So you have decided the time has come to buy yourself your very own makeup kit but now you have a lot of questions; What makeup should I buy as a minimum? What are the must have makeup products in my kit? What makeup brushes and what they do? What colors should I buy for my skintone? What type of makeup should I buy? And how should I do my makeup? Today I’m going to give you answers to all those questions along with a makeup checklist which will help you assemble the right makeup kit for you. As a bonus, I’ll give you a list of products that I would recommend both drugstore and high-end!

When you are making a list of products for your kit, you have to ask yourself these questions:

What is the minimum makeup products I have to buy?

what makeup do i need

This is the first thing that you decide on. Do you want a full fledged kit or a lightweight portable travel kit with just the bare essentials? At the bare minimum, you will need a moisturizer, sunscreen, a base product, powder, blush, mascara, eye pencil, lip product and a makeup remover. This makeup bag essentials can also be versatile and multitasking which will be great and keep it light. You can mix your moisturizer and base product for example concealer and get a tinted moisturizer to even the skin out without having to buy a separate tinted moisturizer. You can also buy a moisturizer with SPF to skip buying a separate sunscreen. Get a cream blush which can be used both on cheeks and lips as a light lip stain. Or a pink/peach lipstick which can be used as a cheek color. Likewise a good powder blush can also be used on the eyes for a light wash of color. Use the eye pencil or mascara to fill in your eyebrows lightly for a more defined look.

What type of makeup products should I buy?

Now this question itself has many sub questions. Should it be a vegan or cruelty free brand? Can it be made in China? What is in the makeup product? Is it ok if it has parabens? These are some of the many questions that you have to ask yourselves. There are many cruelty-free and vegan makeup brands like the Too Faced, Urban Decay, Tarte, Becca, NYX, Jordana, Wet n Wild, ELF for those who are animal lovers. Most of the products in the world are made in China so what’s wrong with makeup products made in China? As many of you already know, is the quality of the products is not always consistent so if one product is good, there is no certainty that the next time you buy it, it’s still going to be of the same quality. This brings us to what is in the makeup products. Always read the ingredients listed on the product before buying as some chemicals are harmful. The main ingredient that you should try to avoid is parabens and it derivatives as they are known to cause cancer in the long run.

What makeup brushes and tools would I need?

When it comes to makeup brushes, again it is going to depend on how big you want your kit to be. If you are building a minimalistic kit, then you will need to buy only 4 to 5 brushes which will be sufficient but might be a pain to clean and use on the go when you suddenly decide to try out an eyelook with 2 or more shades. Makeup brush bristles can be divided into two types: natural and synthetic. The natural bristles are made from animal hair typically from horse, goat and even squirrels. And the synthetic bristles are man made, usually from nylon or other synthetic fibers. While the natural brushes apply powders better the synthetic brushes can apply liquid or cream products best as they don’t trap any of those particles. There are several makeup brushes and tools that can be used to get the perfect makeup results. I’ll list a few of the basic brushes below:

  • Flat Foundation Brush-


    This brush can be used to apply almost all the base products like the moisturizer, primer, liquid foundation, cream foundation, BB creams and even concealers. This brush applies them evenly and provides light coverage.

  • Fluffy Powder Brush-

    makeup product must haves

    This brush can be used to apply powders lightly to set the base products. One can also apply bronzer and blush using the same brush.

  • Flat Shader Brush-


    This brush can be used to apply eyeshadows on the eyelids and also to conceal undereye areas.

  • Angled Eyeliner Brush-

    must have makeup products

    This brush can be used to line the upper lashline and also to fill in the eyebrows. One can also smudge eyeshadows on the lower lashline beautifully for a smoked out effect.

  • Lip Brush-


    This brush can be used to apply lip colors and also to line them for a crisp outline.

  • What colors will suit my skintone?

    This is probably the most important part of choosing makeup products. Whether you buy a drugstore or the most expensive products out there in the market, if you buy the wrong shades, it’s gonna end up looking bad whichever way you try to apply them. If you are new to the makeup game it is best you try out the shades at the store before buying them to see if they match your skin tone perfectly. You can also take a friend with you for suggestions. It is also important to know which undertone you have in your skin. There are three undertones yellow or warm undertones, pink or cool undertones and neutral undertones. If you have warm undertones in your skin make sure you buy products with yellow undertones. If you have cool undertones in your skin you should buy products with pink undertones. If you are neutral then you are lucky as you can get a perfect color match in either neutral toned products or even in warm or cool undertones. Always swatch the base products on your jawline to see how seamlessly they blend into your own skin. Also if you have a pale face and tanned body match your base products to your neck for a more uniform looking color. With lipsticks, eyeshadows and blushes you should know not everyone can pull off neon colors equally. Start with neutral shades and work your way up as you gain more knowledge and you will get the hang of what colors suits you more.

