The only products you need while you are starting out with makeup

5 minute
Beginner's makeup


Do you feel a tad bit overwhelmed when you open your Instagram, watch a couple of makeup bloggers explain to you in 1-minute time-lapse videos how to ace a smokey-eyes for a girl’s night out, and before you can even remove your amateur brush, the video is over? If this sounds anything like you, chances are that you’re a beginner at caking with cosmetics but before you watch another “beginner makeup tutorial” that’s probably a promotional strategy, read this first. 

Let’s just start by acknowledging that there’s one of 3 things a makeup product would ideally do for you: 1. Accentuate an existing feature 2. Draw out a feature that you don’t have already 3. Brace your skin for another product’s application 

Although the first two are pretty obvious to most, the third has an element of skincare which makes it the most important of the three. More often than not, beginners who are new to makeup jump right into the first category: Makeup that accentuates your features (especially going overboard with their mascara and lipstick)

This might seem like the obvious thing to do if you're in a hurry or possess no knowledge of what goes on top of what. But this is the least advisable way to go about things- ask anyone in the makeup industry and they’ll tell you that you have to ace your base before progressing further. 

In fact, the ideal way to go on about selecting a set of makeup products is to start backward from category 3 to 1. 

What products must a beginner invest in?

I cannot emphasise enough, the importance of a good base.

If you’ve just begun venturing into the world of makeup, it’s very normal to feel overwhelmed by the number of products in the makeup aisle. Any beginner would be puzzled by the fact that there’s a skin primer. There’s a lip primer. And then there’s an eye primer. (What even, right?) 

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. A good base comprises 4 essential must-haves:

1. A Good Moisturizer

I can’t stress the importance of moisturizing your face before you start off with any kind of makeup application. Although the product doesn’t necessarily fall under cosmetics, it is the perfect base for your makeup. Not only is a moisturizer so very crucial to hydrate your skin, but it also makes sure your foundation and concealer blends into your skin like a dream. You’ll often find (especially with dry/combination skin) that your skin starts to get flaky if you directly apply foundation on it and that’s a makeup blunder you’re better off avoiding.

2. Primer 

If you want all of that makeup to stay put throughout the day, a primer works wonders. It creates a smooth and flawless base and also makes applying your foundation a whole lot easier. So, if you’re dealing with issues like large pores or redness, you can bank on your primer to take care of it all, giving you soft velvety skin and minimizing the appearance of pores. If you have never tried it, it’s about time you do because it makes a world of difference to how your makeup looks towards the end of the day.

3. Foundation

There’s only so much you can do to get a naturally flawless looking skin - the rest you can leave to your foundation. (Quote me if this isn’t a saying already) Then again, it's always hard to get this one product right when it comes to your makeup routine. Why? Because there are so many things to consider before making the right purchase. Does it sit well with your moisturiser? Does it give you the right coverage? Does this work for your skin type and undertone? 

If you’ve never applied foundation before, it is important to either test it (ideally on your jawline) before buying it. Better yet, head to a cosmetic store and let a makeup artist/connoisseur pick a shade that matches your complexion. 

What to know: Apply foundation using a damp beauty sponge to blend it in for a flawless finish!

4. Concealer

Your makeup stash would be truly incomplete without concealer in it. People often assume that concealer can be swapped with a foundation but both of these products serve very different purposes. Whether you wish to cover up blemishes or dark under-eye circles – your concealer works like a magic wand. Ideally, it is best to apply concealer after your foundation because if you do it the other way round, you’ll end up smearing it. If you don't want too much makeup on you and feel like going easy on the number of products you use, I would recommend you simply dab on some concealer on those uneven spots, ditch the foundation, and you’re good to go!

While it might seem tricky to find a concealer of perfect consistency and coverage, there are a lot of varieties available (even at drug store prices) for all skin types ranging from liquid, cream to powder or a stick concealer. 

What to know: For under-eyes, pick a shade that’s maybe a shade lighter than your natural skin tone (not any lesser). You don’t want those bright white rings under your eyes making you Halloween-ready. For your face, select a shade that exactly matches your foundation.

What’s next? 

Once your base makeup is in check, you can now move on to select a bunch of products to accentuate those eyes, lips and cheeks to bring in that oomph factor and step up your dress-up game. 

