The 14 Best Makeup Kits of 2022 for a Simplified Makeup Routine

Our best overall pick is Milk Makeup’s The Clean Look Makeup Set

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You probably have tons of products piled up on your makeup vanity waiting to be used. With so many options, it can sometimes be overwhelming picking out a few to pack in your suitcase or throw in your purse for touch-ups.

Byrdie Researched & Approved

Our best overall pick is Milk Makeup’s The Clean Look Makeup Set, an affordable kit that contains seven mini-sized bestsellers for a glowing complexion, eyes, cheeks, and lips. For a flawless complexion kit, consider Fenty Beauty Soft Matte Complexion Essentials, which has all the products necessary to create a matte and radiant no-filter complexion. 

Enter the makeup kit, which allows brands to feature their bestselling products in convenient sets, giving you a bundle of essentials. Kits feature complementary products that work well together to help you create a seamless look. 

We conducted hours of research on the best makeup kits, evaluating each of the types of products included and how well they work together. We enlisted the help of a makeup artist to help hone the roundup and give you the best in show. 

Keep scrolling for the best makeup kits to create a cohesive, pro look.

Best Overall

Milk Makeup The Clean Look Makeup Set

Milk Makeup The Clean Look Makeup Set

Milk Makeup

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Seven bestselling products included for the entire face

What We Don’t Like
  • Reviewers note that mascara can flake

The seven products in Milk Makeup’s kit include everything you need for a gorgeous glow and defined eyes. We love the lip/cheek tint, which is a multi-purpose option that adds a wash of color to cheeks and lips and can also be used as a highlighter or on eyes, brow bone, and cupid’s bow. Plus, the mini sizes fit in your purse when you’re on the go.

Included: Mascara, face primer, setting spray, lip plumper, lip/cheek tint, liquid highlighter | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

What Our Experts Say

“The best bang for your buck.”—Jaleesa Jaikaran, Celebrity Makeup Artist

Best Basics

Merit Five Minute Morning

Merit Five Minute Morning

Merit

What We Like
  • Includes all-star products

  • Products complement each other for a minimalist look

What We Don’t Like
  • Limited shades

There’s nothing basic about the core products in Merit’s Five Minute Morning kit, which includes everything you need to define eyes, lips, and brows, plus create a radiant and contoured complexion. We love that you can use the Perfecting Complexion Stick as a foundation or concealer, depending on your needs.

Included: Cheek color, lip oil, foundation/concealer, highlighter, mascara, brow pomade, brush | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

What Our Editors Say

“This minimalist makeup set includes some of my favorite-ever effortless makeup products, like the Day Glow Highlighting Balm and Flush Balm, which work together for a dewy contour. Plus, I’m obsessed with the lightweight coverage from the Perfecting Complexion Stick.”—Jill Di Donato, Senior Commerce Editor

Best for Complexion

Fenty Beauty Soft Matte Complexion Essentials with Sponge

Fenty Beauty Soft Matte Complexion Essentials with Sponge

Fenty

What We Like
  • Foundation comes in 50 shades

  • Comes with sponge or brush

  • Buildable, glowy coverage

What We Don’t Like
  • Contains PEGs

We love Fenty Beauty’s The Complexion Essentials bundle, which includes everything you need for a flawless face. Even better, the products work together gorgeously for a low-maintenance pro look. The set comes with a pore-diffusing face primer, a beauty sponge, and a matte foundation, the Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation, a cult fave that comes in 50 shades. 

Not a fan of makeup sponges? Switch out the sponge for the version with a foundation brush, instead.

Included: Face primer, foundation, sponge or brush | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Complexion, Runner-Up

Kosas Tinted Skincare Set

Kosas Tinted Skincare Set

Kosas

What We Like
  • Light, buildable formulas

  • Clean and cruelty-free

  • Comes in 36 shades

What We Don’t Like
  • SPF could be higher

A favorite among makeup artists, Kosas’ The Clean Start Set includes complimentary complexion products for buildable (and flawless) coverage. “Complexion should be a splurge,” notes celebrity makeup artist Jaleesa Jaikaran, who thinks this set is worth the price. 

Also nice is this kit’s foundation contains SPF 25, which offers some sun protection, though we wish it were higher. The concealer doubles as a daytime eye cream, and the setting powder offers a mattifying finish. The result—a “your skin, but better” look.

Included: Foundation, concealer, setting powder | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Splurge

Charlotte Tilbury Sofia’s Confidence Boosting Makeup Kit

Charlotte Tilbury Sofia’s Confidence Boosting Makeup Kit

Charlotte Tilbury

What We Like
  • Creates a full-face makeup look

  • Neutral lip and shadow shades

  • Kit includes bestsellers

What We Don’t Like
  • Not Byrdie clean

  • Pricey

Charlotte Tilbury Sofia’s Confidence Boosting Makeup Kit is a treasure trove of buzzy products. The Hollywood Flawless Filter included in this kit has to be one of the most talked-about face products out there. You’ll find it on TikTok, where everyone from beauty gurus to professional MUAs confirms its glowing effects. We also really love this eyeshadow palette—the colors are super-pigmented and pair beautifully with the cream eyeshadows and neutral lip products.

