What are the best makeup kits for beginners on a budget?
Doing your own makeup can be so much fun.
But if you’ve ever browsed the makeup aisle at your favorite store, you know it can also get pretty expensive.
If you’ve wanted to start building up a makeup collection but are turned off by the price tag on most makeup brands, don’t worry!
There is a simple way to make a basic makeup kit for beginners, even when you’re on a budget.
Whether you’re looking for an all-in-one kit that takes the guesswork out of buying makeup or ideas for your own DIY makeup kit, I have you covered!
This comprehensive guide to makeup on a budget will tell you everything you need to know about creating your own cosmetic kit at home.
This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase, I may earn a small commission, at no cost to you. Please read the disclosure for more information.
Budget Friendly Makeup Kits
Finding a makeup kit with everything you need to get started is an easy way to ensure you have everything you need.
When you purchase a pre-made makeup kit, you don’t have to worry about picking each individual product because it’s already done for you!
That makes makeup sets a great choice for beginners.
But finding budget-friendly makeup is sometimes easier said than done.
These basic makeup kits are perfect when you’re on a budget:
Starter Cosmetics Set
When you’re on the hunt for a beginner makeup kit, finding a set that has everything you need can be difficult.
But this starter cosmetics set includes a variety of make-up essentials inside a handy carrying case. The set includes:
- 46 eyeshadow shades
- 20 lip balms
- 2 blushes
- 2 lip glosses
- 8 brushes
- 1 lip pencil
- 1 eye pencil
- 1 mirror
All the cosmetics included in the case are hypoallergenic and paraben-free, so they’re safe to use, even if you have sensitive skin.
And the portable carrying case is constructed of high quality vinyl leather with a reinforced aluminum frame to ensure it stands the test of time.
Mini Makeup Kit
A simple makeup kit is a great option for a beginner on a budget.
Finding a few basic makeup items is a great way to get started and learn the shades that work best for you.
This mini makeup kit includes all the basic elements you’ll need to start learning how to apply make-up, including:
- 12 eyeshadow colors
- Volumizing and lengthening mascara
- Liquid eyeliner
- Contouring stick
- 3 shades of eyebrow powder
- 5 soft makeup brushes
All the makeup comes in a stylish sliver makeup bag to make storage simple. And each of the cosmetic pieces are hypoallergenic and cruelty free.
All in One Makeup Kit
Finding a kit with everything you need to get started is essential when you’re a beginner on a budget.
And this all in one makeup kit has it! With 24 different makeup essentials, you’ll have all the elements you need to start applying makeup and looking beautiful. The kit includes:
- Cosmetic brushes
- Lip gloss
- Eyebrow pencils
- Pressed powder
- Lip balm
- Eyebrow cream
- Powder puff
All the makeup is stored in a black carrying case so you can easily transport it wherever you need to go.
And with a variety of shades to choose from in each makeup pallet, you’ll have tons of choices as you practice your makeup.
Full Cosmetic Set
The all in one design of this full cosmetic set is a great way to keep your makeup neat and organized.
Since this kit has everything you need to get started, it’s the perfect way to sort and store your makeup with ease. The makeup set includes:
- 27 eyeshadow colors
- 4 blush shades
- 2 lip glosses
- 4 lip sticks
- 2 lip pencils
- 6 brushes and applicators
The kit is housed in a stylish carrying case with fold out shelves and a mirror inside. And you can choose from four different leopard prints – green, brown, orange, and pink.
E.l.f. Makeup Kit
When it comes to affordable makeup, e.l.f. is a great choice.
And with this makeup kit, you can get a variety of must-have products all in one.
The 11-piece kit comes with several basic makeup pieces stored in a branded-makeup bag.
Simply pick the kit that matches your skin tone and you’ll receive a selection of makeup that will work best for you and your skin type.
Each kit comes with randomly selected products, allowing you to give new makeup products a try to see which ones you like.
Makeup Starter Set
When you buy a makeup starter set, it’s a good idea to pick one with a variety of colors and shades.
This will give you a chance to try different options to see what you like best.
And with this makeup starter set, you’ll have tons of options to choose from! The set includes:
- 45 eyeshadow shades
- 8 face powders
- 16 lip gloss shades
- 2 pencil eyeliners
- Pedicure and manicure accessories
- 2 lipstick shades
- Brushes and applicators
The three-tiered makeup storage container features fold out drawers to hold all your shades, along with a mirror inside.
Beginner Makeup Essentials
While purchasing a premade makeup kit is an easy way to get a variety of makeup options, sometimes it’s better to compile your own makeup kit by hand selecting each product.
