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    31 Beginner Makeup Products For Anyone Who Has No Clue Where To Start

    For so-called makeup kindergarteners.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. NYX makeup-setting spray keeps your makeup from clocking out early. No creasing, no running, and no oil — unless you want a little shine. This cruelty-free formula comes in matte and dewy finishes, so you can switch things up.

    Promising review: "I have a lot of acne and oily skin and I must say this setting spray is really the cherry on top! When I put this on after I finish applying makeup, I NEVER get oily! I have worn this through two shifts (I have two jobs), rode two buses to get home, and walked home, and I still looked flawless! This is a must-have." —Sasha

    Get it from Amazon for $6.69 (available in both matte and dewy finish).

    2. CoverGirl matte concealer blurs pesky pimples, dark circles, and whatever else you may want to cover up. The doe-foot applicator picks up a LOT of product — you'll be amazed how easy it is to blend. Shoot, you may not even need more foundation.

    A bare-faced reviewer with uneven skin who applied the concealer to completely cover uneven skin tone

    AND it's available in 30 shades, so it's easier to find one that actually looks natural.

    Promising review: "For all of you lovely makeup lovers (like myself), this stuff is amazing! I honestly thought I was going to get ehh ok results especially because I usually conceal with a peach/orange color correcting concealer for my under eyes and acne scars, because they're quite a bit darker than the rest of my face. I also normally set with a powder before applying my foundation over the top but I wanted to see if this was good enough on its own and it is. I didn't set it or my foundation and after shopping for hours in the Texas heat, there weren't any creases or patchy blotches. I love it." —Kimber Rosee

    Get it from Amazon for $3.89+ (available in 30 shades).

    3. NYX Epic Ink Liner, aka the queen of waterproof liners, can withstand the trials and tribulations of life, especially water and smudging. It'll stay put without fading all day until you're ready to take it off.

    A reviewer's eyeliner

    Promising review: "I have heavy lids that have deflated after major weight loss and now sit ON my lashline. Because of this, any eyeliner will transfer right? If I sweat or cry, I'll have a copy of the perfect line I made somewhere on the upper lid, right? Well, I was trying them all with NO luck no matter what they cost or claimed! Then I bought this one. Unfortunately, this one came just as I was about to give it the ultimate test. My husband of almost 40 years passed away after fighting cancer for four years. He was my everything and I still love him with everything I have. He died at home with me four weeks ago and I have worn this to the funeral and every day since. I've shed buckets of tears and because it's in the 90s with 100% humidity here in Ohio, I've sweat rivers too. But not one transfer, smudge, or fade away! I hope you NEVER have to worry about your liner under circumstances anything like this but if you cry happy tears or sweat, you can count on this one more than any other one I've tried!" —Maureen Spaulding

    Get it from Amazon for $8.16 (available in two sizes and colors).

    While I can't quite compete with this above reviewer's testimony, feel free to check out our full review of the NYX Epic Ink Liner.

    4. Maybelline under-eye concealer fools everyone into thinking you're well-rested and didn't spend half the night binging your favorite shows. Its sponge applicator makes it ridiculously easy to blend without getting your hands dirty. You won't find a better concealer under $10!

    Kayla Suazo / BuzzFeed

    Promising review: "This is the best under-eye concealer ever. I am 67-years-old and have tried them all. It blends nicely with my foundation and has never caked. The sponge applicator is soft and makes application quick and easy. I will continue to use this product and hope, like many products I've used over the years, that it doesn't get discontinued." —Morty

    Get it from Amazon for $5.29+ (available in 18 shades).

    Check out a BuzzFeed editor's full review on why she loves this concealer in "Just 8 Maybelline Products We Really Love."

    5. NYX Born to Glow Naturally Radiant Foundation might just be the best contradiction you'll ever put on your face. For starters, it's got a matte finish that doesn't sacrifice luminosity. You'd expect a vegan foundation to break the bank, but this gem is only $10. With a lovely medium to buildable coverage, your skin will be the main attraction in all of your virtual meetings.

