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The Ultimate Makeup Starter Pack

Make-up is like magic, it can change who you are, what you do and what style you have. I think that’s why I love make-up, because it could tell a story, your story, just by looking at your face. But being the oldest daughter, and my mom not really being interested in make-up, meant that I was on my own in the makeup game. So for those of you out there that are just like me and who are fascinated with makeup, but haven’t got a darn clue where to start, check out this make-up starter kit I’ve made to ensure you always have fierce makeup.

DISCLAIMER: To prove that good makeup doesn’t have to be expensive makeup (and because this is a make-up guide for beginners), all the products listed will be drug-store products.

1. Foundation

Just like your mother always told you growing up, without a strong foundation it’s hard to make anything work; the same is true with makeup. Whether you’re looking for a high-coverage look (something that covers up all your blemishes and makes you look airbrushed) or you just want something to make your skin look natural, the foundation you use is so important. Lately I’ve been loving a full-coverage, matte look so I have been using Maybelline’s FIT ME MATTE + PORELESS Foundation. This foundation will completely smooth your skin, leaving a matte, glowing finish. If you are looking for something less heavy and with a lower coverage, Maybelline’s DREAM PURE BB Cream is amazing and perfect for beginners! It was one of the first foundations I used and continue to use for years..

2. Concealer

I have majorly dark under eyes, and it does not matter how much sleep I get; they do not go away at all. So this means concealer is a must for me. I’m sure most of you have heard of “color correcting” and/or have seen those scary looking tubes of purple and green concealers that you’re supposed to put on your face and have shrunken away with fear and confusion. As confused as I used to be about this, let me first say that you have to put that under your regular colored concealer. Peach or yellow are the best colors to counteract dark circles, however I have found that yellow can be a little harsh (at least on me) and peach usually looks more natural. For this, I use NYX Dark Circle Concealer, which has a very natural and subtle peachy undertone and completely erases my dark under-eyes. For those of you just looking for a high-coverage, brightening concealer, I also use and love Maybelline’s FIT ME Concealer. I use this not just under my eyes to brighten and make me look more awake, but also for any red spots I have on my face to even my skin tone.

3. Powder

I think this is a huge category that is so often overlooked but makes a huge difference in your makeup and how on-point it looks. A finishing powder is such a quick and easy step that is applied after all of your face products are on and it just blends everything together, while also matting and removing any oily shine in a last flawless effort. This will keep your makeup on longer, keep you from getting shiny quickly and it will pull everything together. I love using the tinted, foundation powder from Maybelline (the FIT ME MATTE + PORELESS POWDER).  

4. Blush & Bronzer

As a pale person, I always shied away from bronzer when I was younger because I assumed it was only for tan people and would be way too dark for me. However, I finally saw someone pale like me applying bronzer and realized that it still looked natural on her, so I decided to go ahead and try it out. It changed my makeup look from just pretty to professional. I swear by my bronzer now no matter how dark or light you are, it just gives you a perfect, sun-kissed and slimming look that makes it seem like you actually know what you are doing. Blush is another obvious must in order to not look dead and bring some color to your look (to keep it natural). I have been using e.l.f.’s Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder duo in St. Lucia for years. This is a great set and has been said to be a dupe for NARS’ Orgasm blush and Laguna bronzer (the blush that J. Lo is famous for wearing).

5. Eyeshadow

When first starting to play with eye shadow, it can be hard to know where to start; with so many options out there, it’s overwhelming. You can get matte, glitter, shimmer, single, pallets, cream, powder, pigment; the list goes on and on. I think a great way to start is with a simple pallet that has no more than 10 shades and a good mixture of matte and glitter, with neutral colors in it so it’s easy to play around. My favorite is a NAKED-look-alike pallet from wet n wild called 10-Pan Studio Eyeshadow Pallet in Coming in Latte. Quick side-note, Wet ‘N Wild Cosmetics has amazing eye shadows that are very pigmented and long lasting, for less than a quarter of the price of name brands. The pallet has a decent mixture of mattes and shimmers, all in neutral tones so it’s not as intimidating or hard to mess up.

6. Eyeliner

Eyeliner is key to making a makeup look go from good to fierce, especially if you get fancy and do a cat-eye or something similarly impressive. I personally think the darker the black the better it looks. My two favorite kinds of eyeliners are gel and liquid pen. If I am feeling something quick, and less dramatic, a pen is great. I either use L’OREAL’s Infallible The Super Slim or essence’s Superfine Eyeliner Pen Waterproof. Mostly, I opt for darker eyeliner and use Maybelline’s EYESTUDIO LASTING DRAMA GEL LINER.

7. Mascara

Mascara is an obvious product to have in your collection, but I thought I’d still mention it just because I recently found a new mascara that I’m obsessed with and is different than any other mascara I’ve ever used. I have naturally longer eyelashes, so I typically look for volumizing mascaras, however, these will usually clump my eyelashes together. L’OREAL’s Voluminous Butterfly Mascara has a different kind of brush, though, that has a curve in it, similar to the natural curve of your lid, and almost comb-like bristles that really separate your lashes and gives them the most volume and length I’ve ever seen without using false lashes.

8. Highlighter

This is not necessary for a makeup starter pack, but highly encouraged because it’s fun and honestly steps up your makeup look by 100 percent. It’s also not super hard to use or apply, so you can’t really mess up. I use the Ulta Illuminating Powder in Pink Diamond; it has super high pigment (that can even be used as eyeshadow), and has a nice pink-gold tone to it that makes you look like you’ve been kissed by the sun.

Whether you decide to try the things listed here, or you branch out and experiment with your own choices, remember to have fun because that’s what makeup is all about. Don’t ever be scared to try something, because practice makes perfect. And don’t forget, makeup is not permanent and comes off at the end of the day, so have fun with your magical powers.


Photo credits: unsplash.com


Maxine Grossman is a second-year Public Relations major with a concentration in business at the University of Florida and is so excited for the opportunity to do what she does best for Her Campus UFL: write about fashion. When Maxine is not staring at Pinterest fashion boards or wandering around shopping, she can be caught eating sushi, devouring cups of coffee and tea, or munching on some delicious macarons. Besides writing for Her Campus UFL, Maxine is also an active member of UF’s Panhellenic life and enjoys spending time with friends, traveling, and painting.
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