Makeup Essentials: Your Ultimate Starter Kit for Beauty Beginners!

Diving into the world of makeup can be fun and exciting.  If you’re just starting out or feeling a bit inexperienced, it’s totally normal to be overwhelmed.

With so many makeup products available, it’s easy to get lost, and wonder “Where do I even begin?” “What makeup does a beginner really need?”

It actually IS confusing to know what basic makeup essentials you need. Wouldn’t it be great to have a simple, no non-sense list of beginner makeup products you can build from? 

Yes, we think so too. So, we this makeup basics list. Below you will find a list of those basic “must have” makeup products that a beginner needs including our Red Apple Lipstick recommendations. Anyone really, whether a beginner or not, should have these in their makeup bag or kit for a flawless basic makeup application. 

What makeup essentials does a beginner need for a simple day makeup routine?

Face Products 

Base Products- Foundation & Concealer

As a beginner, you might wonder why foundation is an essential part of your makeup basics list.  While it’s true that not everyone needs or wants to use foundation, it can be beneficial for several reasons:

  • Foundation evens out your complexion. This creates a smooth and even base for the rest of your makeup.
  • It will minimize redness, blotchiness, blemishes and discoloration.
  • It creates a blank canvas for other makeup products. It helps eye shadows, blushes, bronzers and other color cosmetics appear more vibrant.

These are only a couple of the many reasons why a good foundation would be part of your “makeup essentials” kit.

That being said, foundation IS a personal choice, and there are no hard and fast rules in makeup.  If you have great skin already you might not require much coverage. You may opt for the products mentioned next instead.

Just remember, how you use a base product is key since it goes on your skin first. I prefer to aim for a natural look.

When selecting a foundation, opt for something lighter with buildable coverage instead of heavier options. Think of it as a second skin that evens out your complexion without feeling heavy or cakey. Avoid heavier coverage foundations for now.

When selecting a foundation, opt for something lighter with buildable coverage instead of heavier options. Think of it as a second skin that evens out your complexion without feeling heavy or cakey. Avoid heavier coverage foundations for now.

Other products you can use in place of foundations are: Tinted Moisturizers, BB Creams, CC Creams, and Tinted Sunscreen. 

Important features to look for: Make sure it matches your skin tone and undertone as closely as possible. Additionally, take your specific skin type into account to ensure it works well with your complexion. For a more natural look, opt for a foundation with a dewy finish that adds a subtle glow to your skin.. 

Concealer is a fantastic tool for targeting specific areas that need extra coverage without piling on more foundation. The concealer you choose should be moisturizing and not drying. 

To add coverage and help camouflage imperfections (acne scars for example), select a shade of concealer that matches your foundation/base. If you want to conceal dark circles/eye circles, you can use the same one, or you can use one that is a shade or two lighter to help brighten up the eye area. 

Face Primer

Alright, let’s talk face primers! They’re not always a must, but lots of folks swear by them for getting that flawless makeup look. The secret sauce? Primers help your makeup glide on like a dream and stay put all day long!

So, here’s the deal: when it comes to choosing a face primer, it’s crucial to find one that suits your skin’s needs. There are different types out there, each designed to target specific skin types.

If you’ve got oily skin and want to keep that shine in check, opt for a mattifying primer. Pay special attention to the oily areas like your T-zone to keep things under control.

On the flip side, if your skin tends to lean on the drier side, reach for a hydrating and moisturizing primer. This little gem will prep your skin, making it look plump and ready for makeup.

Remember, finding the right primer can make all the difference in your makeup routine. So, pick one that matches your skin type


Bronzer helps to add back warmness to the complexion after applying your base products for a natural glowing look. It is also a great way to add depth and definition to one’s facial features. 

Sundrop Bronzer does exactly that! It is the perfect warm matte shade that gives warmth to the face and helps define it. Check out Andrea’s tips on applying Sundrop Bronzer here

Our Pick

Sun Drop Bronzer

This versatile mineral based bronzer is so good for such a wide range of skin tones. It can be used quickly and easily to add warmth to the whole face, or only the cheeks. It even doubles as an eye shadow in a pinch.


While bronzer adds warmth, blush is a must-have to add a healthy flush of color to the cheeks. The goal is for it to look realistic, not obvious, for a more awake and refreshed complexion look. 

There are different shade options that will work for different skin tones. RAL has a shade for every skin tone. Find your perfect powder blush shade here

Learn more about blush and find tips on how to apply it in these two articles: How to Apply Blush- The Basics & How to Apply Blush & Bronzer for Your Face Shape

Our Pick

Pressed Powder Blush

We love Mineral Pressed Powder Blushes because they are the easiest to use. They pick up on a brush evenly and easily, and they apply softly. Some blushes apply like a sledgehammer of color, and it’s easy to over do it. But not with a mineral blush. The mineral base is much easier to build up into a believable looking finish.

Eye Products 

Eyeshadow Primer

While a face primer is more of an optional product, eyeshadow primer in our opinion is not. More often than not, eyeshadows will end up creasing when wearing them. That was my experience, until I started using an eye primer. 

Prime Time Eye Shadow Primer will prevent your shadow from creasing and will help it last longer. prime

Our Pick
Eye Shadow primer perfect for hooded eyes

Prime Time Eye Primer

A little goes a LONG way. Be careful not to apply too much primer or it will cause issues. Just a small dab rubbed over the whole lid makes a great base canvas for eye shadows.