Making your own kit made up of beginner makeup essentials will allow you to pick your own shades and products that look good on you.
But if you’re a beginner, you’re probably wondering what products you should purchase to create your own basic makeup kit.
With so many different types of products to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed at the thought of creating a DIY makeup kit!
And when you’re on a budget, it can be especially hard to figure out what’s right for you.
When putting together your own makeup kit, there are 10 essential elements to include:
- Makeup Case
As you build your own makeup kit, it’s important to understand how to use each type of makeup and how to pick the right variety for you.
Each cosmetic comes with its own tips and tricks, which is why I’ve included a crash course in makeup before you start shopping.
Learn more about each element of your makeup kit so you don’t waste money on products that aren’t right for you:
The first step to applying makeup should be taking the time to put primer on your face.
Primer is a beauty product that helps smooth your skin before the rest of your makeup is applied by glossing over fine lines and pores.
This product creates a smooth canvas for your concealer and foundation to rest on. The key to getting the most out of your primer is to find one that works best for your skin type and facial flaws.
There are primers to help cover wrinkles, even skin tone, and fill in large pores.
When exploring different types of primers, consider the types of flaws you’d like to conceal on your face, then look for a primer that caters to your needs.
Products to try:
- Covergirl Trublend Base Business Skin Primer
- Wet n Wild Photo Focus Primer Water
- Rimmel Stay Matte Mattifying Primer
- Neutrogena Healthy Skin Radiant Primer + Serum
- E.l.f Poreless Putty Primer
- L’Oreal Paris Magic Perfecting Base Face Primer
Foundation is the makeup product that allows you to create a uniform skin tone.
It is typically the second step you’ll take when applying your makeup.
After putting on your primer, add the foundation to your face using a sponge or blender (see below for product suggestions).
But before you can start using your foundation, you’ll need to take the time to find your perfect shade. Finding the best foundation for your skin tone and type may take some trial and error.
The best way to pick the right shade for you is to place a few sample lines of different shades on your face.
Check the shade while in the store, but it’s also a good idea to go outside and see how each shade looks in natural light. Taking this extra step will ensure you don’t waste money purchasing a shade that’s wrong for you. Because once you make the purchase, you won’t be able to return it!
In addition to different shades, there are also a variety of different types of foundation.
Consider these foundation varieties to decide which type would work best for your skin:
- Liquid: One of the most popular types of foundations, liquid foundation glides on your skin easily and looks great on most skin types. Liquids also provide the most coverage, which means they’re a great option for anyone hoping to cover uneven skin tones or acne marks.
- Whipped: Mousse foundation, also known as whipped foundation, is similar to liquid foundation, although it has a lighter texture because air has been whipped into it. The foundation provides you with a matte finish and weightless feel, making it a good choice for all skin types. It’s especially beneficial to anyone with dry skin or wrinkles.
- Stick: For easy application, stick foundation is a great choice. The consistency of this foundation option is often thicker than liquid varieties, making it a good choice for someone that needs extra coverage.
- Powder: Convenient and easy to use, powder foundation is another good option. This type of foundation is best used on oily skin because of its dry formulation. Powder foundation provides more of a matte finish than liquid, which can look more natural on your skin.
- Mineral powder: Powder based foundation that is composed of natural and organic material is called mineral powder. It’s a more natural makeup solution for anyone hoping to reduce the chemicals used on their face.
- BB cream: Featuring a creamy formula that moisturizes as it covers, BB cream is a great multi-purpose foundation. Also known as beauty balm, this type of foundation can help even skin tone and provide a touch of color at the same time.
- CC cream: CC, which is short for color correcting, cream is made up of hydrating and anti-aging ingredients tinted to provide a light layer of coverage.
Products to try:
- L’Oreal Paris Infallible Fresh Wear Foundation
- Revlon ColorStay Liquid Foundation
- L’Oreal Paris True Match Super Blendable Makeup
- Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder
- Physician’s Formula Super CC
- Cover Girl Full Spectrum Matte Ambition All-Day Foundation
To cover all those flaws and blemishes that foundation can’t hide, you’ll need concealer.
This makeup essential is typically used after applying your primer and foundation.
Use those two products first, then grab your concealer to mask anything the foundation doesn’t cover, including blemishes and under-eye circles. Start with a small dab, blend it in, then add more if needed.
Products to try:
- Revlon Color Stay Concealer
- L’Oreal Paris Infallible Full Wear More Than Concealer
- Physician’s Formula Natural Defense Total Coverage Concealer
- Nyx Cosmetics HD Studio Photogenic Concealer
Eyeliner is typically used around the rim of the eye to accent and highlight.
