Basic Makeup Essentials for Beginners

If you are new to cosmetics, having the necessary makeup essentials is the best way to start and the least overwhelming. This checklist of basic makeup essentials for beginners has everything you need to make your personal beauty bag complete. As a makeup artist, these are my cosmetics recommendations for everyday use. Here is your must-have makeup essentials.

Basic Makeup Essentials for Beginners Guide

Basic Makeup Essentials Kit for Beginners

Figuring out what makeup essentials you need as a beginner is easy once you figure out that you don’t need everything (one tube of mascara at a time). There will always be new cosmetics, but if you are just starting out, buying the beauty basics will save you from collecting mass amounts of lipstick and eyeliner you will never use.

To make this easy for you, I have 11 basic makeup essentials that you should have with product suggestions that are perfect for beginners.  These cosmetics are must haves that I know and love based off of my 15 years as a makeup artist and I think you will love them just as well. Putting together your personal makeup bag doesn’t have to be overwhelming; just use this checklist as a guide and you will have everything you need to get started.

Makeup Shopping list for the makeup and beauty beginner. Get all of your makeup shopping for beginners here with Austin, TX Makeup Artist, Kendra Stanton.


Basic Makeup Essentials Checklist

  • 1 Foundation
  • 1 Concealer
  • 1 Blush/Bronzer Duo
  • 1 Highlighter
  • 1 Eyeliner
  • 1 Mascara
  • 1 Brow pencil
  • 1 Neutral Eyeshadow palette
  • 1 Lipstick 1 Gloss
  • 1 Lipliner
  • 1 Makeup Brush Set


Basic Makeup Essentials Product Guide

Austin, TX Beauty and Lifestyle blogger Kendra Stanton brings you the top makeup essentials every makeup beginner should own.

If we haven’t met yet, I’m Kendra and I’m going to show you the best makeup essentials for beginners. As a makeup artist, I know exactly what you should have in your beginner kit for cosmetics. I am going to give you some pro options that I love and swear by and and then some budget friendly over the counter options as well.

LEARN HOW TO SHOP Makeup Basics: When you click the link associated with the product you will be re-directed to the exact item I am suggesting. I always update this post to bring you the best price possible for the item. I get a small commision on your purchase, so thank you in advance. For more daily makeup-tips, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. 

 Foundation Basic Makeup Essentials

One basic makeup essential everyone thinks of first is foundation because it evens out your skintone and gives you a flawless complexion. However, if you don’t like foundation, opt for or a tinted moisturizer instead and watch this tutorial on how to apply foundation here.

Kendra’s Makeup Artist Suggestion

BestUrban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup (My favorite for buildable coverage for myself and for clients.)

Budget Friendly: Loreal True Match 

Concealer Basic Makeup Essentials

Concealer is important to have in order to awaken the under eyes and delete any blemishes from the skin. We all have a pimple we want to go away every now and again.

Kendra’s Makeup Artist Suggestions

Best: Tarte Shape Tape updated to this amazing concealer option. There is really nothing else like it.

Budget Friendly: Revlon Colorstay

Blush/Bronzer Duo Basic Makeup Essentials

You can keep your makeup essentials cosmetic bag simplified by using a blush/bronzer duo option. Below are a few of my favorites.

Kendra’s Makeup Artist Suggestions

Best: NARS Orgasm/Laguna blush/bronzer (This is a classic and long time fave. It goes well on almost all skin tones.)

Budget Friendly: E.L.F Contouring Blush and Bronzer Duo in Bronzed Pink Beige

Highlighter Basic Makeup Essentials

As a makeup artist, I like to use cream highlighters and powder options. Creams are typically easier to work with and leave a lot less of a mess which is what I prefer for myself. But, powder highlighters that are finely milled work well too and are sometimes less intimidating.

