Beauty Basics: Makeup Essentials for Beginners

makeup essentials

Choosing and applying makeup can be intimidating. After all, there are so many products and brands to sift through. It can be difficult to know where to start. But choosing and applying makeup so that you’re comfortable and feel confident only requires some time, a little reading, and a lot of practice.

Let’s look at the essentials that will help you create a complete makeup look you’ll love.

Why Do We Wear Makeup?

Choosing and applying makeup can be time-consuming and a little pricy at times, so why do it at all?

  • Makeup can make you feel more confident
  • It can keep your skin protected from being directly exposed to dust, pollution, and smog
  • It can enhance and complement your appearance
  • You can try out different aesthetics
  • You deserve to take some time to focus on yourself and your appearance

The Perfect Makeup Collection

When you walk into a makeup store, it can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not sure what the products even are. But you don’t need to wander the aisles for hours. We have you covered. This is a list of essentials to have in your makeup routine.

Enhance Your Natural Beauty With These Must-Have Products

1. Skin-Prepping Products

Before you even look at makeup, there are some products to consider using beforehand. Ideally, you will want to use:

  • Skin cleanser, to ensure your skin is clean before the makeup is applied
  • Exfoliator, to remove dead skin cells and create a smoother skin texture
  • Moisturizer, for peak hydration

2. Primer

Primer creates the perfect canvas for the makeup to follow it. It helps to smooth out pores, allows makeup to more easily stick to your skin, and can provide different effects to your skin, like:

  • Hydrating
  • Luminizing
  • Mattifying

The kind you choose depends on your skin type. If your skin is oily, you would want to consider a mattifying primer. If you have dry skin, it would be better to choose a primer that adds hydration.

3. Liquid Foundation

The next product that is essential for a complete makeup look is a liquid foundation. It’s the queen of camouflage, covering blemishes, uneven skin tones, and any other imperfections on your skin when you spread it evenly over your face. The key to choosing the right liquid foundation for you is to know your skin tone and match it to the foundation. Many makeup stores will do this for you, or they typically have a “try me” bottle that you can utilize to test on your skin.

4. Concealer

Like liquid foundation, concealer is used to cover imperfections. However, it’s thicker and only meant to be placed over more noticeable imperfections that the foundation can’t cover. This can include:

  • Dark eye circles
  • Age spots
  • Redness
  • Blemishes

Concealers can come in many forms, but a well-practiced type is a tube with a doe-foot applicator. This will have a spongy, fuzzy tip at the end of a wand that helps with precise targeting. Concealer should also be matched to your skin tone, as well. It may be the case that you would want your concealer to be a shade or a few lighter than your skin tone, depending on what you are covering up.

5. Mascara

No matter what sort of aesthetic you’re going for, mascara will be beneficial. It helps to darken, thicken, and lengthen eyelashes, which can dramatically change your look. It also provides an instant lift to your lashes, which flatters your eyes. There are different types of mascara and ways to apply it. There are applicators that are specifically designed to create a more dramatic look and lift, while others are designed for a more natural, wispy look. For more pronounced eyelashes, you can layer your mascara until you achieve the look you desire. More natural eyelashes will only need one swipe of the applicator. Even if you’re not wearing any other make-up, mascara can noticeably enhance your features on its own.

6. Eyeliner

Another way to flatter your eyes is eyeliner. It can add more definition and make the color of your eyes pop, or manipulate the way that their shape is perceived, like with the cat eye. There are a huge amount of options when it comes to eyeliner. While the basic color of eyeliner is usually black or brown, they can come in any color. It can also come in a pencil, pen, or liquid form. Some are easier to use than others. To start, a pen or pencil will be the simplest to apply. They provide less precision and creativity than liquid liners do, but they are also much easier to take off if you make a mistake while applying it.

