Beauty Basics Makeup Products Tips & Tricks Tutorials

Getting Started with makeup.

I am completely DELIGHTED about this post!
I’ve been wanting to do a basic kit that would be versatile enough to use for most {if not all} of the makeup looks any gal would want to create.

I labored back and forth for WEEKS on it.
(If you don’t believe me you can ask the Sephora Employees who turned a blind eye to my son turning lip glosses into kamakazi airplanes and me gathering all of the eyeshadow palettes in the store for a, very competitive, beauty pageant.)

Best part is the rest of this week I am going to use this kit to create some of my all time favorite looks.
Each one of them will look beautiful on pretty much ANYONE and come with a video tutorial! You will be amazed when you see how many different looks we can get out of one kit.


I know this is super exciting, but before you race off to your nearest makeup supplier {and I end up getting an angry phone call from your husband }  Know this: these brands are only my suggestions, if you already have a bronzer or a black eyeliner there is NO need to go out and get another one unless you are unhappy with it. Also, I didn’t add foundation to the list because I feel like it is too personal of an item, but I did post about it recently so for help on that {click here}
You will also need to apply all of this with something so:
{here is a list of the best most affordable brushes as well} 

List of products: 

L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black
L’Oreal Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner
Maybelline Bouncy Blush in Fresh Pink
Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer in Nude
LORAC PRO Palette 0.08 oz
CoverGirl Perfect Blend Eye Pencil in Mink
REVLON Lip Butter in Cherry Tart
Colour Riche Legloss in Baby Blossom
Rimmel Natural Bronzer Sun Bronze

Here are the links to the looks I created using just these products:


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  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I seriously love this!

  • Reply
    Lani Rankin
    August 29, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    You are amazing! Thanks for this! Excited for the tutorials……

  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Love all these items! can’t wait to watch the tutorials

  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    This makes me so excited I could squeal! As always, thank you, Cara!

    • Reply
      August 29, 2012 at 4:07 pm

      By the way, this morning I did the icy blue shadow look for brown eyes from your tutorial way back, and I’m feeling smokin’ hot!

  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Great idea Cara 🙂 you are truly living your childhood dream!!!! can not wait to watch the tutorials xo

  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Oh my! Thank you! I’m loving this!

  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    I LOVE this! I have almost all of these per your previous recommendations. Seriously, Cara, you have helped me feel prettier than ever since I’ve been reading your blog. I love your tips and videos and they’re easy to do and practical. I also appreciate how fun and incredibly witty you are! I found you on Pinterest while I was at home after having a baby and I really needed to feel good again; you have helped me do that. Thank you! (I’m sure my husband would want to thank you, too!) I can’t wait for your new tutorials. Keep up the great work. You make a difference!

  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Can. Not. Wait. =}

  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Hi Cara,

    I just found your site last night….I was on for over an hour….I’m a makeup junkie! I am curious to know if the Loreal eyeliner that you seem to like to use a lot, is safe to use on the water line (inside of eye-for those who are unfamiliar)??

    • Reply
      August 29, 2012 at 6:50 pm

      Thank you! yes ma’am it’s great for the waterline and it has enough pigment to actually stay there!

  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    K, did I get a bad batch of voluminous or something!? I see it being all the rage left and right and don’t get me wrong, I LOVED the application and look. The problem is, that with in a half hour its all over my lids. Upper and lower. I have this “problem” my lashes are long and touch my lids occasionally and then the transfer begins. It’s not cute. Help!

    • Reply
      August 29, 2012 at 6:50 pm

      um oh man, that big lashes thing is a doozy! I have so much compassion for you! 🙂 Honestly, it’s a really heavy and creamy application of mascara and that isn’t for everybody. It’s best for people who need all the thickness and length they can get and for a quick {light} application. Too many coats and you get the melty problem… So you may want to stick with what you like best since you really don’t need all the oomph in the Voluminous…

      • Reply
        August 29, 2012 at 9:41 pm

        Gotcha! Thanks love.

  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Fantastic! I’m that perfect combination of cheap and poor, so these are great. I already have most of these items! Can’t wait to see the tutorials. 🙂

  • Reply
    Carlie Jean
    August 29, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    I recently recommended that Smoldering eyeliner on my blog! It’s awesome! Glad to see you like it too!

  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Awesome post. Can’t wait to see all of the looks you can do with this same lineup of makeup.

  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Love it! I also have a lot of these items already, per your recommendation, but am excited to see the tutorials and get the rest! I LOVE your blog, and your tips and techniques have helped me feel more beautiful than ever. You are amazing at what you do, and I hope you never stop. 🙂

    • Reply
      August 29, 2012 at 6:52 pm

      Thanks so much! I REALLY try to use the same products over again as much as possible so that no one has to go broke for some sexy makeup!

  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Oh, how fun! Thank you for putting this together. I’m really excited to get a few of these things. Do you have any suggestions for your favorite drugstore eyeshadow?

