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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Starting the Makeup Journey with Makeup Essentials - MAKEUP BEGINNERS

We all makeup aspirants and makeup fanatics have had a certain point in life where we all began, and we all began confused and terrified of the vastness of this field and this industry. With billions and trillions of makeup products, diversified makeup levels and branches, whether to choose the profession or not, personal makeup and grooming and a plethora of such questions can baffle a newbie's mind.

I can say this as I have gone through all this and even after being the field of makeup for quite sometime, still I face the same problems (partly due to my impulsive nature as well). The biggest question I am asked all the time by friends, acquaintances, FB friends and my lovelies readers is "What do I need to have in my makeup bag?". This question is a very wide spectrum one and ranges from a personal user to a fully fledged makeup artist.

Makeup is needed everywhere. It can be on daily basis or an occasion or a big event or anything for that matters. It boosts the confidence in anyone as its a great medium to put ones' best feature forward. So having the 'ideal' makeup kit is what everyone looks at....

So lets see (after the jumpbreak) on how to build the 'ideal' makeup kit (for makeup beginners and makeup professionals) from my point of view..........

Makeup is not about the size of the bag or the extravaganza of products....its about the talent, getting the right things and being extremely comfortable in what one is doing....


As a makeup starter its very important to have some basic products in your stuff to begin with. I personally advice to invest in a decent amount of good quality products albeit the price, as they take you through the best part of your makeup journey without any qualms and trial and errors.

Also you can buy multi-tasking products that do more than one job which makes the investment amount sound well spent and cost effective. Always buy colors which you think will last with you for a long time and shall be put in use so that they don't remain sitting on one side of your makeup kit. I shall be talking mostly about the brands I love from the drugstore and departmental stores and products that are found in India. One can take this as a basic guide for making their makeup shopping list as the options are endless if one could find them.

What you need (List) : -

  1. A foundation stick - which also duplicates as a concealer. My favorites are Bobbi Brown foundation stick, Kryolan Ultra foundation stick, Maybelline BB stick (not so impressive though) or Shiseido the Makeup Stick foundation.
  2. Loose Powder - Buy a one that looks larger than life (LOL) and stays you for a longer period of time. I love the Kryolan Translucent Powder (larger size lasts forever), NARS Loose Powder, Chanel Poudre Libre Translucent Powder and the Clinique Blended Loose Powder. 
  3. A perfect Bronzer - Choose a bronzer which is 2-3 shades darker than your skin tone and is preferably matte. I love the Bourjois Bronzer - its matte and perfect color, Benefit Hoola Bronzer, Shiseido the Makeup Bronzer, Clinique True Bronzer and Guerlain 4 Seasons Bronzer. Ideally a bronzer that comes in a palette or a group of 2-3 colors is perfect. Choose the ones that are not too orange so that you don't look weird and they can enhance the contours of the face and double up as a contour powder.
  4. Blushers - You should own 3 blushers in accordance to your skin color. Here there are lot of varieties to choose from and you can make your custom made blush palettes with brands like Inglot etc. At any point of time a pink, a peach and a plum blush is all you need to invest in. L'Oreal makes lovely mineral blushers that have a bang on pigmentation. My favorite blushers are from Max Factor Perfection blush, MAC Blushers (Plumfoolery, Dollymix, Coygirl, Peaches, Peachykeen, Melba...the list is endless) and in higher brands Guerlain, Chanel and Christian Dior. Dior makes blush duos which are perfect since you get 2 colors in one and trust me these products last forever even though they are high on the price tag. I prefer to suggest blushes in matte or satin textures compared to shimmery ones. You can always use a highlighter to modify the effect of your blush.
  5. Highlighter - Highlighters generally come in paired with bronzers so if you find the right one then you are sorted. A soft champagne gold highlighter is the most ideal one to begin with. Colorbar and Bobbi brown make shimmer bricks while MAC has some amazing highlighters in their Mineralize Skin finish range. One of my most favorite highlighters are Lancome's Blush Subtil Higlighting powder. Their textures are incredible.
  6. Eyeshadow Primer - These are the must so that you get a maximum impact from your eyeshadows. Even a cream eyeshadow can suffice as an eyeshadow primer for eg. MAC Paint pots - Groundwork, Painterly, Soft Ochre and Bare Study are the classiest and most widely used colors.
  7. Eyeshadows - Choose neutral palettes in variety of textures. When it comes to choosing eye makeup products the options are endless. So I prefer products that are multitasking and get a lot more than what you ask for. Maybelline Color tattoo eyeshadows are phenomenal and extremely long wearing. The only drawback is they have prominently shimmery textures and may not be liked by all. MAC and Inglot make fantastic freedom palettes that you can add your favorite shadows to. These allow a perfect match of colors and textures and you can also duplicate a matte grey-brown as a brow powder. Although the list is endless, I advice everyone to have at least 5 shades of eyeshadows in their beginner kit viz., Brown, Black, Beige, Ivory and a metallic gold. These colors will take you to a number of different looks right from office to a party. Stay away from bright colors as a initial investment as these are the colors that you may not use that often and you need a certain amount of makeup practice to sport these colors properly. Plus these are not day to day use colors and just an impulsive purchase. Do invest in one PURPLE eyeshadow as it does magic on anyone's eyes.
  8. Another good investment is in palettes that are pre-made. 
  9. Eye liners - Again a difficult selection. Your eye liners need to be waterproof and make you happy after you apply them. I choose pencil liners over liquid and pen liners due to the ease of application. My favorites are Bourjois Clubbing Liners and now a days they come in all colors one needs. NYX also makes fabulously long wearing retractable liner pencils and a brand called VOV (found in beauty stores) makes a fabulous black eye pencil which has a hugely respectable position in my bridal makeup kit. In case you love liquid liners than L'Oreal makes really decent ones and so do Bourjois Clubbing liquid liners.
  10. Gel liners - These are a great trend and everyone has to have one. Really. I choose between Maybelline Gel liner, MAC Chromaline Gel liners, YSL and Estee Lauder Double Wear liners. Of course the most opted color is BLACK but you can try some fun colors in Violets, Browns and Greens to enhance your eyes.
  11. Some makeup accessories like brow gel (MAC or TBS), Duraline (Inglot) and most importantly a makeup fixing spray. An eye makeup remover is the most important product that you need to have.
  12. Mascara - Always invest in a mascara that suits your lashes. You can find amazing reviews online and its very easy to choose what you want. I was always a mascara freak and invested in branded mascaras as well as drugstore brands even though I know they have a smaller shelf life. Always choose a mascara that goes with your lifestyle too like waterproof ones if you are always on the run and washable versions if your work is often confined to closed areas. This makes the mascara ergonomically suitable.
  13. Lip products - Lipsticks, lip glosses and lip balms are something where you can invest in as much as your pocket takes you. Here the list and the choices are infinite and everyone has their own favorite lipstick. Lipstick palettes are easier to decide which shall be your 'it' lipstick color and then you can purchase as many times the color that you love the most.
  14. Makeup Brushes - I always recommend to begin with really good quality brushes as they allow a fantastic makeup application and shall be with you on your makeup journey for the maximum time. You may not need all the brushes in the market but a few handy ones shall be great to go with. My wish list always had brushes from Shiseido, MAC and then a lot more brands came in. Kryolan makes absolutely inexpensive and very very good quality brushes so do check them out too.

