The Must-Haves for Those New to Makeup

Makeup is a growing industry, especially as more people start to see it as a hobby rather than something they can’t live without. However, we all have to start somewhere, and with so many different products out there, it can be difficult to figure out what exactly you need in your makeup bag. Here are a few things I think are absolutely essential to any makeup kit.

  • Moisturizer – Moisturizer keeps your face healthy and hydrated throughout the day. Not only will this make your skin look great, but it will also keep your face from over-producing oil or drying out, both of which can cause you to break out. There are several types of moisturizer out there. My favorite brand is Formula 10.0.6, because it isn’t expensive and it works really well. I think you can get a good sized bottle for around $7 at Ulta. They have a lot of skin care products that I really enjoy.
  • Primer – Primer gives your foundation something to stick to, so you won’t have to worry about reapplying throughout the day. There are tons of primers available, including mattifying, pore-reducing, illuminating, and much more. The type you get will really just depend on the look you want to achieve. I like Maybelline’s Baby Skin primer, because it makes my pores smaller and gives me a smoother finish.
  • Foundation – Every girl needs a good foundation, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. Find one that works for you. Ask someone who works in your favorite makeup store, like Sephora or Ulta, to help you find the right shade.
  • Concealer – Concealer is a product of many talents. You can use it to cover blemishes, as an eyeshadow primer, and even to contour. Shimmery highlighters are great, but concealer is a great option for someone just starting out or who wants a more matte look. I’m still trying to find a concealer to swear by, but the general consensus is to get one a shade lighter than your foundation.
  • Bronzer – Contouring can be really terrifying, so rather diving in head first, a matte bronzer is a great way to get your feet wet. Bronzer works basically the same way, but since it’s usually in powder form, it’s a little more forgiving than cream contour. I currently just use Ulta’s Matte Bronzer.
  • Black mascara – A lot of women I know who wear barely any makeup almost always wear mascara. It lengthens and darkens your eyelashes to make your eyes stand out. I’ve had luck with several different brands, including No. 7, Maybelline, and Ulta, but currently I’m using a MAC mascara that I got as a free sample.
  • Setting powder/spray – I didn’t start using this until this year, but I wish I had started a long time ago. Setting powder and spray is similar to primer in that it helps keep your makeup on, so you don’t have to reapply. However, it goes on once you’re done with the rest of your makeup. NYX has a great setting spray that is reasonably priced.

While I have tons of other products in my makeup bag, I definitely think these are the essentials. What are your must-have makeup products?

How to Find Your New Favorite Perfume

Perfume is probably the weakest point of my beauty game, because I think it’s way too expensive, and I forget to put it on a lot. However, when I do put it on, I tend to feel really put-together and sexy, so I’ve been trying to do it more often lately. I still refuse to buy perfume though, and I’m not super picky with mine, so I’ve found a lot of success using samples I get from different places. Below are some ways you can get different samples, so you won’t have to buy a full-sized bottle, unless you happen to find your new favorite.

  1. Ulta has an option on their online checkout to add free samples to your order. You can choose from skincare samples, fragrance samples, or random beauty samples. I’m not really one for surprises, so I always choose the fragrance samples to my order, and they haven’t let me down yet. I’ve really liked all the fragrances I’ve gotten. I even got a Marc Jacobs one once that I absolutely loved. I definitely recommend this method, because it’s free on top of makeup you were already going to buy.
  2. Subscription boxes sometimes put perfume samples in their monthly packages. I know I got several from Birchbox, so I would imagine Ipsy and other ones would add them, too. It’s not a guarantee, though, that you will get perfume samples at any given time, so this may not be the best method if you’re specifically looking for a new perfume.
  3. I’m not 100% confident on this, because I haven’t tried it myself, but I have heard that Sephora has a makeup sampler you can do where they give you mini bottles of different perfumes that you can take home and try out before you buy a full-sized bottle. I don’t have many details on this one (cost, number of samples, etc.), but if you’re looking for a new perfume or have a specific one you want to try, this may be the way to go.

Hopefully, this gave you some ideas on how to save money on perfume. I’m really cheap when it comes to things like that, so I’m always looking for ways to avoid spending much on them. What are some of your favorite fragrances? How did you discover them?