Skip to Content

Drugstore Makeup Starter Kit for Beginners

Drugstore Makeup Starter Kit Product Collage

If you are new to makeup and are wondering where to begin, it can be quite overwhelming with all of the makeup products on the market. Today I’ll discuss some fantastic makeup products for the beginner from the drugstore.

Whether you’re in your teens and looking to create a makeup routine for the first time, or just starting to wear makeup at any age, this post is for you. You may even be interested in rehauling your current makeup stash, and what better place to do that than at the drugstore?

The drugstore carries some amazing brands whose products rival that of high-end makeup.

Do what works best for your skin type and desired finished look. You may prefer makeup that is more natural. If so, skip the eye shadow and highlighter. But be sure to include them if you want a more dramatic look.

This list starts with your base products and finishes with color cosmetics. Don’t worry if you don’t want to try all of these options. You can pick and choose a few or look into trying the entire list. I chose these products because they are inexpensive and easy to use, making them ideal for the beginner.

This post contains affiliate links, and any purchases made through these links will result in a commission for me at no extra cost to you. Please read my Disclosure for additional information.

e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer

e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer is one popular primer. So popular, in fact, that not only is it often sold out, with e.l.f.’s website stating it is the #1 primer in America. So what’s so great about this primer?

Poreless Putty Primer is infused with skin-loving squalane for moisture and formulated to apply smoothly for a seamless finish that blurs the skin. It is made for all skin types and for all-day wear. There is much talk about it being the best inexpensive alternative to luxury brand Tatcha’s The Silk Canvas Protective Primer. I even wrote a post comparing the two, which you can find here.

The short of it is that this primer creates a smooth and poreless finish and prepares your face for makeup application. This product should be applied after moisturizer/SPF and before foundation.

If you would prefer a primer geared toward your skin type, e.l.f. now offers 2 additional products in the Poreless Putty family of primers: Matte Putty Primer, for a shine-free matte complexion, and Luminous Putty Primer, for an added glow.

Related: Easy 5 Step Natural Drugstore Makeup Routine

Maybelline Dream BB Cream

For a lightweight introduction to makeup, consider starting with a BB cream. There are some fantastic BB creams at the drugstore. Maybelline is the #1 BB brand in the US. Their BB creams cater to a variety of skin types. For blemish-price skin, Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream mattifies and helps with acne thanks to 2% salicylic acid. For normal skin, Maybelline Dream BB Fresh BB Cream hydrates with Broad Spectrum SPF 30 mineral (titanium dioxide) sun protection. (I just purchased this BB cream in Light/Medium and am loving the lightweight coverage and sunscreen protection.)

These BB creams have 5 shade options and provide 8-in-1 benefits for the skin:

  • BB Fresh – Hydrates, brightens, blurs imperfections, smoothes, enhances, is skin-tone perfecting, is oil-free, and has SPF 30.
  • BB Pure – Mattifies, clears acne, hydrates, contains salicylic acid, conceals imperfections, minimizes the look of pores, reduces the look of redness and is oil-free.

For Full Coverage: Revlon ColorStay Makeup

If you are looking for more coverage from a foundation, Revlon ColorStay Makeup is a liquid full coverage foundation that comes in two varieties: one for Combo/Oily Skin and one for Normal/Dry Skin. This is an affordable full coverage foundation that provides natural color and lasts all day.

Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Concealer

This post is starting to sound like a Maybelline promotion, but If you’ve read this blog before, you may be sick of hearing me talk about Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Concealer. But I think it’s that good.

This award-winning concentrated treatment concealer helps erase dark circles and fine lines. Available in 16 shades plus a Neutralizer and Brightener, the concealer is formulated with goji berry and Haloxyl, a peptide blend to lighten dark circles and firm the skin.

Although I like to apply this concealer with my fingers (after removing the sponge applicator), for a beginner, the sponge applicator will allow for goof proof application that you can apply to your under-eye area and blend with an outward sweeping motion.

Related: Drugstore Beauty Must-Haves

Maybelline Fit Me! Matte + Poreless Pressed Powder

Maybelline Fit Me! Matte + Poreless Pressed Powder comes in 24 super-saturated shades for a poreless finish. Apply after foundation and concealer, to set your makeup. You can even wear it alone for lasting shine control. This is ideal for Normal to Oily skin.

Maybelline uses Perlite Mineral technology to absorb oil and magnify the skin, while micro-powders blur the skin. This is the perfect product to finish off your base makeup.

For Normal to Dry skin, try Maybelline New York Fit Me! Set + Smooth Powder to set your makeup and smooth your skin’s texture.

Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer

One of Physicians Formula’s best-selling products, Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer is formulated with a blend of Murumuru Butter, Cupuacu Butter and Tucuma Butter from the Amazon. It combines the best qualities of a powder bronzer and a cream bronzer to create a beautiful bronze glow.

It also contains essential fatty acids and pro-vitamins to moisturize and condition your skin leaving it hydrated and moisturized. Ultra-refined pearl and soft-focus pigments help create a smooth skin texture.

This bronzer has an amazing tropical scent that makes you feel like you are on a beach somewhere in the tropics. The bronzer comes in 6 shades to work with a variety of skin tones. Apply to your face and neck for a natural-looking tan. It can also be used to contour the cheekbones.

Milani Baked Blush

Milani actually sunbakes each Milani Baked Blush on Italian terracotta tiles to create their warm pigmented blush shades. This blush creates a striking finish and luminosity on your skin. The 11-color shade range includes peaches and pinks, as well as nude and rose shades.