    Foundation swatches on four arms in different skin tones

    Promising review: "As someone who has to do a multi-step skin prep before putting on foundations because my skin is super dry, I hate when foundations still cling on to those ugly dry patches. This foundation does not do this as much as the other foundations I have tried does this. I am a deeper toned African-American woman, and this foundation (Cocoa) matched my skin tone beautifully with only a little adjustment needed for discolorations around my lower face. However, this foundation does not hold up against humid Georgia weather but it also did not have me looking like a oil slick. I believe because my skin is naturally dry, as this foundation started to wear down I looked more dewy than oily, so people with oily skin might want to powder more or avoid this radiant foundation. It transferred a little but the next time I wear it, I will wear more powder with it." —Chantia King

    Get it from Amazon for $9.97 (available in 45 shades).

    6. Coloured Raine Queen of Hearts Palette has bold colors that never go out of style. I've had mine for years and I still reach for it often because I can use every shade.

    The palette
    Coloured Rain

    Promising review: "I love this palette so much! It has perfect colors, shadows are buttery and pigmented, it looks even better in person. I misplaced my original palette after I moved and as soon as I realized I bought another one ASAP! Shipping also was extremely fast and the packaging is beautiful. If you’re on the fence about buying this, let this review be a sign to place your order!" —Kara T.

    Coloured Raine is a woman-owned small business started by Loraine R. Dowdy, whose goal was to create beauty products that embrace and include all skin tones.

    Get it from Coloured Raine for $42.

    7. Lancôme Lash Idôle Lash-Lifting & Volumizing Mascara actually impressed me, and I've been using Better Than Sex Mascara for years. Most mascaras take time to get that sweet spot where they're tacky (not watery, not dry) but this one is perfect fresh out the box.

    Zendaya modeling the mascara

    Promising review: "Love love love this mascara. the applicator is one of my fav parts- it makes it so easy to grab every individual lash. The formula lengthens and lifts and it will definitely stay on a while. it doesn't clump either. my new favorite mascara for sure. P.S. My dad even said that it looked like I had eyelash extensions." —Haymbee

    Get it from Sephora for $14+ (available in two sizes).

    8. Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation boasts a larger shade range than most drug store brands. People love its buildable, matte formula because it's not drying and lasts all day.

    A reviewer's scarred skin before applying foundation / A reviewer's skin with no noticeable scarring after using the foundation

    Promising review: "I love this foundation. This is the first foundation I have tried that has matched my skin so closely. It gives me medium to light coverage, which I personally love since I like wearing this during the summertime. I have acne scars that I really don't love. They make me feel self-conscious about myself. But this product provided coverage over them. In the two photos linked I only used foundation, no concealer around my cheeks and forehead. The first pic is before and the second pic is after I applied foundation to problem areas. You can obviously see the coverage this foundation gave me. Also what tops it all is that this foundation is matte! I have very oily skin so this thing is my holy grail. If you are wondering whether to get it, just read this review. It goes on and blends flawlessly. I bought another bottle just because I love it so much! (BTW I got the color 330 Toffee Caramel)." —Simpleebekah

    Get it from Amazon for $3.46 (available in 40 shades).

    9. Or Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation since its hydrating formula makes it one of the best on the market. This'll also protect your skin, courtesy of SPF 18. Maybelline didn't skimp on the ingredients either — the product is dermatologist- and allergy-tested, noncomedogenic, AND fragrance-free.

    The foundation bottle

    Promising review: "This is my favorite foundation ever! You get such a great quality product at an amazing price. I normally wear foundation three to four times each week and this bottle ends up lasting me at lease four months. I would say the coverage is light to medium, so if you are just looking to even out your skin tone or cover up a few small spots, then this is the foundation for you. I have pretty pale skin and I have had a hard time finding a good foundation that didn't leave me looking orange and I finally found this one! It works really well with my skin tone and the color stays true and doesn't oxidize and get orangey like a lot of other foundations do. I have pretty dry skin and have found that this works best if you exfoliate a few times a week and moisturize first about 30 minutes before applying the foundation so it doesn't have any dry patches to stick to. I think that for the price, this is an amazing foundation. It applies smooth and the coverage lasts all day for me without having to reapply. I do recommend using a setting powder over top of the foundation if you like it a bit more matte because this foundation can tend to look a bit shiny if not." —britt

    Get it from Amazon for $4.40 (available in 24 shades).