Kendra’s Makeup Artist Suggestions

Best: Benefit Watt’s Up Highlighter (good for pale to medium skin colors)

Budget Friendly: Morphe Highlighter Powder in Irridescent Pink

Eyeshadow Palette Basic Makeup Essentials

Eyeshadow Palettes are a basic essential to a good makeup bag. With that said, you don’t need more than one eyeshadow palette for everyday use. For beginners, I would recommend getting a basic everyday eyeshadow palette that is neutral in color so that it will go with a majority of your clothing choices. For makeup junkies that are pairing down, customize a makeup palette for yourself with the eyeshadows you know you will use daily.

Kendra’s Makeup Artist Suggestions

Best: Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette  with Free Shipping

Budget FriendlyMorphe Fall Into Frost Eyeshadow Palette

Eyeliner Basic Makeup Essentials

Having an eyeliner is important for those moments when you want to bump up your makeup from daytime to night! I would suggest getting one in black and in a retractable pencil form.

Kendra’s Makeup Artist Suggestions

Best: Tarte Double Take Eyeliner Goes on smooth and stays without smudging.

Budget: Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner in Black works really well and stays all day.


Mascara Basic Makeup Essentials

Mascara is definitely an essential in my book. If you are going to do it, though, get black. Black mascara helps to bring out the colors of your eyes no matter what shade they are. As a makeup artist, if someone tells you to get brown mascara, just run away.

Kendra’s Makeup Artist Suggestions

Best: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara By far the best mascara I’ve tried. I always go back to this for gorgeous lashes.

Budget: L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara (budget friendly)


Brow Pencil Basic Makeup Essentials

Brows are an essential to making any makeup, whether minimal or dramatic, look its best. Please do not skip this basic beauty essential for everyday use. It’s important. If you need a step by step tutorial on how to apply your basic brow, check this blog post out.

Kendra’s Makeup Artist Suggestions

Best: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz This is one of my all time faves for the perfect brow. It’s easy to use and doesn’t smudge.

Budget: NYX Brow Pencil (budget friendly)


 Lipstick + Lipgloss + Lipliner Basic Makeup Essentials

 Lipstick or gloss is an important basic makeup essential. I would suggest having a few lipstick and gloss options to choose from based on your comfort. With that said, do me a favor and include at least one lipstick shade that is different from what you usually is a start.

Kendra’s Makeup Artist Suggestions


Best: NARS Audacious Lipstick in Raquel Everyone..EVERYONE…love this nude lipstick color. Raquel is perfect for pretty much anyone and the pigment is incredibly rich.

Budget: Covergirl Lipstick in Sphynx pretty Neu.tral shade


Best: Jouer High Pigment Lipgloss in PCH Get this in Seychells. It’s super moisturizing and has been a long time fave.

Budget: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Super Natural Prettiest nude shade with high-shine.


Best: NARS Pro Lip Liner in Halong Bay A nice Neutral Shade that stays put.

Budget: NYX Professional Slim Lipliner in Natural


Basic Makeup Brush Essential Kits

Makeup brushes are an investment, but they are an essential no matter how basic your makeup is going to be. One of the best ways to get your basic makeup brushes at a good price is to buy them in a set. Here is a complete list of makeup brush essentials you need and how to use them.

Kendra’s Makeup Artist Suggestions

  1. Sephora Ready to Roll Makeup Brush Collection (This set has everything you need and more.)
  2. Morphe Eye Slay Eyeshadow Brush Collection (For the Eyes)
  3. Morphe Complexion Goal Face Brush Collection (For the Face)

Hey friend, if you are looking for more makeup tips and tricks, check out my 22+ basic makeup essentials guide with easy makeup lessons and more. You will learn how to apply foundation, my favorite eyeliner tricks, and what areas of the face your should highlight and contour.

BOOK A BEAUTY COACHING SESSION WITH KENDRA: If you would like to book a makeup consultation with me to find the perfect makeup for you with color selection and a lesson, please email me at You can also find me on


Basic Makeup Organization Essentials

Makeup Essentials for Teens

Basic Makeup Essentials for your Thirties

xo, Kendra

 Note- There are affiliate links within this post. All thoughts and opinions are that of my own.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Are you on The List? Join the Citizens of Beauty newsletter and get the FREE Makeup Basics E-Book! You can also anticipate insider exclusives on skincare, makeup and style tips as well that come straight to your inbox!
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.