I think the best way to make your make-up look good is to buy the basics:
- Eyeshadow base that can match all colours, so something like a Paint in Untitled or Bare Canvas, or the Beigeing Shadestick
- Foundation (if you wear it) & Powder in your skin tone
- 1 Blush that you like: get either a neutral beige tone, or a nice peach, or a nice pink shade
- Eyeshadows: If you already have a few things you like, there's no need to replace everything right away. Maybe get 2 or 3 e/s that you can wear together, ask the MA to help you pick out something that will match your colourings. You can get 2 e/s that suit a day look, and maybe 1 more dramatic e/s for nighttime, maybe that can be combined with one of the other e/s.
- Lipstick/lipgloss: Maybe 1 lipstick in a more punchy colour, and a neutral colour in a lipglass
- Brushes: To be honest, I don't think you need to buy MAC brushes to get started. I don't have any MAC brushes at all and I am able to work with other brushes I bought at the drugstore. I have a set of L'Oreal brushes I really like, plus I bought a few brushes from other brands that are good.
- Mascara: Don't bother with MAC mascaras, they are all pretty much crap. If you have another brand you like, stick with that.