    Makeup Checklist –

    The Minimum –

    If you don’t want to spend a ton of money in buying a ridiculous amount of products without even knowing the basics then these are the things you need for makeup kit to kickstart your makeup journey.


    A good moisturizer is essential for everybody no matter if you are a novice or a pro. It not only hydrates the skin but it also help the other products to adhere to the skin better and last longer.


    Always opt for a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more as anything less than 30 is usually pointless. It not only protects the skin from UV rays but it will also help the skin from premature aging, dark spots and skin cancer.

    Base Product-

    It is a personal preference on what type of base product you want and like. For those with dry skin liquids and creams work well. Those with combination to oily skin can opt for powder foundations which are super lightweight and it controls oil secretion. Mineral foundations will be the best choice for those with sensitive, acne prone skin. And those with normal skin can get away with basically any of these easily as their skin is the least problematic.


    If you are using liquid or cream products they need to be set with powder for longevity. If you forget to set them they might crease and settle in the fine lines throughout the course of the day. One can also powder lightly to keep the shine at bay.


    Blushes comes in an array of different colors and finishes like powders and creams. If you are someone who hates shimmery blushes then opt for matte or satin blushes for a natural flush. Shimmery blushes are great for special occasions while matte and satin blushes are perfect for everyday wear.


    A mascara adds great definition to the eyes without looking OTT. Even if you have thin and sparse lashes a good mascara can give both volume and length to the lashes.

    Eye Pencil-

    Get a eye pencil that can be used both on the lashline and waterlines. If you are pale get dark taupe or even brown colored pencils as they can double up as brow colors. Or opt for dark shades if you have a deeper complexion.

    Lip Product-

    I like a good pink or peach lipstick as they can also be used on the cheeks for a light flush of color.

    Makeup Remover-

    Finally a good makeup remover to take all the makeup off at the end of the day. Opt for the ones that doesn’t sting the eyes or clogs up the pores.

    The Full Kit –

    If you are someone who aced the basics then it is time for you to build your dream makeup kit. It could consist of one or more products from the same category. Again makeup is a personal preference and it is upto yourself to buy or not to buy a particular makeup product. I have explained the other products that are available apart from the basic ones that I explained above.

    Lip Balm-

    My lips are prone to become dry and crack easily. So applying a good lip balm is definitely a must for me. I lightly apply it during the day and slather it on before going to bed to wake up with soft pink lips. One can opt between tinted and untinted lip balms that are available in the market.

    Face Primer-

    I like a good face primer that smooths out the surface of my skin so my other base products can go on a lot smoother. It also helps with the longevity of makeup along with filling in large pores and fine lines.

    Liquid & Cream Foundation-

    Foundations are used to even out the skin tone if you are dry to normal skin type then opt for liquid and cream foundations. These while evening out the skin will also hydrate it.

    Powder & Mineral Foundation-

    Powder & mineral foundations are best suited for those with combination, oily to sensitive acne prone skin. This type of foundations will absorb excess sebum, won’t clog up the pores or irritate the skin. These look almost undetectable on the skin if you buff it into the skin really well.


    Again there are several consistencies when it comes to concealers like thick stick ones to thin creamy ones. I like a full coverage concealer to cover up my dark circles when I am skipping foundation.

    Translucent/ Finishing Powder-

    These powders are basically colorless powders that comes in both loose and pressed form. I like to set my undereye concealer with this type of powder as it won’t alter the color of the base product and it stays put all day if done right.


    When it comes to contouring and bronzing I like both cream and powder products. If you want skin like finish then cream product is the best option as it blends with the skin beautifully. But if you are looking for a dramatic contour then powder product is the best bet as you can build it up or tone it down.


    Highlighting basically brings forward the features like the tops of the cheekbones, browbone, inner corner of the eyes, bridge of the nose and cupids bow. When these are highlighted and when the light hits those places they look radiant and healthy.


    No makeup look will be complete without grooming the eyebrows. Get those unruly brows tamed with waxing or trimming them in shape. Fill them in for a fuller appearance.

    Eye Primer-

    Eye primers helps in intensifying the eyeshadow colors and prevents them from creasing throughout the course of the day.


