Makeup Starter Kit on a budget : Splurge or Save?

by mehak on September 24, 2010

in Blush, Face Products, Foundation, lipgloss, Maybelline

One of the hardest things to do if you are a makeup beginner is deciding whether to invest half your salary attempting to put on makeup, or save your money and purchase some budget makeup. I still consider myself as starting out with makeup, so thought id share a couple of my rules for a budget makeup starter kit:

1. Mascara: Save -go budget
 Mascaras are going to start drying out every 3 months. If you are starting out with makeup, you dont wanna spend a ton of money on something that’ll have to be replaced in 3 months.
Good  budget options for Mascara’s to put in your starter kit :Maybelline Colossal Volume, Maybelline Define a Lash, Avon superfull mascara,Maybelline intense volume microfibre

2.Foundation: Splurge- stretch the budget 
Foundation creates the base for your makeup, and a good base is half your battle won. Also, most high end stores have make up artists who will help you choose the right shade which is i think the hardest thing to do when starting out with makeup. So thats a plus!. Once yr shades are right, then you can experiment with other foundations.
Good splurge options for Foundation to put in your starter kit
: Inglot AMC Cream foundation ,Mac Studio Sculpt foundation, Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, Body Shop Moisture Foundation, MUFE HD foundations

3. Blush: Toughie Toughie
Clown cheeks can break your look and a well put blush can make you look like a sun kissed goddess. I would say- save in the beginning, try out some drugstore products and get comfortable with which shades look good on you. You dont want to go and buy a MAC blush in your make up starter kit  and then realize that it doesnt suit your skin tone!. So experiment with drugstore blushes, (there are some fantastic ones out there )then when you know your tones- move to higher end products because the lasting power  they provide is brilliant.
Good options for Budget Blush in your makeup starter kit: 
Maybelline Expert Wear in Apricot Flush(great blush for indian skin), Maybelline Expert wear in Pot Pourri, Body Shop Blush in Tea Rose, Bourjois Blush no 5 , no 8, no 2 and Maybelline dream mousse blush in peach satin.
Good option for Splurge Blush in your  makeup starter kit
: MAC Blush in  Peaches, MAC Dollymix, MAC Gingerly, MAC Coppertone, MAC Pinch o Peach, MAC Well dressed, MAC cremeblush in lillicent, MAC Margin,MAC sunbasque.(Yes im a big MAC blush fan)

4.Lipstick and Lipgloss: Splurge on one of each, Save on the others:
This is one thing that you will probably be wearing everyday. Splurge on one great one that you can wear every single day and save on some 5 others to mix it up a bit. You need to have some variety in your makeup starter kit!
Good splurge options for lipstickj/gloss in your makeup starter kit
: Clinique long last,MAC lustre/glaze, Chanel, Estee Lauder, MAC Cremesheen
Good budget options in your makeup starter kit
: Maybelline color sensational lipsticks and lipgloss, L’oreal Color riche lipsticks, Maybelline water shine lipgloss

5. Nailpaint : Save -go budget
How much better can a nailpaint that costs 20 times more than a regular one be? Definitely not 20 times better right?
Good budget options for nailpaint in your makeup starter kit: Any and all

6. Kajal & Eyeliner: Save -go budget
For a makeup starter kit, i think you can get by with ordinary kajal. I am very particular about smudgefree so i do use a clinique one, but otherwise i think the ones mentioned below are all great.
Good budget  options for Kajal in your makeup starter kit
: Revlon, loreal, maybelline are all great. Chambor too.
 Good budget options for Eyeliner in your makeup starter kit
: Lakme 9 to 5, Maybelline Gel liner, Lakme pen eyeliner, Oriflame pen eyeliner, Maybelline vivid and smooth eyeliner (get one colour of each in this one!)

7. Eye shadow:  Splurge- stretch the budget  (Kinda!). 
I just dont think that drugstore eye shadows compare in quality /pigmentation/lasting power to high end ones, so i would say invest in eye shadow. Now, if you are a make up beginner then the best thing to have in your make up starter kit is an eye shadow pallette with all the colours. This way you get to experiment with all the colours, find the ones which you fall in love with and realise which colours you want to repurchase.
Good eye shadow pallettes in your makeup starter kit
: Coastal Scents Pallette (highly recommend & you can shop it via amazon from my blog), Sleek Pallette, Maybelline Quads, NYX eyeshadows, MAC eyeshadows.

