OK, we all have to start somewhere when it comes to doing makeup, and by somewhere, we mean today, with a well-stocked makeup kit that includes literally all of the necessary products, instructions, and diagrams, as if you’re doing a second-grade science project, rather than contouring your face or doing your brows. Because why should have to spend 13 hours watching YouTube tutorials or buy a zillion products you’re not sure if you really even need, just to learn some basic makeup skills? Exactly. Which is why we’re so obsessed with how-to makeup kits—beginner-level face and eye palettes with easy-to-follow instructions that tell you exactly how to apply each shade and product.
And no, these instructions aren’t the confusing, gibberish-filled kind that will make you lose your mind after three minutes (ahem, Ikea), but gorgeously drawn images and diagrams with simple explanations, breaking down whatever look you’re aiming for, whether that’s getting an all-over glow with iridescent highlighter, coral blushes, and sheer bronzers, shaping and filling in your eyebrows with pomades, powders, and tints, or mastering a soft smoky eye with warm, earthy shadows. No matter your skill level—or lack thereof—your beauty routine is about to look really, really good. So click through to see all of our favorite top-rated, tutorial-filled makeup kits, and be prepared to finally lose your beginner status.
To get glowing, bronzed skin...
A little styling card gives you step-by-step instructions for sweeping on highlighter, blush, and bronzer for a subtly contoured and bronzed finish.
Essence Make Your Face Glow Kit, $10; at Forever 21
To get fuller, more-defined brows...
Diagrams and instructions line the inside of this brow kit to help you shape and fill in your brows using stencils (yes!), wax, powders, and tweezers.
Too Faced Brow Envy Brow Shaping & Defining Kit, $39; at Too Faced
The card on the inside of this four-powder kit shows you exactly where to blend and sweep for a soft, natural-looking contour.
Glo Minerals Contour Kit, $38; at Glo Minerals
To master the smokey eye...
Along with eight incredibly pigmented shadows, this palette contains five—yes, five—illustrations of different smokey eyes with step-by-step instructions for creating each one.
Jane Iredale In The Blink of a Smoky Eye Kit, $50; at Dermstore
To get plumper, fuller-looking lips...
This red-lip trio, which includes a gloss, lipstick, and lip liner, features an easy, five-step process for creating a full, clean lip.
Kevyn Aucoin The Expert Lip Kit Femme Fatale, $48; at Kevyn Aucoin
To get perfectly layered eyeshadow...
On the back of this palette is a labeled diagram that tells you where, how, and when to blend each shadow for a seriously professional-looking finish.
Revlon PhotoReady Primer + Eyeshadow in Romanticism, $8.99; at Target
For clean, precise eyeliner...
This eye kit, which includes jet-black eyeshadow, a black eyeliner pencil, and inky-black mascara, comes with a pullout set of instructions for copying four different liner looks, ranging from soft and natural, to bold and winged out.
BareMinerals Bare Tutorials Eyeliner Set, $26.55; at Nordstrom