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!
I was wondering about using blue mascara as I am a blue eyed redhead, yet your tips State to use Black mascara.
Have you any advice on the blue mascara? Or is it just a passing fad in cosmetics?
I do not accept every dictum from style Nazis. So anything COULD go, provided you have and use proper judgement (what THAT is may be a matter of, well, judgement). Check it out. Be objective. Does it work for you? In the circumstances?
In any case, don’t take things too seriously, but at least somewhat.
Another Commandment is No Checks and Stripes. The jury’s maybe still out on that one, but I kinda concur. One day it was temporarily necessary, and a woman driving through a supermarket parking lot actually stopped and told me it was a no-no. It must have really stood out! Perhaps it was the raspberry tartan mini-kilt.
I still remember Ann-Margaret in “Tommy”. The style gurus had said never use blue eyeshadow, but with it, she was astonishingly beautiful!
Totally agree! I love a good blue eyeshadow every now and then. 😉
I am told by other women that I do a good job with my makeup, but after reading all the reviews, I feel something is lacking and I don’t look as good as I should.
Hi ladies, how are you? It just takes practice like everything else. I been doing this for four years
I think your make up routine should take no longer than 10 minutes…..otherwise waisting precious time….that could be spent doing other stuff.
Hi Jessica – I go out daily, but it still takes me about 20 minutes or greater to get my makeup done right. I don’t use a lot, just enough to make me blend in as any other woman you would see out in the mall. Here I am the other day. What do you think?
You should just grow your hair out and get away from wigs. A wig can ruin a look if not properly done up. Otherwise your make up is fine. I started my transition at age 30. I can pass with little to no make-up on…I only wear it, when go somewhere nice, or to a party/event…otherwise without. Pic above is without.
Using makeup apps to try before you buy on your photos of your face is a wonderful tool. These apps give you an opportunity to try on a huge selection of products in various shades and application styles. This gives you an idea of what you can achieve with your looks.
Appears you were a good student! You look amazing and flawless.
Always fun to get all done up and go out and about.
ENJOY Being You!
I have a makeup regimen every day after bathing. It takes me about 1/2 hour. But the final touch is applying my lipstick. I wouldn’t think about going out without my lipstick, even if I am just staying home doing chores around the house. Lipstick says “I am woman”…don’t doubt me !
I’m reading every single one of these comments because .I’m just beginning to use makeup.I usually learn from reading the comments that you girl’s write about.I may not know a lot about makeup right now but the main thing for me is to have fun learning .I just have a great time experimenting with my makeup.I’ve even bought a professional makeup kit that has everything you can imagine inside and I sometimes spend hours exploring the many ways to make my face look.So girls make sure to give all of your great advice here the comments section because girls like me can use all the help we can get and Thank You Lucille for all the advice and programs that you provide for us girl’s
This week’s blog is an invaluable run-down on make-up essentials. The tips are quite simply AWESOME.
I normally buy my make up from my Superdrug store.
Some great basics and some great comments! I just want to throw in my two cents with a recommendation. As Lucille stated, you don’t have to go broke to get quality brushes. I recommend the white handled Wet & Wild brushes that you can find at any drugstore (and some at Dollar Tree!) They are very good quality and quite durable. I’ve given several sets of these brushes away as gifts and promotions to my makeup clients, and to a one, they have all liked them.
Just beautiful lady….MA!
YOU are an expert and it SHOWS…fabulous Smile as well.
@Dr. T.J. Thank you so much! That picture was taken for a formal dance I attended in January… here’s another shot.