    10. Fenty Beauty Sun Stalk'r Instant Warmth Bronzer kisses your skin as though you spent the past month on the beach. It's not too red either. Pro tip: your bronzer shade makes an amazing eyeshadow crease color.

    The bronzers

    Promising review: "I bought this recently for my grad ceremony so the first time I used it I was in a rush but it really brought back the warmth to my face after doing concealer and everything else. I used it a second time and it worked really well; it was easily blendable, the color was good for me as it matched some of the reddish hyperpigmentation on my forehead and edges of my face and it felt weightless. My foundation shade is 420 ProFiltr." —Valerieee123

    Get it from Sephora for $30 (available in nine shades).

    11. Elizabeth Moss Eye Shadow Primer makes sure your perfect cut crease doesn't become a muddy mess as soon as you leave home. If you have oily lids, you should seriously consider picking up one of these.

    A reviewer wearing the eyeshadow

    Promising review: "So I use this primer for my eyeliner AND eye brows. And it is a life changer!!! I work with jobs, and majority of the day I'm waitressing outside on the patio in the humidity, I needed something to keep my eyeliner in tact so I didn't look like a raccoon by the end of my shift. It literally kept my makeup looking like I just put it on allllll day no matter how bad I sweat in the heat!!! I used it only on my eyes first just to try and I was amazed. So the next day I tried it as a primer for my eyebrows too before I filled them in and it does the same for my eyebrows! I'm in love with this product. Hopefully, my picture will prove it!!" —Molly

    Get it from Amazon for $13.48.

    12. Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 is a phenomenal primer, hands down. It goes ghost the minute you put it on — and that's why we love it. You'll be hard-pressed to find a scentless, invisible, weightless formula that blocks over 96% of harmful UV rays, courtesy of broad-spectrum SPF 40. If you can't put down your phone, there's blue light protection too.,

    Promising review: "I’ve only been using unseen for a few days, but so far I’m really loving it. It’s truly a game-changer, especially for women with darker skin tones. It goes on so smooth and velvety, and leaves no white cast! Hopefully, it doesn’t make my acne-prone skin breakout *crosses fingers* or else it’s back to the drawing board." —Joy V.

    Get the full size from Amazon for $34 or at Supergoop or Sephora for $17+ (available in full and travel sizes)

    13. Beauty Bakerie's Butter Hydrasilk Primer + Antioxidants prevents your makeup from electric sliding off of your face before you even leave the house.

    A model wearing the primer
    Beauty Bakerie

    Promising reviewer: "The butter face primer glides on super smooth and isn't super sticky its good for makeup to cling to but not sticky like you dumped syrup on your face definitely recommend this product and very cute packaging 😊." —Rhoda H.

    Beauty Bakerie is a small, woman-owned, cruelty-free cosmetics company founded by Cashmere Nicole, and it's mastered the perfect shade range for people of color.

    Get it from Beauty Bakerie for $24.

    14. Benefit Cosmetics Waterproof Brow Pomade is perfect for adding pigment to thin or light brows. All you need to do is apply it with a brush, and then blend it in.

    A model's sparse brow without the product / A model's fuller brow with the product

    Promising review: "I have brows that are basically invisible without product, so I generally use three products: tinted wax, pencil and gel. My usual tinted wax was discontinued, so I gave this a shot, and OMG. I think it will replace the wax AND pencil. Powmade is super pigmented and provides filling and shaping. I just used the gel still to define the hairs, but wow. I am so impressed with this. Highly recommend." —ElizGB

    Get it from Sephora for $20 (available in eight shades).

