Affordable Makeup Starter Kit + Makeup Tips For Beginners

Affordable Drugstore Makeup Starter Kit & Makeup Tips For Beginners

When I first started getting into makeup, I was completely and utterly clueless.  I remember going to a Clicks store and feeling totally overwhelmed by the amount of makeup products on the shelves.  I ended up purchasing A LOT of makeup items, because I didn’t really know what type of products I needed.  Not to mention I had no idea what was suitable for my skin type and skin tone – heck, I didn’t even know people have different skin undertones.  Most of the products I bought that day turned out to be rather disappointing, and I was forced to use them because I had just spent a large chunk of my hard-earned cash.

A makeup starter kit guide or blog post would have helped me so much back then, and would have kept me from wasting my money on a foundation that was way too dark (and way too dewy), a clumpy waterproof mascara, and chalky eyeshadows.

I’ve received quite a few emails and messages from readers who would like to start dipping their toes into the makeup and beauty world, and all of them have asked me what my product recommendations are for makeup newbies.  So, I decided instead of replying to each email & message – I’d rather write up a blog post that everyone can read (and refer back to) for some makeup item inspiration.

Being a beauty blogger, I’ve tried and tested my fair share of makeup products (budget-friendly and high-end).  It can be very easy to get caught up in the hype of expensive luxury brands, but when you’re just starting out with makeup, drugstore (Clicks and Dis-Chem) is definitely the way to go.

Here are my affordable product recommendations to create a small but strong makeup kit.   All these products have a special place in my current makeup collection – they’re high quality, easy to use, and won’t break the bank!

Every single one of these makeup products are available at Dis-Chem or Clicks stores, so no need to worry about placing online orders or anything like that.  I’m featuring each product in order of how I apply them when I do my makeup i.e. primer first, then foundation, then concealer etc.

Two things before we get started:

♥  I’ll be suggesting more than 1 product for some of the categories, but I’m definitely not saying you need to buy each option i.e. 3 blushes.  I just want to give you a variety of products to choose from, so head over to Clicks / Dis-Chem and pick the product that stands out to you.

♥  You don’t have to follow every single step I mention below, I know a lot of people don’t like adding too many steps to their makeup routine.  I totally understand – choose the steps that are applicable to you.

♥  I had to go out and buy some of the products before writing this blog post because I didn’t have them in my makeup collection anymore.  For example, I bought the Wet n Wild ‘Comfort Zone’ palette because I gave my previous one to a friend (who, as luck would have it, also just started dabbling in makeup).  So you might see some of the products look new (unused), but trust me – I have tried, tested and loved every single product in this blog post.

Grab a pen and paper, make a list – it’s time to go shopping!

Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Review

PRIMER:  Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer ♥ R89,95

Very similar to the original Smashbox Photo Finish Primer but for a fraction of the price, this silicone-based primer smoothes the skin and blurs pores, creating a velvety canvas for your foundation.  Suitable for all skin types, Baby Skin Primer will also help your foundation to last a bit longer than usual.

Top Tip: It’s always best to use a light hand when it comes to makeup primers – less is definitely more.  After applying your moisturiser, use your fingers to apply a thin layer of the primer.  Wait for about 30 seconds to 1 minute for the primer to set, and then go in with your foundation.

Rimmel Match Perfection Loreal Infallible 24h Matte Foundation Review

FOUNDATION:  L’Oréal Infallible 24H-Matte Foundation ♥ R189,95

A good foundation is SO important, it evens out the skin tone and covers up imperfections.  However, if you have good skin and don’t need to wear a foundation, then don’t.  It’s best to let your skin be foundation-free for as long as possible, as makeup can tend to clog pores (causing blemishes and breakouts).  The L’Oréal Infallible 24H-Matte is my current favourite drugstore foundation – it provides great coverage, and leaves the skin with a natural-looking semi-matte finish.  I recently reviewed this foundation in a video, so if you’re interested in seeing how well it wears throughout the day, then take a look at my ‘Review & Check-In Wear Test – L’Oréal Infallible Primer & 24H Matte Foundation’  video.  If you have normal to dry skin, then the L’Oréal Infallible 24H-Matte foundation might be too drying and mattifying for your skin, I would rather recommend you check out the Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation (R139,95).  It feels super light and moisturising on the skin, and blends out like an absolute dream.  As luck would have it, I also reviewed that foundation in a video – you can watch the video here.

Top Tip: Remember a buffing brush (like this one and this one) will give you medium to full coverage, and a dampened makeup sponge (like this one and this one) will give you lighter coverage with a natural finish.

And for more foundation recommendations, take a look at my recent ‘5 Drugstore Foundations | 5 Reviews’ blog post.

If you’re not a foundation type gal, then I suggest using a BB cream.  BB (Beauty Balm) creams provide sheer to light coverage, and don’t feel heavy like some foundations can.  They’re a good way to allow your skin to get used to the feel of wearing makeup.  I highly recommend the Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Creams, there are 3 variants available at the moment – one for combo to oily skin, and one for normal to dry skin, and an anti-aging one for mature skin (and all have 3 shades available as well – Light, Medium & Dark).  They provide good coverage (for a BB cream), last well, and feel very lightweight on the skin.

Top Tip: You can create your own tinted moisturiser or BB cream by mixing a drop or two of foundation with your daily moisturiser.  Apply the mixture with your fingers for a natural finish, as the heat of your fingers will help the makeup melt into your skin better.

LA Girl PRO Conceal HD Concealer Review

CONCEALER:  L.A. Girl PRO Conceal HD Concealer ♥ R45,95

The L.A. Girl PRO Conceal HD Concealer (featured in this annual favourites blog post) is very comparable to the high-end cult favourite MAC Pro Longwear Concealer, and I highly recommend this because it’s a double-duty product.  It works beautifully as an under eye concealer and / or as a blemish concealer.  It’s creamy, blendable and brightens up the under eye area really well.  The concealer gives a good medium coverage, it’s more hydrating than the MAC concealer, and doesn’t accentuate dry / flaky areas.  However, if you do have a very dry under eye area, then I would suggest applying a nourishing eye cream before you start with your makeup routine.  Hydrated skin is the best canvas for smooth and natural-looking makeup.

On the rare occasion when I’m having a ‘good-skin-day’ I  use the L.A. Girl PRO Conceal HD Concealer to conceal the areas where I need it most (under the eyes, redness and dark marks), set it with powder, and I’m out the door!

Multi-Tasker: Use your longwearing concealer as an eyeshadow base / primer – it will not only even out discolouration on the lids, but will also help your eye makeup last a bit longer.

Top Tip: Use a concealer that is 1 or 2 shades lighter than your skin tone, it will neutralise dark areas without making it look too light and unnatural.  I like to blend my concealer out with either my ring finger (the natural heat of your body will melt the product into the skin) or a dampened makeup sponge.

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder Review

POWDER: Rimmel Stay Matte Long Lasting Pressed Powder ♥ R99,95

Best affordable setting powder I have ever used!  The Rimmel Stay Matte Long Lasting Pressed Powder immediately smoothes and softens the texture of the skin, and helps control oil.  I use the shade ‘Transparent’ which doesn’t really add coverage (in terms of colour) but it does set my makeup into place and keeps the shine at bay.  It doesn’t feel heavy or chalky on the skin, and leaves my skin looking (and feeling) silky with a velvety finish.  To see this setting powder in action, take a look at this blog post.  As far as I know there are 6 shades available in this pressed powder, so if you have medium to dark skin then I suggest you rather check out the L’Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Powder (R199,95) as they have 2 relatively dark powder shades.

Top Tip: If you really want to set your foundation and concealer into place, then press the setting powder into the skin (don’t just feather and swipe it onto the skin).  A translucent / transparent powder is best when your foundation matches you perfectly.  If your foundation is a bit too light for you, go with a powder that is 1 shade darker.  And if your foundation is a bit too dark for you, then go with a powder that is 1 shade lighter than your skin tone to balance it out.

