So, you don't have much in your stash, what do you do??
It can be a bit daunting watching tutorials and reading reviews. Especially when people are throwing names around like it's their business (However, sometimes it IS their business). But don't let that scare you!
Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Watch Videos- Chances are, you're already doing this. But, watch them in a different way. Take away useful skills, tips, tricks, and ideas. You don't necessarily have to replicate exactly what the video is showing. You can replace any color that you don't have, with a color that you have readily available.
Go Shopping- I'd say about 90% of the time it's not what brand the makeup is, it's how well it's applied. Yes, there are a lot of brand snobs out there, but don't let them intimidate you into thinking that you need to rush out and buy the most expensive department store brand out there. I, personally have a wide variety of brands. A lot of times it's not what you pay, but for some things it's definitely worth it. Example: Foundation. Never skimp on that. If you need to pinch pennies, buy all drugstore brand shadows, mascaras, eyeliners lipsticks, etc, but your skin is something you will have your whole life, so treat it well with a good foundation. The second thing is skincare. This goes back to the whole, taking care of your skin thing. This however can become pricey, as every one's skin is different.
Experiment- Take a day when you're not planning to go anywhere, and play with the makeup you do own. I can't tell you how frequently I get asked, "How do you know what colors will look good together". The honest truth is, I don't. I put colors on, blend them, add more, and see what I have come up with. There are absolutely NO right or wrong color combinations. If you're too nervous to just apply the colors straight to your face, swatch them together on the back of your hand to see what they will look like. Come up with new ways to use products. Makeup is an art, and should be treated as such, so enjoy it!!
Be Confident- My second biggest tip to newbies. It's like anything else you do, if you're not confident, people can tell! Wear your makeup with the utmost confidence.
Be Open Minded- This is the biggest tip I have to dish out. You might admire certain colors, like bright blues, yellows, greens, ya know, the 'scary' stuff. Go outside of your comfort zone. You might end up adoring how it looks on you! You never know until you try.
Of course no one said you have to put them all together, or all over your lid. Use them as an eye liner, or a crease color with a light neutral shade on the lid.
With all of that aside, I have some recommendations!
1. You should own at least one brush. If you do a lot of work with eye shadows, then getting a brush for that is ideal. Or if you do a lot with your face, foundation, bronzer, blush, etc., then owning a brush for that type of application is a good investment.
If you're unsure about brushes here are a couple links to my brush overviews; http://impassionatevanity.blogspot.com/2010/08/weapons-of-mass-creation-part-one.html
2. Find a store with a good return policy. The last thing you want is to get stuck with a product that you totally hate. So do your research and see what companies will take returns on cosmetics. Many high end counters have good return policies.
3. Buy palettes. It's a good way to get a decent variety of colors. Some drugstore brands that offer reasonably priced palettes are: Maybelline, Covergirl, Wet 'n Wild, and L'oreal, just to name a few. These come in a few forms, quads, trios, duos etc. Some offer more colors, and some offer colors within the same shade as each other. A lot of time the quads and trios have instructions of where to put each specific color in the palette. Those are great for beginners, and as you become more comfortable with application you can mix colors from other palettes or switch up where you apply those colors.
I hope this helped, and if you have any questions, feel free to contact me! :)