What goes in a makeup kit?
I started my qualification in makeup artistry in September, and one thing that I noticed was a lack of
technical, published information. I found a few books on amazon, more out of print books on abebooks
and scoured charity shops for other finds. Compared to other subjects-my make up artistry shelves
are sparse, I have maybe 12 or so books? I feel this is much too little. I like as much impartial advice as possible, from people with all levels of skill & articulation!
When I worked in Archaeology I was swamped with keeping up with the literature, nevermind the things I still had on my reading lists from college, but as a Makeup Artist Student I notice that much of what I have acquired by way of learning has been through watching professional demonstrations, eight hour intensive training days, visiting professional beauty & fashion shows, taking to other MUA's & by my own tutors applications.
I was setting out my kit tonight for class tomorrow- I have seven and a half weeks left-and thought I might write a series. It might be a little
different than other make up tutorials, certainly
I know I can be a bit long winded and technical-but honestly- that approach is something I would have liked to see in my books while I began studying makeup.
A well stocked, hygienic, professional looking makeup kit is an essential for the makeup artist. One thing you quickly notice as an mua is that you need to stock a range of colours and a variety of products so you are able to handle all skin tones and types-which can get cumbersome let me tell you, especially when it comes to foundations/concealers/primers! You can see from my kit above that it's well organised (beyond the obviously prettying up for the photo dearlies) and clean but obviously used.
Keeping your kit well organised and clean is really important, I remember being a bridesmaid once, and the make up artist ruined her image by carrying a dirty shopper & a few handbags with tatty clear plastic bags full of makeup that was obviously unsanitised & not hygenically used. I think it reflects badly on the MUA, you could be fantastic, but more than likely a scatty, disorgansied messy kit goes hand in hand with the personality of the owner. I wouldn't let anyone like that near me with their brushes!
I keep my kit clean with 99 % IPA, you can use this on your brushes too in a pinch, but I find it dries them out and makes them unusable pretty quick. I tend to wash my brushes nightly with brush cleaner and lay them flat and shaped to dry, and put my kit bag in the washing machine whenever it needs it.
I was watching the sci-fi tv series-"face off" earlier on and I saw a talented sfx mua win a "make up forever" kit full of thousands of dollars of make up-he was delighted! It was like a lottery win to him & he said -good kit is expensive, but it show's in the photo's of your beauty work, and the longevity and effectiveness of the product, obviously-as a student I have had to make do! No illustrator f/x kit, huge maqpro or airbrush body paints for me yet (sad times) But picking up a few pieces each month has helped lots.
For e.g. I had a lot of lipsticks of my own, but I was lacking in certain shades so just went out and bought an entire range when it had a half price sale. The brand was MUA and I got 16/17 lipsticks that range from sheer to glittery to cream and pretty enough for working on models.
You can always find brands like Catrice & Revlon with sales on the more fashionable colours, and save up for some eyeshadow palette's at Debenhams, or even pick up a mac eyeshadow once a fortnight-it all adds up! Maybe you even have some older female relatives who have make up they bought that didn't suit them and they could give to you-just be careful of use by dates & hygiene.
Beyond the chemist ( or the drugstore as my non eu readers would know it as) there are bargains to be had online in the form of student kits-most of the brands do a student kit if you look on their site with all of the basics to start you off on.
I often think that on a young skin,on a model skin-the less pigmented "cheaper" brands like rimmel are fine to use in fashionable colours as it's mostly in the application tips & tricks of the trade anyway. It's once you get older-I'm 30 this year, really I think once you hit the ages 24/25 it's only then that you need to use better quality /classic makeup staples on your client.
I don't know why there is blue tack on my kit here-the Mr set up the photo's- Blue tack must be a still life photographers secret weapon or something : P
So these photo's are some still life's of my everyday kit, I have a small kit along with some basic crown palattes that I use as it's light enough to carry with me everywhere. I also have a small Owl tin I purchased in paperchase that I keep my prep in-cleanser/lip cream/moisturiser/headbands/hairclips & mints to offer or take myself- I'm always conscious of being sweet smelling around others, nothing worse than smelling someone else's lunch on their breath as they lean in to do some creasework on you.Not pictured is my theatrical kit, which houses all my special effect products and brushes- the make up we use in special effect make ups can be a bit hard on brushes so I like to keep a second brushroll for it.
I love the big cases but I am not so good at carrying them upstairs, I prefer something less bulky.
You can get these beauty cases from a lot of places now, even argos stock them. They're quite sturdy, built to withstand a lot of use.
I would generally update it the night before from my make up collection that's currently split between 5 cupboards- I have those clear plastic boxes & containers so that everything is laid out for me to see- It rarely takes long to locate an item. I have them organised by lips/eyes/cheeks/base/falsies/nail varnishes/extra "bits" like gilitter, gems etc & Sfx kit.
My props and wigs live elsewhere.
This post has made me realise that I really want to use one of the spare rooms as a make up studio/dressing room.Am visiting the trade show in the rds on the 4th of march and plan on getting a chair, and one of those fancy desks with the striplighting. Perhaps when Uni ends & I have more time on my hands I will create a dressing area!
Anyway, Onwards and upwards. When I write the next part of this series, it will be about the types of products you will require preparing a kit for professional use. It would also be handy for arranging a personal make up collection for at home- personally, before I became a make up artist student I had so many single eyeshadows, and had fallen into the trap of buying maybe 20 lipsticks/glosses/eyeshadows in the same shade but different brands & had skipped out on the basics purely through lack of knowledge about them.
Kim Annabella xoxo