Essence Sun Club Bronzer Shading Powder Review

BRONZER: essence Sun Club Matt Bronzing Powder ♥ R67,50

I bought this bronzer on a whim last year and it has really become a firm favourite in the drugstore bronzer department.  A good bronzer can take your makeup look from flat and dull, to tanned and glowy. Who doesn’t want to look like a bronzed goddess?  Yes, please!  I personally feel that when you’re just starting out with makeup, a good bronzer is all you need to add dimension to the face.  Don’t even worry about contouring because it can be very confusing, and if you don’t know what you’re doing it can also be rather disastrous.  The essence Sun Club Matt Bronzing Powder isn’t extremely pigmented (which is a good thing if you’re new to bronzing up the skin), it blends out really easily, and is buildable in coverage.  There are 2 shades available – ‘Blondes’ for lighter skin (which is the one I use), and ‘Brunettes’ for darker skin tones.  It also smells like coconuts, which is right up my alley!

Another option is the essence Shading Powder (R57,95), which includes a neutral-toned bronzer shade and a shimmery highlight shade.  The bronzer shade is quite pigmented and I would suggest using a fluffy brush with a very light hand to apply it.  To see the essence Shading Powder in action, take a look at this blog post.

Multi-Tasker: Your bronzer can double up as a matte eyeshadow shade to define the crease of your eye.

Top Tip: Apply your bronzer in the shape of a ‘3’ i.e. start at the forehead close to your hairline, bring it down around your temple and under the cheekbones, and then across the jawline under your chin to warm up and define your features.  I prefer matte bronzers because they can double up as contour products, it’s very easy to go overboard with a shimmery bronzer and you might end up sparkling like a Twilight vampire.

Max Factor Creme Puff Blush Essence Matt Touch Blush Review

BLUSH: Max Factor Crème Puff Blush ♥ R119,95

This is a true drugstore gem, and is apparently a very decent dupe for the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes.  These blushes have a beautiful, luminous finish that gives your complexion that effortless ‘glow-from-within’ look.  The colour pay-off is sheer enough that you can’t really go wrong with it, and yet it is also very buildable so you are able to build it up to the intensity you want.  The Crème Puff Blush (I just love the name) blushes are also incredibly smooth and blendable, so they look really natural on the skin.  They really are in a league of their own!

As mentioned they give a lovely glow to the skin, so there’s no need to follow up with a separate highlighter.  The shade selection is also great and there is definitely a colour to suit every skin tone.

If you prefer a matte blush, then the new essence Matt Touch Blush (R47,95) or the essence Silky Touch Blush (R47,95) is definitely worth checking out.  I featured the Silky Touch Blush in this blog post.

Top Tip: The best (and most natural) way to apply blush is to use the good ol’ smile and swirl technique, it gives you a cute, youthful, and subtle look.  Smile and apply your blush to the apples of your cheeks, then blend outward towards the ear.

NYX Illuminator Physicians Formula Mineral Glow Pearls Review

HIGHLIGHTER:  NYX Illuminators ♥ R174,95

Definitely not a necessary step, especially if you already own a blush with a satin or shimmery finish.  But if you are looking for that ‘lit-from-within’ glow, then a highlighter is the way to go!  Finding a good highlighter at the drugstore is like finding a needle in a haystack!  They’re either too glittery, too subtle, or too hard to find.  There are a couple of top quality drugstore highlighters in my collection at the moment but both are from limited edition collections, so I didn’t want to mention them here.  In case you are interested in which 2 highlighters I’m talking about, take a look at this blog post and this blog post.  Catrice and Essence often do great quality highlighters in their limited edition collections, so I suggest you constantly keep an eye on their new collections to find your perfect highlighter.

The NYX Illuminators (available in 5 shades) are also not that easy to get your hands on at the moment, as they are having issues with stock.  In case you didn’t know, NYX was recently acquired by L’Oreal Group and so there has been a huge delay with replenishing stock.  I’ve been told NYX is trying to sort out their stock issues, and will hopefully be back on track within the next month or so.  Anyway, these illuminators (highlighters) are just beautiful – they’re not too shimmery or glittery, but give the skin a lovely sheen when the light catches it. I own the shade ‘Ritualistic’ which gives the skin a gorgeous golden glow (similar to theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer).  If you feel ‘Ritualistic’ is a bit too yellow-gold for you, then I would also recommend the NYX Illuminator in ‘Narcissistic’ (peachy highlighter) or ‘Enigmatic’ (pink highlighter, almost to the point of being a blush).

If you’re struggling to get your hands on the NYX Illuminators, then I also highly recommend the Physician’s Formula Powder Palette Mineral Glow Pearls (R239,95).  I have the shade ‘Translucent Pearl’ and I love it!  It gives a very natural and muted healthy glow to the skin, and compliments most blush colours I own.

Multi-Tasker: Your face highlighter can also be used as a shimmery eyeshadow all over the lid, or an inner corner highlight to brighten up the eyes.

Top Tip: You want to apply a highlighter to the areas you want to draw attention to i.e. the top of your cheekbones (to lift your features), your cupid’s bow (to help your lips appear more pouty), on the tip of the nose, and under the arch of your brow (to lift those brows for a more youthful look).  Remember to blend your highlighter out really well, you don’t want a visible streak of shimmer anywhere on your face.

Maybelline Brow Satin Review

BROWS: Maybelline Brow Satin Eyebrow Pencil Duo ♥ R99,95

Your brows frame your face and can seriously change your entire makeup look – and that’s why it’s important to keep them looking neat and groomed.  Brow pencils are great for filling in any sparse areas or gaps, I personally find brow powders are bit more difficult to work with (but it’s just personal preference – find what works best for you).  The Maybelline Brow Satin pencil is a great option for a beginner because it’s double-ended and features a mechanical pencil (you never have to sharpen it) on the one end, and a self loading brow powder with sponge tip applicator on the other.  The powder is stored in the cap and the applicator-end is spring-loaded, so whenever you put the cap back on, it burrows back into the pigment.  There are 2 shades available (‘Medium Brown’ and ‘Dark Brown’) and both are neutral in tone, perfect for creating a natural-looking brow.  Both the pencil and the powder have a dry, matte finish – but the pencil is soft and waxy, making it easy to work with.  The powder adheres to both the skin and brow hairs, giving a soft, natural and airbrushed look.

Top Tip: If you have full brows, then don’t even bother with a brow pencil – rather invest in a good brow gel i.e. the Catrice Eyebrow Filler Perfecting & Shaping Gel (R62,00) to hold those brow hairs in place and add the teeny tiniest bit of colour.

LA Girl PRO Primer Essence U Heart Stage Eyeshadow Primer Review

EYESHADOW PRIMER: L.A. Girl HD PRO Primer Eyeshadow Stick ♥ R35,00

An eyeshadow primer is essential if you want your shadows to look fresh all day.  A primer prevents your eyeshadows from creasing (especially if you have oily eyelids), it makes shadows appear more vibrant, and also helps them go on smoothly and blend effortlessly.  My drugstore eyeshadow base of choice is this one from L.A. Girl – the finish is matte, and yet the texture isn’t dry.  In fact, it’s quite creamy and glides across the lids very smoothly, making it easy to blend out using your finger.  I really like the twist-up delivery system, and that the product itself provides enough coverage to even out discolouration on the eyelids.  When using this as an eyeshadow primer, my shadows last between 7 and 8 hours before they start to fade (even my not-so-great eyeshadows).  The L.A. Girl HD PRO Primer Eyeshadow Stick is available in 3 shades – Nude (pictured above), White (to really make colourful eyeshadows pop) and Black (to intensify darker eyeshadows).

Another option is the essence I Love Stage Eyeshadow Base (R47,95), it’s also a nude beige colour to even out little veins or dark marks on the lids, but if you have very oily eyelids then this probably won’t work for you.  On a very hot and humid day, I find this primer doesn’t do as good a job of preventing my eyeshadows from creasing.

Top Tip: Remember to apply the primer to the bottom lash line as well, to prevent your eyeliner and / or shadows from smudging and fading.

Wet n Wild Comfort Zone Palette Review

EYESHADOW PALETTE: Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Collection Palette ♥ R99,95

Eye makeup is by far the trickiest thing when you’re starting out with makeup, so an eyeshadow palette is the perfect way to practice and experiment with different eyeshadows.  Wet n Wild has made it relatively straightforward for you with the Color Icon 3-pan, 5-pan (both featured here) and 8-pan eyeshadow palettes.  Each eyeshadow shade has a suggested colour placement printed on the eyeshadow, so you know where to place each shadow.  You definitely don’t have to follow the suggestions (makeup rules are meant to be broken) and so I would suggest you play around with the shades to explore different combos.