These blushes are best-sellers for a reason. They are highly-pigmented and need very little to create a beautiful flush of color on your cheeks. They are easily blended with a brush or your fingers. Depending on the shade, the blush will provide either a satin or metallic finish.

Maybelline Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter

Since this is a makeup kit for beginners, this product is very optional, but Maybelline Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter is the drugstore product to reach for when you want a brilliant metallic highlight.

Reflective pigments create a warm metallic sheen in each of the 4 shades: Molten Gold, Molten Peach, Molten Rose Gold and Molten Topaz. Pearl pigments create a reflective finish perfect for cheekbones, brow bones and the bridge of the nose or even your décolleté.

I picked up the shade Molten Rose Gold. It works really well with my fair complexion. I apply it with the swipe of a blush brush just above my cheekbones and blend with my fingers. A note for beginners: Make sure to use a light hand and apply minimal product when starting out with this highlighter or your face may become blindingly metallic and bright! 😉

Related: CoverGirl Clean Fresh Makeup Review

CoverGirl Nudes TruNaked Eyeshadow Palette

CoverGirl Nudes TruNaked Eyeshadow Palette contains eyeshades that range from neutrals and smokies to shimmers and mattes. A variety of shades in this palette can be used as a base, crease, liner or highlighter.

This is a palette that will be universally flattering for most. You can blend the shades together for a unique finished look. For a bit more color that is still neutral, try CoverGirl’s Roses TruNaked Eyeshadow Palette.

NYX Epic Ink Liner

If you are looking to create the popular winged-eye liner look or want to apply a simple lined look, NYX Epic Ink Liner is the eyeliner for precise lining with its slim felt brush tip. Available in both Black and Brown shades, use this liner on both your upper and lower lids with its intensely pigmented shades. It’s easy to use plus it stays put.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara has 10 layers of bristles and a patented fanning brush. Its liquid ink formula coats lashes from all sides to create full separated lashes. Use the inner curve of the fan brush to apply the mascara to the roots of your lashes and the longer bristles will reach the tips of the lashes. The inner curve is really great for your bottom lashes as well.

This mascara works for all lash types, from sparse and straight to short and unruly. It’s formulated to be a curling, lengthening, and volumizing mascara all-in-one, giving you the most bang for the buck. The nice part about this mascara is that you can layer it for a more dramatic effect or simply apply one coat for a more natural look.

Maybelline Brow Ultra Slim Defining Eyebrow Pencil

Maybelline Brow Ultra Slim Defining Eyebrow Pencil has an ultra-slim 1.5mm precision tip and a built-in spoolie brush to create the exact brow you desire. Not need to mess with sharpening either. There are six colors that range from light blonde to black-brown.

This eyebrow pencil is a no-brainer. You can easily create hair-like-strokes with little effort, which makes it easy for a beginner to create natural-looking eyebrows. The pencil applies smoothly without any waxy feel or streaking. Use the spoolie brush to blend the color and set your brows.

NYX Butter Lip Gloss

NYX Butter Gloss is NYX’s best-selling lip gloss that is available in over 30 shades. It’s buttery as the name suggests and provides sheer to medium buildable coverage. There are natural shades along with new brighter and deeper shades ranging from pink and coral and deep reddish browns and even blue!

This is a lightweight lip gloss that is non-sticky but provides nicely pigmented color. The low price makes it easy to pick up more than one shade. Wear this gloss on its own or over lipstick or with lip liner.

Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick

If lip gloss is not enough coverage for you or if you want a longer-wearing color on your lips, Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick is for you. It comes in 35 super-saturated shades, including neutrals and deeper shades. It comes with an arrow applicator for precise application along the contours of your lips.

This liquid lipstick is formulated to last up to 16 hours and provides a pigmented matte finish. If a matte finish isn’t your favorite, use this liquid lipstick as a base and apply lip gloss over it for a glossy effect.

Final Thoughts on Drugstore Makeup Starter Kit for Beginners

If you are just starting out and are overwhelmed with all the makeup options in this post, start with just a few. Try blush, mascara and lip gloss, or a BB cream, lipstick and blush. The combinations are endless and just a few products can make a big difference in your appearance. It’s really all about tailoring your choices based on your skin type and tone.

What are your suggestions for a beginner? What products did you use when you were just starting out with makeup? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading, and until next time…

– Shop The Edit –

Like This Post? Pin It!

Drugstore Makeup Starter Kit Product Collage


Thursday 16th of June 2022


Great content. :) Love all the tips. As someone who is almost coming into my late 30s I was just wondering if these products would fit me too? I am starting to do skin care and make up. I class myself as a beginner with dry skin most of the time. I sort of just need a black and white step by step guide to follow. And obviously since I’m just beginning I’d prefer the more affordable ones. 🤣 I am asian as well, Filipino to be exact to give you an idea of my skin color. The veins underneath my skin are more of a greenish color. I think. 😅

Your advice would be awesome! It’s too intimidating to go to beauty stores as well for me.

Thank you!

Cheers, Mika


Monday 5th of September 2022

Hi Mika, thanks for reaching out! You can absolutely use these products. You can start with just a few and build from there. If you have dry skin, I would go with a BB cream or foundation formulated for dry skin. Cream blush is also a good option for dry skin. An affordable one is Maybelline Cheek Heat Gel-Cream Blush. You can take a look at my post on an easy 5-step natural makeup routine for more affordable options. Thanks!


Saturday 19th of February 2022

Armed with picks from this list, I'm heading to Walgreens. Thanks very much!! : ]


Saturday 19th of February 2022

That's great to hear!! Thanks!!