So … you want to become a makeup artist?!
So amazing & exciting! Makeup artistry is so much fun; you’ll love it! Now; before you head out with your cute excited self to set up your makeup kit; check out these 20 Products you’ll really need in your makeup artist kit. This list will be less Sephora and or Ulta based, believe or not. There’s a lot more items that are important in your makeup artist kit besides every shade of foundation, concealer and lipstick of your liking.
Let’s hit up some important topics.
- What products are key to have in your kit?
- How will you carry all your tools and equipment?
- Lights? Do you need those?
After many years of working in the makeup field/industry & presented with multiple issues. either on set or with one on one clients; I’ve learned that you have to be prepared for just about for anything. What if you’re not prepared?… well.. your improvising skills must be sharp. Some of the items listed, you may think aren’t super needed or maybe aren’t too important but rest assured; these goes a long way and save the day when you actually have them at your disposal.
Basic key items for your kit.
- Paper Towels – MUST! From setting up your makeup station, cleaning off your brushes, picking up sweat…yeah lol paper towels are A must! But please always be mindful ♻🌱
- Facial Tissue – Anybody getting emotional? What about a small boogie you don’t want to touch? How about to set your lipstick without transferring to your brush? Catch hairline shadow fallout and not on your client’s face that you just glammed? Facial Tissue is another MUST. Make sure to carry these in your kit and also in your touch-up kit. ♻🌱
- 2 Sets of Eye Drops – Due to Covid-19, I would suggest; if the client has used one set of eye drops, it’s best for the client to keep them. Always carry a second another set to always have in your kit as a mixing medium (mascara saver, customizing your own liner shade and etc).
- Multiple Tweezers – Multiple tweezers is a mega must (I carry about 5) Always have on hand a sharp pair of tweezers to tweeze out any unwanted facial hairs and another pair of tweezers to have handy for apply falsies/gems/stickers etc.
- Disposable Eyebrow Razors – Perfect for a client too sensitive for tweezing and perfect for last min solutions if the client was unable to hit up their wax session.
- A few lash glues – I like to always carry a few handy on me, just in case I might’ve left the top off and it dries out (this happens often), or even having them in different bags in your kit. Lash glue really needs to be handy at all times for a makeup artist; especially if working in the production world (crying happens & sometimes lashes lift up near the tear duct area often! Also do not only carry Duo Lash Glue. So important to remember that some clients are allergic to latex (Latex allergies are super common in the US). It’s always important to ask your client first of any allergies they may have but don’t forget to ask about latex. Always have a latex free option both clear and in black.
- Alcohol Wipes/Alcohol Spray – Super important to have to not only sanitize the area around yourself and your clients, but sanitize also for your tools, liners and etc.
- Disposable Bag – Especially when working bridal?! The trash cans can get full quick! You may not even get access to a trash can to begin with. Don’t always assume there will be a handy trash can for ya. Always carry a bag to throw your glammy trash.
- Disposables – Q-tips (a mega must in the kit; you can do just about anything with q-tips and especially pointed q-tips), disposable mascara wands, lip applicators, cotton rounds etc.
- Large Hand Mirror – So handy and although you may have many compact mirrors on hand. clients like to see the whole shabang ya know?
- Body Lotion – Believe it or not, all if not a lot of my client’s ask me if I have body lotion and if I don’t I will offer the next best thing; my kit moisturizer (legit; hurts my souls every-time) don’t let that be you haha! Carry unscented body lotion just in case.
- Instant Brush Cleaner – Super great to have on hand if you need to switch colors on your brush. This allows you to switch colors on your brush with maybe 30 seconds down time to dry. (This is not to replace a deep cleaning ever). Also super great too with Co-Vid because usually you simply would go in with another brush. For now, it’s much better to use the most minimal brushes possible for sanitation purposes.
- Clients Cape – Like they do at salons, some clients may want to prevent makeup on their gowns/clothes. Even if you get a mini cape; this another must.
- Mints/Gum/Listerine Strips – Even if you don’t think your breath may be ehhh, its always nice to have clean scent and always nice when to ensure your client does too so always offer.
- Under-Eye Patches – Always ask your client if they’re allergic any of the ingredients or if they have sensitive skin first, but having a few pairs of cooling or anti-puffing under eye patches on hand is always good. The clients usually always loves it, its refreshing and it will also catch eye shadow fall out pretty nicely!
- Witch Hazel – First; let me start by saying I am a licensed skin professional so I always check out the skin first, ask skin questions and then proceed to what products I will be using per client. For the most part Alcohol Free (must be alcohol free) Witch Hazel works great as a toner for most skin types and all ages. Perfect to refresh the face and to start a good skin prep. Witch hazel helps tighten pores, helps sooth puffy eyes, reduces inflammation and brings the skin to a healthy PH before makeup. Also great to have handy for special effect makeup artists too! Can you carry toner? Sure! But toner ingredients depend on the skin condition, so then you would have to carry many. Witch Hazel is a good start.
