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Aspiring Makeup Artists: How to get that "unique edge" by shopping for your kit products o

Many aspiring makeup artists are eager to get their professional careers started but are overwhelmed by the choices of products on the market. They need to build a kit and don't know what to do first. If this sounds like you (or if you've been around the block but are looking to update your kit) please read on!

So hopefully the title of this blog entry gave you a chuckle because if you took it seriously, you're about to get a nice juicy taste of reality burger. Although I can appreciate that it can be quite a lot to chew (pun pun pun) when you're first beginning, there is definitely an industry standard that you'll need to adhere to in order to be taken seriously by both your clients and your colleagues. Let's get down to bih-ness.

Where do you start? What do you need? What DON'T you need?

Becoming a professional makeup artist means you are starting a real BUSINESS and you must treat it as such. If you are looking to make a living doing makeup, it is imperative that you have the following kit staples. This list does not include the products you'd need for special fx jobs. This is referring to hand-applied clean beauty makeup for tv, commercials, corporate, and bridal.

-Skincare & Prep-

Gentle cleanser (one that is good for all skin types)

pH normalizing, alcohol free toner

A few different moisturizers for varying skin types

Makeup remover wipes (strong enough for waterproof products)

Eye cream

Line filler

Mattifying gel or primer

Setting spray


HD foundations that can be easily mixed together to fit ANY skin shade and texture


Transparent loose setting powder

Foundation powders (pressed and/or loose)

Bronzing powders

Array of blush colors

Contouring/sculpting powders & creams



Eye shadow primer

Matte neutral colors

Satin finish neutral colors

Light shimmer finish neutral colors

Have some bright and bold colors on hand, but understand that neutrals primarily pay the bills

Black & brown gel eye liner

Black & brown pencil liner

Black & brown mascara (waterproof and regular)

Clear mascara gel

Brow pencils, gels, powders

False lashes (natural looking strips, individuals, and clumps)

Lash glue (regular and latex free)


Lip exfoliant

Lip balm

Lip treatment

Neutral lip liners in various shades to suit all skin tones

Basic lip colors ranging from matte to natural finish (neutrals-reds-bold)

A few sheer lip glosses


Eye lash curler


Small scissors

Palette knives (2-3)

Stainless steel palettes

Disposable mascara wands

70% alcohol in a spray bottle

Brush cleaner in a spray bottle (I like Beauty So Clean & Cinema Secrets)

Pro quality brushes (enough of each kind to do multiple people without reusing a brush before shampooing it)

Set bag (if you're working in production)

Rolling kit case or other kit case

Disposable wedge sponges

Oil blotting papers

Cotton rounds


Paper towels (Viva is a great brand because they leave the least amount of lint behind)

Cape for your client

Lint Roller

Now there are actually a bunch of additional items you could have in your kit (stain removal sticks/wipes, toiletries, first aid, straws, the list goes on and on), but I'll keep it "simple" for now.

In the many industry Facebook groups I'm a part of, there have been a LOT of aspiring/beginning artists arguing their point of it being acceptable for them to have cheap products in their starter kits because that is all they can afford. I'm not talking about Loreal or Maybelline here, folks. When I say cheap I mean low quality brands like Coastal Scents, BH Cosmetics, Morphe, or buying anything on Ebay or Amazon. This is a huge no no and it will hurt you in the long run for many reasons.

The deal is simply this: If you are starting a BUSINESS in makeup artistry, you must INVEST in a solid basic kit before you go out on any jobs. Think of it this way... If you were to open a shoe store, would you fill it with an inventory of those paper flip flops (like at the nail salon) because you couldn't afford real shoes to sell? Of course not! Honestly, this shouldn't be thought of as any different. If you aren't able to buy high quality products for your professional kit, that means you are not ready to be sourced out a professional & take on paying jobs. Save your money, invest in quality products and education and practice practice practice!

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