Included: Face primer, eyeshadow palette, creamy eyeshadow, mascara, lip liner, lipstick | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Multi-Use Products

Jones Road Start-Up Kit

Jones Road Start-Up Kit

Jones Road

What We Like
  • Multi-use products give options

  • Clean formula

What We Don’t Like
  • Products might not last long

Minimalists will appreciate the versatile bundle of only four products. Bobbi Brown, the creator of Jones Road, describes this kit as a “desert island set” that’ll help you achieve the perfect no-makeup look. The cool gloss gives lips (or cheeks) a healthy shine, while the deep shadow color can be used to cut your crease, fill in brows, or even cover up grays. The eyeliner and eye tint are essentials for rounding off any look.

Included: Eye tint, eyeshadow, eyeliner pencil, lip gloss | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Brows

Benefit Cosmetics Great Brow Basics Pencil & Gel Set

Benefit Cosmetics Great Brow Basics Pencil & Gel Set

Benefit Cosmetics

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Easy to use

  • Compact

What We Don’t Like
  • Not Byrdie clean

  • Only available in six shades

Benefit Cosmetics has always been the go-to choice for brows. This kit is an essential that makeup artists reach for on the regular. The Goof Proof Brow Pencil with spoolie works to fill in brows, while the My Brow Pencil creates realistic-looking hairs and is precise enough to outline your desired shape. Finish off with the gel to lock in brow hairs and maintain that shape all day.

Included: Brow gel, 2 brow pencils, spoolie | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for a 5-Minute Face

Inner Beauty Cosmetics Clean Beauty Essentials

Inner Beauty Cosmetics Clean Beauty Essentials

Inner Beauty Cosmetics

What We Like
  • Clean formulas

  • Nourishing ingredients

  • Good choice for sensitive skin

What We Don’t Like
  • Limited shade range

  • Pricey for only five products

If you’re the type who likes a 5-minute makeup routine, the Inner Beauty Cosmetics Clean Beauty Essentials can help you streamline. A skin tint foundation keeps the look luminous and fresh, and it pairs nicely with the hydrating lip balm and oil. Other standout products include the smudge-free mascara, which is totally effortless, just like this look. We also love the clean formulas of all products.

Included: Foundation, concealer, mascara, lip balm, lip oil | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Lips

Mented Cosmetics Build Your Own Lip Trio

Mented Cosmetics Build Your Own Lip Trio

Mented

What We Like
  • Hydrating

  • Highly pigmented

  • Great colors for dark skin

What We Don’t Like
  • Contains BHT

The Mented Cosmetics Build Your Own Lip Trio lets you personalize your lip color palette, choosing from nine semi-matte shades. Reviewers rave about how hydrating the formulas are, noting that they sit beautifully on lips without feeling too heavy or stiff. Reviewers with medium or dark skin appreciate that these neutral colors perfectly complement deeper undertones.

Included: 3 lipsticks | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Eyes

Tarte Tartelette Collector’s Set

Tarte Tartelette Collector’s Set

Tarte

What We Like
  • 48 shadows to choose from

  • Highly pigmented

  • Travel-sized palettes

What We Don’t Like
  • Reviewers note the paint on the case is prone to chipping

Tarte Tartelette Collector’s Set gives you options for different eye looks, from everyday to special occasions. These 48 different shades are highly pigmented, so they go on easy and stay all day.

Included: 4 eyeshadow palettes | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Eyes, Runner-Up

Juiva’s Place The Nubian, Nubian 2, and Nefertiti Bundle

Juiva’s Place The Nubian, Nubian 2, and Nefertiti Bundle

Juiva’s Place

What We Like
  • Super blendable

  • Formulated without parabens and sulfates

  • Versatile shades

What We Don’t Like
  • Eyeshadows could be more pigmented

The Nubian and Nubian 2 eyeshadow palettes feature neutral and colorful shades that all work well together. You can easily transition from day to night with the simple addition of a deeper shade blended into the crease. The Nubian Loose Highlighting Powder in Nefertiti complements the eyeshadow palettes perfectly, perfect for an intense, glazed donut look.

Included: 2 eyeshadow palettes, highlighter | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Wetting your shadow brush can help to make shadows more pigmented.

Best for Natural Makeup

Honest No-Makeup Makeup Kit

Honest No-Makeup Makeup Kit

Honest

What We Like
  • Tinted moisturizer contains SPF 30

  • Antioxidant-rich balm

  • Clean formulas

What We Don’t Like
  • Doesn’t include concealer

Jessica Alba is the queen of fresh-faced makeup, and her go-to bronzed Cali girl look is the vibe of the Honest No-Makeup Makeup Kit. We love that the tinted moisturizer contains SPF 30 and vitamin C. It is surprisingly long-wearing when used with the Everything Primer in this kit. Although we wish the set included a concealer, it has enough must-have products to make it worth your investment. 