The ‘Comfort Zone’ palette features 8 stunning earth tones and bronzey-browns, perfect for beginners who might be a bit hesitant to use colourful eyeshadow shades.  This particular palette contains 5 shimmers, 2 satins, and 1 duochrome eyeshadow.  The ‘Browbone’ shade on the left is a dupe for MAC ‘Ricepaper’ eyeshadow, the ‘Eyelid’ shade on the left is a dupe for MAC ‘All That Glitters’ eyeshadow, the ‘Crease’ shade on the left is a dupe for MAC ‘Bronze’ eyeshadow, and the ‘Definer’ shade on the left is a dupe for MAC ‘Twinks’.  The ‘Browbone’ shade on the right is similar to MAC ‘Vex’ eyeshadow, the ‘Eyelid’ shade on the right is similar to MAC ‘Juxt’ eyeshadow, and the ‘Definer’ shade on the right is a dupe for MAC ‘Blue Brown’ pigment and MAC ‘Club’ eyeshadow.

Wet n Wild eyeshadows are very pigmented, velvety smooth, and very similar in texture & finish to Stila eyeshadows.   Some mornings there just isn’t enough time to do a multi-dimensional eye makeup look using 3 or 4 different brushes, and that’s where an eyeshadow like the bronzey shade on the left comes in.  Apply the shade with a brush like the CALA Shading Brush (check out this blog post to see all my favourite brushes from the incredibly affordable brand, CALA), pat it over the eyelid and then use the tip of the brush to blend the edges out into the crease.  Easy peasy!

Essence All About Nudes Palette Review

And because I feel like the ‘Comfort Zone’ palette might not be for everyone, I would also like to recommend the essence All About Nudes Eyeshadow Palette (R76,95).  It also contains 8 neutral shades (2 matte, 3 satin, 2 shimmer, and 1 glitter) ranging from a light creamy vanilla shade to a dark chocolate brown shade.  I always take this eyeshadow palette on holiday with me, because it is so versatile and I can create anything from a soft daytime makeup look to a dark smoky eye.

Multi-Tasker: Use a dark eyeshadow shade as an eyeliner (I often do this when I’m in a hurry, like in this video), it creates a soft blurred effect instead of a distinct line. You can apply it wet for a more intense and dramatic effect (just use eye drops or a makeup setting spray to dampen your angled makeup brush) or dry for a softer look.

Top Tip: In terms of eyeshadow placement – light shades should be applied to your lid, inner corner and brow bone, medium shades to the crease, and dark shades to the outer corner and lower lash line.  The most important step in doing your eye makeup, is blending.  Blend out any harsh lines using a fluffy blending brush like this one.

NYX Single Eyeshadow Catrice Matt Eyeshadow Review

SINGLE EYESHADOW:  NYX Nude Matte Shadow ♥ R89,95

It’s always good to have a matte crease shade (usually a neutral brown) in your makeup arsenal because it adds depth to the overall eye look, especially if your eyeshadow palette doesn’t contain any matte eyeshadow shades.  Using a shimmery eyeshadow in the crease, combined with a shimmery / frosty shade on the eyelid can sometimes look a bit too much.  Remember shimmer reflects light, and you don’t want your whole eye area to be reflective.  Balance your shimmery shadows out with a matte eyeshadow that complements the lid shade, this will create a sculpted eye look that pops.  In case your eyeshadow palette doesn’t contain a matte crease shade, then I highly recommend getting your hands on the NYX single eyeshadow in ‘Blame It On Midnight’ (a warm-toned medium brown shade).  This one is very smooth and isn’t too crazy pigmented so you can build up the intensity to where you want it.  If you have a darker skin tone, then I also recommend the Catrice Absolute Eye Colour eyeshadow in ‘Hakuna MATTata'(R49,95) – it’s a pigmented dark chocolate brown shade.  There are tons of single eyeshadows at the drugstore, so I suggest you spend some time swatching the ones that interest you.  I don’t think many people know this, but the Catrice stands at Dis-Chem have pull-out drawers that house all the tester eyeshadows.

Top Tip: Some eyeshadows definitely age you – especially light shimmery shades, which accentuate fine lines and wrinkles on the lid and crease.  For more makeup tips & tricks for ageing skin, take a look at this blog post.

LA Girl Glide Gel Liner Review

EYELINER: L.A. Girl Glide Gel Liner ♥ R59,95

If you’re new to makeup, then an eyeliner pencil is definitely the way to go – it can intensify any look and really make your eyes pop.  When just starting out, I think it’s important to have 2 different coloured pencils: A brown / bronze for everyday definition, and a black to add a sultry and smoky effect to your look.  Forget gel or liquid eyeliners for the time being, because you have to be quite precise when applying them and so I find they are a lot more difficult to work with.  I’m not a makeup newbie, and I still find them a bit tricky sometimes.  When using a soft eyeliner pencil, you don’t really need to be precise as you can smudge out any mistakes that you make.  The L.A. Girl Glide Gel Liner pencils are firm favourites of mine (I’ve already featured them in a monthly favourites blog post, as well as a yearly favourites blog post) – they are smooth, creamy, longwearing, pigmented, and budge-proof.  My 2 favourite shades are ‘Deep Bronze’ and ‘Very Black’.

Multi-Tasker: Running an eyeliner along the upper waterline (inside of the upper lash line) is called tight lining, and it makes your lashes look longer and fuller.

Top Tip: Smudging is key when you’re afraid you won’t create a straight line.  Apply the eyeliner pencil from the outer edge to the inner corner of your upper lash line (but try to taper the line when you get closer to the inner corner of the eye).  If, like me, you have wrinkly lids close your eye and pull your lid taut to draw your line.  But don’t pull it too taut, as this can cause wrinkles around the eye area if you do this every day.  Then use a small angled brush (or a cotton bud) to smudge the line to make it softer.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara Essence Multi-Action Mascara Review

MASCARA: Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara ♥ R149,95

If you could buy only 1 product on this whole starter kit list, then mascara is definitely it.  It’s truly amazing what long, full, and defined lashes can do for your face – it opens up the eyes, making you look more awake and youthful.  The drugstore has some of the best mascara formulas out there (I’ve always preferred drugstore mascaras above high-end ones) and Maybelline has always been THE brand with the best mascaras.  They just get it right every single time!  The Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara (featured here) currently holds the throne as my # 1 favourite mascara.  It adds volume to your lashes, lengthens, separates, and lasts all day long.  The curved shape of the wand also helps to make application so much easier, as it grabs each lash (even those tiny baby ones), lifts them from the root, making them hold the curl better.  I find it’s really similar to the Benefit Roller Lash Mascara (which I also own).

If you feel the Lash Sensational Mascara is a bit too pricey for you, then I would also highly recommend the essence Multi-Action Mascara (R47,95) – amaaaaaazing formula, it separates and bulks up the lashes, plus the pigmentation is super black.

Multi-Tasker: You can make your mascara double up as a gel eyeliner.  Swipe an eyeliner brush over your mascara wand (focusing at the top of the wand where there’s always a little glob of mascara), and then use the formula on your liner brush to trace your upper lash line for a gel liner finish.

Top Tip: This is probably my favourite mascara tip, and I ALWAYS do this (I’m sure you’ve seen me do this in my YouTube videos).  If you have thin or light-coloured lashes, coat both sides of the upper lashes by alternating between looking up and looking down while applying your mascara. That way, each lash is completely covered and will appear much thicker.

Essence Lip Liner Loreal Color Riche Lip Liner Couture Review

LIP LINER: essence Lip Liner ♥ R17,95

You can’t go wrong with these essence lip liners, especially with a price tag of under R20,00!  A lip liner is a great way to define your lips and increase the longevity of your lipstick. For your first lip liner, I suggest choosing a shade that is similar to your natural lip colour. Neutral toned pencils are the perfect way to add subtle definition the lips, making them look more pouty, plus they also create a base for your lipstick to go on top of.  I have found that the essence Lip Liner shade ‘Satin Mauve’ is a pretty good match for me and it matches most of my favourite lipstick shades (yes, you guessed it…nude pinks, and dusty mauves).  If you find the essence lip liners feel a bit too dry on your lips, then I also recommend the L’Oréal Color Riche Lip Liner Couture in ‘Bois De Rose’ (R129,95) that I featured in this video and this blog post.  It’s a bit more creamy, and in a way easier to work with (but also more expensive).