When it comes to eye makeup, you want to have a few different eye shadow shades. You want to have at least a light, medium, and deeper shade to begin with. RAL has eyeshadows in both single form and eyeshadow palette form. 

Neutral shades are great makeup beginner friendly because they work for just about any kind of look. A good option to start with is getting a neutral eyeshadow palette because it will have all the necessary shades in it. The New Mattes palette is the perfect choice to start with. 

Need more help choosing eyeshadows? Click here

Our Pick

Mineral Pressed Eye Shadows

Eyeshadows are made in two flavors – hassle and no hassle. We like Mineral Pressed shadows. The colors are easier to work with. They are no as vibrant which makes them more natural looking and beginners are less likely to look out of place in them.

Eye Pencils

Eye pencils are great to have because they make great multi-taskers! They make the perfect eyeliner for makeup beginners, and they work great as an eyebrow pencil. 

We recommend RAL’s Eye Pencil in either Cocoa or Black for eyeliner. For brows, Cocoa, Taupe, and Blonde are great choices. 

Our Pick

Eye Pencils

For A beginners makeup kit start with a versatile and universally flattering eye pencil color, Brown/Cocoa.

Brown eye pencils are more forgiving and easier to work with compared to intense black or colorful options. They offer a softer look and can be used for various makeup styles, from natural to more defined.


Among your beauty products, a basic black mascara should be in your kit. Mascara alone can make a huge difference, drawing attention to the eyes by making them look bigger and wider so it’s a must. 

The best mascara is one that will not irritate the eyes but rather nourishing to the lashes. RAL’s The Lash Project V. 02 is the mascara you need. It’s 3 in 1 mascara, lash conditioner & serum. It gives a soft feathery look while defining and strengthening your lashes with patented lash growth technology. 

Lip Products 

Lip Balm

Lip balm is a must for lip care, your lips should always be moisturized and nourished. However, lip balm also makes a great lip primer before applying any lip color product.  

One of the big tricks to having a great looking lip color or a ruddy looking lip color is the condition of the skin of your lip.  Even slightly dry lips won’t be as smooth as moist, hydrated plump lips. So drink lots of water all the time, and use a lip balm often.  Not all lip balms are the same, some have ingredients that dry your lips more, yuck.  Stick to simple balms, and all should be well.

Rallye Balm is the best daily lip moisturizer. It surrounds them with a moist, protective shell. It also makes an excellent base for lipstick and lip glosses, extending its longevity. 

Lip Liner

Lining the lips will not be necessary to do every time when applying lip colors. You should, however, have a lip liner on hand for those times you may need it. Lining the lips is good to do especially when applying lipstick in bold colors. 

Look for one that closely matches your lip’s natural color. Barely Pink, Natural, and Toasted Pink make great shades to start with. 

Lipstick and/or Lip Gloss

To start with, you should have just a couple different lip colors on hand. RAL has plenty of color options in both lipsticks and lip glosses

And for beginners, it’s best to start with lipstick shades that are easy to wear and complement a wide range of looks.

It’s easy to be attracted to bright lip colors you see on celebrities, but the truth is bright and bold lip shades are more difficult to manage all day in real life. 

Here are a few thoughts about lip color ranges.

  1. Nude or MLBB (My Lips But Better) Shade: A nude or MLBB shade closely matches your natural lip color, providing a subtle enhancement to your lips. It’s a versatile option that goes well with any makeup look, from casual to formal.
  2. Soft Pinks: A soft pink shade adds a touch of freshness and youthfulness to your overall look. Opt for a shade that is not too bright or bold to keep it beginner-friendly.
  3. Coral: Coral shades bring a vibrant and cheerful pop of color to your lips. They work well with various skin tones and can be a great option for adding some liveliness to your makeup.
  4. Rosy Mauve: This shade combines the sophistication of a rosy tone with the subtlety of mauve. It’s a classic color that flatters most skin tones and occasions.
  5. Berry: A berry shade offers a deeper and more dramatic option without being as bold as red. It’s a fantastic choice for adding a bit of intensity to your makeup.

Here are some examples:

If we are discussing glosses, then go wild. Glosses are always very easy to use, and you can really play with color.  Just be careful with “lip stains”, they are less forgiving.

Makeup Tools 

Besides makeup products, you will also need the right tools to apply them with. Good quality makeup brushes will make a difference in application.  

To apply foundation, you will need either a brush or a makeup sponge. The Blush Brush is perfect for both bronzing and applying powder blush.  

You will also need good eye brushes.  

These are the makeup essentials a makeup beginner should have in their makeup kit/bag. Once you are more comfortable with his basic makeup list and are ready to try different techniques, you can start incorporating more products.  

We hope this list is helpful and useful. Feel free to save it for future reference and share it with anyone who could use it! Let us know your thoughts on this in the comments below. 

Essentials Makeup Tutorial

I located a fabulous tutorial for you over on You-tube.  Here is a direct link:
and I will also embed it below.  Enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What makeup should a beginner start with? 

Start with the basics. This article lists exactly what those are, so make sure to read it.  

What foundation should a beginner buy? 

Start with something that is lightweight, with light to medium coverage for a more natural look. It should work for your specific skin type. 

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