After a fair few years in the industry I have built up quite a large (and ever growing) kit. Here is a small insight (these aren't all the products in my kit, that would take waaay to long !) into some of my must haves and some tips on getting the most out of your kit.
s k i n c a r e
It's important to remember that you need to cater to various skin types, therefore a wide range of cleansers, serums, oils and of course moisturisers will be needed. Makeup remover is also essential, I like to use micellar water as they're gentle on the skin. It's a good idea to pack facial mists and setting sprays to hydrate the skin during application as well.
p r i m e r s
I like to mix and match my primers rather than carry dozens around, I normally carry one for dry, one for oily and one for textured skin and mix them as desired to suit the skin type. It's also nice to mix in liquid highlighters with primer for a dewy glow.
f o u n d a t i o n s
One of the trickiest categories to master in your kit will be foundations, there are so many on the market but again, think narrowing it down - light, medium and full coverage - dewy finish, matte finish, satin finish. You don't have to buy every shade either, buy the lightest, medium and darkest of your preferred foundation and mix to suit your clients skin tone. I carry a variety of the above foundations and also use travel pots rather than bulky glass containers to save on space. Also some tinted moisturisers are always handy for legs, shoulders, etc.
c o n c e a l e r s
The formulation of your concealer is very important, so try to carry a variety. Concealer palettes are really handy for space saving, derma blend and mac are my go to for these. Carry a variety of coverage also, you may be concealing a small blemish or covering a tattoo, so you need the right coverage and finish for both jobs.
p o w d e r s
Powders are essential for so many reasons, to set, to brighten and to matte the skin to name a few. Laura Mercier translucent powder is my all time favourite for a light dusting to reduce shine. Not all powder is the same, if a client wants to blot any shine from their face but doesn't want any coverage a standard powder like studio fix wouldn't be the best to use, it's important to research and read what each powder does in order to create the makeup effectively.
c o n t o u r
Ah, contouring, the most requested part of a makeup service ! I carry two types of product, a heavy powder for beauty makeup and a cream for natural or editorial style makeup. I love to use mac eyeshadows such as coquette, omega and shadowy lady (for darker skin tones) as a contour.
h i g h l i g h t
My personal favourite product to shop for ! Again, a variety of formulations is important for highlighting, you wouldn't use a chunky shimmer for a backstage raw skin, so something like Tom Ford shade & illuminate cream highlight would be your go to for this. A range of undertones is also important as highlighting has to suit the skin tone of your specific model/client. I didn't include an image of blushers as I'm in the process of putting them into palettes but again a wide shade and formulation range is essential.
e y e s h a d o w s
Shadows are pretty self explanatory, you need a wide range of colours, textures and finishes in your kit. Try to keep palettes rather than singles as it can get a little messy with lots of stray pots. To save space I also use travel size pots for all of my pigments and glitters and label the bottom.
e y e s - e t c
Liners, mascaras, brow products, this is where you can accumulate so many products without realising, it's important to find your favourites and try to stick to them and not carry to much. Simplicity in your kit looks a lot more professional than carrying a huge bunch of products splattered everywhere. I do think with mascaras high end is better, my reason being is that high end mascara is formulated over a long period of time to perfect the final product, drugstore brands use lower quality ingredients and throw a new product out every month, higher ends may cost more but the end result is worth it. Carrying a variety of liner formulas is also important, I normally use gel as a base then go over with liquid - boot black by mac being my favourite. In terms of brows I favour powder and gel over pencils, you can tailor the finish can vary depending on how intense you want the brows to look where as pencils can look harsh. False lashes are also something you want to take into account, it's good to keep a selection of natural, length and volume, individuals are also essential for bridal and editorial.
l i p s
So I obviously favour a certain brand when it comes to lips.. for me mac have the best pigment and finish range on the market, although of course I am always open to new suggestions so if you know of any amazing lip brands please let me know ! Liners are a must have, I like to use lip erase by mac to create a crisp, flawless lip. I tend to carry a few bold tones and a large variety of nudes because there are a lot of undertones when it comes to nudes ! Mac lip mix are also a must have for me as you can mix them to create a unique lip shade of your choice. Clear gloss is always in my kit no matter what kind of job I'm on, it always serves a purpose some how !
s p e c i a l e f f e c t s
This photo makes me sad because I had such a huge collection of theatrical makeup but my entire collection was lost when decorating our bedroom :( I have these and a few more bits for the basics, aqua colours to mix for various uses, bruises, face paint, body paint, etc, fake blood and fx wax to create realistic wounds and cuts, liquid latex is also really handy for theatrical makeup. Kryolan and Ben Nye palettes are great for this style of makeup also.
t o o l s, b r u s h e s & m o r e
High quality brushes are an investment that are totally worth while. My freelance brushes are mostly mac, some real techniques also. A palette is essential for mixing and decanting products onto, back of hand work does not look good ! In terms of hygiene always carry disposable mascara and lipgloss wands, hand sanitizer, baby wipes and latex wedges. I also like to carry tweezers and false lash applicators.
t i p s & t r i c k s
- if you have the relevant credentials make sure you apply for Pro discount with mac, nars, kryolan, etc. This will help when it comes to building up your kit.
- save 50% of every freelance you do for six months ! At the end of the six months use the accumulated amount to invest in some new items for your kit.
- presentation ! don't put your kit in personal, patterned makeup bags, I use a trio of clear bags so I can see everything clearly and it looks professional.
- less is more ! don't overcrowd your kit with tonnes of products, your work station needs to look well present and accessible at all times, only lay out the essentials and keep the rest in your cases.
- mix your branding ! Of course as a newbie to the makeup world it isn't practical to have every product in your kit be high end, however you will get judged on the products you carry and believe it or not something as simple as using mac over maybelline can be the key to being requested to work a certain job again. I do believe some drug store brands work just as well as high end, but clients expect a certain standard from a makeup artist.
- clean your kit as well as your brushes, powder fall out, smears from cream products etc, make sure you wipe your kit down after every job to keep it looking in tip top condition.
- utilise pro palettes and depotting products, rather than carrying 20 lipsticks it makes much more sense to depot them into a mac pro palette and label them, you'll find them easier and it will look much better.