7. Neutral Eyeshadow Palette

Another product that is great for enhancing your eyes is eye shadow. It can change your look completely, depending on the color and type that you use. You can go for bold looks with sparkly, distinct colors, or you can more subtly flatter your eyes with a neutral eyeshadow palette. Bolder eye shadow colors are fun to play with, especially when you’re going out. But, for the most part, you will want to have a neutral eyeshadow palette on hand for a more natural look. There are a variety of brushes that can be used to apply eyeshadow, each that achieves a slightly different look or purpose. These can include:

  • An eyeshadow brush to apply powder loosely on the eyelid
  • A smudge brush that can apply a heavier amount of product with more control
  • A blending brush that gives the option to apply a soft amount of color in specific areas

Steps to Take to Prepare Your Skin Before Makeup Application

Let’s discuss the steps to take in your skin preparation to achieve a professional makeup look.

8. Lipstick or Lip Gloss

Like eyeshadow, lipstick or lip gloss can easily change your look entirely, depending on the type or color. It’s best to have both bold colors and more neutral colors in your makeup bag. For neutral tones, find a shade that is slightly darker than the natural shade of your lips. For bold colors, there are many to choose from, like coral, pink, and the ever-popular, red. It’s always a good idea to find lip gloss or lipstick that has a moisturizing aspect, as they both can dry out your lips.

9. Lip Liner

Lip liner can be used in addition to your lipstick to create definition and crisp edges on your lips. It can also help keep your lipstick contained to your lips, particularly if it’s creamy.

10. Finishing Powder

Finishing powder is an essential product to keep liquid products in place and extend their life so that it looks just as great at the end of the night as it does when you first put it on. Finishing powder can also be referred to as setting powder.

11. Blush and Bronzer

Bronzer is used to create depth, dimension, and natural color to your face, whether it’s in warm or cool tones. It is typically used with blush, which can add more glow and color back to your cheeks after your foundation and concealer completely even out your skin tone.

12. Highlighter

Highlighter is used on the high planes on your face to simulate good lighting anywhere that you go. It can make your skin glow, accentuate your cheekbones, and overall add an incandescent feel to your makeup look. It can come in different cool or warm shades depending on your skin tone.

13. Setting Spray

Setting spray can be used as an alternative to finishing powder. It is used to make your makeup look last all day with just a spray on your face. This product will form a film that keeps your look in place, no matter what activity you’re doing.

14. Makeup Remover

It’s often forgotten, but makeup remover is one of the most important products you need in your routine. It removes makeup at the end of the night more thoroughly than just washing your face does. It’s also great to remove any dirt or impurities from your face before you go to bed. This can help reduce the risk of:

  • Pimples
  • Redness
  • Blackheads
  • Rapid aging of your skin

Elevate your makeup game with our Beauty Basics guide! Uncover essential tips and tricks for beginners. Let’s glam up together!

Become a Licensed Cosmetologist

If you want to learn more about how to apply flawless makeup and have a passion to help others feel their most confident, then a career in cosmetology may be right for you. At Blue Cliff College, you can learn about cosmetology from experienced professionals, receive hands-on cosmetology training, and earn your own cosmetology license. Enroll now or contact us to learn more about this program and others that are offered by Blue Cliff College.


What is the correct order for makeup?

  • Primer
  • Foundation
  • Concealer
  • Blush, bronzer, and highlighter
  • Eyeshadow
  • Eyeliner
  • Mascara
  • Lip liner
  • Lipstick or lip gloss
  • Setting spray or powder

What does a full makeup kit consist of?

Many general makeup kits consist of:

  • Moisturizer
  • Primer
  • Foundation
  • Concealer
  • Lip products
  • Bronzer
  • Blush
  • Mascara

What goes first: moisturizer or primer?

Moisturizers should always go on before primer or any other makeup.

Do you put concealer on first or foundation?

You put on the foundation before your concealer.

Do you really need a primer?

In most cases, yes. It helps to deter oiliness, dryness, enlarged pores, and redness.

Get Started Today!

Got Questions?

Recent Posts