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 1:11 am

    Love this and some of my favorites are listed. I’ve never tried the eyeliner you suggested. I have the hardest time finding one that doesn’t smear up my eyelid, therefore fading and making me look tired and sloppy. Does this one stay in place? Thanks!!

    • Reply
      August 30, 2012 at 3:08 am

      It does but if you struggle with that I would suggest setting your eyeliner with black eyeshadow. It will last MUCH longer if you do!

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Just started reading your blog and love it. Have already gotten some of the products. Just a question, I noticed in a couple of posts, that you call out the CoverGirl Perfect Blend Eye Pencil in Mink as a lip liner? I found it at the store and it looks really brown. Am I reading it right? thanks and love all of the tips and your “high/low” combination of products!

    • Reply
      August 30, 2012 at 7:50 pm

      Thanks Annie! Yes, it is actually an eyeliner, but I use it for lips! It IS pretty brown but I mostly use it to define and contour my lips and I get the color from the lipstick or gloss. Kinda different but it’s an amazing way to use one product instead of having a lipliner for ever color, plus I have never found anything that I like better! You have to use it sparingly though, and blend well. If it is still too dark there is a lighter version called “smokey Taupe” that might be better

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Just started following your blog from pinterest. I’ve never really been very good at all the makeup tricks and love watching all your tutorials. Watched the smokey eye one and my husband asked if I was going to do that for date night. We’ll see;). I’m ten weeks post partum so if I can’t fit into my clothes yet at least my face can look good. Ha. And I just got the Ulta mailer today and noticed that a lot of the makeup on your list is by one get one 50% off next week. Might be a good time for people to get stuff even cheaper. I’m always looking for a good deal:)

  • Reply
    August 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Hi! I love your site and Ive been unhappy with my makeup for some time so I`m super excited to go out today and buy your recommendations! I had a question about one thing… I use liquid liner every single day, I have been using it for years. Its so hard to find an eye liner that will stay on all day and on a night out! I would love to be able to wear a simple eyeliner to my classes or to work. I`m fair skinned so I feel like the liquid liner is a bit overkill but Its just been my go to eye liner for so long. Are you a fan of liquid liner??

    • Reply
      August 31, 2012 at 3:52 pm

      Liz, I love liquid liner! I do think that it can look a little harsh in which case I like to go over it with a dark eyshadow to soften it up. Nothing compares as far as long lasting eyeliner. This was a “basics” kit and I feel like pencils are a lot more user friendly which is why I chose this one! Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Hannum
    September 6, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I love this kit and have bought almost everything you have recommended. Love your site and tutorials!

    I saw this today and it reminded me of your “tree” technique!

    xoxo, Elizabeth

    • Reply
      September 6, 2012 at 5:05 pm

      How funny! I saw that yesterday and I was like “HEY, I do that too!” Thank you so much! I love your site too! I checked it out a while back:)

  • Reply
    September 12, 2012 at 6:03 am

    I’m so excited I found you on Pinterest. I’ve always worn make-up but very minimal and I’ve realized I really want to change up my boring routine. The problem is I just didn’t know how. I’m really excited for your tutorials and your suggestions for make-up’s must-haves. Thanks!!

  • Reply
    September 30, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Hey Cara! My sister showed me your website a couple months ago and I am OBSESSED with it! I’m 14 so this is one of my favorite posts! All of your tutorials are awesome too! Congrats on getting married by the way! 🙂

  • Reply
    October 8, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I love all these product ideas but do you have any suggestions for someone like myself who doesnt need quiet as many shades as the LORAC kit includes? Maybe just a great brown and another shade or two that you like that could achieve a similar look? Thanks! I love you and all your hair tips, now im heading into make-up after reading your post today about 4 min mom makeup!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Do you have any color palette suggestions for green eyes and blonde hair??

  • Reply
    Hannah Meyerhoeffer
    December 30, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    I love your stuff you’re seriously ahhhamazing!
    I was just wondering, I went to go but the Fresh Pink blush, and I didn’t realize how bright it was! Does it go on as bright as well?

    • Reply
      January 10, 2013 at 9:26 am

      Hi! I love your blog and have watched a great many of your tutorials. I am in desperate need of new makeup and was so excited to get everything on the list but some of it isn’t available in the UK. I know I can find substitutes but I’m not sure what do do about the Lorac Pro Palette! Help, what’s a girl to do when sephora doesn’t even ship to the UK?

  • Reply
    January 18, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    I found your blog on Pinterest this morning and have been browsing ALL DAY! I am a mom of two busy boys (ages 5 and almost 2) and due for our third child in 24 days!! I have a tradition of “changing my look” before each new addition, typically in the form of chopping off my hair. You have totally inspired me to spare my beautiful long hair and splurge for some big girl makeup instead! I hit up my local Walgreens at lunch and ran home to try HAC for the first time… AMAZING! I never knew my face could look so good! Ha! I’m ordering the eye shadow pallet tonight. I can’t wait to surprize my hubby with my new feminine charm when he gets home next week. =)

    I love how you use the same basic (and AFFORDABLE!) products to make SO many looks. PLEASE don’t stop the amazing videos! You are my new best friend! Thanks!!