You can use eyeliner to emphasize your eyes or change the perceived shape of your eye. There are two types of eyeliner to choose from:
- Pencil: A blendable eyeliner that is easy to apply and simpler to correct if a mistake is made
- Liquid: A long-lasting eyeliner that creates sharp, bold lines around your eyes
While liquid eyeliner is a great way to create a dramatic effect with your eye makeup, it’s not the best choice for a beginner.
I suggest starting with pencil eyeliners until you get comfortable creating a straight line on your eye, then give liquid liners a try.
Products to try:
- CoverGirl Perfect Blend Eyeliner Pencil
- Nyx Professional Makeup Slide On Pencil
- L’Oreal Infallible Flash Cat Eye Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
To lengthen and emphasize your eyelashes, mascara is a must.
Mascara is typically used to make your lashes look longer, darker, and more intense.
And like most other cosmetics, there are a few different types of mascara you can choose from depending on how you’ll be wearing it and the look you’re going for.
When it comes to finding the perfect mascara for you, consider these characteristics:
- Washable: Composed of a higher water content than waterproof mascara, washable mascara is easy to remove. This type of mascara is also more flexible, making it more comfortable to wear and better for your lashes. But it’s also easier to smudge while you’re wearing it.
- Waterproof: In contrast, waterproof mascara is typically drier and thicker than washable mascara. And it’s longer-lasting. Waterproof mascara is more difficult to smudge and harder to remove. After wearing waterproof mascara, you’ll need to use makeup remover to take it off.
- Shades: Mascara typically comes in different shades. While black is the most common, you can also find brown mascara which might look more natural looking.
Products to try:
- Maybelline New York The Falsies Lash Lift Washable Mascara
- L’Oreal Paris Bambi Eye Mascara
- CoverGirl Lash Blast Clean Volume Mascara
- Wet n Wild Mega Volume Mascara
Lipstick is the most common way to accent your lips as part of your makeup routine.
On top of adding color to your lips, most lipsticks also contain beneficial moisturizing elements and sun protection ingredients. Try adding a nude and red shade to your makeup kit to have different options for day and night.
Although you probably think of lipstick as the traditional tube of wax-based lip coloring that is most commonly found in a woman’s makeup bag, there are actually a variety of ways to accent your lips.
When it comes to makeup for your lips, you can choose from:
- Sheer or satin lipstick: Light and airy lip coloring that offers a more natural look
- Creamy lipstick: Easy to apply and provides more coverage than sheer varieties
- Matte lipstick: Thicker and bolder and provide a matte finish when applied
- Stains: A way to add color to your lips without the heavy feeling of lipstick
- Gloss: Shiny and light lip coloring that gives a wet look
- Tinted balm: Hydrating lip treatment with a slight tint
While one type of lip coloring isn’t better than other, the one you choose will often depend on the occasion and the look you’re trying to achieve with your makeup.
While creamy and matte varieties are great for evening looks, gloss and sheer lipstick can provide a more natural daytime look. Having a variety of styles and colors in your makeup kit is a great idea.
Products to try:
- Burt’s Bees Natural Satin Lipstick
- Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick
- Wet n Wild Megalast Liquid Catsuit Matte Lipstick
- Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stain
- Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm
Blush typically comes in both powder and cream varieties and can be used on your cheeks to mimic the natural flush of your face.
Adding blush helps make your face look brighter and can give your complexion a healthier look.
When it comes to picking the right type of blush for your face, it’s a good idea to consider these factors:
- Powder blush is typically used on a bare face or on the top of foundation. With powder blush, you’ll find a wider range of shades to choose from, making it a popular choice. To apply powder blush, use a soft brush to blend the color onto your cheeks.
- Cream blush can be used on top of foundation or on bare skin. This type of blush is typically longer lasting than powder. It can be applied with your fingers or blended with a brush or sponge.
The key to picking the right shade for you depends on the undertone of your skin. If you have a warm skin, which features a yellow undertone, choose a warm blush shade.
And if your skin is a cool tone, choose a blush with a cool undertone to complement your complexion. Warm blush colors include shades of coral, peach, tangerine, and brown. Cool blush colors typically come in shades of pink, raisin, and berry.
Products to try:
- Revlon PhotoReady Instant Cheek Maker
- Rimmel Maxi Blush
- Wet n Wild Color Icon Blush
- L’Oreal True Match Blush
Using highlighter is a great way to give your face a vibrant, glowing look.
But knowing how and when to use the product is essential to making the most of it.
Highlighter is typically used on the high points of your face to give them a light glow, making your complexion look brighter and helping you to emphasis the rise and fall of your facial features.
Just like any other type of makeup, highlighter comes in a variety of formulas and shades.