Included: Face primer, tinted moisturizer, highlighter, mascara, brow pencil, lip balm, powder blush | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Subtl Beauty Starter Stack

Subtl Beauty Starter Stack

Subtl Beauty Starter Stack

Subtl Beauty

What We Like
  • Compact and travel-friendly

  • Buildable formulas

  • Multi-use products

  • Nice shade range

What We Don’t Like
  • Reviewers say concealer tends to crease

  • Pricey for the amount of product

When it comes to traveling, less is more. The Subtl Beauty Starter Stack is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but it still gives you five must-have products: a concealer, highlighter, bronzer, lip and cheek color, and shine control powder, all TSA-friendly.

Included: Concealer, highlighter, bronzer, lip and cheek color, shine control powder | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Professionals

Art of Air Professional Airbrush Cosmetic Makeup System

Art of Air Professional Airbrush Cosmetic Makeup System

Amazon

What We Like
  • Precise application

  • Includes carrying case

  • Can be used with other liquid formulas

What We Don’t Like
  • Clunky design

As a professional, you have to be prepared to do makeup on any kind of skin texture and tone. Enter the Art of Air Professional Airbrush Cosmetic Makeup System, an airbrush machine that creates photoshopped-looking skin. The kit comes with a variety of foundation shades that can be mixed and matched to suit your needs. As a bonus, you can switch out the included shades for your fave water-based liquid products. Reviewers point out how easy it is to pick up, even as a beginner.

Included: Foundation, blush, bronzer, shimmer, primer, compressor and airbrush, cleaning solution, carrying case | Cruelty-Free: Not listed | Byrdie Clean: No

Final Verdict

Our Best Overall pick is Milk Makeup’s The Clean Look Makeup Set, an affordable kit that contains seven mini-sized bestsellers for glowing complexion, eyes, cheeks, and lips. For a flawless complexion kit, consider Fenty Beauty Soft Matte Complexion Essentials, which has all the products necessary to create a matte and radiant no-filter complexion. 

Meet the Expert

Jaleesa Jaikaran is a New York-based makeup artist and content creator. Her work has been featured in Elle, Glamour, Essence, InStyle, and Teen Vogue. She is also the driving force behind The Life of a Makeup Artist podcast—her platform to speak the truth about what it’s like in the biz.

What to Look for in a Makeup Kit

Quality

Ask yourself, What would the pros use? When sifting through makeup kits, keep ingredients and performance top-of-mind. Cheap doesn’t always mean better. Sometimes, splurging on a luxe kit for personal use only means longer-lasting products that perform well on your skin.

In terms of a professional kit, celebrity makeup artist Jaleesa Jaikaran notes, “Remember, you don't need to add every new launch to your kit. Make sure you have your basics, and then invest in higher-quality products.”

Multifunction

Not all products have to be multifunctional, but the more that are, the better. For instance, a bronzer that is used to sculpt your face can also double as a natural-looking eyeshadow. This will help to make space in your makeup bag and reduce weight.

Variety

When putting together a kit for yourself, it’s easy to stick to shades that complement and match your skin tone. However, a professional MUA needs a variety of foundation and concealer shades to match all skin tones. 

FAQ
  • What does a makeup kit consist of?

    Ideally, a complete makeup kit consists of a moisturizer, skin tint (like foundation or tinted primer), concealer, lip product, bronzer, blush, and mascara.

    Jaikaran says, “Be sure to have at least two moisturizers, one that's oil-free and one that's more heavy-duty. Things like lip balms, scrubs, and setting sprays are non-negotiables.”

    Eyeshadow is optional, as bronzers can double as neutral shadow colors. However, “some things you want to always make sure you have are 70 percent alcohol, a spatula, and a palette to maintain cleanliness.”

  • What do you need in a professional makeup kit?

    A professional makeup kit should include everything that a personal one does. However, since MUAs need to consider all skin tones and types in application, their makeup shade range needs to be extensive.

    Jaikaran says that starting a professional makeup kit can be overwhelming and expensive. “It doesn’t have to be if you strategize and plan accordingly,” she says. “It’s important to seek out professional brands, as the possibility of getting a pro artist discount is there, and they cater specifically to artists, so you’ll be able to find palettes of everything from foundation to powders. Buying products in palettes, rather than separately, will save your back and your pockets.”

  • How much does a makeup kit cost?

    Makeup kits can cost as little as $50 and as much as $500 or more—it all depends on their purpose. Professional kits will always run more expensive because they need to be equipped with products for all skin types, textures, and colors. 

    Personal makeup kits can be put together on a budget. “You can get so many brands that offer amazing eyeshadows, liners, and palettes that are of great quality. [For instance,] brands like ELF carry amazing quality shadows for just $3,” says Jaikaran.

Why Trust Byrdie

Contributor Alyssa Kingham has spent almost two years working with Byrdie on the back end, to present readers with makeup-, wellness-, and lifestyle-related product recommendations. For this roundup, she has enlisted the help of a professional makeup artist to curate a list of the best products in the category. Her own makeup collection includes some of these picks, including the Fenty Beauty and Tarte makeup bundles.

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