Basic Makeup Kit For Beginners On A Budget

What should you buy?

 makeup kit for beginners on a budget
Basic makeup kit for beginners on a budget

What is in a basic makeup kit for beginners on a budget?

So you’re just setting out on your makeup journey and you’re looking for some must-have makeup products to put together an affordable makeup kit.

  • What should be in a makeup kit for beginners?
  • What are some bare minimum makeup essentials you should buy?
  • How much should I spend on a basic makeup kit?

You take a look online and there are literally thousands of different products out there.

Overwhelming? I get it.

Expensive? You betcha.

That’s why I have put together for you these essentials for a basic makeup kit for beginners on a budget. This is the perfect full makeup kit list for getting started and having everything you need to put together a fab makeup look.

Makeup Kit for beginners: What to buy?

makeup kit for beginners on a budget

To break things down, let’s split your face into 3 different sections:

  • complexion
  • eyes
  • lips

From here, we can then split this down even more into a makeup essentials list.

List of makeup products for beginners


  • A base i.e. Foundation
  • Concealer
  • Bronzer
  • Blusher
  • Highlight


  • Eyeshadow
  • Mascara
  • Eyeliner
  • Eyebrow Product


  • Lip product (of your choice)

We also want to think about the tools we need…

Makeup Tools List 

  • Base applicator
  • Concealer applicator
  • Bronzer Brush
  • Blush Brush
  • Eyebrow Brush
  • Eyeshadow Brush(es)

In this post, i’m only going to use makeup brands that are drugstore prices, so we can get you that starter makeup kit for beginners without breaking the bank! If you are looking for some ideas for a bit more of a splurge, check out our post here for lipstick choices or here for loads of blush choices!

Ready? Okay! Let’s get this party started!

dog with party hat

All about that base!

Let’s start with getting that perfect base to make your skin look flawless. The first thing you are going to want is a “foundation”. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a heavy, full-coverage foundation; it depends on the look you are wanting to go for.

There are now lots of different types of base you can use but let’s just talk about the most common few:

  • Foundation
  • BB Cream
  • Tinted Moisturizer
  • Powder


This is what you would typically buy in a bottle in a liquid form (see picture below).

selection of foundation for beginners to makeup

These come in a range of coverage such as; full and light coverage, matte and dewy finish. Which one you choose will be a personal choice. If you are prone to breakouts and are looking to cover it up, you might wish to choose something with a heavier coverage that is going to last a bit longer for you. If you are just looking for something to even out your skin tone, you probably just want light coverage.

Try these brands: 

  1. The Ordinary 
  2. Makeup Revolution 
  3. Loreal Paris 

Just look at the product description on the website and it will tell you the coverage type of that particular foundation!

BB Cream

The inscription "BB cream" made on the cream Foundation of makeup isolated on white background. Cosmetic concealer. Realistic brown cream texture.

So now you can get BB cream, CC cream, DD cream…

You can probably get WDWJEF cream* (*not a real thing). The point is that there is so much choice. 

Let’s talk solely about BB cream.

If you want something with light coverage, this is for you. There are a few different interpretations of what “BB” means but the common answer seems to be Blemish Balm. It’s somewhere between a moisturizer and a foundation with the aim of giving your skin some color with a bright glow and lots of added goodness. If you are looking to know more about BB cream, have a read of this really helpful article.

BB creams will give you light coverage with a dewy finish. It won’t feel heavy like a traditional foundation and is perfect to wear for the Summer.

Try these brands:

Tinted Moisturizer

woman applying moisturizer

So what’s the difference between a BB cream and a tinted moisturizer?

A BB cream is more of an “all-encompassing” product whereas a tinted moisturizer is just that. It is intended to hydrate your skin while providing you with a little bit of color. It is probably not going to be able to cover any imperfections you might have on your skin. If you are prone to breakouts, this probably won’t be enough for you on its own.

It will give you a really nice, hydrated look with just a hint of color. It’s the perfect product if you do not want a heavy base or are just looking for something that’s really hydrating while giving a little bit of color.

