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    32 Products If You Have No Idea What You're Doing With Makeup (But Want To)

    You're basically the next NikkieTutorials in the making. ✨

    1. A set of super-soft, beginner-friendly makeup brushes to help you apply all your blushes, eyeshadows, highlighters, and other makeup products as easily and effectively as possible. Reviewers rave about this set for the quality at such an affordable price — the 87,000+ 5-star reviews are a testament to it!

    Promising review: "They came exactly as they were described: super soft and easy to use. Great for beginners! I only just started get into makeup, but I know that it’s hard to find good products that don’t break the bank. These are worth every penny, and I’m glad I bought them." —Chelsea

    Get the 14-piece from Amazon for $7.99+ (available in five colors).

    2. Plus, eyeshadow color removal sponges that let you experiment with colorful eye looks without the pain of cleaning or switching between brushes for every color. Just rub your brush in this pan for a few seconds, and it'll be good to go for your next shade!

    gif showing an eyeshadow brush leaving pigment on an arm, then cleaned in the sponge for a few seconds, then wiped again on the arm showing no makeup is left on it
    product photo of an eyeshadow brush being dipped into the container

    I picked up this color removal sponge from Amazon after hearing about this hack on TikTok and can testify that it actually works SO well. I'm *so* bad about cleaning my brushes (I know...shameful) and this makes it super easy to clean a brush in a matter of seconds. So even if I'm trying to do a *slightly* more elaborate eyeshadow look for the day, this makes the process of switching colors as quick and painless as possible. Also, it's *super* lightweight, and I've already tossed it in my bag and brought it on vacation with me. This is one of those products I won't be traveling without in the future if I plan on doing eyeshadow at any point — and it means you only need to pack one or two eyeshadow brushes!

    Get it from Amazon for $5.99.

    3. A tube of Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Eyeshadow Base because if you're applying eyeshadow without primer, you're not getting its full effect. Not only will it make your eyeshadow look bolder and extra pigmented, but it'll also combat oil and creasing so your smoky eye looks flawless all night long.

    A customer review photo of their eye makeup done at 8:30 a.m.
    The same customer with a review photo showing their eye makeup at 6:30 p.m.

    Promising review: "I feel so stupid...I'm 65 years old and have always been annoyed by the fact that by mid-afternoon, my upper lids would be oily, shiny, and sporting a stripe from my eyeliner. I didn't think there was a cure. Then stumbled upon the idea of using a primer/foundation designed for the eyelids. What? How BRILLIANT!! Who would have thought? I dipped my toe into the water and purchased one tube of the Thank Me Later Eye Shadow Primer. I don't use eye shadow on my lids, but I do use it as a liner on my lower lashes. (I add water to compressed eye shadow and put it on my skin with a sponge-end pencil thing). This stuff ROCKS!! At the end of a hot Texas day, my lids are still as fresh and dry as they were at 6 a.m. And it only takes a pinhead-sized drop to cover one entire lid from lashes to eyebrow, with enough left to cover the lower lid area as well. It's creamy, but dries very quickly. Awesome! The only thing that keeps this product from being 100% perfect is that it has a chemical smell when you first put it on...BUT...after a few minutes, the smell is gone and my eye makeup looks impeccable for 12+ hours. Obviously, I highly recommend this product. They've found a lifetime customer with me." —ShortieTX

    Get it from Amazon for $13.99

    4. A rainbow-inspired eyeshadow palette with 40 matte, shimmer, and metallic shades so you can play with pretty much any color to paint the ~canvas~ that is your lovely face. Loved by amateurs and professional makeup artists alike, this is a great all-in-one palette for anyone who's not afraid to dabble with bright colors.

    a hand holding the palette of 40 rainbow shades
    reviewer's eyeshadow look with orange, pink, and yellow shades from the palette

    Also, if you follow beauty influencers, you miiiight notice this is extremely similar to the James Charles x Morphe palette, which cost almost $40. 👀

    Promising review: "Best palette I've owned and you can't beat this price! I'm a chalk pastel portrait artist so the plan was if these weren't great pigments for makeup, I was going to use it for chalk drawings! As it turns out, this palette is way better than expected. The colors are beautiful and vibrant. They are also extremely pigmented, especially the shimmery colors, and they all seem to blend well. I'm happy to have every color I could ever want in an eyeshadow in the palm of my hands and I've been experimenting with colors I've never worn before!!" —Mary Diamond

    Get it from Amazon for $8.49

    5. And a pack of eyeshadow shields to catch excess makeup while applying it and leave your under-eye area looking clean afterward.

    four step process of an eyeshadow look created using the eyshadow shields to catch excess makeup that falls underneath the eye

    Promising review: "I've been a certified makeup artist for 12 years. Used for my cousin's wedding makeup, and they worked really well as far as catching fallout and shaping goes, but taking them off, they really stick so just be gentle. Still great." —Andrea

    Get a box of 120 pieces from Amazon for $7.99.

