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The Essentials for Under $100 


A client recently asked, “If I had $100, what items would I need to start a makeup bag from scratch?” So Lindsey, this series is for you. I'll start with inexpensive items for teens, students, and anyone on a budget who needs a bit of everything.    

After evaluating my own routine and consulting with fellow makeup artists (thanks Melissa and Frances!), we’ve decided these are your makeup essentials on a budget. Along with them are my personal suggestions to get your makeup bag started without breaking the bank.

  • Cream or Liquid Foundation- This is where you splurge a little. Don’t be afraid to ask for help choosing your color. For my acne prone skin, I use Clinique’s Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup.
  • Powder- e.l.f. Cosmetics Studio Tone Correcting Powder (compare to Physician’s Formula) $3                
  • Blush- A cream blush or stain doubles as a lip color. e.l.f. Cosmetics Cream Blush is great. $6      
  • Eyeliner- A gel eyeliner is great for top and bottom. e.l.f. Cosmetics (are you noticing a trend here? Cream Eyeliner is long lasting and comes with its own brush! $3      
  • Lipstick- Revlon Colorstay Overtime. $7.50            
  • A neutral shadow palette- Once again, e.l.f. Cosmetics Endless Eyes Pro Mini Eyeshadow Palette in Warm has lots of great matte and shimmer shades.  $5      
  • Powder- NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder Foundation sets your foundation with a foundation for extra long wear. $10      
  • Mascara- My absolute fave is Maybelline Falsies Mascara. And you can’t beat the price. $8            
  • Eye Shadow primer- My go-to primer for shadow and glitter (especially glitter!) is LA Splash Eyeshadow Primer. $7      
  • Face primer- Look for something with a silicone base. e.l.f. Cosmetics Mineral Infused Face Primer works well. $6      
  • Lip Pencil- NYX Slim Lip Pencil comes in a great range of colors and they're long lasting. $3.50      
  • Brushes-   
  1. e.l.f. Studio Foundation brush (which can also be used to apply your cream blush)  $3 
  2. e.l.f. Studio Small Stipple Brush $3
  3. e.l.f. Studio Contour Brush  $3
  4. e.l.f. Concealor Brush (works great for lips too!) $1

 We are a little less than $100, so you still have some money to spare! We suggest getting extra e.l.f. brushes. As you can see, I’m a big fan of e.l.f. Cosmetics. They offer great products for extremely reasonable prices and are great for people just getting started. e.l.f. can be purchased in most Targets. NYX, LA Splash, & Maybelline can be found in Ulta or drugstores, and Clinique in most department stores.

Happy shopping, dolls! <3- Jordan

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