Makeup plays a big part in your feminine transformation. That means having a well-stocked makeup kit is a must!
Since I’m often asked about what makeup to buy – and since it’s easy to blow your budget on one Sephora shopping trip – I’ve put together a checklist outlining the must-have MTF makeup items for your collection.
I also created a downloadable shopping list that you can save to your phone and take to the store with you. Download it here!
First, a word on makeup brushes…
If you’re going to splurge on one thing, it should be a good set of makeup brushes. You’d be amazed how much better your makeup looks when you use proper brushes rather than the tiny applicators that come with your makeup.
You can find makeup brush sets at the drugstore or online for as little as $10-$20. Here are the brushes you should own:
- Angled eyebrow brush
- Eyeliner brush
- Flat eyeshadow brush
- Crease brush
- Bullet brush
- Foundation brush
- Concealer brush
- Powder brush
- Blush brush
- Lipstick brush
- Q-tips – Use to clean up under the eyes
- Cetaphil – Use to clean up mistakes and remove makeup at the end of the day
- Cosmetic wedge sponges
- Eyebrow pencil or powder – Note: You can also use matte eyeshadow as eyebrow powder
- Eyeshadow base (optional) – Use to neutralize discoloration in eye area and help your eye makeup last longer
- Eyeliner – Either a gel eyeliner or eyeliner pencil
- Eyeshadow – Get a palette with at least 3 colors: light/medium, medium/dark, and a highlight shade
- Mascara – Get black unless you are a fair blonde (in which case, go for brown-black)
- Clear mascara (optional) – Use to groom thick eyebrows
- Primer (optional) – Use to smooth out your skin and help your makeup last longer
- Color corrector
- Fair skin – Get a pink and green corrector
- Medium/dark skin – Get a yellow corrector
- Foundation – Get medium coverage foundation that matches your skin tone exactly
- Translucent powder – Get loose powder that is the same or slightly lighter than your natural skin tone
- Foundation powder (optional) – Use if you need additional coverage in the beard area
- Light/dark cream concealer (optional) – Use to contour the face. Get a concealer that is one shade lighter than your skin tone (to highlight the face) and a concealer that is one shade darker than your skin tone (to contour the face)
- Lip liner pencil
- Lip gloss – Choose a thick clear gloss to seal your lipstick
- Contouring powder – Use to contour the cheeks, jaw, etc. Get translucent powder or a no-sheen bronzer that is one shade darker than your skin tone
- Blush – Choose a powder or cream blush
While this list might look long, the good news is that you DON’T have to go out and spend a bunch of money on expensive cosmetics. In fact, you probably already have most of what you need. And what you don’t have, you can find inexpensively in any drugstore.
Let’s talk makeup!
The great thing about makeup is that no matter what your skill level, there are always new techniques to try and colors to play with. And as Coco Chanel said, on a bad day, there is always lipstick!
So let’s hear from you…
What are your favorite must-have makeup essentials? Do you do most of your shopping in drugstores or are you a Sephora-kinda gal?
Please share in the comments below!
P.S. While the right tools are essential, good makeup is all about technique. My FREE Male to Female Makeup Mini Course will show you exactly how to transform and feminize your face with makeup.
Get free instant access to the 3-part video course here!
That was nice, to provide the checklist. it’s so easy to overlook something needed without it.
I have a few pennies to toss into the kitty:
The old “cleanse and moisturize every night before bedtime” still applies. The better your skin is, the less you need to touch it up.
The less makeup the better. My philosophy is to try to look like you are not actually wearing makeup; that you are just naturally lovely.
If nothing else, do the best you can on your eyes.
Trial and error will help you learn what’s best for YOU.
Couldn’t agree more Joan . The philosophy ‘ less is more ‘ definitely applies to me too . Especially as you get older because too much make up draws more attention to your face and you want to blend in , not stand out in my opinion .
Thank You for your endorsement, Jodi. I am so glad you agree. I still follow that scheme. Seems to work, and saves time, too!
Stay gorgeous, girl.
I love the process of applying my makeup. Although, I stick with what I know and stay pretty classic, it is still the most trans-formative part of my process. I have two hints, I guess. First, use a good facial cleanser, toner and moisturizer everyday, not just the days you apply makeup. This will make a better canvas and keep your face looking younger longer. Also, I use Aveeno tinted moisturizer to even out my skin tones before I apply the makeup. I agree with the value of brushes and the quality of your makeup. It makes a huge difference.
I love my lip gloss
Also subscribe to something like Ipsy. It’s like $10 a month and more than pays for itself each month. Brushes, I love my high end brushes but in a pinch, elf brushes are AMAZING on a budget. Contouring, check out the NYX contouring kit. It’s like $25 and is super easy to use and really blendable!! Hope that helps some
Love my Ipsy subscription. 🙂
A year or so ago, this sissy had the pleasure of attending a Sephora “Find Your Color” free “make over”; in quotes, as it only included primer, foundation and a little contouring. No eye or lip treatments. Still, it provided a push to other, more complete, makeup regimens.
Youtube is a veritable treasure trove of “how to” video. They range from the most basic, to the most over the top, flamboyant looks possible.
Sometimes if you frequent the Dollar Tree stores you can get some great finds including brushes & brand name stuff, give that a try until your income increases, you can get a lot of the stuff very cheaply.
That is a great point, Tonya. You can find most of what you need to get started at the dollar store.
I want to start from stratch and learn from the start
I’m one of those gals who wears little to no makeup. I like a “natural” look and I can get away with it. Sometimes I wear a touch of mascara on my upper eyelashes and a small touch of foundation on my upper lip, and I like peppermint lip balm (it makes my lips swell).
Here I am, pictured sans makeup.
Here I am with my tiny bit of makeup…