Don't spend a lot of money at a bike shop for gloves. Go to an army navy surplus store and but two pair of leather government issue shooting gloves like these:
You can usually pick them up with their removable wool liners for under $20.00. I have one pair that I've hit the pavement with twice and they didn't tear.
Helmet... it's a matter of personal preference. I don't want to burst anyones bubble here, but someone above said that a full faced helmet is cooler in the summer - that's a bunch of hooey! I have about 8 helmets and two are full faced - the only time I wear them is if I know I have to go out in the rain and they suck anyway because they get foggy.
Spend some money on a comfortable mid/high end helmet and make sure it fits properly, not riding on top of your head like you're wearing a bowler hat. Then after you pay for that, get another. Two of my helmets are "guest helmets" and have not been exposed to my dead brain cells leaking out of my ears. Or sweat.