Multi-Tasker: A lip liner can be used as both a definer (with lipstick / gloss on top) and a matte colour for your lips (without any other lip product on top).

Top Tip: Lip liners give lipstick something to adhere to, therefore increasing staying power and preventing the colour from bleeding into fine lines (especially if you have wrinkles around your lip area).  To avoid that dreaded ‘ring around the mouth’ look, rather fill in the entire lip area with your lip liner.  Here’s how to do it in a natural way:  After outlining your natural lip line (I prefer not to overdraw my lips), softly fill in the rest of the lips with the lip liner pencil, then smudge and blend the colour using your ring finger.  When your lipstick wears off, you’ll be left with a natural colour on the lips and not just an outline.

Essence Longlasting Lipstick Natural Beauty Catrice Ultimate Stay Lipstick Max Factor Colour Intensifying Balm Review

LIP PRODUCT: essence Longlasting Lipstick ♥ R44,50

For a makeup beginner, lipstick is probably the easiest way to play and experiment with different colours, finishes and looks.  There are a variety of finishes (sheer, matte, creamy, frosty) and shades to choose from, and if you stick to the more affordable brands (essence, L.A. Girl, Wet n Wild and Catrice) then there’s no reason why you can’t buy a couple of different shades to see what works best for you.  When you’re new to makeup, you’re probably be a bit intimidated by bright and vivid lip colours (heck, I’m still intimidated by them!) so I would suggest sticking to nudes, and neutral pinks.

I really wanted to recommend the Revlon Colourburst Lip Butters but I recently discovered they have been discontinued!  WHYYYYYYY!?  Why do brands discontinue the products that we love so much?

Anyway, next up on my list of favourites is the essence Long Lasting Lipsticks – my current favourite shade is ’07 Natural Beauty’ (thank you for introducing me to this shade, Kate).  There are 12 shades to choose from, so I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to find a shade that you feel comfortable with.  ‘Natural Beauty’ is the perfect ‘my-lips-but-better’ shade, it’s a mid-toned rose pink with a slightly warm undertone.  This is unfortunately not a dupe for MAC lipstick in ‘Syrup’ but it’s a gorgeous shade nonetheless.  These lipsticks from essence are pigmented, very creamy, they feel comfortable on the lips, and give the lips a lovely sheen. I wouldn’t say they are the most longwearing lipsticks, but they are a good option to start out with.  I’ve also been loving the new Catrice Ultimate Stay Lipsticks (R89,95), the colours are intense and they give the lips a satin-matte finish.  They’re not as creamy as the essence lipsticks, so they are a bit longer wearing (but do not dry out the lips at all).  There are 8 shades available ranging from soft nudes to a dark vampy shade.

If you feel lipstick is a bit too intimidating for you, then another option is the Max Factor Colour Intensifying Balm (R109,95) – it’s basically a tinted lip butter.  They are so easy to wear, incredibly moisturising, plus they give the lips a sheer wash of colour (featured in this blog post).  It’s one of those products that you can throw in your handbag and apply on the go.

NYX Butter Gloss Review

Lip gloss is an excellent way to add colour and shine to your lips without dealing with the maintenance of a lipstick.  The glossiness enhances your lips, making them appear more pouty and youthful.  I personally don’t like frosty or glittery glosses as the textured glitter particles bother me while I’m wearing the gloss.  I’m sure most of you already know what my ultimate favourite lip gloss is…the NYX Butter Glosses (R124,95).  For a review on these amazing glosses, take a look at this blog post.  But in short, they’re super pigmented, not sticky, have great staying power and they smell amazing.  Oh!  And there are like 15 shades to choose from (take a look at my collection here).  If the Butter Glosses are a bit too pricey for you, then check out the essence I Love Nudes glosses (reviewed here) – I particularly love the shade ‘Soft Almond’.

Loreal Infallible Fixing Mist Review

SETTING SPRAY: L’Oréal Infallible Fixing Mist ♥ R179,95

This isn’t necessarily an absolute must if you’re just starting out with makeup – BUT, I personally always set my makeup with a makeup finishing spray.  There is another more affordable option out there i.e. the MOD Makeup Finishing Spray (R80,00 at Dis-Chem) but I’ve tested it and it unfortunately did nothing to prolong the wear of my makeup.  This L’Oréal makeup setting spray is relatively new to the South African market and I’ve been testing this one for the past 2 or 3 weeks.  I don’t wear makeup every single day, so that’s why I haven’t even made a dent in the bottle yet.  I feel like this is more of a makeup fixing mist (to set your makeup in place) compared to the NYX Makeup Setting Sprays (reviewed here).  The L’Oréal Infallible Fixing Mist contains ‘Alcohol Denat’ (as the second ingredient), which is both a good and a bad thing.  It’s a good thing because it’s actually the alcohol that sets the makeup in place (that’s why stage makeup artists sometimes use hairspray to set their clients’ face makeup).  But alcohol also dries out the skin, and I can actually feel my skin tightening while this L’Oréal spray is drying down.  It also contains ‘Methacrylate Copolymer’ and after doing some research on this ingredient, I think it is the white substance the settles at the bottom of the bottle.  Copolymer is a synthetic ingredient meant to adhere to surfaces and form a film, the ones used in makeup setting sprays are formulated to be more gentle on the skin.  Their job is to create a film that will defend your skin against humidity and sebum (the oil your skin produces), these are two main causes of fading makeup.  The L’Oréal Infallible Fixing Mist does a decent job of keeping my makeup in place, but it’s not the best setting spray I have ever used.  It is definitely the best drugstore option out there at the moment though.

Top Tip: You can intensify any eyeshadow or foil your metallic eyeshadows / pigments using your makeup setting spray – it enhances the shadow and makes it more adhesive.  I usually load up my eyeshadow brush with the eyeshadow or pigment, spritz the brush until it’s damp (not sopping wet), and then apply to the eyelid.  I know some people like to do it the other way around i.e. dampen the eyeshadow brush first and then dip the brush in the eyeshadow pan.  I don’t like doing this because some eyeshadows (especially low quality ones) can glaze over and you might have trouble using it for dry applications next time.

And there you have it!  A makeup starter kit suitable for all budgets, and all of these products have a special place in my current makeup collection.

Any makeup product can look good with the right tools, so having good quality makeup brushes is essential in my honest opinion.  Would you like me to write an ‘Affordable Makeup Brush Starter Kit’ post where I feature only budget-friendly brushes that I think are necessary for a makeup newbie?  Only the bare essentials, because I know (unlike me) most people don’t have a rather (un)healthy obsession with makeup brushes.

Here’s my last tip for today: Don’t be shy to swatch the makeup products you are interested in in-store, that’s what the ‘Testers’ are there for.  BUT please don’t open up a new eyeshadow or lipstick because you can’t find a ‘Tester’.  Rather ask a sales assistant if they are able to open one up for you – hopefully they’ll then stick a ‘Tester’ sticker on it so that someone esle doesn’t buy a product that has already been used.  Just last week I bought an eyeshadow from Catrice, only to get home and see that it had been opened and swatched.  Also, don’t let the beauty counter assistants pressure you into buying something.  If you’re not sure about the colour, finish or quality of a product, tell them that you want to think about it for a while longer.  There’s nothing to feel ashamed about, ladies, you are spending your hard-earned money on these products – you want to make 100% sure they will work for you.  The assistant probably won’t even remember you the next time you visit the store, so be confident and stand your ground.  If it looks like the sales assistant is taking offense to the fact that you are not buying the product then and there…well, who cares what they think!?

I hope you found this blog post to be helpful?  Please share this with family and friends who you know are looking to start their own makeup kit.

Also, let me know what would be in your makeup starter kit in the comments down below…I’d love to hear!  Or please recommend affordable products that you have tried, tested and loved so that my readers have more options available to them.