  • Reply
    April 14, 2013 at 9:41 am

    First I love love love your blog!!! I’m a hairstylist and I also do makeup… I would really love to see (or a post about) what you have in your kit for your clients. <3

  • Reply
    April 15, 2013 at 7:35 am

    I LOVE your blog! I found you on Pinterest and have actually turned my mom on to you as well. I love your tutorial for “4 minute makeup” although I still can’t do it that fast lol

    My question to you is this: I should found this post “ultimate makeup kit” via your revamp 🙂 and while I have most of the supplies (from the 4 minute makeup tutorial) I am very interested in the Revlon Cherry Tart. I can’t seem to find it any where. I was hoping you might have an updated lipstick/stain you’d recommend. Just because it seems Revlon, Maybelline, Loreal etc etc are updating their products so often that some of the products recommended are really hard to come by or are no longer sold at Rite Aid, Target, Walmart etc etc (I ran into the same problem while looking for Maybelline Disco Pink for the Angelina Jolie look)

    Anyway–do you have another cherry lip stain you’d recommend? Thank you!!!

  • Reply
    April 22, 2013 at 10:02 am

    I LOVE your blog! I spent the whole night reading it. Lol. Quick question. You listed the L’Oreal Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner as your black eyeliner, but when you click on the link it sends you to the brown one. Do you use brown or black?

  • Reply
    May 21, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Cara! I am new to your website and facebook and I love it! I immediately went out and bought the “ultimate makeup kit” and am loving my new look…especially the highlighting concealer. Just a few questions…

    I have to put on several coats of the concealer to make it this ok? I feel like I could get more bang out of my buck ,even if it is still drugstore brands! I noticed that you make your own illuminator and I would love it you would share the recipe! Anything at drugstores would be ideal!

    Also the eye liner that you suggested, “voluminous smouldering” ALWAYS ended up on my eye lids within 15 second of applying it…is there a way to prevent it? And there is a constant upper black line through my perfectly done eye makeup all night, I need help!

    You are the best, thanks for helping me re-invent my look!

  • Reply
    June 5, 2013 at 5:48 am

    Hi Cara, brilliant work. I’ve been recommending your site to everyone I know in Hong Kong! I’ve one question, can you post suggest a kit for darker skin? I’m from India but have a more Latin American color, or so I’ve been told pretty consistently. Am going to try the “hac” job this weekend.

  • Reply
    June 19, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    I personally think that the Rimmel Natural Bronzer has a really orange tint when you put it on, and doesn’t look that great on me. A really good drugstore bronzer that i swear by is NYC Smooth Skin bronzer. Its a matte bronzer, and is a good dupe for Benefit Hoola bronzer. You all should try it, its only 3 dollars at most stores!

  • Reply
    Jennifer P
    July 9, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Do you have any less expensive eye shadow suggestions? Thanks for helping us “moms”!

  • Reply
    July 11, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    So I have been reading this blog for a while and finally decided to start using makeup however my main problem is my eyeliner smudges all the time I have tried so many things that supposedly help with eyeliner not smudging but nothing works any tips?

  • Reply
    Sarah I.
    July 16, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Cara- I love your blog! I just bought a bunch of your recs on Amazon and realized that any time I buy one of your recs, the items amazon recommends on the bottom of the page are also your recs. They should start giving you a kickback because so many people are buying based on your recs. Thank you!!

  • Reply
    August 6, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Can you suggest a good alternative to Covergirl Perfect Blend in Mink?

  • Reply
    August 16, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Hey Cara, I just found this site and love it. I just had one question, Do you buy the black or brown eyeliner? In the list it says black eyeliner but your link connects to a brown eyeliner so I just wasn’t sure which would be better. Thanks so much for all these great tips.

  • Reply
    August 25, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    color burst lip color in cherry tart is next to impossible to find–seems this is no longer a color Revlon carries. any suggestions for a close match that I can find in the drug store?

  • Reply
    September 4, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    I’m with Nicole. I have searched everywhere for the cherry tart lip color and cannot find it. Is there a substitute?

  • Reply
    toni d
    September 4, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    LOVE your site. I am excited to get started learning how to properly put on makeup. I’m 30 now and it’s about time I learned! so THANK YOU! Question. I have sensitive skin, so generally I stay away from parabens and stick with more natural products without going overboard on cost (I’m talking Physicians Formula vs Bare Minerals if you catch my drift.) Would you have suggestions for color comparisons for something like that? Thanks tons!

  • Reply
    Jamie Sielski
    October 6, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    love love love these tutorials but can we please have some more tutorials from the lorac palette!!!

  • Reply
    Sania Wasif
    March 25, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    This is such a yummy post 🙂 Loving the lorac palette and neutral lip liner!

  • Reply
    Situs Togel Resmi
    May 12, 2018 at 11:50 pm

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