Makeup Bag Tips for Beginners
A Beginner's Guide to What Should Be Included in Your Makeup Bag
Growing up, I went through an “awkward makeup” stage. I knew how to apply makeup from watching my mother when I was a child, but when it came to actually buying my own I didn’t have a clue. I started wearing makeup regularly in high school, and I was a big fan of the alternative scene. At first my mother didn’t approve of dark or heavy makeup, so I had a blue eyeliner pencil I bought at a dollar store, a tube of mascara I got from her, and a tube of concealer I bought myself at the store. Thankfully after becoming interested in YouTube makeup tutorials, I began to figure out more on what I needed to complete a look for the day. Now that I’ve been a makeup wearer for at least a decade, I think it’s time I share what I’ve learned from my trials and errors at the beauty counter and share what should be in your first makeup bag.
Since this list is intended for beginners, I will only be suggesting brands that you can buy over the counter at your local drugstore. I wouldn’t want to suggest a makeup product that has a higher price point when you’re just starting to get into wearing makeup, just in case it doesn’t work well for you, since everyone has different complexions.
1.) Pencil and/or Liquid Pen Eyeliner
For the beginner, I suggest having one of these two options in your makeup bag. If subtle is what you’re looking for, pencil eyeliner will appear more natural. If you’re looking for the drama, then liquid eyeliner is where you’re going to get it. Liquid eyeliner will give you a much darker line than using a pencil eyeliner but be careful! It is easier to smudge liquid eyeliner when it’s wet. I would also suggest getting liquid eyeliner in pen form as opposed to a potted eyeliner, an eyeliner that comes with a pot you’ll have to dip your makeup brush into it like a paintbrush, and it might not go on as easily depending on how much pigment you have on your brush.
Suggestions: Pencil: L'Oreal Eyeliner Pencil
Liquid: L'Oreal Slim Eyeliner Pen
Mascara is one of the most natural cosmetics you can come across, and mascara will go well with anything as long as you are using a good brand of mascara. Good mascara will not be clumpy, and it will not smudge on your cheeks throughout the day. Mascara brushes are shaped differently to provide different effects. For a more natural look, go with a straighter brush. Straighter brushes with no curves will not bring as much volume to your eyelashes. If you want more of a full look, use a curved brush to add volume.
Suggestions: Straight brush: Maybelline Lash Blast Mascara
Curved brush: L'Oreal Butterfly Intenza Mascara
3.) BB Cream/CC Creams
BB/CC Creams are light foundations and will appear more natural than “heavier” foundations. They also tend to be more beneficial to skin than foundations, typically having more anti-oxidants and acne fighting ingredients. Sometimes people will want more coverage than you can get with a BB/CC Cream, and that is perfectly fine if you want to replace this suggestion in your makeup bag with a foundation.
Suggestions: BB Cream: ELF Cosmetics BB Cream
CC Cream: Physician’s Formula Super CC Correct+Conceal+Cover
I know what you’re thinking. “Chapstick? Why not gloss or lipstick?” Chapstick is essential to keeping lips hydrated and preventing chapped lips. If you want more coverage than just plain Chapstick, there are pigmented Chapsticks that will add a small amount of color to your lips.
Suggestions: Pigmented: Maybelline Smoochers Lip Balm
Non-Pigmented: EOS Lip Balm
Starting out with makeup, I would try to keep eyeshadow to minimum. Eyeshadow is one of the more trickier things to learn when it comes to makeup, especially when it comes to picking it out and then applying eyeshadow to the eyelids. When looking for eyeshadow, look for something with pigment. Well pigmented eyeshadow will not appear glossy, and will have a more matte texture. Avoid using glossy or sparkly eyeshadows for the time being. As far as colors, that’s up to you!
Suggestions: Revlon Eyeshadow Palettes
Covergirl Eyeshadow Palettes
6.) Makeup Wipes
It’s always a good idea to keep a travel size pack of makeup wipes in your makeup bag, just in case your makeup gets smudged throughout the day. Makeup wipes are easier to use in a pinch than the makeup removers that come in a bottle, and you won’t be worried about leaks.
Suggestion: Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes
About the author
Just your typical millennial I guess. Eating the right stuff because I can't afford anything past my current debt. East Coast living. I enjoy hiking and being lazy all at once. Existential crisis for the win.