    6. A waterproof, smudge-proof liquid eyeliner stamp that addresses the bane of every makeup wearer's existence: creating the perfect, symmetrical cat-eye. Now you don't have to spend an hour redoing your wings — this easy-to-use stamp creates the same wing on each side, and no one will even know the difference. 🤫

    reviewer holding the stamp with examples on their left hand
    reviewer with a perfect cat eye after using stamp

    The Flick Stick comes from New Zealand-based brand and small biz Lovoir Beauty

    Promising review: "Amazon makes all things possible, even the perfect winged liner. I’m speechless. I’ve never been able to do winged liner in the 30 years I’ve walked the Earth. This product is amazing, it’s seamless. Literally, it’s foolproof. Not to mention it has great staying power, it’s very dark, and hasn’t smudged all day. I seriously wasn’t expecting to like it this much, you’ve got a customer for life!" —Taylor

    Get it from Amazon for $14.97 (available in three styles and a combo pack). 

    7. A super-bold, smudge-proof Kulfi Kajal Eyeliner with a creamy texture that glides on smoothly and won't give you those dreaded raccoon eyes after a long day. Its color is rich — no need to retrace your lines over and over 'til it's properly saturated — and it's infused with moisturizing aloe vera and vitamin E. If you struggle with liquid eyeliners, you may find this application easier!

    The set of five eye pencils
    A model wearing the black eyeliner
    Kulfi Beauty

    Kulfi Beauty, affectionately named after a type of South Asian ice cream, is a South Asian woman–owned beauty brand that makes products to celebrate and empower the diverse needs of their culture.

    Promising review: "Love the eyeliner — it's the best I have ever used. It goes on smoothly, neatly, and easily. It still looks good at the end of the day." —Charlotte A.

    Get it from Kulfi Beauty for $20 (available in five shades).

    8. A Neutrogena makeup eraser stick for when that fierce eyeliner wing ends up a little more lopsided than you planned for, or you accidentally dot a bit of it on your cheek. Instead of using one of those disposable wipes, you'll be able to target the area more precisely with this, wiping away the mistake without messing up the rest of your makeup. Plus, it's travel-friendly!

    the makeup eraser stick held to a model's eye

    Promising reviews: "I use this mainly to clean up mascara dots below my eye. It does the trick instantly and easily without disrupting too much the makeup I have under my eye. A small brush smooths the makeup back to the way it was easy as can be. Love this." —Amazon Customer

    "Why didn’t someone think of this sooner? For years, I’ve been using cotton swabs dipped in makeup remover to remove little goofs or mistakes. This is so much better and portable! Erases waterproof mascara marks around my eyes easily. Must-buy product!!" —Katherine

    Get it from Amazon for $10.99.

    9. Or a pack of pre-moistened Andrea Eye Q's Oil-Free Make-Up Correctors, little swabs that also won't sabotage the entire look because your eyeliner smudged a little or your mascara left undereye marks. Precision = key!

    The Andrea Eye Q's Oil-Free Make-Up Correctors

    Promising review: "I suck at doing my eyeliner and no amount of YouTube makeup tutorials can help me. But now that I have these handy little erasers, I don’t look like a failed smokey eye every day. You might be thinking, why not just use a makeup wipe instead? Or why not just soak the tip in remover? Well, because that doesn’t work as well. Trust me, I tried that too. These are great because they have a very fine-pointed tip so the accuracy is great. Plus they are sturdy. These are awesome." —Faith Foster

    Get a pack of 50 on Amazon for $6.11.

    10. E.l.f. Wow Brow to make your brows presentable in a matter of seconds without messing with a full kit or expensive brands. This buildable wax-gel sculpts your hairs into place while also depositing hair-like fibers that make them look fuller. 

    before and after of brows from using the Wow Brow - the before photo looks unkempt and patchy, the after photo looks styled and filled in

    Check it out in a quick makeup look from TikTok beauty influencer Mikayla Nogueira, who succinctly describes Wow Brow as "the tinted brow gel that does the job."

