Beauty: makeup for novices

Pig in Lipstick

One of the loveliest things about my job has been hearing from women who, having never worn makeup before, have grown to love it through this column.

It makes me happy because, while it goes without saying that I love makeup, I appreciate that for some it's a foreign language with conflicting connotations and a series of disasters in its wake (I speak as someone who wore lightning bolts on my cheeks in a misguided tribute to Aladdin Sane).

Do I think you need makeup? No one does. Do I believe makeup can be fun, creative, confidence-giving and even life-enhancing? I absolutely do and make no apologies for it.

If you want to wear makeup and feel at sea, drowning in options that are scary and bewildering, these six products are a great starting point.

I've chosen them because all look extremely natural, are easy for a novice to use and don't require loads of tools (apply with fingertips or straight from the stick). I call them Fisher-Price starter makeup. And even if you are on top of this whole beauty thing already, they are all still brilliant products that I use on myself frequently.

Lipstick Queen Medieval, £20,
A transparent colour inspired by the ancient practice of rubbing fresh berries on the lips. I can apply this without a mirror.

Smashbox Waterproof Shadow Liner, £17,
The easiest eye shadow and liner in the world. Marble is near impossible to get wrong. Just draw on like a child's crayon and blend/smudge with your finger.

Clinique Naturally Glossy Mascara, £16,
This in Jet Brown is the most natural-looking mascara. Defines and darkens without clumping.

Origins VitaZing SPF15 Energy-Boosting Moisturiser, £27,
Looks great on most skin tones. Slather on like a normal moisturiser for a healthy tint.

Maybelline Dream Soft Blush, £6.99,
An idiot-proof blusher that's smudged on to cheeks with your finger. Sheer, light and flattering shades.

Burt's Bees Tinted Lipbalm, £5.99,
Instant, face-brightening, subtle lip colour that looks casual and pretty, and feels comfortable.

Powered by article was written by Sali Hughes, for The Guardian on Saturday 15th June 2013 09.01 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010