    Eyeshadows are a fun way to spruce the makeup look start with neutral, earthy tones and work your way up to fun bright colors. Invest in good quality eyeshadows for great color payoff and longevity.


    Once you get the hang of applying makeup then playing with different types of eyeliner looks will be fun. Try out different finishes and see what you like the most.


    Kohl can easily transform any eye look into a smoky look but simply smudging it across the upper and lower lashline. Opt for formulas that doesn’t give you raccoon eyes at the end of the day. These also comes in a spectrum of colors for a fun addition.

    Lip Liner-

    Uneven lips can be an issue even if you like to wear bright lip colors. Lip liners come in handy when you want to correct the lips or help dark colors from bleeding or feathering.

    Lip Gloss-

    If you hate the dry feeling that matte lip colors give then lip gloss will be your best bet. These not only provide colors to the lips but it also adds great shine while feeling super comfortable.

    Setting Spray-

    Set and prolong the longevity of your finished makeup masterpiece by spraying a good makeup setting spray.

    List of Must Have Makeup Products

    As promised I’m ending this post with a whole bunch of makeup must haves that I recommend both from drugstore and high-end brands. Whichever makeup products I have reviewed, I have linked within the list so you can click on it, see the product, shade and the review to help you narrow down your product wish list.



    Drugstore: Olay Moisturizing Lotion
    Mid & High-end: Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré


    Drugstore: Lotus Matte Look Sunscreen SPF 40
    Mid & High-end: Clarins UV Tint SPF50

    Lip Balm-

    Drugstore: Maybelline Baby Lips, Burt’s Bees Lip Balm, EOS Lip Balm
    Mid & High-end: The Body Shop Lip Balm, Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment, Benefit Tinted Lip Balm, Dior Crème de Rose Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm

    Face Primer-

    Drugstore: ELF Mineral Infused Face Primer, Rimmel Stay Matte Primer, Hard Candy Sheer Envy Primer, Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer
    Mid & High-end: Kryolan Perfect Matt Primer, Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, Benefit POREfessional Primer, Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer

    Liquid & Cream Foundation-

    Drugstore: Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless Foundation, L’Oreal Paris Nude Magic Liquid To Powder Foundation
    Mid & High-end: Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation, Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation, MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation, Kryolan Dermacolor

    Powder & Mineral Foundation-

    Drugstore: NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder, Tips and Toes Pure Mineral Powder Foundation
    Mid & High-end: MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation, Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation


    Drugstore: LA Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer, NYX Concealer In A Jar, Maybelline New York Fit Me Concealer, Hard Candy Glamoflauge Heavy Duty Concealer
    Mid & High-end: MAC Studio Conceal and Correct Palette, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer

    Face Powder-

    Drugstore: Sleek MakeUP Suede Effect Pressed Powder, Maybelline White Superfresh Compact Powder, Neutrogena Skinclearing Mineral Powder
    Mid & High-end: MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation, Kat Von D Lock-It Powder Foundation, Sephora Collection 8 HR Mattifying Compact Foundation

    Translucent/ Finishing Powder-

    Drugstore: Oriflame Studio Artist Loose Powder, Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder
    Mid & High-end: MAC Prep and Prime Transparent Finishing Pressed Powder, Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

    Contour –

    Drugstore: NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder, Sleek Contour Kit, City Color Cosmetics Be Matte Bronzer
    Mid & High-end: Benefit Hoola Bronzer, Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer, Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour


    Drugstore: NYX Powder Blush, Maybelline Cheeky Glow, Revlon Powder Blush, Sleek MakeUP Powder Blush, City Color Cheek Stain
    Mid & High-end: MAC Blush, Tarte Amazonian Blush, Kryolan Powder Blush, Becca Mineral Blush


    Drugstore: Revlon Skinlights Liquid Highlighter, Wet n Wild Reserve Your Cabana, Sleek MakeUP Contour Kit
    Mid & High-end: Becca Highlighter, Benefit Watts Up, Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder, theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer, Gerard Star Powder


    Drugstore: Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara, Kryolan Eyebrow Powder, BH Cosmetics HD Brow Pencil
    Mid & High-end: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pomade

    Eye Primer-

    Drugstore: Milani Eye Shadow Primer, NYX Cosmetics Proof It Eyeshadow Primer Transparent, Essence I Love Stage Eyeshadow Base, L’Oréal Magic De-Crease Eyelid Primer
    Mid & High-end: Benefit Cosmetics Stay Don’t Stray Eyeshadow Primer, Urban Decay Cosmetics Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion, Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Eyeshadow Primer, Kryolan Eyeshadow Primer