Try these brands: 

  1. No7 
  2. AVON
  3. Essence 


old fashioned face powder

Powder is the most traditional form of base makeup. When you think of it, you might picture your grandma applying it from a compact with a big, fluffy powder puff.

You can use powder on its own.

If you have dry skin, it’s probably not going to be for you as it won’t sit nicely on your skin.

If you want a really flawless, smooth looking result, I also don’t think this is going to be for you. I just haven’t ever had this result when I have tried it. If you are looking for a bit of matte coverage that will leave your skin feeling soft, you could give powder a try.

A lot of people apply powder on top of their foundation to mattify it, especially if you have oily skin. This will “set” your foundation and give you a nicer finish.

Try these brands: 


a picture of NARS Concealer for beginners

To cover up those under-eye bags that we all have, (not enough coffee in the world, right?) you’re going to want a good concealer.

You can also use this for covering up any stubborn pimples or blemishes that need a bit of extra coverage.

A concealer does what it says on the tin. It is intended to conceal those areas of the face that need a bit of extra coverage to help you achieve that flawless look.

You can also use a bit of concealer on your eyelids before you apply your eyeshadow to give you a good base and help your eyeshadow last longer. 

Try these brands: 

  1. E.l.f. cosmetics 
  2. Makeup Revolution 
  3. Maybelline 





Blush, Bronze & Highlight

So that’s the base down, let’s get some color in the mix!

Once you have added your base, you will probably feel like you look a bit “ghost like” and as if you have lost the color out of your face.

Enter: blush & bronzer 


a bronzer palette for use by beginners

Applying bronzer will put some color back in your face while accentuating your features.

You want to use bronzer to accentuate your cheek bones, jawline and hairline on your forehead. It’s a good idea to sweep the bronzer in a “3” shape, starting at the middle of your forehead, round the side of your face and across your cheekbone, then down to your jawline.

Don’t be tempted to try and use a bronzer that is really dark.

You don’t want it to look like you have two stripes down your cheek bones when you apply. The darker you go, the harder it will be to blend in. Try getting a bronzer palette, like in the picture, to help you find which color is right for you.

It is better to use a color that is lighter, and build it up to the intensity that you are looking for than use a color that is too dark and end up having to take off your makeup and reapply.

Try these brands:



We’ve discussed blush quite a lot in this post if you want to have a look.

Blush will give you the color back in your cheeks that you might have lost when applying your foundation base.

There are so many colors of blush you can buy so it’s fun to try different ones and see what works for you and your skin tone. You can get blush for really cheap and there are some brilliant blush palettes out there so you can get lots of different colors in one go, for a really good price.

Try these brands: 

  1. Makeup Revolution 
  2. L.A.Girl
  3. BH Cosmetics 



As the name suggests, highlight should be used to accentuate the “high points” on your face like temple to cheekbone, tip of your nose and eyebrow arch.

Don’t overdo it – less is definitely more. It is very tempting to go crazy with the highlight and shine like a glitter-ball but this isn’t the look you want. Just give yourself a glow with a gentle sweep over the high points of your face.

Try these brands: 

  1. Sleek 
  2. e.l.f. cosmetics 
  3. Wet N Wild 



Eye Makeup

Let’s move on. Now we’re onto eyes.


red eyeshadow
Ruby Red Package

In my opinion, this has got to be the most fun part of the makeup process. The options and opportunities are simply endless for what you can do with it and what looks you can create.

The only limit is your own imagination.

Seeing as we are putting you together a basic makeup kit for beginners on a budget, we want to try and get as much for our money as we can. Therefore, I’ve linked below some suggestions of brands and eyeshadow palettes with a number of different colors so you can try as many looks as you can without breaking the bank.

Buying a big palette with lots of colors gives you the opportunity to have fun with different looks and means you have the product to create any look you want!

Try these brands:



A good mascara is a makeup bag staple.

Even if you don’t put any other makeup on, a coat of mascara can make it look like you’re ready for the day. Mascara will make your eyes look bigger and makes such a difference to your eye look.

Top tip: if you are applying mascara, either put your perfume on before or at least 10 minutes after. This way, if the perfume makes you sneeze, the mascara won’t smudge!

