What's a good place to start for the best makeup basics?

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Answered by: Sarah, An Expert in the Makeup Tips Category
An excellent and fun way to begin your makeup collection is with a kit or a palette of some kind. I recently discovered the Too Faced Natural Eye Palette, and it's one of the best makeup basics out there right now.

This Too Faced palette boasts 9 neutral-esque shadows attractively packaged with a double-sided shadow brush. The kit includes three cards featuring step-by-step instructions on how to create looks ranging from "Day" to "Classic" to "Fashion" by mixing and matching the shadows. The instructions may come in handy for the makeup neophyte, but there isn't anything on them that the average cosmetics user wouldn't intuitively figure out. Light shades are for the browbone and washing the lid, mid-range shades are for the lid and crease, and dark shades are for lining the eye or making a darker crease accent. The colors themselves are gorgeous. The "Day" track features Heaven, a matte ivory, Velvet Revolver, a modest matte taupe, and Sexpresso, the perfect matte dark brown. All three are must-have shades for any beauty wardrobe. These are great for work and everyday wear.

The somewhat dubiously named "Classic" group veers into shimmery territory with Silk Teddy, a lovely pink with great shimmer pigment reminiscent of Stila's beloved Kitten shade, Push Up, a rich coppery brown, and Erotica, a shimmery dark fawn. Perfect for a dinner date, or every day for the more adventurous fashionista. Finally, the "Fashion" group punches it up even more with Nude Beach, a high-shimmer glitter-flecked silvery pink much like Urban Decay's popular Midnight Cowboy, Honey Pot, a gorgeous gold that's stunning as an eye-catching lid accent, and Cocoa Puff, a smoky dark red-brown. This look is more appropriate for a fun night out with drinks or dancing.

The palette is a great buy at $36, and wonderful as either a compact addition to your shadow wardrobe, or the perfect beginner basics set. It's one of the best palettes out there. You can't go wrong with the matte neutrals, and as you begin to get comfortable with those, the other shades make excellent forays into more flashy territory.

Every woman needs a mascara. If I were on a desert island and I could choose only one makeup product, it would have to be a good mascara. Mascara is one of the best makeup basics you can buy. Now, the ideal mascara really differs from woman to woman. It really depends on her particular preferences. Do you lust for length? Are you a volume queen? Are you one of those meticulous ladies who comb through their lashes with a safety pin to make sure ever lash is perfectly separated? Or do you have a little of all of those girls in you? Whatever your mascara needs, the Sephora Favorites LashStash kit has got you covered. Ten gorgeous deluxe sample-sized mascaras ensure you get to flutter your way to the perfect formula for you. I love the way I can throw a few in my purse, take them anywhere, layer them, give them to my friends... they also make excellent stocking stuffers!

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