If you're reading this, you could either be hoping to start a makeup collection or simply wanting to go back to basics. Either way, you've come to the right place. Because even though having tons of options is good (our huge department stores dedicated to beauty are proof), it can be challenging for beginners to tell the difference between what you actually need to create a look and what products you can live without. To give you some ideas on what to shop for, we run down 10 essential products that are perfect for a makeup novice:
Concealer is meant to cover areas on the face with discoloration. The usual target areas for this product would be your dark circles, blemishes, and redness-prone points like the sides of your nose. It's perfect for beginners because unlike foundation, it takes less effort to blend (no brushes needed!) and gives you a more natural look overall. After all, foundation application is an art on its own, so while you're still feeling your way around cosmetics, the simpler, the better.
To keep your routine simple, look for one versatile formula that can cover any part of your face. This would depend on your skin type and the kind of finish that you need (see makeup artist-approved ones here), so chooose wisely!
Powder is mainly used to remove excess shine from the face, so it's a must if you have oily skin or if you just love a matte look. Not only will it keep oils at bay, setting your face with powder also locks in any cream or liquid products on the skin such as concealer to make them last longer.
There are two types of powders that you can choose from. First is a regular setting powder (see our top picks here), which will set your makeup without adding much color or coverage. It's the best option for a no-makeup makeup look. On the other hand, if you want to lightly even out your skin tone and knock off some shine, opt for a powder foundation. You can build coverage by switching up your tools—a brush for a light veil of color, and a sponge for high coverage.
REVLON Colorstay Pressed Powder, P825, Watsons
When your skin needs a little more color, swiping on some blush will instantly provide you with a healthy glow. For a dewy look, go for a cream blush formula, but if you prefer a non-tacky finish, a powder blush would be your best bet. The most beginner-friendly way to apply blush is to deposit the product from the apples of your cheeks (the fleshy part when you smile) upwards, stopping at the area parallel to the tail of your eyebrow. That said, you can always try other methods (see more options here!) that'll suit your features better.
PINK SUGAR Sweet Cheeks HD Cheek Color, P299, Landmark TriNoma
We're sure you know about contouring, but we must admit that it's not the most beginner-friendly technique out there. Meanwhile, bronzer is much easier to master, since it doesn't require much precision to help you achieve a more chiseled look. In case you aren't familiar with bronzer, it's basically a face powder that's slightly darker than your skin tone that warms up your complexion. It's best applied with a large powder brush, sweeping over areas like the temples, hollows of the cheeks, and under the jaw.
THE BALM Bahama Mama, P920, Freyja Glorietta 2
If you want glowing skin to be part of your daily look, add highlighter to your must-shop list. We recommend starting with a stick formula for easier application and a natural finish, but powders are definitely an option for a more dramatic sheen.
The best parts to highlight are the high points and the center of your face, namely above your cheekbones, your nose bridge/tip, cupid's bow, and the inner corners of your eyes. These ares are where light would naturally hit your face, and putting shine there amplifies that definition. (Need more glow tips? Click here!)
BENEFIT Watt's Up, P1990, Zalora
6. Eyebrow pencil
Your eyebrows can make or break your look, so grooming them is one of the most important techniques you need to master. Thankfully, once you have your perfect shape, the filling in part with makeup becomes a little bit easier. Getting an eyebrow pencil is a great way to start, since not only will it do the job fast but it'll also give you more room for adjustments in case you make a mistake. Choose a shade that's as close to your hair color as possible so the pigment blends naturally with your features instead of standing out.
THE FACE SHOP Designing Eyebrow Pencil, P225, SM Mall of Asia
7. Neutral eyeshadow palette
If there's one eyeshadow palette that a beginner has to have, it's a neutral palette. We're talking about a full spectrum of browns, shimmers, and subtle pops of color that you can easily blend over your eyelid for a more defined eye. Other people would say it's boring, but think of it as the essential shades that you need to elevate your usual mascara-only look.
8. Pencil eyeliner
Eyeliner, especially liquid and gel formulas, takes a steady hand a tons of practice to master. So if you're just starting, we suggest opting for something a little more forgiving like a pencil liner. Because aside from being mistake-friendly, you can also smudge out your lines to create an instant smokey look!
MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy, P1150, Power Plant
Using an eyelash curler alone makes such a huge difference to your eyes, but coupled with a mascara, you'll instantly look fresher and more awake. If you have fine, downward-facing lashes, waterproof mascaras are a must because these help hold a curl longer. But if volume is your priority, try fiber mascaras or tubing formulas that will coat your eyelashes with product to make them appear thicker.
Of course, you can't forget about lipstick. This is the one part of your makeup routine that's the easiest to change up everyday, so don't be afraid to stock up on colors you love! Choose a finish that matches either your lip condition and preference. For example, for those with dry lips, a lipstick with a satin or glossy finish. A freshly-exfoliated and moisturized pout would look amazing in matte lipstick, which also tends to last longer than other lip formulas. (To learn everything you need to know about applying lipstick, click here!)