Putting Together a Makeup Kit: Lips and Eyes

Album Cover
Photography: Thea Turnbow; MUA: Linsi Matteson. Using Lip Tar Matte in Feathered, 120 Palette One (Coastal Scents)

Welcome to the second part of my series on putting together a makeup kit on a budget. I’ll be covering eyes and lips in this post, so lets dive on in!


Palettes: I was lucky enough to pick up a few of the NYX Luscious Lip Gloss palettes when they were being produced. The name is slightly misleading – the formula is more of a lipstick. They seems to be discontinued, but you can still find some of them over on eBay. I also have a 66 color palette from Coastal Scents ($18.95; Coastal Scents). It’s not the highest quality, but it has a LOT of shades and has definitely come in handy.

NYX Lip Palettes
Lip Palettes (NYX)

Lip Pigment: I am a HUGE fan of OCC Lip Tar ($18; Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Sephora). They seem expensive but you need so little of the pigment that a tube will last you a very long time. They are also great for mixing. However, I don’t recommend the Stained Gloss formula – it is slippery and wears off really fast.

Lipstick: I have a few lipsticks from here and there I picked up when a color struck me. NYX Creamy Round Lipstick ($4; NYX) in Bruised and Haute Melon are a couple of my faves. I’m also a hug fan of the Lime Crime Opaque Lipsticks ($18; Lime Crime). The color payoff is amazing – Styletto is by far the best black lipstick I’ve tried.

Styletto (Lime Crime)

Quads: I like to have a lot of lip colors on hand, so I also have a few of the Coastal Scents Lip Quads ($6.95; Coastal Scents). They are well pigmented and reasonably priced.

Lip Gloss: A fantastic trick for lips is to create your own custom colors using a bit of lip gloss and some eyeshadow. Mix ’em together and all of a sudden you have that neon green lipstick you’ve been searching for. MAC Clear Lipglass ($15; MAC) is a product several of my MUAs swear by. If you are looking for something less expensive, my favorite right now is Victoria’s Secret Beauty Rush Gloss in Minty Kiss ($9; Victoria’s Secret) because of it’s minty scent & non-sticky formula.


Primer: I’ve been using the Sephora Perfecting Eye Primer ($14; Sephora). This stuff is great – it holds eyeshadow really well, and it gives a smooth surface to work on. I find that when I’m layering and blending eyeshadows, they are much more workable.

Eyeshadow Palettes: Eyeshadow is another area where you can really spend a lot of money. I need a large selection to choose from, so my go to palette has been the 120 Palette One ($18.95; Coastal Scents). The shades are very pigmented and long lasting – I’ve gotten a LOT of mileage out of this one. Another palette I picked up recently is 120 Palette Four ($18.95; Coastal Scents) to add some new colors.

CS Eyeshadow Palette 01
120 Palette Four top plate (Coastal Scents)
CS Eyeshadow Palette 02
120 Palette Four bottom plate (Coastal Scents)

Cream Eyeshadow: This is an optional inclusion. I haven’t has much need of these, but they are good in a pinch. I use a finger (or a really stiff brush). They are easy to blend and don’t crease as a general rule (but stay away from oily lids with these), plus they have a nice luminous quality to them. They can also be used as a color primer to give powder eyeshadow more pop. Revlon Illuminance ($6.50; Drugstore.com) has some good quads. For higher end single shades, Make Up Forever Aqua Creams are a good way to go ($23; Sephora, Make Up Forever).

Eyeliner Pencils: It’s always good to have a few of these on hand, at the very least in white and black. I’ve become very impressed with Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencils ($20; Sephora, Urban Decay) because they are ridiculously pigmented and very smooth, with some serious staying power, even on the waterline. I also have a couple of the 12 Hour Made to Last Liquid Eyeliner Pencils ($2.49; Jordana), which are very good quality for the price.

Gel Liner: Gel liner is a must have for clean lines and bold eyes. Loreal Infallible Gel Lacquer Liner ($9.99; Ulta) has been my go to for awhile. It stays put for ages and doesn’t smudge.

Editorial Hair & Makeup Final
Photography: Anthony Rogers; MUA: Thea Turnbow. Infallible Lacquer Gel Liner (Loreal Paris), 120 Palette Four (Coastal Scents), Power Play Lip Quad (Coastal Scents)

Eyelashes: For photos, it’s not necessary to spring for uber expensive lashes. I tend to stick to whatever I can find at a bargain price. Diaso Japan has a good selection at about $3 a pop (20.80 for 10; Daiso Japan). I also have a few Love & Beauty Sets ($5.80; Forever 21) for my standard black lashes. For theatrical lashes (think feathers!), NYX has a great selection ($6.50; NYX).

I hope you guys found some useful information for putting together your own professional starter kit! If you missed the first post, check it out here.



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