Ask Elle: Basic Makeup Kit for Teens/Beginners

Every week I answer your beauty (hair, makeup, nails) questions. 
Leave your questions in the comments or email me

Ruby asked, "I'm 15 and I wanna get start wearing makeup but my Mom says I can't spend a lot. 
It can't be real heavy-looking.
What do I need?"

  • I plan on sharing lots of different options for these, so consider this my first version of Teen or Beginner Makeup. I'm sharing basics that will look natural, are work/school dress code-friendly, I kept each item under $6, and each product can be found at drugstores/Wal-Mart/Target

pics via Google Shopping
l-r clockwise

BB Cream--Let's keep your makeup looking natural with a BB cream, like this one from Maybelline 
Dream Fresh. With super clean fingers, blend it into your skin. $6

Concealer/Brightener--Ruby said she didn't have acne, so instead I'm recommending a concealer that's a brightener. It's great for underneath the eyes to make you look more awake, as teens don't need as much coverage under the eyes. This Maybelline DreamLumi Touch Concealer is easy to use. Apply a little underneath eyes and use your clean ring finger to blend in. $6

Powder--To set your makeup and keep any oil at bay, use the Rimmel Stay Matte powder. You'll need a powder brush ($3 from ELF) or powder puff ($2, drugstore) to apply it. Note: I didn't suggest blush or bronzer for her, since she wanted really natural makeup. A natural flush doesn't need blush! $3

Mascara--For the most natural lashes, and especially if you have light hair, you'll need a brown mascara. Maybelline Great Lash has a small brush that is easy to use and is a nice beginner mascara. If you have big lashes, try Covergirl Lash Blast.Wiggle the brush back and forth from the roots of lashes to the tips. $4

Lipgloss--I love the Revlon Lip Balm Stains, because they are pretty and last, but I know you wanted a lipgloss. Revlon lipglosses are my favorite drugstore glosses, and they come in so many natural colors. I also love the Revlon Lip Butters.  $6

=under $30

Wet N Wild Eyeshadow Trio in Walking on Eggshells: This is the best natural-looking palette for a great price.  The directions on how to use are printed right on each shadow. Place the pink shade on your lid, sweep the brown shade in your crease in a windshield wiper motion, and the lightest shade underneath your eyebrows/inner corners of eyes. There's a little brush provided, or get a Professional Eye Brush from ELF for $1. $3

Wet N Wild Mega Length Mascara--This mascara is super cheap and gives great length and dramatic lashes for those special occasions. $3


  1. I just got a Revlon Lip Butter, but I haven't worn it yet (I Just got it yesterday). I am excited that you like it because now I know it's worthy :)

  2. It's a lovely and very useful tutorial, but frankly, I don't believe teens need so much make-up - their skin is so dewy and gorgeous and it's such a shame that they start covering it with powerders and other stuff trying to look older... And unfortunately the cheaper the product, the more nasties (parabens etc) it's likely to contain... :( Most girls would probably hate me for saying this, but all I'd use and suggest is an organic mascara and some lip gloss or pretty lipstick. The nature will do the rest. :)

  3. I do love this tutorial:) I personally don't like seeing teenagers with heavy makeup, and this sounds just about right.

  4. I'm not a teen but I'm certainly a beginner, so this post is helpful to me. Often it's the basic stuff that I don't understand.

  5. Great beginner list! Personally, I would just switch out the brightener for a good elf or rimmel blush, or even those elf blush/bronzer duos! Blush and bronzer were the first makeup items I ever used just to add color to the face, before I got into anything else!

  6. Great recommendations and these are good recommendations for all ages!

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  7. Such a great and interesting post! :) Maybelline mascara is a great pick for beginners!


  8. These are great picks! I've really been enjoying BB cream ever since I first read about it on your blog! :)

  9. Great picks! Age appropriate too! Perfect way to delve into the world of makeup and beauty products :)

  10. This is super helpful! I love to keep my make up light looking


  11. A lighter makeup look is always so nice. I am liking the BB Cream for a quick workout outdoors - keeps your face protected, is natural, and is super easy to take off too! :)

  12. perfect choices! do you recommend a good liquid eyeliner?


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