Oh!  And one last thing: Is anyone interested in seeing a luxury brand version of this blog post i.e. ‘High-End Makeup Starter Kit’?



  1. 5 April 2016 / 14:53

    Great post Luzanne. Very informative and definitely a great help for the newbie makeup lovers as well as people looking to add some great tried and tested products to their stash.

    • Jenny
      5 April 2016 / 18:07

      I would definitely like to see a high-end version. Perhaps also a “beginners” foundation post where you talk about everything there is to know for all the skin types? How to know what undertone your skin and foundation has etc.
      I don’t know if it’s just me but I’ve found it impossible to find the right foundation wasting a lot of time, money and good skin days along the way.

      • Luzanne
        14 April 2016 / 08:44

        I’ve added a high-end version of this blog post to my list of blog posts that I want to write during the next few weeks. I’ll be doing a foundation routine video soon, and will take you through everything I use from primer, foundation, concealer and powder (plus some tips & tricks).

        Thank you fo popping by the blog, Jenny.

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 08:42

      Thank you so much, Nisa. 🙂

  2. 5 April 2016 / 15:02

    Luzanne!! I wish I had had these tips when I was starting out. Such an amazing post. I have to agree with you on the mascara. Maybelline is definitely the No. 1 in mascara and the lash sensational is perfection. Love this post soooo much! x

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 08:44

      Thank you, Shalane – so happy to hear you enjoyed reading the blog post. 🙂 xo

  3. Tarryn
    5 April 2016 / 15:05

    Great post – definitely would LOVE a high end version as well 🙂

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 08:44

      Done! I’ve added it to my list! 😀

  4. Reza
    5 April 2016 / 15:15

    Love this! Running to a clicks and dischem near me!

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 08:45

      Yay! So happy to hear that, Reza. Thank you for supporting my blog. 🙂

  5. Linds
    5 April 2016 / 15:20

    Awesome post Luzanne!

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 08:45

      Thank you, Linds. 🙂

  6. RIA
    5 April 2016 / 15:22

    Great post Luzanne, love it. I am not a newbie in makeup but I have learned alot by reading this blog post, it’s so informed. Keep up the amazing work

    Kind regards

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 08:46

      That’s so great to hear – I’m so happy this blog post has helped even people who have been doing their makeup for a while now.

      Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post, Ria. 🙂

  7. Kelly
    5 April 2016 / 15:46

    This was such a lovely post 🙂 Totally for everybody and love that these are affordable products that has been tried and tested by you, who we trust 🙂 Really in love with the LA girl pro concealers. Just a quick Q. Not sure if you’ve heard about the rage over the Nivea Men sensitive post shave balm being used as a primer. What are your thoughts about that? Thanks again!

    • Leighann
      7 April 2016 / 16:53

      Hi Kelly & Luzanne,

      I also wanted to know about the Nivea Men Post Shaving Balm being used as a primer. I wanted to try it as my husband uses it, but not sure as to how my skin with react to it (I have oily and extremely sensitive skin)

      Also, please can you do a High End version and a makeup brush starter kit?

      I have a beatty blender and a foundation brush, but I don’t feel it covers as well as when I use my fingers.. lol

      Thanks A lot!

      • Luzanne
        14 April 2016 / 08:54

        Hi Leighann, if your skin is sensitive (i.e. it goes red / blotchy / irritated / burny) then I wouldn’t recommend this but only because it is quite fragranced, and fragrances are known to cause sensitive skin reactions. If you really want to try it, then I would suggest you do a small patch test on your neck area or jawline. As mentioned to Kelly – I’ve received a lot of requests to give my opinion on the Nivea product, so I will do a review blog post on it ASAP.

        I’ve added a high-end version of this blog post and a makeup brush starter kit blog post to my ‘To Do’ list.

        The Beautyblender is my holy grail makeup application product, I don’t like the feeling of foundation on my hands. 😉

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 08:48

      Thank you, Kelly. 😀 Yes, I’ve been using the Nivea Sensitive Post Shave Balm for a couple of month now (on and off) and I contemplated doing a video review or blog post on it but then thought E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E has already reviewed it so it might be redundant for me to feature it as well. I’ve received quite a few requests to review it, though, so I’ll do a quick review blog post on it soon. 🙂

  8. Bianca
    5 April 2016 / 15:51

    Great post for the newbies out there – make up is such fun! Maybelline Sensational is also my number 1 favourite at the moment although the purple and red top mascaras from Revlon’s new line are pretty impressive too. Essence 07 lipstick is my go to nude as well! Such a beautiful colour.

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 08:55

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, Bianca. 😉 I’ve been testing the Revlon mascaras for a while now, and the purple top one is my fave. 🙂

  9. Sandra Wiese
    5 April 2016 / 16:10

    WOW! Vreeslik dankie, dit is ‘n wonderlike “post”!

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 08:55

      Dis ‘n groot plesier, Sandra. 🙂

  10. Lalannie Knoll
    5 April 2016 / 16:12

    Awesome so so informative!!
    Particularly love the bronzer no3 tip!!!
    Yes, please do a high end product blog as well.

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 08:56

      Thank you, Lalannie. 😀 I’ll definitely do a high-end version of this blog post soon. 😉

  11. Julianne Sharp
    5 April 2016 / 16:18

    I Literally take photos on my phone of your blog posts to go SHOPPING… I have been contemplating buying the fixing mist but I think I will go buy the Mac one (just to be safe). Can’t wait to see the High End Post 😀 LOVE your posts!!!!!!!

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 08:58

      YAAAAAY! That’s so amazing – thank you for trusting my recommendations, Julianne. 😀 Yes, definitely rather go for the MAC Fix+. It has been my top favourite makeup finishing spray for years now.

      I’ll do the high-end makeup starter kit blog post soon – I’m quite excited! 😉

      • Sanet
        27 August 2016 / 16:11

        Love jou artikels, ek neem soveel screenshots van als wat ek wil probeer. Kan nie wag vir my volgende Dischem shopping spree nie. Definitief nie goed vir my budget nie :-). Wil definitief die maybelline mascara kry, gebruik huidiglik die Great Lash pienk buisie maar dit smeer af onder my oë. En jy spaar my baie geld ek het beplan om ‘n MAC cream concealer te koop maar sal die een probeer wat jy aanbeveel.

        Ek vind Hannon se setting spray werk baie goed.

        Sal hou van die high end starter kit review.


  12. Ronnae Elliott
    5 April 2016 / 16:24

    Thank-you! 🙂 I would love a high end post as well.

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 08:58

      My pleasure, Ronnae – will definitely do that post soon. 🙂

  13. Carmen van Leeve
    5 April 2016 / 16:25

    Love reading your blog posts 🙂 I have started buying some of the items you have mentioned in previous blogs and your videos. Next on my list to buy is the Finishing Spray and the Pressed powder.

    Thanks for keeping me on the right path…

    YES please do the Affordable makeup brush starter kit blog post…

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 08:59

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog posts, and for leaving such a kind comment. 🙂 I’ll definitely do a budget-friendly makeup brush starter kit blog post ASAP!

  14. Tammy
    5 April 2016 / 17:13

    SO many great items listed, I cannot wait to invest in these and then have the confidence to splurge on more pricey items. I’d love to see what your high-end go-to’s are and which brands feature.

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:01

      Thank you so much for leaving feedback, Tammy – I really appreciate it. 🙂 I’m definitely doing a high-end version of this blog post, it looks like everyone is keen to see that. 😉

  15. Lynette
    5 April 2016 / 17:24

    I agree with you! I have most of these products and they are all really nice and also affordable. I also spent a lot of money on my first kit, not knowing what to get, so this blog is nice for beginners who have the same struggle. Keep up the great blogs 🙂

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:02

      Thank you, Lynette! I love it when people agree with my recommendations, it makes me feel like I’m on the right path. 😉 Thank you for your words of encouragement.

  16. Emlee
    5 April 2016 / 18:20

    Wonderful post!
    People always ask me for recommendations and I always say wet and wild comfort zone.. I firmly believe every woman should have it in her collection!also the walking on eggshells palette.. Its really hard to get walking on eggshells wrong.. Its foolproof!
    I love the look that lash sensational gives me, but I notice it transfers onto my brow bone by around the 4hour mark? Why!? It never happened with my essence mascara.. The essence lash defining in the orange tube is also one of my holy grail mascaras!
    Garnier bb is my everyday bb cream! I love the oil free version..
    I would love to see a High end starter post but im scared you influence me to spend money on more makeup that I don’t need!