Start small. Start with the least number of (most essential) makeup products:

1. Blush

The oldest hack in the book and everyone’s go-to for an instant facelift up - say hello to your best friend on even the dullest days - AKA ze blush. The trick with blush is that you have to choose a colour that complements your skin tone. Something that’s too bright for your tone is likely to look loud and fake. Pick a shade that subtly adds colour to your face and seamlessly sculpts your cheeks. 

If you're a beginner, start off with a powder blush. For application, pick a rather fluffy brush that’s tapered along the sides. Remember to always apply your blush with a gentle hand, and use circular motions to blend out the colour. Blend a bit into your hairline, the tip of your nose, and your jawline for that natural-looking flush of colour!

2. Eyeshadow Palette (Optional)

As a beginner in the world of makeup, an eyeshadow palette might not be your go-to along with the other items on your starter pack - and that’s ok. Eye makeup is a rather complex affair and this one doesn’t necessarily have to be on the list. Nevertheless, if you choose to go with an eye shadow, a nude palette is all you need to begin with (at least till you’ve had a good amount of practice). All the colours on a nude eyeshadow palette are incredibly versatile and they help you create the perfect natural look that honestly never runs out of style.

3. Mascara

No “basic makeup essentials list” would be complete without mascara. Mascara is everyone’s absolute favourite makeup product of all time! It’s astonishing how one coat of mascara makes you look awake and fresh almost instantly. Even without the application of any other eye makeup products, such as eyeliner/eyeshadow, it enhances your eyes and gives a more fresh-faced appearance.

4. Lip Product (of your choice) 

And the last on this list of beginner makeup essentials has got to be something for your lips in a rather gorgeous, flattering shade that really finishes off the look perfectly. Select a lipstick/lipgloss in a shade that you personally feel you can pull off. One that makes you feel confident. If lipstick/lipgloss isn’t your thing, you could also try a tinted lip balm instead. They still look really natural, only with a hint of colour for that extra radiance. 

In order to help you find the best items for a beginner’s makeup kit, we have taken the liberty to curate a list of makeup products for you that are the some of most recommended/loved out there:

Budget: (Low-Medium) 

  1. Maybelline New York Volume Express Colossal Mascara
  2. Maybelline New York Hypercurl Mascara
  3. L'Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Longwear Foundation 
  4. Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte+Poreless Liquid Foundation
  5. Chambor Volumeyes Mascara
  6. L'Oreal Paris Base Magique Primer
  7. Lakme Absolute Under Cover Gel Face Primer
  8. Faces Ultime Pro Perfecting Primer
  9. Maybelline New York The Blushed Nudes Palette Eyeshadow
  10. Nykaa So Creme! Creamy Matte Lipstick
  11. Maybelline New York Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipstick 
  12. SUGAR Cosmetics Matte As Hell Crayon Lipstick
  13. SUGAR Cosmetics Magic Wand Waterproof Concealer
  14. Maybelline New York Fit Me Concealer
  15. Lakme Absolute Face Stylist Blush Duos
  16. . Maybelline Fit Me! Blush
  1. Lakme Face Sheer Blusher

Budget: High

  1. M.A.C Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation
  2. Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara
  3. Too Faced Damn Girl! Mascara
  4. Dermalogica Skinperfect Primer
  5. L'oreal Paris Magic Perfecting Base Face Primer
  6. Huda Beauty The New Nude Eyeshadow Palette
  7. Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick
  8. SEPHORA COLLECTION Profiling Beauty Cream Lip Stain
  9. L'Oreal Paris Colour Riche Lipcolour
  10.  M.A.C Pro Longwear Concealer
  11. M.A.C Studio Fix 24-Hour Smooth Wear Concealer
  12. Bobbi Brown Blush
  13. Too Faced Natural Face Palette

Common Myths About Makeup 

Myth 1: You must discard your mascara only when it dries up

This is not entirely true. Mascara has a very short shelf life of about 3-4 months after its first use. It becomes a breeding ground for bacteria over time, causing dry eyelids or even an eye infection. So don’t wait for your mascara to dry up before you toss it in the trash!

Myth 2: It’s not necessary to remove your makeup before bed

As a rule of thumb, you must always remove your makeup with a mild cleanser/makeup remover before you go to bed. Leaving on makeup overnight causes pores to clog, causes skin dehydration and infections.  

Myth 3: It’s OK to apply waterproof mascara every day

If you’re sure not to get drenched in the rain, or get your eyelids wet somehow, then I would recommend you use a washable mascara for daily use. The effort it takes to get off waterproof products from your eyes and all the excessive rubbing could easily make your eyelashes weaker. 