    Promising review: "This product has replaced ALL of my high-end brow products. This is the most amazing brow stuff I’ve ever used. I don’t even have to fill in my brows because this has such great coverage. It’s a game changer!!" —Isabella

    Get it from AmazonTarget, or Ulta for $5 (available in four shades). 

    11. Essence Lash Princess mascara, beloved for its ability to give you bold, dramatic lashes while also separating them to prevent clumping — and, most of all, for its $5 price tag!

    Before shot of a Buzzfeed editor without mascara
    After shot of BuzzFeed editor with long lashes
    Emma Lord / BuzzFeed

    2023: The year we stop spending over $10 on mascara. 

    BuzzFeed Shopping editor Emma Lord says, "Hello, that is my face above, because I bought into the hype of all the 5-star reviews and now I will never look back!! Putting it on is like giving my eyelashes butterfly wings. It doesn't get clumpy, it stays put ALL the livelong day no matter how much you sweat, and you can apply it on very lightly if you don't want it to look so dramatic, or continue applying for longer lashes each time."

    Promising review: "Saw this product on TikTok and thought it would be expensive looking at the results they got. I am beyond amazed with how my lashes look after about two coats. For around $5 you couldn’t ask for a better mascara! I will be buying this same one when I run out. I was not expecting to like it as much as I do! No complaints." —Kd

    Get it from Amazon for $4.99.

    12. Plus: An eyelash separator comb because when you've spent so much time crafting the perfect eye look, the *last* thing you want is clumpy, sticky lashes (and to risk messing up your makeup while fixing). With a slightly bent handle that makes it easier to hold, this stainless steel comb will gently separate your lashes and remove any clumps, leaving them perfectly ~wispy~. 

    close-up of reviewer's long, wispy lashes after using the comb
    reviewer hand holding the black eyelash separator comb

    It also comes with a cap to cover the comb end for travel and storage. 

    Promising review: "The handiest tool you didn't know you needed! This inexpensive little tool is perfect for creating natural-looking eyelashes! Even expensive mascaras can look cheap if they clump up on your lashes. This tool acts like a comb to gently separate your lashes and keep them from sticking together. It has been so quick and easy to incorporate into my makeup routine, and the results are much nicer than a cotton swab." —Saved1

    Get it from Amazon for $4.99 (available in five colors). 

    13. First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads for a simple step that'll help your makeup go on more smoothly — just swipe one of these around your face after cleansing to tone, exfoliate, and brighten all at once.

    green and white tub of facial pads

    Some people even use these in place of cleaning when they can't be bothered to fully wash their face, so...there's that too. These pads are vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free. 

    Check them out in this TikTok.

    Promising review: "I love these! I have dry skin and I'm lazy. I hate having to exfoliate before I wear foundation, and this makes it so easy! No more going to the bathroom sink to use a scrub. I keep these in my makeup case and use it before my moisturizer and my foundation goes on smoothly! It's so gentle on my skin; it doesn't burn like some chemical exfoliators I've tried. Will definitely purchase again." —Shan3285

    Get them from Amazon or Sephora for $18+ (available in two sizes).

    14. E.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer, which blurs your pores and creates a smooth, velvety texture for makeup to glide over and also grip onto. Infused with squalane for hydration, Poreless Putty Primer has a mattifying effect that doesn't look dry — plus, it's small enough to take on the go in case you need touch-ups.

    Reviewer wearing product
    Reviewer holding product in hand

    Promising review: "This is smooth, blends well with foundation and feels good on the skin. Sets well with powder. I sometimes wear it alone for a little smoother look, since it's colorless it doesn't look like foundation. The price is great and I've yet to see it in a store. I like that I can control how much to apply and a little goes a long way. It appears to wash off well. Will be buying it again." —Y. C.

    Get it from Amazon for $9.

    15. Or a light, silky Touch in Sol No Poreblem primer to try if your foundation never goes on looking as smooth as you'd like — this'll hydrate the skin while also minimizing the appearances of spots, blemishes, and pores to help your foundation look its best on top. Just check out the difference on this orange below!

    An orange with and without the Touch in Sol No Poreblem primer applied under foundation
    reviewer with poreless looking skin after applying the primer under makeup