    15. E.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer applies smoothly to bring out the best in your skin and the makeup you're about to apply. If you have oily skin, this should keep your makeup from breaking up.

    The primer

    Promising review: "My current primer arsenal includes both generic and name and brand products. With that said, primer is a luxury I'm willing to spend extra on if and when I find a product that really works. For the price point, I didn't anticipate how convenient and easy the application would be. A little goes a long way and you can definitely build up the coverage with this. There are no weird residual clumps that you get from silicone-based solutions. However, you will get that 'blurring effect' which is what I'm going for. This creamy blend is in a tub that initially appears white until you blend it into your skin. No discoloration, scent, or weird texture either. It also shipped quickly and arrived just enough time for an important rooftop event and while my complexion has its oiliness issues, my large pothole pores remained filled into the late evening in spite of the oil and perspiration." —N

    Get it from Amazon for $9.

    16. Haus Laboratories Eyeliner accents the eyes with smudge-proof liquidy goodness. If you're heavy-handed, try the felt tip version for a little more control.

    model demonstrating the liner and a lipgloss

    Promising review (for lip crayon): "Smooth application and endless color! I love this lip crayon. I have had so many others and this one tops them all! Smooth on the lips and pure pigment!" —Jackie R

    Get it from Amazon for $20 (available in two styles and four colors).

    17. Vivienne Sabó Cabaret Premiere Mascara puts some umph into every single lash. People will really think you're wearing falsies.

    A reviewer's lashes before using the mascara / A reviewer's fuller lashes after using the mascara

    Promising review: "I love mascara, and have since the age of 12. I've tried every kind — from low end to high end, from drugstore to department store. Cabaret Premiere by Vivienne Sabo is the best mascara I've ever used in my entire life. The brush is small and easy to manage and the formula glides on evenly and coats each lash, making my eyes look bigger than ever. This is the product to buy." —gstella4

    Get it from Amazon $12.95 (available in two colors).

    18. I've been using TatBrow Ultra Hold Gel to keep my brows in place when they're out of control. I don't wear a lot of makeup anymore, so I love that it has a clear formula for a minimal look.

    A person wearing the brow gel

    Promising review: "Must have brow product!!! My brows are dark for my fair skin and I don’t need anymore color but I need something that keeps them in place or else they look disheveled. Love it!" —Chrissy Y.

    Get it from Tatbrow for $25 (originally $40).

    19. The Lip Bar Liquid Matte Lipstick stays in place as long as you want it to and never clocks out early. Unlike many mattes, this one won't leave your lips feeling like The Thing.

    kayla in a pinkish purple matte lipstick
    Kayla Boyd / BuzzFeed

    Here's what a fellow BuzzFeeder had to say:

    "I use The Lip Bar's matte liquid lipsticks often and the formula is truly incredible. It hardly budges at all throughout the day, the pigment is bomb, AND it doesn't dry out my lips at all — which is really difficult to find in a matte lipstick." —Kayla Boyd

    The Lip Bar is a small, woman-owned business. All of their products are vegan and cruelty-free — and they do so much more than just lipstick — check out all of their face and eye makeup as well!

    Get it from The Lip Bar for $13 (available in 18 shades) or Target for $15.99 (available in 12 shades).

    20. Urban Decay Naked 3 Mini Eyeshadow Palette is a cult favorite for its super blendable neutral shades. It includes three versatile shimmers and three stunning mattes.

    A person holding the palette

    Promising review: "LOVE these colors!! They are great for a no-makeup look but can be built up and is easily blended to be a bright or an evening look. This palette is especially great for blue eyes, as orange is the opposite of blue on the color wheel. I love the high pigment of the naked line, the last pallet I bought lasted over 3 years and I wore it almost every day." —Shawna Hathaway

    Get it from Amazon $29.

    21. Coty Airspun face powder helps you nail a flawless, flashback-free, beat! Whoever told you that minimizing fine lines and blurring acne scars required a million products lied — this one does it all for under $10. Plus it comes in multiple shades!


