A fresh grad's guide to building a makeup kit

I have bittersweet feelings about finally getting my college diploma. While it makes me feel super to unlock such an important milestone in my life, the thought of what comes after makes me feel anxious about the great unknown. How did you handle your own graduation? Just the thought of full-on "adulting" is making my head spin big time.

But my graduation means new beginnings and a lot of firsts that I’m looking forward to. For me, I’m most excited about applying for a job and ultimately enjoying (hopefully!) the new 8-5 office routine. I’ve been freelancing from home since I was 15, and I’ve always wondered what it’s like to dress and doll up for a business setting!

We recently shared our best picks for palettes and makeup sets for fresh graduates, but we do acknowledge that some people do enjoy brand variety in their kits. This list is specifically curated for fresh grads who are beginners in makeup so it’s all about basic fool-proof products that are wallet-friendly!

Maybelline Super BB Cream (P399)

When the first wave of Asian BB creams came in 2011, the world fell in love with the all-in-one face base that offered skincare benefits and just the right amount of coverage for daily use. Fast forward to 2016, and we have new formulas that are popping up left and right. It’s getting harder to keep up!

Our latest addiction from the drugstore contenders is the Maybelline Super BB Cream. Formula-wise, it’s smooth and lightweight and has the added benefit of SPF50 PA++++ protection. Just a thin layer is enough to cover dark blemishes, and we love how it dries to a smooth satin finish that’s good to go even without powder.    

Image via thebudgetlife.nl

Image via thebudgetlife.nl

Flormar Compact Blush On in P113 Soft Peach (P299)

Don’t let the basic, unassuming packaging fool you! The Flormar Pretty Compact Blush-On packs amazing pigment, smoothness, and blendability that make it a real score from the drugstore. The subtle sheen is very flattering and the shade P113 Soft Peach is just perfect for Pinays.

For our other budget-friendly blush recommendations, do read our under P350 list here.

Nichido Tinted Brow Gel (P238)

This brow gel is a great dupe for MAC brow mascaras. If you can find your shade in the four that’s available, rejoice as this can give you soft, perfectly-shaded brows that would look polished but still perfectly natural. IMO, a brow mascara is a great place to start so you can avoid the absolute horror of overdrawn brows that beginners would often make with a pencil or brow powders. Since you’re working with what you naturally have, you would be less susceptible to eff up your brow game! If you want to know how to apply brow mascara, just read through this quick post of Brow Mascara 101 that Liz wrote a while back!

Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara (P350)

Panic alert: They’re pulling out this mascara from our local counters. Stock up while you can or you would seriously regret it otherwise! This is the most affordable item that made it to the Project Vanity Top 20 Cosmetics Finds in 2015, and when you try it, you would understand why it’s so well-loved! One coat and your lashes are lengthened, defined, and as dark as night.

Pink Sugar HD Lipsticks (P299) or Pink Sugar Creamy Matte Lipsticks (P349)

Pink Sugar might be a new player in our local counters, but they totally aced the game when it came to their highly-pigmented lipsticks. Both the Creamy Mattes and HD Lipsticks are well formulated for a comfortable wear time and could last a full day with only minimal retouching. The color range features more out-there shades that you could save for another day, but First Kiss, Naked, Desire, or even Rebel could easily be the one lip color that you wear for the rest of your life.

And that’s it for our beginner- and budget-friendly makeup kit! These essentials are more than enough for a basic everyday look, and you can easily add extras like eyeliners or contour as you go. Let us know if you’ve tried these products and enjoyed them, or if you have other suggestions below!