First off, you don’t need to have a huge budget for a make up kit. There are so many amazing department store gems that will fit whatever budget you may have! I will list what I think are essentials in your make up starter kit, and a Spend and Save option. For some of these, I still remember the prices, but for some I may have forgotten already so I will put an asterisk on the ones I am unsure of. All the save options are all Php500-and-below.
So what are the “essentials”?
You can opt for a BB Cream, a tinted moisturizer, a light coverage foundation, a full-on full coverage foundation – whatever floats your boat! I personally feel that foundation is too heavy for everyday and use a BB Cream instead. I save the foundation for days/nights that I want more coverage and longevity.
Spend: Mac Face & Body Foundation (Php2,500)
Save: Ponds BB Cream (Php299)
You have no idea how big of a role concealer plays in make up. You can have the most elaborate eye look but if you skip the concealer, it’s not going to look finished or complete. I use concealer on everyone – even my clients who don’t have dark circles to cover – because it just pulls everything together.
Spend: Mac Select Cover Up (Somewhere around Php900 to Php1000*)
Save: Maybelline Mineral Power Pure Concealer (Around Php450*)
I know, I know, some people prefer the dewy look – but for us living in the tropics, powder is a must if you want your make up to last. You can choose to powder your entire face, or just select areas where you know you need help with – the T-Zone, areas you put concealer – to lock in your base.
Spend: Ben Nye Luxury Banana Powder (Somewhere around Php1200 to Php1400 for the 3oz*)
Save: Avon Oil Control Pressed Powder (Php299)
A Cheek Color
We need to bring back color to our face – so don’t forget your blusher! Deep pinks and red tones look so good on a very wide range of skin tones so if you are just going to get one, opt for a shade that is within the pink-red family.
Spend: Benefit Bella Bamba (Php1,600*)
Save: ELF Blusher in Blushing Rose (Php349*)
A Lip Balm
I used to not care about using lip balms but since I had my braces installed, I find that I have been using it a lot more. I realized that it does make a lot of difference if you keep your lips well-moisturized. Your lipstick/lip liner will go on better if you nourish your dry, cracked lips beforehand.
Spend: EOS Lipbalm ($3.29, I’ve seen local online stores sell this for Php300 – Php350**)
Save: Maybelline Baby Lips (Php99*)
A Lip Stick
Lipstick is the easiest cosmetic to use and wear. If this is your first lipstick that you plan to use on a daily basis, I would suggest getting something in the pink color range. Pink, I find, works for a lot of people so this would be your safest bet!
Spend: Mac Chatterbox (Around Php900 to Php1000*)
Save: Maybelline Color Show in Pinkalicious (Php165)
A Brow Product
With the brow movement that began a few years ago, brow products have become part of the essentials as well. While I do understand the convenience of an eyebrow pencil, I still much much prefer powder. You can use it to create a soft, natural look or a full on bold brow that lasts all day without that odd sheen that most eyebrow products leave. It also helps if you have well-maintained brows. Pluck regularly or have your brows threaded by a professional so you don’t have to spend so much time fixing your brows.
Spend: Mac Eyeshadows in Cork and Brun (Around Php800 to Php900*)
Save: Skinfood Brow Duo ($7.80**)
Now this may be controversial (as if) but seriously, I don’t believe in ever spending more than Php500.00 for a mascara. You know why? Because you throw it away after a couple of months!!! I very rarely use expensive mascara – and when I do it’s mostly because I didn’t have to pay for it myself ha ha ha – but I have found a few gems in the department store. (The Miss Manga is Php595 I think, but I got it on sale for Php500).
Save: Shawill Mascara (Around Php200*)
Don’t buy into the hype that you need ten thousand brushes to get your make up done. If you are just starting out, don’t overwhelm yourself by buying a set that you most likely will use only 25% of. On my list of essential tools are: A buffing brush, a powder brush, a blush brush, a brow brush, and angled liner brush, an eyelash curler and a blending sponge. Oh and don’t forget your God-given tools, your hands! Start with these and gradually grow your brush collection. Some amazing places to buy brushes/tools are the beauty section of The Landmark, Suesh and Beauty Cosmetics.
What — no eyeshadow, no eyeliner, no contour, no extravagant lip color? Well, I think if you are just starting out with make up, it is important to start with the basics. Before you jump into the wonderful world of eye shadows and contours, begin with something simple and easy – perfect your base – and you can gradually add maybe an eyeliner here, and eyeshadow there, maybe even a bold lipstick color.
Don’t feel overwhelmed and don’t let the Sales Associates pressure you into buying anything. Do your research before buying so you don’t end up wasting money… and don’t be afraid to try before you buy! Swatch as much as you can, until you find something you like (but I suggest only on your hand — just to be sure, you know, for hygiene purposes).
So now, my young padawan, go and start building your starter make up kit! (LOL)
*Not 100% sure about the prices – I am fairly certain but not 100%.
**Given as gifts so I dont know the product’s peso prices.