First of all let me just say that I am privileged to have more than enough make-up to get by, and I understand that not all people are lucky enough to share that status. This post is for people just starting out their collection or those that are unsure what makes the staple basics of any collection.
You don't need every M.A.C pigment. (I know I don't.)
You don't need every kind of mascara known to man. (I only have 2.)
This is what you do need.
1) Black eyeliner pencil
Eyeliner is a simple way to draw attention to your eyes without being obvious, and if worn correctly, even school won't notice! Drawing attention to your eyes means drawing attention away from problem skin, which is always a good thing! You don't need liquid; it's often difficult to use as it can run or go on blotchy. Liquid requires and incredibly steady hand until you get used to it.
I said black eyeliner simply because it's the easiest to find and other colours often have different effects when it comes to the colour of your eye. Black is the new black. Anything goes.
2) Lip gloss
Lip gloss is an easy way to add glamour to everyday. It often adds volume and makes your lips look bigger (a plus for many) and it brings out your natural lip colour, a simple way to a complex look.
You don't particularly need colours, but that isn't to say you must avoid them altogether, however I will warn against bright pinks or deep burgundies. These colours can very often be very overbearing and are easily worn incorrectly. Stick to clears or sheer pinks with a little shimmer.
Mascara is easy to wear. It isn't quite an everyday piece but for a big look, nothing beats mascara! My favourites are the ones with the bristle brush, as it applies the mascara evenly and separates eyelashes more efficiently than the rubber or plastic brushes. Again I'd urge you to get black for the same reason as the eyeliner.
Some days it doesn't matter how hard you try, there is no diversion from your skin. And that's when it's time to bring out the big guns. It's time for a concealer. Word of warning, be sure to test the shade properly before buying: apply a small amount to the back of your hand and rub in thoroughly. After you've created a thin spread of concealer, you should be able to tell whether it suits your skin or not. There is nothing worse than mismatching make-up.
And that's it.
Don't worry about powders and eyeshadows, if you are in desperate need, this is all you should be looking for.
Be sure to wash your face thoroughly before and after wearing make-up, a simple 3 step cleansing routine is all you need. Don't go skimpy on the moisturiser!
Hope this helped!