    Promising review: "I am totally blown away by this product! I have been consistently using a more expensive powder for about six months, and was dissatisfied with the fact that my skin appeared oily by the end of the work day. By 5 p.m. I have been wearing my makeup for about 10 hours. I also live in a warm climate and have oily skin. By the end of my work day using this powder, my face is still very matte! I am THRILLED! This way outperforms the other powder and is 13% of the cost. I can't believe it. I'm never going back." —AlexisJulian

    Get it from Amazon for $5.72+ (available in seven shades).

    22. Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream gives medium-to-full coverage that totally looks like skin. It's easy to blend and even has SPF 42., Sarah Han / BuzzFeed

    Promising review: "I'm not one to review all of my products, but I HAD to review this one. I LOVE the way this BB cream looks and feels. It's creamy, yet light. I think it gives amazing coverage for a BB cream. It gives you just a little glow without being too shiny. I LOVE this!" —Ashley

    Get it from Amazon for $14 (available in six shades)

    Check out our full review of the Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream!

    23. Ecotools Makeup Brush Cleansing Shampoo knocks it out when it comes to ingredients. Makeup brushes are an investment, so having a hypoallergenic, paraben-, phthalate-, and petroleum-free product to clean them is ultra important.

    The product bottle

    Promising review: "I have tried cleaning my cosmetic brushes with all different kinds of soaps, shampoos, you name it. But this stuff blows anything else out of the water. It has a light clean scent and works wonders in a matter of seconds on even the dirtiest brushes. Every single one of them look brand new! The best part is it is gentle enough to not ruin cheaper brushes and seems to work on organic and synthetic brushes as well. Buy this product. You will not regret it!" —Kota Hurt

    Get it from Amazon for $6.99.

    24. Arishine Magnetic Eyeliner and Lashes Kit kindly ushers you into the land of falsies with minimal skill required. Just use the liner (like you would any other liner) and then the lash will stick to it. Easy, right?,

    Promising review: "Tried these for the first time and they are awesome! I need a little practice with liquid eyeliner because I'm used to a pencil, but it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I let the liner dry first and the lashes went right on. Turned the fan on and they did not blow off my eyelids. They're so light, I can't even tell that I'm wearing them. I previously had lash extensions and did not like that I could not wash my eyes properly. I'm very impressed with these!" —Christine Frries

    Get it from Amazon for $12.98+ (available in three sizes).

    25. A Vogue Effects eyeliner stamp because let's be honest, nailing the perfect liner is borderline impossible without it. All you've gotta do is align the tool with your eye and stamp. Now you've got a crisp wing that Amy Winehouse would envy.

    This miracle-worker has two sides: one is a triangle-shaped tip to create the perfect winged tip, while the other effortlessly glides to complete the look. It's even available in three sizes so you can choose the thickness of your wings!

    Promising review: "Let me start by saying this isn't my first cat-eye rodeo. I've tried the taping method, normal liquid liner, plastic winged stamping devices, stencils, all of it! So when I saw this I thought, meh, why not give it a shot. Well, this gem arrived and I immediately had to try it out, all while laughing at how terrible this would probably turn out....but to my surprise it was perfect. I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE BEEN ABLE TO DO A CAT-EYE IN UNDER 10 MINUTES, LET ALONE THE TWO MINUTES THIS TOOK TO DO! There were no sloppy streaks that I had to touch up or anything you would expect. Just a clean, crisp line." —LadyMeow

    Get a pack of two (one for each eye) from Amazon for $14.97 (available in three sizes and two colors).

    To learn more, check out our eyeliner stamp deep dive.

    26. BestLand 60-color eyeshadow palette offers a variety of shadows so you can really get comfortable with color by trying different things. There are reliable matte, satin, shimmer, and neutral shades for every occasion.

    the eyeshadow palette with four layers in a rotary design

    Promising review: "Amazing! I’m super impressed with the quality and pigmentation. Comparable to ColourPop. I love all the fun colors. You can’t beat the price! 10/10 recommend." —Erin

    Get it from Amazon for $16.88.

