Beginner’s Makeup Bag

If you’re just trying to get into makeup, it can be frustrating trying to figure out what to buy without breaking the bank. Or just what to buy in general to get started!

Here are a few variations on what the best basics are across the board.


This is the biggest category. There are quite a few pieces to take into account here.

First, foundation. Your best bet is the Maybelline FitMe foundation ($6). If your skin is more dry, get the Dewy and Smooth variety. If your skin is more oily, get the Matte and Poreless.

Secondly, you’ll want concealer. If you don’t have a lot of dark circles or blemishes to cover, the Wet n Wild Photo Focus concealer ($3) is a good bet. But if you have dark circles or other issues, get the elf Cosmetics camo concealer ($6)! Again, get the standard or hydrating based on your skin type.

For powder, try the elf Cosmetics Prime and Stay Finishing Powder ($3). If that doesn’t come in your shade, try the Maybelline FitMe Powder ($6)

The best way to give your face a little bit of definition without going heavy on contour is with a blush. elf Cosmetics has bite-sized face duos($4) with blushes for a wide range of skin types! You can mix the blush with the highlighter or wear it separately (or not at all).


If you’re new at makeup, you want to get something simple for eyes. Both elf ($4) and Wet n Wild ($3) have good quality mini eyeshadow palettes that are low priced.

elf has a bite sized palette called Cream and Sugar that’s a good beginners warm brown with a simple crease and lid color as well as ways to deepen the look. Wet N Wild’s Color Icon 5 pan in Walking on Eggshells is their alternative to the elf quad.

For mascara, the best one hands down is the essence Lash Princess mascara ($5). It’s the best quality and least expensive product I’ve ever tried.

If you don’t have super light or sparse eyebrows, don’t worry about messing with them at this point. Otherwise, grab an inexpensive brow gel like the elf Cosmetics Wow Brow ($3) to give your brows a bit of fullness. With extremely full brows, it might be worth grabbing a clear brow gel if they get out of hand.


Lips always depends on the amount of wear you need from a lipstick and how comfortable you want the product. The best balance between comfort and staying power are with the elf SRSLY Satin Lipsticks ($4).

If you want more comfort at the expense of staying power, try the Wet N Wild Megalast Shine ($2) line.

However, for wear that will last absolutely forever, go Maybelline Superstay Matte Ink lipsticks ($8). They’re the most expensive single item on this list, but they’re more than worth it if you need long wearing lipsticks.


The best way to put your face makeup on is with a damp sponge – and I prefer the elf Total Face Sponge ($5). Also viable is the Real Techniques Sponge ($5).

For brushes, you can easily get away with just two – one larger one for powder and blush, and a smaller one for working on a crease shade. The elf pointed powder brush is $6, and the Fluffy Eye Blender Brush is $4. Another option is the rose gold travel brush kit from elf ($10) to replace those.

Total cost: $41 – 57

Now this is very minimal and could be expanded a bit. The prices would obviously be different if you chose different products, or if you didn’t shop around for lowest prices. But, you could easily put together a decent quality selection of products for a beginner for less than $60!

Have you used any of the products on this list before? What are your favorites? Let me know in the comments!