Every Girl Should Have: A Makeup Starter Kit

I'm a makeup girl. I don't just love it, I lurve it! But it isn't the cheapest obsession and I don't get to indulge my itch to buy a new lipstick as much as I'd like. Sound familiar? I thought so.

The good news is most of us don't need to look like a Kardashian when we leave the house. We can get by using less. But what to use: That is the question. If you haven't guessed by now (or didn't read the title), this post is about makeup starter kits. Every girl should have one and every makeup girl has her own opinion on what one should have. My starter kit will probably ring true to the girl who wants to take no more than five minutes applying her makeup; who wants to look like a naturally beautiful girl that's making an effort.  

BB Cream: I know you've heard of the stuff; the miracle cream that's part SPF, part foundation, part primer, part magic in a tube-whatevs. But the stuff is worth buying. It's multifaceted and great for those who think wearing foundation every day sucks. I like Dream Fresh by Maybelline ($7.44). It's very light, contains no oil and has an SPF of 30.

Triple Threat-Cheek, Lids, and Lips Stain: In effort to have a "full" starter kit I think it's important to have some form of blush. I don't wear blush on a regular basis, but some products can serve other purposes. Some cheek stains can be used on the lips and lids and this is exactly the sort of stain you need in your starter kit. Freedom Glow Beauty Balm from Revolution Organics ($34) in Bronze is my personal favorite. It's made with natural oils and pigments and makes skin looked dewy and flushed at the same time. Another good brand to check out for this sort of product is Tarte.

Eyeliner with a smudging wand: A good eyeliner can make your eyes look bigger and brighter. I like ones that are extra blendable so I can create a smokey eye without lots of shadow. I use Exaggerate Auto Waterproof Eye Definer from Rimmel London ($4.44) in Sable. It has a smudger on one end that can spread, blend and even semi-erase color if necessary.

Lengthening Mascara: Find a mascara that gives good Bambi eyes. Anything that promises to lengthen and fatten is worth a shot. Did that sound perverted to anyone else? An editor I use to work for turned me on to Volume Accelerator Mascara ($8.99) which is pretty fantastic. The more you apply the thicker and longer lashes get.

Toothbrush: An old (and disinfected) toothbrush will do the same job that a fancy smancy brow brush will. The one pictured came from the dentist. In short, it was free. Tweezers: I used a rounded tip tweezers for years but after Cat Marnell, one of my favorite contemporary writers, recommended Tweezerman ($15) tweezers I had to check them out . They're very effective for getting the uber tiny hairs that only beauty neurotics can see. They hurt but work.

Primer: Primer works to smooth the canvas of your skin. Think of it as a thin veil that covers large pores and winkles so your foundation can focus on bigger things-like making your skin look perfect. I'm obsessed with The POREfessional from Benefit ($30). It has this magical ability to make me look like I never picked at my skin, smoked or ingested a small country's worth of sugar.

Foundation: Here's the truth: I don't really like foundation. It feels heavy, clogs my pores and makes a mess of my Galaxy 3. But trust, there is a foundation out there for you and YOU MUST FIND IT. It makes you look better in photos. Most beauty eds will tell you to splurge on foundation because that money goes into all the antioxidants and anti-aging stuff that the higher ends tend to contain. But I say boo to that, because you should be eating your antioxidants and taking care of your body so you don't look like a Golden Girl by age thirty. My foundation of choice comes from Maybelline and it's better than any department store foundation I've tried. Fit Me ($7.99) is made to match itself to your unique hue. It makes my skin look flawless instead of caked up with gunk. I wear it if I'm going to be in photos or are going out for the evening, but it can also work for daytime. It's also very breathable.

Luminizer: Ever sat across from a girl whose skin glows inexplicably? She's probably wearing luminizer. Use it along your check bones and bridge of your nose and you will be amazed how bright your skin suddenly is. I use Girl Meets Pearl from Benefit ($30) and it's deceptively natural looking. Instead of looking like I've been slicking stuff all over my face I just look like I was born with radiant skin which is really the point of the stuff. So there you have it-The ultimate starter kit. Did I leave anything out? What's in your starter kit? What type of stuff can't you imagine not using? Let me know.  

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