Myth 4: Makeup is bad for your skin 

Honestly, not all makeup is bad for your skin. Or at least not as bad as Indian moms make it to be. Makeup can clog pores if you don't take enough care of your skiing, but when it comes to wrinkles, patchiness, or altering your skin type, makeup isn’t to be blamed. It’s all biology, environmental factors, smoking and stress that cause the latter. So if you’re worried about ruining your skin with makeup over time, disown that thought because it's one hundred per cent false.

Myth 5: Apply concealer before foundation

Quite the opposite, actually. It's recommended by makeup experts to apply foundation first, then hide other skin imperfections using your concealer. This way use as much product as you need, and your makeup will look more natural.

Myth 6: You should over-line your lips to make them look fuller

While this might work well in photoshoots, in real life over-contoured lips look quite unnatural. Any makeup that makes your face look artificial fails to serve its purpose. But there is a trick that does work. Take some light shiny eyeshadow or highlighter and dab it over your Cupid's bow. Apply some shiny lip gloss in the middle of your lower lip and thanks to the play of light, Voila! Hello, gorgeous lips.

Myth 7: Expensive makeup is better

Fact: The only difference between designer and drugstore makeup brands is the price. There are plenty of great drug store products available for people who aren’t inclined to sticking with high-end brands and these are just as good. You’re not necessarily paying for the quality, only the name. 

Now that you’re almost familiar with the do’s and don’t of makeup as a beginner, let's look at current makeup trends that you could try too. 

Makeup Trends That Went Viral In 2020

What “I did it for the Gram” looks like:

Too Much Blush?

A trend that really caught on was blush being used as an all-purpose makeup product - extended up to the temples and onto the eyelid for an ethereal, ultra-romantic look. You can try popping blush in pinks and corals and make a statement - go ahead and diffuse it into your eyeshadow too. 

The Animal Print EyeShadow

If you follow any Instagram makeup account, you couldn’t have possibly missed this one. Channel your inner Carole Baskin with this super creative look that takes your eye makeup to a whole different level! 

Note: If you’re a newbie still trying to figure out a basic eyeliner, you might have to give yourself some extra time to ace this one.

Neon EyeLids

Initially, this whole allover neon look on the feed was starting to get a little tiring. Then came in fresh, minimalist makeover with hints of neon and quite frankly, I was sold! Neon really brings out the colour of your eyes and makes for the coolest statement. 

The Floating Eyeliner

Every makeup blogger's current favourite obsession, the floating eyeliner look has honestly rescued people who can’t get their eyeliner right to perfect a simple stroke that even a newbie can ace. Good news ladies: It’s 2020 and your eyeliner doesn’t have to stick to your lash line anymore! Who knew? 

Subtle Lip Stains

Have you ever woken up one winter’s morning, washed your face with cold water and noticed how your lips turn all flush and red. The subtle lip stains look recreates something very similar. If you’re not one to go bold, you can try out this “barely-there” lip stain trend to give you a fresh and natural look. 

The Mismatched Eyeshadow Makeup Trend

If you’ve tried any other mismatch trend that the fashion industry had to offer before, chances are - you’re a risk-taker. Instead of sticking to one eyeshadow colour for both eyes, try a different shade on each eyelid. You can even choose to go bold and wear two shades that are completely opposite each other on the colour wheel like blue and orange or be a little bit more subtle by selecting two similar hues. 

Glass Skin Trend

This one’s got to be our personal favourite. The glass skin trend has been used on models for so long and has finally made its way to become a thing of the commoners, if I may. It’s basically slathering a mixture of moisturizers, cream highlighters, and oils to achieve glowing, glass-like skin and it looks utterly fabulous!


Your Daily Dose Of Beginner Makeup Inspiration

A list of Instagram influencers to follow for all things makeup: 

  1. Makeup by Nayanika
  2. Ishitta Chowdhary
  3. Hamsha Thavaseelan
  4. Isha Mahabal
  5. Makeup by Aishu
  6. Gurnaz
  7. Mathusha
  8. Valine Punamia
  9. Mrinali Gupta
  10. Simmy Goraya
  11. Neyha Verma
  12. Astha Talwar
  13. Rav Flora
  14. NIKKI
  15. Mouli Chakraborty
  16. Malaika Lunkad 
  17. Srishti S Bhatia
  18. Mayuri Varma
  19. Gurishq Kaur
  20. Aleena Rehman 

We hope this article unleashes the makeup guru hidden inside of you.

You GLO girl!

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