An insider view of my makeup kit, plus tips and tricks on how to build and carry my tools… you need a great kit!
I personally love seeing what my fellow professionals carry, picking up tips and recommendations as well as the odd practical hack!
To be an awesome MUA you’re going to need an awesome kit. With the right tools you can deal with any situation thrown at you.
You might be in the process of growing your kit, or actually need extra studio storage because you have every product going!
Whatever stage you’re at with your building your kit I would recommend you take a regular step back, audit and analysis… what you use and how you use it.
From the offset I want to make it clear that I don’t (& you shouldn’t!) spend a small fortune when starting to build your kit. Ingenuity seriously comes into play here.
Firstly I’m going to address brand snobbery, it isn’t going away and there are ways to build your kit without a second mortgage.
When I started out I only bought the very few premium branded products I knew I needed and knew I would use. This meant at least one premium brand set of foundations (remember you’re gong to need at least 6 shades) and decent pigmented powder products such as eyeshadows and blushers.
I also invested in pre prep makeup products such as luxury skincare and primers. The rest of my kit at this time came from drugstores.
Its What you do with it…
I was so worried I would be judged on my kit and its contents by my colleagues and clients that I came up with a few hacks that I still use today…
You know the product is amazing but you’re worried about how others will view its slightly less than luxurious packaging… ‘decant’
Empty plain bottles and cases can be sourced online very cheaply
If you can’t decant a product simply wipe over the product name and jargon with alcohol solution and this will remove the print.
When opening up your kit in full view make sure you have the odd premium product on show. When a client sees a famous name that they can to relate to, it simply instills confidence from the offset regardless of yours skills.
Never make excuses or apologise for the contents of your kit. be confident in your decisions and your ability to work with a wide range
I know that as creatives the magpie in us is strong and deep down the need to hoard is always there but this is about keeping and making your job easier.
I’ve made the comparison to having a huge wardrobe yet we probably only wear 10% of our clothes. Makeup kits are very similar. We will always have trusted favourites and of course preferences no matter how unbiased we try to be.
So get ruthless, declutter and have a purge. The lifespan of products is short anyway but staying on top of your kit will give you a creative productive edge, I promise.
Believe me when I say it feels good to chuck out that limited edition gold mascara (never yet used) clogging up your kit.
.Make an audit of your favourite and most used products. What are you frequently reordering?
.What do you consider a bad purchase? Look at the reasons you bought it and learn!
. Source the most cost effective way to reorder your favourite products. Do a price comparison and don’t forget pro discount sites.
.Check your numbers and analysis (boring maybe) but makeup is pricey and this could save your business big pennies.
Well if you don’t ask you don’t get! Insider ‘hush hush’ strategy to get you some gorgeous freebies from your favourite brands..
This may excite you or just leave you feeling (typically British) awkward. By approaching brands and asking to work with their products in return for promotion and credit is a great way of stocking up.
You can build up an endless supply of basics such as baby wipes and cotton buds as well as the latest exciting makeup that is being launched.
Remember that kit building is endless and always evolving. It comes down to how you deal with the PR’s. Each company has different policies and rules: some are very open to the awesome opportunities MUAs present to them, while some are much harder to work with.
Manners get you everywhere. Be polite, be courteous and thank the company in advance for their time.
Follow up all communications and aways check how the brand would like to be credited.
Continue to promote and shout about the brand at every opportunity. This will build a trusted relationship.
Always give the company as much info on your intentions/shoot as you can. How you plan to use their products, where the shoot will be published, what’s the intended look etc. Be passionate and enthusiastic!
Don’t take it personally. Never retaliate or verbally discredit any brand. It’s unprofessional and will come back to bite you!
I hope you’re feeling slightly inspired, maybe even maybe even more confident (or a little overwhelmed?). Here’s some final tips to get you going. Every MUA started with just one product that they loved, you can do this!
- Your Kit represents you – keep it clean, sanitised and in immaculate order.
- Know your products – try them out, experiment and share knowledge with other MUA’s.
- Non Makeup essentials – a box of tricks for every eventuality. Craft store items, stationary, sewing kit, first aid kit and bathroom essentials such as razors, toothpaste and sanitary products. Your client’s will love you forever if you can save the day!
This is top secret. If when starting out you are worried about your lack of premium products on display… I give you permission to use replica packaging bought online. NB. This is purely for staging purposes. Never ever use replica brand makeup as it could be dangerous.
So build, grow and evolve!
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