When I first started using makeup (which was actually in December 2016), I was absolutely confused. I bought my first makeup products in Korea, and I completely had no idea what I was looking for. BB cream? Eyeliner? Eyebrow pencil? Lipstick? Those were probably the only 4 I knew, and even so I didn’t know which brands and which products were good. I struggled through my first few products because the application wasn’t always great, and some products just didn’t do well on my skin.
In this post, I’ve recommended products which I personally feel are a) worth every cent, b) easy for beginners to use, and c) basic products that most people would use, so I’ve excluded stuff like highlighter, contour etc. Do read on! 🙂
Primer: banila co. Prime Primer Hydrating (SGD 25)
I didn’t use primer early in my makeup journey, and if you’re on a really tight budget, I honestly think you can skip this step. While the brand is not available in Singapore (officially), you can either get it on Althea, other E-commerce platforms like Shopee, or even in Malaysia. This primer is really good for ensuring your skin stays moisturized and that your makeup stays in place – great for most skin types.
Foundation: Innisfree Skinny Fit Foundation (SGD 29)
They weren’t joking about the skinny cover fit in this product, which is why I love using this. I think this foundation has really good coverage, stays on for long without much oxidizing, and feels very light on the skin. There are a few downsides of course, such as lack of shades available and low SPF, but generally still good for its price.
Setting powder: Innisfree No-Sebum Mineral Powder (SGD 10)
Never thought before that you need setting powder to lock in your makeup and keep oil under control? You’ll know what you’re missing out on once you get around to trying this. This is a holy grail product of most K-beauty bloggers. Perfect dupe for more expensive setting powders in Sephora, smells great, and is cheap!! One small tub can last you for months on end, so imagine how much value you’re getting out of your $$$$. This is actually much cheaper on sites like Althea, and of course in Korea (bought 3 for around SGD 10, just imagine). This powder sets your makeup for you to go from dawn to dusk, and prevents your skin from becoming an oil well.
Eyebrow pencil: Etude House Drawing Eye Brow (SGD 5.90)
No product photo as of yet, sorry!!
This eyebrow pencil from Etude House is another product frequently touted for its great quality and low price. This was the first eyebrow pencil I used, and I stuck to this for more than one year before I tried the Shu Uemura Hard Formula. I love it because it is seriously very cheap, can last for very long, and is super easy to use. If you thought drawing eyebrows is going to take you at least 30 minutes, this product will certainly change your mind.
Eyeshadow + Blush: Innisfree My Palette (SGD 8/colour)
My colours look like I’m confused (I was, kinda – when I bought this, I was sneezing my head off at the store like no one’s business) but actually I found this very useful for doing a whole face of makeup haha. The browns, in particular, are very useful for doing both eyeshadow and contour. I like the pigmentation and how easy it is to blend, which is especially useful for beginners who can’t deal with chalky, tough eyeshadow (actually no one can).
This is slightly pricier at $8 per cube/colour, but I think that a nice brown is a good investment because it works as both eyeshadow and contour.
Eyeliner: TFS Inkgel Pencil Eyeliner (SGD 15.90)
Some people don’t do eyeliner, but some people live by it. If you’re a beginner, please don’t jump straight into liquid/gel liners. Even I still struggle with them and stick to pencils 90% of the time 😦 This one from TFS is one of my favourites because it really glides on your eyelids easily, and is smudge-proof & waterproof. No one will be able to tell that you’re just starting out in makeup if you get your eyeliner on point, and this product definitely can do that for you.
Lipstick: Peripera Ink the Airy Velvet (SGD 6.90)
The truth is that there are many great lip products out there, but one that is particularly noteworthy is this product from Peripera, famed for its lip tints. Gradient lip? Full lip look? Last you from one meal to the next? This one’s got you covered for just SGD 6.90.
Total spending: SGD 100.70
This amount looks terrifying (yes, makeup is unfortunately really expensive), but I’ll further streamline this for you by cutting out the eyeshadow+ blush, and primer:
Total spending: SGD 67.70
It’s definitely still a big sum, but this is money that you can consider a good investment because you will use it well – trust me, these products won’t be left untouched on the shelf just after one use, unless you bought a shade you don’t like.
Are there any products here that you also used when you first started doing makeup, or that you agree are great for beginners? Let me know in the comments!