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:08

      So true, Emlee! The Wet n Wild Comfort Zone palette is a must if you’re just starting out with makeup. Walking On Eggshells was the first Wet n Wild product I ever owned (I bought it on eBay before Wet n Wild was available in SA) and to this day, it is STILL my favourite product from the brand. They really hit the nail on the head with that little trio of eyeshadows. I just wish Wet n Wild SA would bring ALL their products to South Africa i.e. Fergie Highlighters, the Ombre Blushes, and their makeup brushes.

      That’s so weird that Lash Sensational transfers to your brow bone – do you set your makeup with a setting spray? If the Essence one works better for you, then definitely stick with that one.

      The oil-free version of the Garnier BB cream is my favourite too.

      Haha! I’m definitely going to do a high-end version of this blog post – so you better start saving up! 😉

  17. R Fourie
    5 April 2016 / 19:49

    Baie dankie, Luzanne! I am going to bookmark this blog post
    I can vote for most of these products – affordable and quality ☺.
    Thank you for all the tips, especially about the LA Girl concealer.
    Beautiful pics – it is like online shopping…….

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:11

      Groot plesier, Reonette. 🙂 Ek is so bly om te hoor jy stem saam met my voorstelle – dis altyd lekker om te hoor as mense ook dink die produkte wat ek voorstel is goeie kwaliteit.

      En baie dankie vir die wonderlike kompliment oor my fotos. 😉

  18. Nadia
    5 April 2016 / 19:57

    I literally have no words!!! This is such an amazing blog post!!! Thank you, Luzanne xoxoxoxox

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:12

      Thank you so much, Nadia – so happy to hear you enjoyed reading it. 😀 xo

  19. Estee
    5 April 2016 / 20:01

    Baie baie baie baie dankie vir hierdie wonderlike blog post, Luzanne. Ek het al so baie by jou geleer deur al jou blog posts, maar hierdie een is definitief die beste sover!! Wow, ek gaan die link vir my vriendinne aanstuur.

    Baie groete!!

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:13

      Plesier, Estee – ek is bly om te hoor jy het die blog post geniet. 😉 Dankie dat jy dit vir jou vriendinne aangestuur het, ek waardeer dit so baie. 🙂

  20. 5 April 2016 / 20:04

    Thank you so much just wat i needed..going to clicks nd dischem soon..i reali wane start using make up

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:14

      You’re most welcome, Fatima – hopefully this blog post will help you get started on the right track. 🙂

  21. Talitha ❤
    5 April 2016 / 20:17

    Can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading this post, it’s so helpful.

    Please do a high-end version, and the affordable makeup brushes version too.


    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:14

      Thank you, Talitha. 😀

      I will definitely do a luxury brand version of this blog post. Thank you for popping by the blog! 🙂

  22. Francesca Stinson
    5 April 2016 / 20:43

    Your photos are stunning, L!

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:15

      Thank you so much, Francesca. 😀

  23. 5 April 2016 / 20:46

    So much information thank you for sharing, great for those tight months and you need to buy a product. Nice to know there are affordable options when you can’t afford. Thank you once again for sharing your knowledge really appreciate it

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:15

      I’m so happy to hear this blog post has helped you in some way, Nicky. 🙂

  24. kate
    5 April 2016 / 21:53

    this was an awesome post. and thanks for the mention.i love reading these and then realizing i already have,love and use most of your recomended products. makes me feel im on the right track!

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:16

      Thank you, Kate – I really appreciate your positive feedback. 🙂

  25. Jenise
    5 April 2016 / 22:16

    Fantastic blog post, Luzanne – this is really going to help me. I so appreciate you only featuring drugstore products, I dont have alot of money to spend on luxuries but I do like to make myself look pretty. Thank you for this. 🙂

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:17

      It’s a huge pleasure, Jenise. 🙂 And thank YOU for taking the time to read this blog post – I really appreciate your support. 😉

  26. Olwethu B
    5 April 2016 / 22:52

    I need that Comfort Zone palette in my life! Its so cheap, Im going to buy it tomorrow. XO

    • Olwethu B
      5 April 2016 / 22:53

      Oh yes, pls do that affordable makeup brush post. 😉

      • Luzanne
        14 April 2016 / 09:18

        Noted, and will do! 😉

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:18

      I hope you managed to get your hands on it, Olwethu – it really is a winner! 😉 xo

  27. Assilah
    5 April 2016 / 23:06

    Loved reading this post! Thank you for sharing, I appreciate every detail in it!

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:18

      Thank you, Assilah (such a beautiful name). 🙂

  28. Wendy H
    6 April 2016 / 09:09

    You just made my day with this blog post, thank you!

    I’m off to the shops to buy the Rimmel powder, Physician’s Formula highlighter, Maybelline brow pencil, Comfort Zone palette, and Loreal setting spray.

    I already own the Loreal foundation, Lash Sensational mascara, NYX Butter Glosses and MAx Factor lipstick because of you. 😀

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:20

      It’s a huge pleasure, Wendy. 🙂 I hope you managed to get your hands on all those products, and that you enjoy using them. So happy to hear you already own some of the products I mentioned – it makes me feel all warm & fuzzy inside. 😉

  29. Porchia
    6 April 2016 / 09:10

    LOVED THIS!!!! Please do a high-end makeup kit blog post, and the affordable makeup brush one as well.

    xo, Porchia

  30. melissa
    6 April 2016 / 10:39

    Morning Luzanne

    Thank you so much for this blog post !!!!!!!!!!! i have printed the entire blog 🙂 i would love if you do a blog post on the affordable makeup brushes as i have no idea what is what hehehe. Amazing work and effort put in this blog i am going to purchase these products

    thanks alot have an awesome day

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:21

      My pleasure, Melissa. 🙂 Wow! Thank you so much for your encouraging words, I really appreciate your support. 🙂 I’ll definitely do a budget-friendly makeup brush starter kit post soon. xo

  31. Charlene Steyn
    6 April 2016 / 10:48

    Where was this post when I started out with makeup!?
    Definitely going to try some of the products recommended without a doubt. I will definitely love affordable makeup brush and the high end starter kit.

    Basically any blog I would read!!

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:22

      😀 Done – will start working on both those blog posts soon. Thank you so much for the positive feedback, Charlene – you’ve made my day!

  32. claire
    6 April 2016 / 10:52

    Loved this blog post! Soo many great products on this list!! ♡

    I must disagree with one thing… The essence multi action mascara tends to fall and smudge after a few hours- and you end up looking as if you’ve taken a nap with your eye make up on. Ironically it’s also really tricky to take off as if it’s waterproof?! Strange formulation.
    I’d rather suggest Catrice’s Better Than False Lashes mascara… its so damn good! Applies well and lasts all day…I’ve had many people ask me if I had lash extensions when I used this mascara! Unlike the eseence mascara, its removed easily with make up remover. It’s truly a good buy at about R90.

    Just my 2c!

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:24

      Thank you, Claire. 🙂 Ah, sucks that the Essence mascara doesn’t work for you. I don’t really have problems with my eye makeup smudging often, so I’ve never experienced that with the Essence mascara. I’ve never tried that Catrice mascara before, but will definitely pick it up next time I’m at Dis-Chem – thank you for the recommendation. 🙂

  33. Simone Cameron
    6 April 2016 / 11:13

    Love this post! I think I asked about a post like this a while ago as well…he he

    I’m currently shopping for a gal in the US, some of our drugstore items so here’s a few more items I can add to the list. If you’ve reviewed it I feel like I can confidently send it to her and not worry that it’s a crappy cheap product 🙂

    That Max Factor blush is beautiful! I’ve never bought anything from them, so I’ll definitely go and check this out. I have bad time with blushes. I always find some are too pigmented and I look clownish…. even with a light hand, but I do think I am scared of colour and a bit overly critical.

