When did you start putting on makeup?
I started using makeup when I was in high school, but I had no idea what I was doing. I would use a liquid foundation, 1 eyeshadow, an eyeliner and mascara and wonder why it wouldn't last past 2 hours. I didn't start learning how to use it until my freshman year of college.
Also, I have a mini mini haul. I picked up the Kiss Complete Salon Acrylic Kit from Walmart for about $16. It comes with everything you would need to achieve an acrylic manicure (tips, powder, liquid, etc.). I have to say that, for an novice try, the results are pretty awesome! It does take some patients but I'm really happy with my nail.