    27. Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Perfection Foundation offers your-skin-but-better to medium coverage for the person who loves natural makeup. It's hydrating, never cakes, and lasts all day.

    The foundation

    Everything about this foundation is luxurious. The bottle, the finishes, the formula — everything. For once, I didn't feel like I betrayed my skin by wearing foundation. The coverage is good, but sometimes I spot conceal underneath to go the extra mile. I have combination/oily skin and this never breaks up on me. It remains radiant all day; truly a beautiful foundation.

    Promising review: "This is my new go-to foundation for everyday wear. I have combination-oily, acne-prone skin and prefer foundations that can even out my skin tone while still allowing my freckles to show through and have a very natural finish. This foundation is perfect: not too dewy, not too matte, never irritates my skin or breaks me out, and just makes me look like I have lovely skin. Maybe the best thing about this foundation is that it truly lasts all day without breaking up on my skin, oxidizing, or interfering with other products. I can easily layer powder or cream products over top, and my foundation has been lasting well through very humid summer days. It does get dewier throughout the day but in a really nice, natural way, and I can easily touch up with powder if needed." —megalasso

    Pat McGrath Labs is a woman-owned brand by Pat McGrath that aims to showcase the transformative power of makeup.

    Get it from Sephora for $68 (available in 35 shades).

    28. Wet n Wild Color Icon Multistick applies creamy to spread easily on your skin. Then, it dries into a powder to avoid transferring. It can be used as eyeliner, blush, or even on lips!

    three different skin tones displaying all the shades

    Promising review: "I own two of these. I own it in the shade Reddy Set Go and I own it in a brown shade. I love using these. The Reddy Set Go shade I like to use for my eyes. The brown shade I actually like to use for my lips and I add a nice like purpley nude lip gloss on top and it gives me a nice glossy look." —Customer

    Get it from Walmart for $2.98.

    29. Haloscope effortlessly illuminates your lovely features because newsflash: the forced powdery IG highlight is so 2013. This oil-based stick hydrates your skin. Apply it and know that dew radiating off of your cheekbones is all you (plus the help of some infused crystals 🔮).

    Three retractable Haloscope sicks and a box

    Promising review: "I've been over the super blinding, heavy highlighters for a while, I wanted something more natural-looking. This baby is beautiful! It gives a very wet, glass, lit from within glow. I love using it with or without a full face of makeup on, I don't find that it lifts up my foundation and I don't find it to be greasy. It's super easy to apply and blend, I just use my fingers or a damp sponge. A+++." —Chelsey W.

    Get it from Glossier for $22 (available in three colors).

    30. Mented Cosmetics Lipstick pictured below in the shade "Blacker the Berry," has a velvety matte finish that will keep your lips poppin' all day without making them feel too dry.

    buzzfeed writer in dark red matte lipstick
    Jasmin Suknanan

    "I love a dark lip for the fall (my fave season). This lipstick is a beautiful deep cranberry color that I JUST CAN'T WAIT to pair with jewel-toned knit sweaters. It's from Mented, which is a Black-owned beauty brand. The lipstick is matte but it leaves a soft, comfortable feeling on your lips so I can't wait to order more of their shades! 💄" —Jasmin Suknanan

    Mented is a woman-owned small business whose lipsticks are all vegan, paraben-free, nontoxic, and cruelty-free.

    Get it from Mented Cosmetics for $20 (available in five colors).

    31. UOMA Beauty Say What Foundation glides across skin for a flawless base that diminishes the look of pores for a photo-worthy matte finish.


    UOMA Beauty is a small business founded by makeup guru and Nigerian-born Sharon Chuter who's on a mission to provide a variety of makeup products to suit all skin tones. During the designing of these foundations, they used something called the Fitzpatrick Scale, which determines how different skin tones react to sun. The formula of each shade is meant to mirror your skin's needs and complexion for a unique and tailored makeup staple.

    Get it from UOMA Beauty for $39 (available in 51 shades).

    You, checking yourself out:


    The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.

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