    This was a great post, wish I read it 2yrs back. I found (and still do) find make up so intimidating, and especially asking for assistance. I wanted to get something from MAC the other day, but had no make up on, my brow game was not good….so I was like, I’m not going to embarrass myself by asking for make up advice when it looks like I don’t even brush my teeth! LMAO! And you know those MAC girls are so beautifully made up!

    I’ve learnt SOOOOO MUCh from your blog! I get compliments now on my make up, when I literally didn’t know what to do with an eye shadow 2yrs ago! I am loving trying new things, new looks…I’m not super daring yet, but Rome wasn’t built in a day 🙂 Thanks for all the work you put into your blog…you really are changing lives…you changed mine.

    • Simone Cameron
      6 April 2016 / 11:16

      And yes to the high end make up starter kit….and any other blog post you want to write! 🙂

      • Simone Cameron
        6 April 2016 / 12:34

        Oh I’m a huge fan of the LA Girl BB cream personally as a budget item 🙂

        • Luzanne
          14 April 2016 / 09:41

          I used to love that BB cream, but I like a bit more coverage these days. It’s perfect for someone who doesn’t like a lot of coverage though. 🙂

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:40

      Thank you for always supporting my blog, and leaving such awesome comments! I really appreciate it, Simone. 😉

      Max Factor is a really great brand – and suitable for sensitive skin as well. Maybe try applying your blush with a duo fibre sippling brush, they don’t pick up a much product because the bristles are not all the same length.

      Psssshhhh, I go to MAC counters without any makeup on ALL THE TIME. The ladies who work at the MAC counter at Centurion Mall are always nice, and not judgemental at all. But sometimes I’ll get side eye looks from the sales assistants at other MAC counters in Pretoria and Johannesburg. Honestly, they used to intimidate me. But now, I just like to think they need to make sales and I’m the one helping them to achieve their sales target. So if I get treated badly, then I’ll just take my money elsewhere. I think a part of me likes to shock them with my bare face. 😉 Don’t be shy, Simone, you always have the upper hand in that situation because you are the customer.

      Thank you so very much for your words of encouragement and support. I’m trying so hard to step out of my comfort zone when it comes to eye makeup – I really want to start incorporating different colours and techniques but something is holding me back. I just need to figure out what…and then I’ll start filming more makeup tutorials. I’m not filming as many at the moment, because I worry people might start to say my makeup looks are always the same neutral eye looks.

      Anyway, thank you so much for the compliments – I really appreciate it. 😀

      • Simone Cameron
        14 April 2016 / 10:49

        I think that’s why i am drawn to your tutorials, you don’t make me think I have to be trying to do a winged liner and aqua eye shadow. I can barely do normal liner, let alone attempt a winged one..AND still think it’s normal to walk around like that all day when i’m not going to a ball or the Oscars or something. lol.

        BUT I do think you can do stunning eye shadow combos besides neutral. I was crazy the other day and did blue…very subtle blue, but blue nonetheless. I’m terrified of colour and today I’m wearing, what is to me, super bright lipstick. I’ve gotten so many compliments today on it! EEEK!

        My point…we all battle to get out of our comfort zones…through your blog I’ve decided to be a little bit more adventurous….so you just need to get out of your own head and find your inspiration. Maybe look at one of your gold pineapples….yellow gold shadow?? Go big or go home! lol. NO please, don’t do yellow eye shadow….ha ha. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  34. 6 April 2016 / 11:14

    Wow wow wow, definitely a post to bookmark!!
    The Colourburst Lip Butters are the second range of lip products that Revlon discontinued that was a favourite of mine. I still resent them for discontinuing their Ultimate Liquid Lipstick, do you know it? I could never find anything equal to it with the same colour range and staying power, those stuff stayed on your lips for two days and three boxes of slapchips later, haha.

    Thanks for your hard work with this post and your beautiful pictures, it’s bookmarked already xx

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:44

      Thank you so much for your support, Marné! 😉 I just can’t understand why they would discontinue the lip butter range – it was sooo amazing! And I’m sure it did well! Yeeees, I remember the Ultimate Liquid Lipsticks…they were also great products. LOL @ three boxes of slap chips. 😉 😀

  35. Carla Paulo
    6 April 2016 / 13:14

    Please do a high-end makeup starter kit!! That would be an awesome post to read! Thank you for all the useful information – I really do enjoying reading your blog!

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:45

      Will definitely do that blog post soon – it looks like everyone is very keen to see my high-end picks. 🙂 Thank you so much for supporting my blog and reading my blog posts, Carla – I really appreciate it.

  36. Missy
    6 April 2016 / 14:27

    awesome very informative

    Just a suggestion: To make this step by step blog post into a step by step video 🙂

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:46

      Thank you, Missy! 🙂 I’m planning on doing a foundation routine video soon – so you’ll be able to see the first few steps in action. I might start with a series called ‘Makeup For Beginners’ (videos and blog posts). Great idea – thank you! 🙂

  37. Leigh
    6 April 2016 / 14:29

    Oh gosh Luzanne! I have now had to make a list of all the things I am going to go out and buy after work…sigh! My poor bank account! This was an awesome post thanks so much!
    Also, wanted to say that I have been to about 3 Clicks stores looking for that Eyeshadow primer from Essence and they do not stock them anymore. According to the sales ladies (who are never really very reliable anyway) the primer has been discontinued. I’m going to go for the Catrice one now anyway though as my eyelids are on the oily side. Thanks so much for the tip!
    I am also soooooo upset about Revlon discontinuing the Butter glosses! Soooo sad! I have the shade Pink Truffle and it is the most PERFECT Autumn shade! But its running out….sooooo sad!

    • Shannin
      7 April 2016 / 07:47

      Hi Leigh

      FYI I’ve just purchased an Essence I Love Stage eye shadow primer on Dischem’s website. I ordered quite a few goodies from them online and the service was amazing.


    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:51

      Haha!! Please apologise to your bank account on my behalf. 😉

      It’s so weird that you say that, because I bought the primer about a month ago at the V&A Waterfront Clicks and just yesterday I saw the eyeshadow primer at my local Clicks store in Centurion. Maybe they’re the last batch… I’ll find out for you and get back to you – but I do know there is a new one coming out called ‘I Love Colour Intensifying Eyeshadow Base’. Essence is coming out with some AMAZING new products – I kind of wish I had known about the new products before I wrote this blog post… 😉

      Pink Truffle is one of my favourite shades!! I wish I had known they were going to discontinue the range, because I would have stockpiled my favourite shades.

  38. 6 April 2016 / 14:57

    Thank you very much for this. I normally just wear mascara and lip gloss but have slowly started to incorporated using foundation and blush too. I am very interested in eye makeup but isn’t really sure what to buy or how to use it without it looking like someone hit me with the fist. Will definitely be adding a few more stuff to my collection!!

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:52

      Thank you so much for popping by the blog, Juwayra. 🙂

  39. Shannin
    6 April 2016 / 15:52

    Hi Luzanne
    Thanks so much for this great blog post! I would most certainly love to read a similar post on make-up brushes as well as a high-end make-up starter kit. In terms of my suggestions for beginners, I agree with many of your suggested products. I did however want to say that I sometimes find cream products (cream eye shadows, blushes etc) are very easy to work with and to blend, and can most often be applied with fingers, so those of your readers who are beginners may find them useful to start with as they also wont need too many different types of brushes.
    All the best 🙂

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:56

      My pleasure, Shannin. 🙂 Done – I’ll be posting those 2 blog posts soon (will do the makeup brush one first, I think).

      You are 100% correct, I actually should have added a cream blush to the lineup. I personally only use them during the colder months when my face is a little bit drier, because I find they’re too creamy for me during the hot Summer months. But not everyone has combination skin, so I definitely should have mentioned a cream blush in there as well. I was going to feature the Maybelline 24H Color Tattoo cream shadows, but my favourite shade is ‘Bad To The Bronze’ (which isn’t available in SA). So I decided against it. And I haven’t really found any other affordable cream shadows that are as amazing (and longlasting) as the Maybelline ones.

      Thank you for the feedback, Shannin – I’ll definitely mention cream products in my high-end version.

  40. Llevona
    6 April 2016 / 18:19

    Love this post!! I agree with the the suggestion on doing a post on an affordable brush kit and perhaps few other beauty essentials such as sponges etc. Maybe even a post on makeup brushes and what they are used for as there are so many and alot of beginners in the makeup scene may be confused as to what to purchase.

