Affordable & Cruelty Free Makeup Starter Kit!

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One of my favorite Youtubers, Andrea Matillano, recently posted a video sharing her recommendations for a drugstore makeup starter kit. I love many of the products she chose but of course, I would choose a few different ones. I decided to create my own post with all the products I would pick for a makeup beginner or for anyone wanting good, easy to work with products. All of these products are cruelty free and less than $10.00. This is going to be lengthy so let’s get started!

*I won’t be mentioning bronzer, contour, false lashes or eyeliner. I do use some of those products but not often enough to recommend anything.

Face:

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  • essence Glow Boosting Primer– I’m not the biggest believer in primer but this is my favorite one. It helps to give my skin a more even and hydrated appearance. I’m not sure if it really helps my makeup last longer but it definitely doesn’t hurt it. It’s $5.00 and you can see my full review here.
  • e.l.f. Acne Fighting Foundation– This foundation is a rediscovered favorite for me. The shade range sucks but the formula is so, so good. It’s full coverage and has acne fighting ingredients. It has a satin finish and would be great for most skin types. It’s $6.00 and you can see my full review here (this is a VERY old review and not the best).
  • Hard Candy Glamoflauge Foundation– This foundation is my holy grail. It’s medium to full coverage with a satin finish. It’s a little drier than the e.l.f. Acne Fighting and would be best for normal to oily skin types. It’s $6.00 and you can see my full review here.
  • e.l.f. 16hr Camo Concealer– Most people either really love or really hate this concealer; I really love it. It’s full coverage and fully matte. When this concealer dries and is set with powder, it DOESN’T move. The only drawback is how quickly it dries, which makes it harder to work with. It’s $6.00 and you can see my full review here.
  • Catrice Camo Cream Wake Up Effect– This is my all time favorite color corrector for the under eyes and acne scars. Unfortunately, Ulta stopped carrying it and now it can only be purchased through Catrice’s website. It’s $6.00 and you can see my full review here.
  • J. Cat Beauty Luxe Pro Powder– This is a great basic loose powder. It’s super smooth, not heavy and does its job. It might not be the best for those with very oily skin, however, because it doesn’t keep my combo skin matte for a full day. It’s $7.00 and you can see my full review here.
  • e.l.f. Makeup Mist & Set– This has been my go to setting spray since I got into makeup. I’ve tried many others but I always come back to this one. I love the original and matte versions. It comes in two different sizes but the best deal is the larger one for $7.00. You can see my full review here.
  • Mario Badescu Rosewater Spray– This isn’t a makeup necessity but I love it. I use it before setting spray to melt all of my powder products together. I feel it completely takes away the powdery look. I also use it to wet my brushes for eyeshadow. It’s available in two sizes with the smaller being $7.00 and the larger being $12.00. You can see my full review here.

Cheeks:

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  • e.l.f. Primer Infused Blushes– This is one of the best blush formulas ever; not just for the price but in general. They have a creamy matte finish that is easy to build up and blend out. They’re $6.00 and you can see my full review here.
  • e.l.f. Primer Infused Shimmer Blushes– These blushes have the same exact formula as the original Primer Infused Blushes but with a little added shimmer. They’re NOT glittery and have more of a satin finish. They’re $6.00 and you can see my full review here.
  • Milani Strobelight Instant Glow Powder– This is by far one of the best highlighters I’ve ever tried. It looks beautiful on bare skin and over foundation. It’s not glittery and leaves behind a gorgeous glow. It’s $10.00 and you can see my full review here.
  • J. Cat Beauty Spectrum Highlighter Quad– This little quad of cream highlighters is my favorite to use on no makeup makeup days. They’re not super blinding but they leave behind a beautiful natural glow and dry down to a matte finish. It’s $6.00 and you can see my full review here.

Eyes & Brows:

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  • essence Colour Intensifying Eyeshadow Base– Out of all the eyeshadow primers I’ve tried, this one is the best. Its light pink color helps to brighten shadows, it keeps shadows from fading or creasing and the doe foot applicator makes application easy. It’s $3.49 and you can see my full review here.
  • J. Cat Beauty Noche Palette– This is a newer edition to my collection but I love it. It’s a unique palette and only $8.00. You can see my full review here.
  • Profusion Spectrum Palette– This palette is one of the best options out there for colorful shadows. Profusion shadows in general are almost always good. This pretty palette is just $5.00 and you can see my full review here.
  • e.l.f. Bite Sized Eyeshadow Quads– These two quads are Hot Jalapeno and Truffles. They’re absolutely beautiful and unbelievably, just $3.00. I haven’t reviewed these little quads yet so I’ll post pictures of them on my eyes below this section.
  • J. Cat Walk of Stardom Palette– This is another great palette from this brand. It’s filled with beautiful neutral and fall-esque shades. It’s $7.00 and you can see my full review here.
  • Covergirl Flourish Mascara– This is a new mascara to me and I haven’t reviewed it yet. I love it so far but I do need to test it more. It’s mainly here as a placeholder because for the most part, all Covergirl mascaras are good. Their prices vary but this one is $8.00.
  • e.l.f. Instant Lift Brow Pencil– This is a great basic brow pencil. It’s not overly pigmented and it’s easy to use. It’s also only $2.00. You can see my full review here but it’s very old and not great.
  • e.l.f. Wow Brow Gel– My brows aren’t complete without this gel. It helps make the brows look fuller and holds them in place. It’s $4.00 and you can see my full review here.

Lips:

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  • e.l.f. Moisturizing Lipstick– These lipsticks are available in a cream or matte finish but neither is transfer proof or particularly long lasting. They’re nothing fancy but they’re great to just be $4.00. You can see my full review here.
  • e.l.f. Lip Lacquer– This is a great basic gloss formula for $3.00. You can see my full review here.
  • e.l.f. Prismatic Lip Gloss– This gloss has a formula very similar to the Lip Lacquers but with the edition of a lot of sparkle. The sparkle doesn’t feel gritty and it’s just a great formula. It’s $4.00 and you can see my full review here.
  • e.l.f. Lip Plumping Gloss– This is by far my favorite gloss formula. I love the slight tingling sensation, how opaque the color is and and how long wearing it is. It’s $6.00 and you can see my full review here.
  • e.l.f. Matte Lip Color– Pencil style lipsticks are my favorite and that’s part of the reason why I love this one. The formula is also great. It’s matte but not too drying. It’s not super long wearing but it’s easy to reapply. It’s $4.00 and you can see my full review here.
  • NYX Lip Lingerie Push-Up– This is another pencil style lipstick but I prefer it a little more than the e.l.f. one because it’s a bit more long lasting. It’s $9.00 and you can see my full review here.
  • NYX Suede Matte Lipstick– This is a pretty basic matte lipstick formula but I love it. It’s decently long wearing and easy to reapply. It’s $8.00 and you can see my full review here.
  • Hard Candy All Matte Up Nourishing Lip Crayon– As of right now, this is my favorite lip product. It’s a pencil style lipstick, comfortable matte and long lasting. It’s also just $5.00 and you can see my full review here.

Final Thoughts:

That is all of my top picks for makeup beginners and makeup users in general. Let me know your thoughts on what I picked and if you plan to try any of it! Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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