I have always got a lot of stuff from online shopping sites in INDIA and abroad and they have played a larger role in understanding of the brands. I have some of these makeup sites that I have always trusted for their genuine products and faster and better services. These reference sites do not contain any affiliate links until or unless mentioned.
Let me list a few of my favorite sites and also add in a coupon for discounts (non sponsored) in case I can.
I have always purchased the brands that are not available in India from here. This is a great site to buy makeup brushes, accessories, powder products, skin care and hair care. The shipping is free and the customer service is amazing.
They have wonderful products too. Its just that they have restrictions to minimum purchase that has to be made.
This is a fairly new site for me and although I got my first shipping order fast, the second one hasn't arrived yet so my finger are crossed. Their customer service is worse though as they do not reply back promptly.
  • BH Cosmetics and Coastal Scents have a variety of products to offer too. I prefer and love BH cosmetics as they have excellent palettes for beginners and their other products are equally phenomenal. The quality is good, the shipping has improved and their customer services are really fantastic.
  • My new find is for getting the most amazing and most sought after Real Techniques brushes by Samantha Chapman. These brushes are fantastic for beginners and for people who want affordable high quality brushes for a hassle free makeup application. The coupon code of KWT687 can get you a small discount on your first order.
That all for now. I shall have to really plan a fantastic post in this series for makeup artist beginners and that shall air soon too. Do let me know if you have any queries in the comments and I shall answer them for you.

Till then,


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  1. That is a great post! Have picked up some pointers and am looking forward to getting some of products you mentioned.

    Thanks Doc!

    1. Thanks a lot Shikha...I am surely it will help u is great fun...

  2. OMG such a detailed post will enlighten anybody, Thanks a ton Neeraj you are great...I must visit Kryolan shop ASAP :)then
    Happy Weekend :)

    1. Thanks a ton glad that u liked the post. Shall soon be doing a post on Kryolan Essentials too

  3. awesome post Neeraj :) i always feel am a beginner and your post and suggestions alwaysssss helps me in big way :D
    my vanity is shaping great day by day with your useful suggestions D:

    1. Thank u sooooo much Rashmi...even I've learnt a lot of stuff from u and we have always invested in the 'right' stuff....

  4. Thats a great compilation Neeraj checklisting my vanity for all teh missing ones.. :) and thanks for letting us the trust-worthy websites to get some imported stuff.. ;)

    1. Thanks a million happy that u liked the post..shall be making more of such posts soon

  5. Hi Neeraj, thanks for writing this post as promised! It's really helpful. What's a good moisturiser for oily skin- am currently using Acnemoist, which is good but looking for something better. Thanks!

    1. Thanks a lot happy u checked my blog..for oily skin I love the Vichy Normaderm products which I use seldom...u can also try Clinique or Kiehl's..

  6. Fantastic post Dr Neeraj! I have recently started shopping from strawberrynet and it beats all sites hand down! their customer service is truly amazing! which makeup fixing spray would you recommend? looking for both matte and healthy dewy looks..any specific brand?

    1. thanks a lot glad u liked it. I prefer Kryolan Dermacolor fixing spray to create a lovely matte complexion and MAC Fix plus for the dewy effect. They are the staples in my kit all the time.

  7. Thanks for this informative post. Such posts in beauty reviews are very helpful for someone like me who does not live in a metro and has to depend on online or second party purchase of beauty products.I am looking forward to your review of Real Techniques Brushes as I am just venturing into eye makeup. Can you suggest some basic eye brushes from Kryolan for a beginners kit ?

    1. Thanks a ton...I'm so happy u liked the posts...I will be making a lot of such useful posts as soon as I can muster some time...

  8. What a detailed post Neeraj. I really liked it, post like these always help the audience to know more in detail about beauty products. Your suggestions will be guide to many women's who always search online.

    1. Thanks a lot Payal..I am so happy you liked the post. I shall be writing the next one soon...


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