    Personally I had purchased my first makeup brushes last year and I purchased the UBU makeup brushes, UBU beauty blender sponge, as well as their powder puffs. I purchased these at Clicks and must say they are good quality for affordable makeup brushes, which are pretty looking too! Visit to check out their brushes.

    Keep up the awesome posts!*

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 09:59

      Thank you, Llevona – I’ll definitely feature all types of makeup application tools in that blog post. 🙂 I do own a couple of the UBU makeup brushes, and I do like some of them (but others are a bit scratchy). Never tried their makeup sponge though…so will pick it up next time I’m at Clicks. UBU SA sent me about 7 of their brushes last year and there are some real gems in there but they’re not available in South Africa (those specific brushes), so I can’t feature them. 🙁

  41. Anina
    6 April 2016 / 18:30

    Sjoe, dit was n great post om my dag mee af te sluit.
    Ek kan nie wag om dit vir my niggietjies (studente) te wys wat ook nog makeup newbies is nie. Gosh, afgesien van hulle – ek het fotos geneem van 4 van die produkte hierbo wat ek nog nie het nie, sodat ek dit kan koop volgende keer wat ek in Dischem is.

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 10:00

      Dankie, Anina – dis altyd lekker om jou naam in my comments te sien. 🙂

      Ek hoop jy geniet die nuwe produkte! x

  42. Nadine
    7 April 2016 / 07:53

    Hi Luzanne!
    this post was so informative and would have helped me so much when I started to expand my make up collection a few months ago. I would love to see a high end version as well with a affordable make up brushes (and maybe high end brushes?)
    Thanks for always posting such informative posts.

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 10:00

      Thank you so much for the positive feedback, Nadine. 🙂 I’ve added your post ideas to my ‘To Do’ list. 🙂

  43. 7 April 2016 / 12:50

    Thank God for blogger and blogs,
    I remember just how overwhelming buying used to be for me, I used a stick foundation for about two years yet t made my skin extremely oily because I already had oily skin. Choosing the perfect foundation can be as tedious, annoying and overwhelming as picking up litter at a school yard.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge, it is so precious and extremely useful.

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 10:01

      Haha! Thank you for leaving such a lovely comment! And LOL @ picking up litter at a school yard. 😀

  44. Linell
    8 April 2016 / 12:52

    WoW what an informative read. You are awesome and i am addicted to the blog more all informative reads… keep the fire burning.

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 10:02

      Thank you so much, Linell. 🙂

  45. Tayla Mackinnon
    8 April 2016 / 14:33

    I’m really grateful for your tip about mixing drops of foundation with the moisturiser, I personally find the Garnier BB cream (in light might I add) very orange looking on me 🙁 So this tip has really helped me use my foundation in a lighter way! Thank you!

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 10:03

      That’s so weird… (that it looks orange on you) Maybe they’ve changed the formulation, because I remember it being very neutral in tone. If they did change something in the BB cream, then I’ll be very sad. 🙁

      I’m glad you found the tip useful – thank you for checking out my blog post. 🙂

  46. Wardah da Costa
    10 April 2016 / 01:35

    Amazing post, thank you!

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 10:04

      You’re so welcome, Wardah. 🙂

  47. 10 April 2016 / 08:38

    Hi Luzanne,
    I really enjoyed your drugstore make-up starter kit even though I’ve been wearing make-up for a while now!
    Does anyone know where I can buy Wet and Wild cosmetics in Johannesburg or Pretoria? because maybe I just haven’t noticed it but I have never seen it and I would love to give it a try!
    I would also really love a high-end make-up starter kit as I have been dabbling in the idea to get some higher quality products but I just have no idea where to start and I would love to know they’re worth the money before I go and splurge on them!
    Thank you!

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 10:11

      Hi Shannen – you can buy Wet n Wild products at the Clicks in Menlyn (I often buy my products there). Or at the Clicks in Centurion Mall (which is my local Clicks). In Johannesburg you’ll find Wet n Wild stands / counters at the Clicks in Rosebank Mall, Hyde Park, East Gate, Cresta, and East Rand Mall. And other places in Pretoria & Centurion: Mall @ Reds, and Kolonnade shopping mall.

      I’ll definitely do a high-end version of this blog post soon. 🙂

  48. Stepahnie
    11 April 2016 / 10:57

    This post was so informative – thank you! Please can you share we can find affordable, starter-kit make up brushes 🙂 I now want the tools to try out these awesome products 🙂

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 10:12

      You’re welcome, Stephanie. 🙂 Will start with that blog post ASAP!

  49. Nadine Williams
    12 April 2016 / 13:55

    oh wow!
    what an awesome post – thank you!
    i love that you go into such detail.
    i am completely inlove with your blog.

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 10:12

      My pleasure, Nadine. 😀 And thank you so much for the lovely compliment regarding my blog. 🙂

  50. Jeslyn
    14 April 2016 / 03:44

    Great post. Would love a high end version please!

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 10:18

      Done! You’ll see that blog post up on the blog soon! 😉

  51. Tracy
    14 April 2016 / 08:09

    I would love a post on a Make-up Artist Essential Kit pretty please!

    • Luzanne
      14 April 2016 / 10:18

      Great idea, Tracy – I love it! 🙂

  52. Nicole
    17 April 2016 / 16:23

    OMG! I’m a newbie and I absolutely love this post. Helped a great deal. Thanks a lot!

  53. Annica
    17 April 2016 / 23:30

    Ek sal baie graag die duurder produkte weergawe ook wil lees. Dit help regtig baie om meer van produkte te weet, veral ook omdat jy die produkte ook uit toets. Ek sal ook baie graag wil he dat jy ook die kwassies wat goed koop en duur is vergelyk en daaroor skryf. Daar is ongelooflik baie produkte op die mark en n mens het nir altyd tyd om alles self te toets en uit te probeer nie. Baie dankie vir al jou moeite met jou skryf stukke. Dit help baie.

  54. Jolene
    3 May 2016 / 19:38

    Hi Lezaan baie lekker om jou blog te gelees het, ek het baie geleer en dit geniet.Hou aan met wat jy doen.

  55. 8 August 2016 / 23:06

    You’ve got yourself a new follower, every time I’ve had a makeup related Googleable (is that even a word?) issue this blog has popped up and every article I read is better. Than the last, I definitely think ones like this are so important. Man I wish they were around when I was getting interested in make-up but even so, some of the tips/tricks and mentioned products are still worth it.

    You’re awsome.

  56. star
    24 November 2016 / 11:30

    Please do a high end make up starter kit

  57. Jennilee
    25 November 2016 / 00:48


    please do a review on your favourite setting powders

  58. Ciske
    3 January 2017 / 22:20

    What shade are you in MAC foundations?

    • Luzanne
      8 January 2017 / 12:22

      Hi Ciske – I’m usually an NW20 shade or a teensy bit lighter (but NW15 is a bit too light for my natural skintone). 🙂

  59. Kholiswa
    2 March 2017 / 00:17

    Your blog is beyond amazing! I have learnt so much about make-up ! Keep up the good work. And I’m so proud that it’s a South African blog.

    • Luzanne
      2 March 2017 / 09:57

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Kholiswa! 🙂

  60. Lerato
    19 April 2017 / 12:26

    Thank You so much lovie. That truly helped me a lot since I’ve been meaning to start make-up but didn’t know where or how to start. But didn’t mention the brushes or did I miss that. Sorry if I did. But anyways I can’t wait to go in store tomorrow to buy.

  61. 4 January 2018 / 09:26

    Hi Luzanne, I really found this blog post to be very helpful since I am a beginner to make up. The only things I use are eyeliner, mascara and sometimes lipstick. I want to change it up a bit, however I have clear skin so I wanted to know if I should use foundation or are there other alternatives?

  62. 25 January 2018 / 15:20

    Thank you so much for this I really appericate it, like I really needed this since I have no idea how makeup is applied or which products to use

  63. Kea
    8 February 2018 / 19:19

    Wow thank you very much for this piece. I really appreciate the tips will put them into good use. And start with my 1st make up trial

    thank you and God bless you <3

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