When picking the right highlighter for you, keep your complexion in mind. If you have a fair or light skin tone, try using pearl or silver shades.
For medium skin tones, peaches and pinks work well.
If you have a darker skin tone, try using shades in gold or copper.
Highlighter can be applied to any high point on your face, depending on how much you want to emphasize. Typically, highlighter is applied to:
- Brow bones
- Down the bridge of the nose
- Cupid’s bow (the space right above the center of your top lip)
Highlighter comes in both powder and liquid varieties.
Powder highlighter can be applied after your blush and foundation, as long as you set your foundation with a translucent powder first.
Liquid highlighter can be used on top of liquid foundation without the need to set the foundation before applying the highlighter.
Products to try:
- Maybelline Master Chrome Highlighter
- Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips
- E.l.f. Baked Highlighter
- Maybelline Master Strobing Liquid Illuminating Highlighter
Eyeshadow is one of the most fun parts of applying makeup.
That’s because there are so many shades and varieties to choose from!
But that also means that picking the right shade for your makeup kit may be challenging.
When it comes to picking the best eyeshadow shades for you, consider:
- Your skin tone: Finding colors that coordinate with your skin tone is essential to picking an eyeshadow palette – especially if you’re hoping to achieve a more natural look. When picking shades based on your skin tone, choose colors in the gold, orange, and red family if you have a warm skin tone. And if your skin tone is on the cooler slide, try using blues, greens, and purples. For a nude look, try using your skin color to determine which palette is best for you.
- Lipstick shade: Another fun way to decide what color eyeshadow to wear is to use your lipstick as inspiration. Pick a shade of shadow that complements your lipstick for a coordinated look. It’s also a good idea to consider which feature you’ll be accenting as you do your makeup. If you want a bold eye, avoid a brightly colored lipstick. And if you plan to accent your lips, try a more muted look around your eyes.
- Your outfit: Using your outfit as inspiration for your eyeshadow color is a fun way to coordinate your makeup with your clothes. Consider the occasion and style of your outfit to help you decide what color would look best on your eyes.
Products to try:
- Maybelline Total Temptation Eyeshadow and Highlight Palette
- Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow 10-Pan Palette
- L’Oreal Infallible 24 HR Eye Shadow
- E.l.f. Mad for Matte Eyeshadow Palette
In addition to having the right makeup in your kit, it’s also important to have the right tools.
That means picking the best brushes to create the look you want with your makeup. While most makeup comes with its own applicator, the pieces included aren’t often the best way to apply the makeup.
That’s why it’s a good idea to invest in a set of makeup brushes to ensure you get the best look every time you apply your makeup.
When it comes to makeup brushes, there are a few essential tools you’ll need in your beginner makeup kit, including:
- Kabuki brush: used to apply and smooth foundation
- Concealer brush: used to apply and smooth concealer
- Brow brush: double ended brush used to comb and smooth eyebrows
- Eyeshadow brush: double ended brush used to apply and blend eyeshadow
- Blending brush: used to better blend eyeshadow
- Eyeliner brush: used to apply liquid eyeliner
- Fan brush: used to apply highlighter
- Contour brush: used to apply bronzer and blush
- Powder brush: used to apply setting powder and to buff in mineral foundation
Products to try:
- Zoreya Makeup Brushes
- EcoTools Makeup Brush Set
- Nicole Miller Makeup Brush Collection
- E.l.f. Professional Brushes
On top of having brushes in your makeup kit, it’s also a good idea to have some makeup sponges on hand.
Sponges can provide you with better coverage and help you blend creamy makeup elements, like your foundation.
When apply makeup using a sponge it’s good to have a few tips in mind.
- Start by wetting the sponge before using it to prevent it from dragging.
- Then, try bouncing the sponge on your skin instead of rubbing the makeup.
- And after applying your makeup, use a clean sponge to help blend all the elements together.
Products to try:
12. Makeup Case
Once you have all the supplies you need to make your own beginner makeup kit, you’re going to need a place to put everything!
A makeup case is an essential element of any makeup collection because it will allow you to organize all your makeup in one handy location.
When picking the right storage container for your makeup, look for a case that has different compartments for each type of makeup and one that expands to help maximize your storage space.
Products to try:
- Makeup Train Case
- Three Layer Cosmetic Organizer
- Makeup Storage Display Case
- Rotating Cosmetic Storage Case
Related Ideas for Budgeting:
- How to Create A Capsule Wardrobe (Complete Checklist)
- How to Shop for Clothes On A Budget
- No Spend Challenge: How to Not Spend Money for 30 days or More
- 18 Things to Stop Buying to Save Money Every Day
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