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If they don’t have ANYTHING, then I’d probably suggest the Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Icon Trios, which are pretty good bang for your buck–but you don’t have to feel guilty about practicing with them. It also helps you figure out what you like/dislike. I also like Urban Decay’s Naked Palette or theBalm’s Nude ‘tude Palette (though with as many matte shades, I’d say maybe it could be more difficult).

— Christine

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I was going to recommend Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Icon Trios too!

I love Silent Treatment. The taupe color in it is my fave!!!
I like the light peachy color a lot.
Pigmentation is good too.
This set is great for everyday wear and very affordable. ^^

Claire’s Eyeshadow Palettes. The ones with 12 shades (not the glitter ones, ew). They’re surprisingly good, only $6, and there’s usually a deal of by one get one half off. There’s also a big variety, and easy to create looks with.

Naked palette crossed my mind before I even finished reading the question. It’s a good bridge into high end makeup for what I consider a fair price.

For a foundation I’d say NARS sheer glow–you can slap it on with almost no effort and it photographs well and it’s a little bit more affordable than some of the other foundations I love for the same reasons.

And like you noted, if they own absolutely nothing and aren’t ready to shell out for their new interest, I hear (but can not confirm) that neutrogena’s healthy skin foundation is a decent dupe for the sheer glow.

I don’t now what brand, but I think a palette with almost 3-4 colors, that have some brush in it, too. So she can start playing with colors and she don’t have to spend anything for buying brushes.

That would depend on the person. When a friend of mine M>F transgendered, I put together a makeup wardrobe for her from NYX and MAC, and she likes it, but I feel like I’ve infected her with my personal makeup habits – I’d rather see her branch out and figure out what she really wants out of makeup herself.

That was very sweet of you to help her. I am sure just starting out she was very overwhelmed. Maybe if you sat withe her and asked her what she likes and is drawn to? Maybe she feels safe using what you recommended? Take a trip to the drugstore with her…..just some thoughts. Your a great friend though.

A decent/basic makeup brush set. I remember when I first got into makeup, I only had one brush. 😛 Some good brush brands for beginner’s would definitely Sonia Kashuk, Essence of Beauty, Sigma, Coastal Scents, Crown Brushes, etc. I would have LOVED if someone bought me a brush set from one of those companies when I first got started in makeup. 🙂

I agree with the Wet n’ Wild palettes. I actually did suggest those to a friend asking me about makeup she should try. I also recommended EcoTools brushes to her since the are affordable and cruelty free.

I think tools are easier to choose for somebody than colours and beginners might not know how important they are.

I’ll make my top pick a MAC 217 brush. Everyone should have one of those.

Good brushes! You can easily apply a mediocre eyeshadow with a good brush, but it’s not easy to get a good result applying an eyeshadow, if your brush is … well not so good.

Most of my friends only use mascara and a little lipgloss, so as a gift I gave them a few eyepencils. Black, brown, gold, purple, blue… just a few so they could try and see what they like.

Chanel Illusion D’Ombre in one of the neutral colors to suit their eye color like Emerveille, Ebloui or Illusoire.

They are gorgeous and foolproof. No special brushes needed to apply or blend. Besides, who wouldn’t want to receive Chanel as a gift?

My “starter kit” would be something like:

– Maybelline the falsies mascara (mascara is my #1 thing!)
– Wet n Wild color icon palettes in Greed & Comfort Zone
– Eyeliner: either an automatic pencil, or a gel + brush, depending on the recipient’s preference. I think gel is easier to use, but if they’d prefer a pencil, that would be okay.

– tinted moisturizer, maybe laura mercier
– setting powder – elf has a decent one – if they have oily skin
– a sheer & easy to use blush – i’m not sure what though

– clinique black honey – the perfect “starter” lippie

Plus I would give them some nice elf & ecotools brushes!

I’d say an 88 Eyeshadow Palette from Coastal Scents. There are so many colors to choose from that a beginner probably wouldn’t have to buy any other palettes for a while and can focus on building their makeup collection in other areas (brushes, lip stick/gloss, blush, etc.).

I agree… I would have loved to get one of these when starting into make up. I would have helped a lot, and I think some brushes too. Actually, that’s the way I’m introducing a friend into MU.

Either a 120 eyeshadow palette, or a 217, or why not both, as a gift set?
The palette for all the make up experimentation, and the 217 because it’s such a versatile brush!

EcoTools brushes! They’re definitely great quality, and not nearly as expensive as MAC brushes or other high-end brushes.

120 eyeshadow palette, thats what i had before i began collecting premium makeup, once you can create a look with the eyeshadows in there sing a different variety of colours and textures, your ready to tackle anything, or the palette with the blushes underneath, great variety of colours to help them get into makeup.

No particular brand:

Non-waterproof mascara
Netural lip gloss or sheer lipstick
Peachy/Brown Blush
Pressed Powder

I have a set of middle school twin sisters. The girly one is just starting to get into makeup and fashion. For Christmas I’m going to get her that $50 Sephora palette they have right now. The one that looks like a mini vanity and it loaded with stuff. That’ll keep her busy for awhile. Lol!

benefit has some pretty generous holiday gift sets and their boxed powders are pretty idiot-proof (i use them every day hahaha). add in a nice fluffy brush and you’re good to go.

In the UK — Sleek Storm palette. I find it a lot better than their nude one. Natural Collection from Boots is great too; when I started getting into make up. From NC get: Tinted Moisturiser, an Eye Lines pencil, Pressed Powder, lip gloss in Toffee Cream (smells just like toffee).

Also, with eyeliners, I find people usually delve straight into black. I think brown is a much easier way to introduce someone to eyeliner, then kick it up a notch with a blue or green.

I think a Stila palette would be really cute and appropriate for a teenager, though my first regular makeup look was created using Clinique’s Plum Seduction palette.

A Urban Decay or Stila Palette (something with neutrals and colors so she could play around)

Maybelline Great Lash

Benefit Benetint

Revlon Lip Butters

To be honest I’ve given up on actually buying makeup products for somebody else, so for somebody starting out I’d literally just reccomend temptalia.com. 😀 And I’m not even joking. Or at most, a MAC voucher. 🙂

A good quality makeup set is a nice way to start out. I find that the holidays are the best time to acquire the nicest cosmetic sets which include pieces that are good for a beginner.

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