    Drugstore: BH Cosmetics Carli Bybel Palette, BH Cosmetics Galaxy Chic Palette, Sleek MakeUP Eyeshadow Palette, LA Girl Nudes Eyeshadow Palette, Wet n Wild Color Icon Collection Eyeshadow Trio
    Mid & High-end: MAC Warm Neutrals Eyeshadow Palette, Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette, Morphe Eyeshadow Palette, Anastasia Beverly Hills Single Eyeshadows, MakeUp Geek Single Eyeshadows, Lorac PRO Palette, Zoeva Eyeshadow Palette


    Drugstore: NYX Matte Liquid Liner, Maybelline The Colossal Liner, Essence Eye Liner Pen Waterproof, Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner
    Mid & High-end: Chambor Smooth-On Liquid Eyeliner, Urban Decay Ink For Eyes Waterproof Precision Eye Pen, Tarte Clay Pot Waterproof Liner


    Drugstore: Faces Magneteyes Kajal, Lotus Colorkick Kajal, CoverGirl Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner, Essence Long-Lasting Eye Pencil, NYX Cosmetics Retractable Eye Liner, Catrice Liquid Metal Gel Eye Pencil
    Mid & High-end: Urban Decay All Nighter Eyeliner in Perversion, Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Liner, Urban Decay Perversion Eye Pencil


    Drugstore: Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara, Maybelline Volum’ Express Colossal Mascara, CoverGirl Last Blast Volume Blasting Mascara, CoverGirl Full Lash Bloom By Lashblast Mascara
    Mid & High-end: Urban Decay Perversion Mascara, Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara, Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara, Tarte Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara

    Lip Liner-

    Drugstore: BH Cosmetics Waterproof Lip Liner, Colorbar Definer Lip Liner, Jordana Easyliner For Lips, NYX Slim Lip Pencil, Miss Claire Waterproof Lip Liner, Lakme 9 to 5 Lip Liner
    Mid & High-end: MAC Lip Liner, Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip Liner, Sephora Collection Rouge Gel Lip Liner, Urban Decay Glide-On Lip Pencil


    Drugstore: Wet N Wild Megalast Lipstick, Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick, Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick, Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm, Colorbar Velvet Matte Lipstick
    Mid & High-end: MAC Lipstick, Too Faced La Creme, Bite Beauty Lipstick, Tarte LipSurgence Lip Creme, Too Faced Melted Liquified Lipstick, NARS Lipstick, Giorgio Armani Rouge D’Armani Lipstick

    Lip Gloss-

    Drugstore: L’Oreal Extraordinaire Lip Color, Maybelline Color Sensational High Shine Lip Gloss, NYX Butter Gloss, Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss
    Mid & High-end: Gerard Cosmetics Lip Gloss, Laura Mercier Lip Glace, Tarte LipSurgence Lip Gloss, Stila Vinyl Lip Gloss, Lorac Alter Ego Lip Gloss, Buxom Full-On Lip Polish

    Setting Spray-

    Drugstore: ELF Makeup Mist & Set, Hard Candy Fast & Fabulous Makeup Setting Spray, L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Spray & Set Makeup Extender Setting Spray
    Mid & High-end: Model in a Bottle Original Makeup Setting Spray, Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray, Japonesque Color Makeup Setting Spray, Tarte Miraculous Maracuja Makeup Setting Spray, Urban Decay Cosmetics De-Slick Makeup Setting Spray

    Makeup Remover-

    Drugstore: Neutrogena Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover
    Mid & High-end: Lancôme Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover

    I hope this post helps you to get to know the basics and in buying right makeup for you.
    Do let me know what you think in the comments below and what other topics you want me to cover.
    Also please subscribe. 🙂

    See you in my next post. Until then, stay beautiful.
    Love you xo

    Makeup Martini CEO

    Image Sources- 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32

    7 Comments on The Ultimate Makeup Guide Part 1 – Know Your Makeup

    1. kiransingh
      May 13, 2016 at 4:37 pm (7 years ago)

      Great post 🙂 all types of products are describe very nicely….so its easy to choose anyone

    2. Harman
      May 13, 2016 at 6:19 pm (7 years ago)

      What a nice and detailed post. Great for beginners 🙂

    3. apssy
      February 15, 2018 at 5:40 pm (6 years ago)

      Wow, this really is an ultimate makeup guide for beginners like me.

    4. Bairavi Balaji
      April 26, 2018 at 12:35 pm (5 years ago)

      Girl would love you to do a post on smudge free kajal for watery and super sensitive eyes. I havr tried all kajal it hurts me


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