8. Other Makeup items to go in your starter kit:
Powder: Depending on how much coverage you need: Splurge if you are a heavy coverage girl. MAC mineralize skin finish would be a good place to start
Concealer: Depending on how much covergage you need: I need very eavy coverage concealer cos of a dark circle problem so i splurge on MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer
Eye primer: Go somewhere in between splurge and save and buy the NYX eye shadow primer- great value for money
Highlighter:Save and buy the budget friendly Lakme studio lights highlighter , Revlon skin lights.
Bronzer: Dont use one regularly so cant really comment on this one!
Brushes: I used to think i can make do with  budget drugstore  ones but honestly a good makeup brush makes a world of a difference. Try Sigma for affordable good quality brushes, body shop for the 5 pack brush set, Flormar has some nice budget ones too. Inglot and MAC are great if you are in the mood for a splurge. Recommend that you buy them in a pack of 5-7 etc so you know which thickness works best for you and next time you can repurchase single ones.

What are your recommendations for a starter kit? What do you save or splurge on?

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Beauty Addict September 24, 2010 at 8:36 pm

It depends… I kind of have both cheap & expensive items on everything. Sometimes quality does not relate to how much the item cost.

Confessions of a Beautyholic


shoppingaholic September 24, 2010 at 8:47 pm

I am sure all girls are gonna keep it handy!! Very useful post!!


Adorable On Your Vanity September 24, 2010 at 9:03 pm

great post mehak. If you ask me I'd say splurge on everything :P – not good advice at all.


☮My☮Socks☮Never☮Match☮ September 24, 2010 at 11:22 pm

awesome tips! me and my friend were actually talking about mascara drying out,lol, a really good post! ^.^


Lady Gabby September 25, 2010 at 3:55 am

My must-have kit includes Benefit powder (which I layer on top of my Clinique even better makeup for a base), eyeshadow (usually Urban Decay or Sephora brand), mascara (Sephora brand PURE, it was on sale for $8!), eyeliner (usually Urban Decay 24/7 or MAC), eye primer potion (Urban Decay) and chapstick (Burt's Bees), sometimes lip gloss (Sephora brand or Victoria's Secret brand). :)


Mehak September 25, 2010 at 4:28 am

@AOYV: Haha Shivani, that would be the ideal scenario- splurging on everything- i am so sure that once you start working MAC is going to see a sudden increase in their business… :p

@Lady Gabby:I really like Victorias secret lip glosses- i have all the ones in beauty rush..


Catanya September 25, 2010 at 5:09 am

This was an essenctial blog post and I thank you for it!


Tanveer Parmar September 25, 2010 at 6:26 am

gr8 post! Lots of girls will find it very useful :)

I would suggest that girls initially save on everything but the foundation & concealer. Once you know which colors / textures suit your eyes, lips, cheeks & nails – then buy the best you can afford. Build a small but high quality collection.


A Lot Like Fashion September 25, 2010 at 9:39 am

I couldn't agree more! :) Did a similar post myself! Also, check out lip colors from Bodyshop for the orangey-corals which are so in! I've been addicted all season :)

Follow my blog at


indianmakeupways September 25, 2010 at 9:50 am

nice tips mehak. i have both cheap & expensive stuff. i buy all sorts of mascara(cheap & luxury) and also lippies


priyam September 25, 2010 at 10:50 am

i agree! this is a very usefull post! rlly well written! i agree with all of these things!


Terri September 25, 2010 at 2:34 pm

Love you post hun! Great tips if your not sure what to get. I chop and change between cheap and the more pricier ones. Sometime they're very similar and just paying for the name. I'm a new follower! Hope you will have time to check out my blog too :)



bhumika September 25, 2010 at 8:07 pm

loved d post…


anamika September 26, 2010 at 5:27 am

hie mehak..

i am impressed with such a detailed post..u rock girl!!


Mehak September 26, 2010 at 7:10 am

@everyone- Thanks !


Lala September 26, 2010 at 1:02 pm

wow, that looks cool :)
and you are very detailed in the post, amazing.

xo lala


Rentu September 27, 2010 at 5:29 am

hey lovely tips,


Smita October 30, 2010 at 6:54 am

LOL, this is such a smart and funny post! Very useful for beginners (like me) indeed !!!


denise November 7, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Thank you, this is such a great and informative post!!! wow! I am a make-up beginner so I'm so glad I found your blog.. :)) I will look into your suggestions for all the items you mentioned and I think I will splurge on the foundation of course because it's very important for the whole look. :)


Aarushi February 17, 2012 at 2:36 pm

this is veryy late!….but i JUST came across this post….and this amazing website :)
you got me hooked to makeup :D
i actually started with swatches of a particular lipstick and then went on to spend an hour more on other makeup…and THEN came across this article…..and THANKS :D

i’m kinda-sorta makeup beginner and you saved me a lot of cash !!

thank you so much once again


Nikita July 24, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Hey Mehak thats one really informative post… especially for girls like me who have never used more than kajal n lipbalm ever. :)
I have to start buying things for my makeup kit now that I am getting married, this will really help me a lot.. thanks..


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