Try these brands: 

  1. Maybelline 
  2. Barry M
  3. Soap & Glory 


woman applying eyeliner

There are many different forms of eyeliner and each one will give you a different end result.

You can get pencil, liquid, gel or even a felt-tip pen style applicator.

if you are new to applying a liquid eyeliner, you might find a pen style applicator the easiest to use initially as if will give you a bit more control over how to apply the product.

A pencil eyeliner is the best choice for applying to your waterline.

Eyeliner is a beast that takes practice to perfect. It will come with time but you’ve just got to keep trying! there are also so many YouTube tutorials to help you out if you’re stuck!

Try these brands:

  1. MUA 
  2. Wet N Wild 
  3. Rimmel 


image of one eyebrow of woman's eye

What about brows?

There are again loads of products for styling your brows.

Brows are huge right now. Both in popularity and in size (big brows are in so put away the tweezers!)

To start, I would suggest getting yourself an all-in-one brow product that will allow you to practice and see what product you like.

Try these brands: 

  1. NYX
  2. Makeup Revolution 
  3. Wet N Wild 


woman applying red lipstick

Second to eyeshadow, you can have so much fun with lip color.

There are endless possibilities and thousands of different products. We have looked at some in this post if you want to find something that works for you.

If you are looking to try a few different types of lip product, have a look for a set you can buy that has a few products in it. This will also save you some money!

Try these brands: 

  1. Barry M 
  2. Kiko 
  3. Lottie London

Makeup Tools

makeup tools for beginners

Let’s talk about tools.

As a minimum, you’re going to want to get yourself a set of brushes.

if you buy a set, you will then have the essentials you need to get going. It won’t give you everything you could possibly want, but it will be enough to get started and will likely be cheaper than buying the products separately.

I would also invest in a beauty blender like this one for applying your base. It will give you a nice air-brushed finish.

try these brands: 

  1. BH Cosmetics 
  2. Spectrum 
  3. E.l.f. cosmetics 

Other investments you can make to save you some money!

  1. An all-in-one makeup palette.

This can be a game-changer when it comes to saving money.

You can get a palette which includes eyeshadow, bronzer, highlight and blush all-in-one palette which therefore contains almost everything you need as a beginner.

This one by Makeup Revolution is a bargain price. It won’t be everything you want, but it is a great place to start. This one by Nyx is more expensive, but considering it contains so many different colors of eyeshadow and you’re also getting face products, it’s actually a pretty good price and so pretty.

  1. A Primer 

It is so worth investing in a primer. It doesn’t need to be expensive and will make a big difference when you are applying your base. It will help it go on a lot easier and you’ll likely find that the amount of makeup base product you need will be reduced, saving you money in the long run!

To conclude: A complete drugstore makeup starter kit for beginners on a budget

Okay so I have thrown a lot at you there.

Let me write you a list of what you need on your shopping list when you buy your beginner makeup kit.

  • foundation
  • concealer
  • bronzer
  • blusher
  • highlight
  • eyeshadow
  • mascara
  • eyeliner
  • eyebrow kit
  • lipstick
  • makeup brush set & beauty blender

Write these down and take it with you when you go shopping!

While there are a lot of products on this list, you really can buy yourself a basic makeup kit for beginners on a budget. Consider buying yourself an all in one palette which includes blush, bronzer and highlight and a few eyeshadow colors. This will save you lots of money. 

Think about buying palettes of things because they aren’t generally more expensive, and you give yourself so much more choice to play with. You don’t need to buy expensive products when you are starting out, or even at all. Just be clever with what you’re buying and make your money work for you the best you can.

I hope this is helpful! if you need any more help, or have any comments or suggestions, please let me know in the comment box below!



2 thoughts on “Basic Makeup Kit For Beginners On A Budget”

  1. Love this post. Pinned it so I can keep coming back to it. I’ve heard makeup revolution is a good brand to start with so was good to see that pop up a few times.

    1. Hi Jenna
      Thank you so much for your really kind comments! I definitely recommend Makeup Revolution it is so good for the money! If there is anything I could help you with, or you are looking for something in particular, please just send me a message and i’ll be more than happy to help 🙂

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