but not too heavy, easy to blend and work with. (~$8-10 drugstore)

>> Concealer

  • Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse Concealer (for dark circles/under eye area only)
  • Almay Clear Complexion Concealer 
  • Make Up Forever Full Cover Concealer (I know this isn't drugstore, but it works really well and the amount of product you get for the price evens out - this will last you a very long while)

>> Powder

To make your foundation/concealer stay put and last longer apply powder to set it in place 
  • Maybelline Dream Matte Powder (~$7-8 drugstore)
  • E.L.F High Definition Powder ($6 ELF website)
  • L'oreal True Match Face Powder (~$10+)

>> Blusher

It's always nice to get that healthy glowing look, and blush definitely does the job well. (~$4-7 drugstores)

  • ELF Studio Blush ($3 ELF website)
  • NYC Blushable Creme Stick 
  • NYX Powder Blush 
  • Wet n' Wild Color Icon Blusher
  • Cover Girl Cheekers Blush
  • Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush

>> Bronzer/Contour

Get that nice summery tan look or slim down your face and give it some definition with a bronzer or contouring powder. (~$4-7 drugstore)

*** Tip: remember to use matte bronzers if you're using it for contouring purposes or if you're planning to put on a shimmery blush

  • NYX Powder Blush in Taupe 
  • NYC Smooth Skin Bronzer in Sunny 
  • Rimmel Natural Bronzer 

Part 3: Brushes

  • Ecotools brushes: Bamboo 6 Piece Brush Set and/or the Bamboo 5 Piece Brush set (cheap yet super good quality, very soft & doesn't shed a single hair! highly recommended!! ~$10-12 Superstore & Walmart)
  • Annabelle brushes: A-10 Medium Shader brush, A-21 Large Shader brush, A-14 Angled brush (brushes are soft & good quality! ~$7-8 Superstore, Walmart, Shoppers)
  • ELF brushes: regular line and studio line of brushes are great :) (~$1-5 ELF website)
  • Essence of Beauty Brush Set (this isn't available in Canada, so I got mine online ~$20) 

Part 4: Lips

Keep it simple - especially if you're starting out makeup in high school :)
  • Chapstick/Lip Balm of your preference
  • ELF Conditioning Lip Balm (Peaceful Pink)

If you really want to get into lip stuff & you still have extra mula after getting all the shit I've talked about in parts 1, 2 and 3 lol feel free to look at some of these babiessss :3

  • NYX Round Lipsticks
  • NYX Mega Shine Lipglosses
  • Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipsticks
  • Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipsticks
  • Revlon Colorburst Lipsticks
  • Revlon Super Lustrous Lipglosses

And that's all I can think of....sorry about the long post ><" but I thought it'd be more helpful if I talked in detail about stuff......and I didn't want to separate the post sooo yeah...I hope this helped out!! Good luck! If you have any questions feel free to ask, I'll be happy to answer them! ^_^ 


  1. Hello Jennifer, I just quickly went through your blog and I just wanted to say I love your eye looks and tutorials. This post was also an interesting read, I'm always curious to see what people would recommend for starter kits. I love the Annabelle smooth liners, and I've also tried a few other items you mentioned like the ELF eye lash curler (an item I've repurchased in the past but the quality is really really bad now.).

    1. Hi Fannie, thank you so much! Your words mean a lot to me and I'm happy and glad to hear that you enjoy my posts! I personally still haven't tried the ELF eye lash curler since I don't need another one, it's a shame that the quality isn't up to par but I guess sometimes you get what you pay for for certain makeup products. Recently I heard that the Tarte Picture Perfect Eye Lash Curler is also a great find so if you want you can try that out. The last time I checked, it came with their mascara for an affordable price at Sephora. :)