We learned what goes in a stylist’s kit, so what goes in a makeup artist’s kit?
Well, it depends on what type of makeup (i.e. special effects) you’ll be doing, but for the sake of this post let’s say it’s for beauty.
The key to a good makeup kit is not in having as much product as you can fit (a mistake I made when I first starting doing makeup that cost both my wallet and my back), but in having product that can be mixed and blended together to create the right shade. Like…
Foundation/Concealer: it’s the well, foundation of your kit. You don’t need every single shade available either. If you’ll be working on a vast range of skin tones, keep fair, tan, caramel, and very deep foundation shades in different undertones (warm, cool, neutral). Cream foundations are a top choice in terms of formula as they’re easy to blend, can provide as much coverage you need, and can work on different skin types. Liquid is another great option, but be careful of the amount of titanium dioxide (found in sunscreen) as it can make foundation look too light once the flash hits it.
Powder: use this to set foundation and to blot away shine. Again, you won’t need a ton of shades. You can use a translucent powder since it’s colorless and will work on most skin tones or grab a palette that comes in a variety of skin tones.
Some places to get foundation and powder palettes (you can also make your own palettes): Graftobian, Bobbi Brown, Cinema Secrets, Ben Nye, Alcone.com
Lip Color: It’s good to keep a variety of “flesh tone” colors, a red, pink, berry, and orange. If you already have some lipsticks you love, you can scoop them out of their container and press them into a palette. But you might find it easier to use something like MAC Pro Lip Mix that’s easily portable and can be mixed to create custom colors for your clients.
You won’t need to carry a ton of gloss, so just keep a clear tube and a shimmery tube. You can create your own lip gloss colors using your lipstick colors.
Carry a selection of flesh tone lip pencils as well as a few brighter ones in red, berry, orange, and pink.
Eyeshadows/Eyeliner: Keep a variety of flesh tone shades, brights, and darks. Powder shadows are best as cream shadows won’t last on every client’s lid. Brands like MAC, Make Up For Ever, Inglot, etc. have some of the best ranges in color and texture in eyeshadows out there. You’ll want to have a good amount of matte eyeshadows to work with as they help to sculpt/define the eyes, look great in photos, and are more forgiving on textured skins.
You can carry a stash of eyeliner pencils, but you’re best bet is to carry gel liners that can be scooped out for individual use and applied with a brush. You can also use your eyeshadows and a brush to create your own liner.
You can also use the shadows and liners to perfect the brows.
Disposables: Mascara wands, lip wands, Q-tips, makeup wedges, tissues, makeup wipes, false lashes are all things that should be heavily stocked in your kit. Being sanitary is extremely important and the best way to remain so is to use disposable items and not “double dipping” into emollient products.
Mascara: You can either create your own using pigment and a mixing medium (found at MAC Pro and other professional makeup artist stores) or stock a couple of tubes. Since you’ll be using disposable mascara wands, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on “fancy” mascara (especially since you’ll need to toss it after 3 months). Once you become a more established artist, you might find yourself buying mascara tubes for one particular client.
Primers/Base: Foundation primers are great for when you have clients with either very dry or very oily skin. Eyeshadow bases are essential to provide long-wearing eye makeup looks that won’t crease.
Blush/Bronzer: It’s best to buy these in palette form (companies like Make Up For Ever, Inglot, and MAC Pro sell them). Get variations of colors like peach, pink, plum, and red. Brighter blush colors can be muted down with face powder.
For bronzer carry a light, medium, and dark shade.
Brushes/Tools: Makeup brushes are essential. For the face you’ll want to carry a large powder brush, a stippling brush, a foundation brush, an angled powder brush (for contouring/blush), and a feather brush (to apply products like bronzer).
For the eyes: blending brush, brow brush, liner brush, shading brush, concealer brush. You’ll want a variety of sizes so you’ll be able to work with a variety of eye shapes and sizes.
Lips: lip brush
I recommend keeping multiple of the same brush in your kit especially when you’ll be working on more than one face.
Tools: tweezers, eyelash curler, blemish extractor, empty makeup containers, scissors, pencil sharpeners
Other: Hand sanitizer, mints, lash glue, luminizer, makeup remover, brush cleaner
Some professional makeup brands to check out (in no particular order): Alcone, MAC Pro, Inglot, Make Up For Ever (excellent line of waterproof products), Graftobian, Cinema Secrets, Crown Brush, Parian Spirit, Kryolan, Ben Nye, Mehron, Becca Cosmetics, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Eve Pearl
P.S. Check out these brands in person and learn from other industry insiders at IMATS (NYC, London, Sydney, Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles) and The Makeup Show (NYC, Chicago, and Europe are coming up as Los Angeles was last month)