- Lip Plumper – Random but asked for often. Although you may carry some glosses with lip “plumping” ingredients, I find having a good lip plumper will not only satisfy the client but also is great when applied while skin prepping. Like always; ask the client if they are allergic to anything but most clients very much enjoy their lips a little bit more plumped than usual.
- Traveling Suitcase – So, how are you going to store and move around all of your tools & makeup goodies?! After many years of using many different bags of all kinds; I like to travel my makeup goodies in an old fashioned travel suitcase (like the ones in the airport). Everything stored inside my suitcase; is in clear organizing bags. I have found it that this way has been more useful, durable and the most effective when traveling with so much stuff. With makeup artistry being more common now; there’s so many options to choose from. I’ll explain a few others and you pick!
- ZUCA Rolling Bags. These tend to be very popular but in my opinion not so … ehhhh, well … not so effective. Although the Pro bags are a bit larger; I still find them too small. The Large Utility Pouches included with this bag are pretty useful because you can label them; they are also transparent on top so you can see what inside. This ZUCA bag is also a “chair” in itself as it can hold 300 lbs but isn’t comfortable at all! So although it’s a good selling pitch, you would have to have a pretty tiny frame to “sit” comfortably on it. It also retails starting at $279.00! and the Pro Case $349.00 😮 to move around your stuff?!
- Rolling Train Case: Another popular way to travel your stuff. Train cases are good for upcoming makeup artist because not only is it large enough to hold alot of items, it also has compartments which make a makeup artist life so much easier. Also a dead give away that you’re a makeup artist lol! Helpful when you’re at valet parking (it’s like they already know you got more stuff coming hah and help) The downfall? These tend to be pretty tall, so you either have to have an SUV to stand it up or you have to break it down to store when traveling to a client. Usually starting off at $100 that isn’t too bad and isn’t too heavy to carry if it’s aluminum.
- Soft Rolling Trolley Case: This is another super great options for upcoming artists and pro too! This Soft Rolling Train Case is pretty useful! It has individualized sliding compartments, a section to hold brushes/liners/gloss and not only does it roll; you can carry it also as it has a comfortable shoulder strap and it also includes 3 mesh bags. Has also another large case to place above the larger case for extra space and storage. This bag starts off at $199 and I really like it.
- Suitcase – As mentioned earlier this is my favorite way. Literally a travel suitcase (like the one’s you see at the airport) . My suitcase is a Medium sized suitcase. It has the most space; I can store so many bags, palettes, my brushes and alot of my miscellaneous items too. I also can travel with it well because of the wheels on my suitcase very similar to the Ikea shopping cart wheels? (You know what I mean ha!), fits well in any car and it can take a good amount of hits (like bumping into the walls and etc). Does it look professional? I don’t know; I’m coming in with this suitcase, a chair, some lights lol! I honestly don’t care what it looks like. Its mega useful!
- Lights – This is mega important. Please upcoming makeup artists, do not rely on a big window please. Lighting is important not only for you to see what you are doing but also to see what the glam is actually going to look like when photographed. When relying on mother nature it can be tricky and it can also hurt your eyes as the natural lighting will consistently change (clouds, rain, sundown etc). That being said I have listed a few lights I really like. Again; so many options here too but these are them ones I like.
- Classic Ring Light – Can’t go wrong with this Ring Light, although it may take up some space for the price its amazing! Starts off at $99. This light is an LED so it won’t get too hot; which is great when putting it away. Includes two different kind of light diffusers and its dimmable (super super important feature to look out for). This Classic Ring Light also comes with a stand and a storage case. I mean for the price… what a deal!!
- GLAMCOR ELITE X – Now this is a big price difference; starting at $355.00 but to me personally, this GLAMCOR ELITE X is the daddy of lightning for any makeup artist. Included is also a stand and also a travel case as its meant to be portable. The travel case is quite small too which is very nice, doesn’t take up extra space nor is it heavy to travel with. The light itself is something unique, its two lights in one that basically can be moved to any position you would like (sooooo amazing). This light also has 5 stages touch dimming which is super nice! I promise you, your highlight can’t be brighter in photos with this light.
- Water and Snacks – Water and snacks?! Why would I have that in my pro kit?! Well…let me just tell you that a lot if not most of all gigs usually take longer than what you think. Half day gigs turn into a 6 hr gigs, you get booked for one client but her friend last min wants glam too? I mean it really happens and often. Honestly you won’t have time for a lunch breaks either haha. Lunch breaks are on full day gig’s and listed on a schedule. If you’re a bit hungry person like I am and suffer from terrible “hanger”? haha! Almonds just ain’t gonna cut it. Try having snack bars, protein bars, small filling snacks that don’t take up too much space and always I mean always carry some water! Although people should offer water; they always don’t so be ready. Plus you may need water also for your sponges.
I know we didn’t touch on actual cosmetics items such as foundations, concealers and such. I can definitely do that in another entry.
But if you’re an upcoming makeup artist? Definitely make sure to look over this list and see if you already carry these items!
I hope this entry was helpful! If so; I would super appreciate if you could like it, pin it and share to your friends that also dig makeup as much as you and I !