How to Build a Make up and Skin Care Kit from Scratch

If your post-summer beauty cabinet is looking a little empty at the moment, read on for a few quick tips on how to remedy your situation without breaking the bank. If you have close-to-zero products to work with (either because you literally have none or because what you do have no longer matches your style or skin type), the idea of starting completely or almost from scratch can seem daunting. The trick to building up a functional set of products in a short amount of time is to really focus on the essentials, get them right 100% and ignore the rest for now.

Below you’ll see blueprint for a 15-piece skin care and make up set. Depending on your lifestyle, your skin and your style, you may need a different constellation or also considerably less than that. Use these 5 steps to create your own starter kit:

  1. Consider your budget.Whether it's 30 or 300 €/£/$, pick a number and use it as a non-negotiable criterion when choosing products in the steps below. Read this post for more beauty budgeting strategies.
  2. Choose 3 to 5 products covering the four basic pillars of skin care: cleansing, moisturizing, sun protection and exfoliation. A possible combination of products could be one make up remover, one cleanser, one moisturizer with SPF, one nighttime moisturizer without SPF and one scrub (or manual exfoliating agent to use with your cleanser). If your foundation contains SPF and your skin can stand daily exfoliating, three products could be enough: make up remover, exfoliating cleanser and a moisturizer.
  3. Select products for your everyday make up base. Foundation + concealer + powder. Just powder. Concealer + a tinted moisturizer. Whatever combination you choose, make sure it is a good match for your skin shade-wise and formula-wise, even if you have to spend a relatively large chunk of your budget on it.
  4. Develop a signature make up look and find a set of matching products. For now, focus only one the absolute essentials, e.g. a liquid liner if a lined eye is the main feature of your signature look. Ignore nice-to-have extras (like a second, slightly deeper shade of your eyeshadow to contour your outer lid a bit better).
  5. (Optional) Choose two extra products for special occasions: one bolder lip colour and one eye product (shadow, liner, etc) in an eye-catching texture (shimmer, glitter) or a brighter colour that you can add to your regular routine whenever you feel like it. If you only ever emphasize your lips (or eyes), you can obviously also just pick two lip colours (or eye products).

How to build a make up and skin care routine from scratch

Product list:  Skin care - Clinique Take the day off Make up remover, Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, Benefit Triple Performing Facial Emulsion SPF 15, NUXE Creme Fraiche de Beaute, Biotherm Biosource Nettoyant Exfoliante. Make up (first row) - MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation, Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit, Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara, T. LeClerc Pressed Powder, Benefit Speed Brow. Make up (second row) - Smashbox Photo Op Eye Shadow Trio in Multi-Flash, Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee in Pink Escape, Stila Lip Glaze in Cranberry, Stila Eye Shadow in Azure.