Tuesday, 14 January 2014

What do I need in a Makeup Artist Starter Kit?

What is in a MUA's starter kit?
Brace yourself for an extremely long blog post!
 I love reading posts on what makeup artists have in their kit and since I am an MUA in the making, I know exactly what is necessary in a starter kit.

Keep in mind this is a kit that you will be using to do others makeup, not necessarily just items that suit you will be in it.
This will be a run down on what is required in a basic kit, and you can build on that with more recognised brands when you get more established.
I will cover the absolute must haves:
  • Skincare & Hygiene
  • Storage: What are you going to put your makeup in
  • Brushes
  • Disposables & Tools
  • Then the fun part: Makeup!
Skincare & Hygiene
Most people you will work on will have no makeup on but if they come to you with a full face you do not want to be going any where near them with wet wipes! Wipes dry out the skin, and as some people have highly sensitive skin it can also cause an allergic reaction.
You will need the following in your kit:
  1. Cotton pads
  2. Cotton buds
  3. Cleanser
  4. Toner
  5. Moisturiser
  6. Hand Sanitizer
If you buy the formula for normal to dry skin you will be pretty much covered as the majority of people have this skin type.
 I use a cream cleanser from No7 or Nivea. The toner I use is Garnier for Sensitive skin. Moisturiser is Boots own brand, but Lidl and Aldi also do very good day creams.
This is not what you are being paid to do, give a mini facial but I just think it is a nice extra and relaxes the client before you go into makeup.
You can also use their own products, but it is preferable to only use your own, and assume everyone has sensitive skin.
Go into Boots and ask for samples of more high end moisturisers if you want.
Hand sanitizer is a must. Always use this before you touch someone's skin.
A little spray bottle of water is also really useful as you might not be near a sink to dampen your cotton pads, you don't want to be soaking them.
Storage: What are you going to carry your makeup in?
A train case is your only woman for the job. Find one that is sturdy, with lots of space and compartments that you can grow into. Argos are doing one for €40.99. You can also find them on Amazon and Ebay. There is of course the famed Zuca bag, but honestly a train case will do the job until you can afford a Zuca.
I also use a combination of clear zippy toiletry bags, and you can decant foundations, and lipsticks into stackable pots available in Boots for approx., €2. This will save you space and lessen the weight!
Possibly one of the most important things a makeup artist needs to invest in are good high quality brushes. Luckily since so many girls are getting into makeup, the cost has come down and you can purchase makeup brushes from just about anywhere.
Favourites include Crown Brush and Real Techniques. It works out cheaper to buy a set rather than individually. Some people also use paintbrushes for eye makeup, I find they can be quite scratchy. You should own these brushes, they are essential:
  1. Flat foundation brush
  2. Duo-fibre or kabuki to buff foundation into skin
  3. Large powder brush
  4. Small contour/blusher brush
  5. Fluffy shadow blender brush
  6. Pencil brush
  7. Flat angled brush
  8. Liner brush
  9. Lip brush/Concealer brush - you might use disposables on lips
  10. Flat eyeshadow brush
If you would like a brush belt they can purchased on eyeslipsface.co.uk or many sites online, you might want to invest in a real leather one for quality however this one is cheap and easily wiped down.
Disposables & Tools
  • Brush cleaner
  • Tissues
  • Disposable mascara wands
  • Disposable lip brushes
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
Brush cleaner should be used if you are doing two clients, one after the other, or if you don't have time to wash your brushes before using another shade.
Tissues are handy, and in the ITEC exam you cannot touch the models face and must put a tissue between your hand and the clients face.
Disposables so you avoid any nasty infections and possible lawsuits, styes, conjunctivitis, and cold sores can be passed around as a result of dirty tools. That is one way to make a bad name for yourself as a makeup artist.
Tweezers are needed to apply individual and strip lashes. Don't ever tweeze a clients eyebrows.
Scissors can be useful for many things, to cut cotton pads in two and cut eyelashes down to size.
Now for the fun part!
Primers are essential for a flawless base and long lasting makeup. I use Laura Mercier hydrating primer for the face and of course, the Holy Grail of primers, Urban Decay primer potion on the eyelids to keep eyeshadow on all night and day!
I have also used Nivea hydrating primer and it is quite good as a more budget option. Avoid MUA cosmetics primers...
To start off buy the lightest shade available, the darkest shade, and a shade in the middle. You can mix shades and it won't cost you a bomb. L'Oreal, Revlon Color stay, Mac, Make Up Forever and Estee Lauder Double wear light are all fantastic options that would suit different budgets. If possible buy foundation without SPF if the client will be photographed.

Concealers and Colour Correctors
Inglot shades you need are: Lw100, Lw300, Lw500, Lc100, Lc300.
You need a combinations of yellow, peach, purple, green and flesh toned concealers to correct, conceal and brighten. Catrice also do a concealer palette for €3.99.
I have a Mac pro longwear concealer palette, but those shades above from Inglot were recommended by my makeup tutor.
You will need a nude, a red, a pink and a berry shade. L'Oreal Infallible lipsticks are incredibly long lasting, I would also recommend Catrice and MUA lipsticks. Buy lip liners to match these shades. Buy a clear lip gloss, so you can mix with the lipsticks to make a gloss instead of buying a gloss to match. Kate Moss for Rimmel also has fantastic shades, like 107. I can also recommend No7 for long lasting lippies!
Gel liner is a must have, Inglot AMC 77 gel liner is fantastic. A brown and a black mascara are also necessities. It is more about the brush than the formula. Maybelline Great lash is most loved by makeup artists. Clear mascara is also a good investment to keep brows in place.
You will need strip and individual lashes for your kit. Do not buy cheap Penneys lashes. Buy lashes with a clear strip, and DUO glue is recommended but I like the glue Eyelure provide.
A palette of matte shadows is highly recommended, they can be used on the brows, lids, and to contour so they are a great all rounder. A matte white, a matte black, a matte brown, and a  burnt orange are all very useful in a palette. Here are some example shades from Inglot: 390, 360, 329, 565, 567, 351 as a base, 395 is a beautiful highlighter, burnt orange adds depth 335, 318 matte white, matte black 63.
These are some fantastic shades from MAC and Urban Decay, that would work great for everyday and bridal.
The Naked palette has some fab shades that suit all eye colours also:
Nars Laguna bronzer and Orgasm blush are favourites of MUA's. A coral, peachy pink is what you want to aim for, something that gives a natural glow.

A cheaper version is ELF's dupe in St.Lucia, contour and blush cream palette.
A matte bronzer, that is a true brown with no hints of red or orange is your must have. Hoola by benefit is too dark for the majority of skin tones. Rimmel sun shimmer-Avoid!
Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle is my favourite product of 2013. It adds a gorgeous glow to just about anyone.

I cannot recommend MAC's Skinfinish Natural enough, I use Medium. Medium Deep is also great to contour.
Lastly HD setting powders are all the rage now, and if you do not have the money to spend on Makeup Forever High Definition Powder, I hear Elf do a great dupe.
I hope I have covered everything, there was so much to go through and no doubt I left something out, but I hope this gives some idea of what is needed in a makeup artist's starter kit.
If you enjoyed this, or it helped you out, don't be afraid to leave a comment below!
Keep on blogging it beautiful


  1. It's nice to see that someone else cares and has taken the time to help fellow MUA 's in the making. I remember I had to Google to find out what I needed in my kit. Nice post. I use palettes. I have never decantted foundation before. You should try the cinema secrets concealers. That the one that I use.


  2. Now I know how to build my kit. I want to become one of the best makeup artist in the Philippines. Just like my idol Rea Pinpin.

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