Happy THURSDAY! As many of you know, in addition to being a full-time blogger, I am also a professional makeup artist. I do weddings, special effects makeup and more. I began my career with special effects makeup, and then branched out into glam makeup to do brides and special occasion looks. I love my job and it’s one of my favorite things in the world to makeup women feel beautiful for their special day. One of the most stressful part of my job, however, was putting together my makeup kit. I couldn’t find a really good guide to throwing my kit together so now that I’ve been in the game for a while, I thought it would be pertinent to make sure budding makeup artists can get their new kits together and feel ready and professional for their first jobs. Here it is: The Makeup Artist Starter Kit Guide.

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The Makeup Artist Starter Kit Guide

** = a top product in my kit

The Makeup Artist Starter Kit Guide

Skincare:

It’s important to keep skincare items in your kit because makeup begins with the skin. That is the absolute base of every look you do, and there is only so much you can do to cover skin effectively without caking makeup on. While you aren’t a miracle worker (you have to work with the canvas in front of you) there are several things you can do to hide imperfections starting skin level to make your clients feel better in their own skin. A few things I always keep on hand in my kit are:

The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG** — This product is a godsend for clients with puffy eyes or dark eye circles. Many clients notice results almost immediately after applying and can help reduce the amount of concealer you use underneath the eye (and therefore reducing cakiness or buildup due to excess product).

Pixi by Petra Makeup Melting Cleansing Cloths — I am actually obsessed with this makeup remover. It works even on waterproof mascara and is necessary when clients come in with makeup on their face. I keep a box of these in my kit 100% of the time.

Total Moisture Facial Cream — If I notice that a client has drier than normal skin, I will often put on moisturizer before my primer to prep the skin. Flakes, dry patches and rough skin are a nightmare to cover effectively, and that can be reduced by a really good moisturizer prior to makeup application.

The Makeup Artist Starter Kit Guide

Base Makeup:

Primers:

You want to cater to the type of skin a person has throughout this entire process, starting with primer. Primer can do wonders like fill in pores, decrease fine lines and even out skin texture – but when used with the wrong skin type it can be a disaster. Keep at least one primer for dry skin and one primer for oily skin on hand. Either can be used for normal skin – just ask which direction they tend to lean.

For dry skin: Mac Prep + Prime, Smashbox Photofinish Primer, Elf Mineral Infused Face Primer**

For oily skin: Makeup Forever Step 1 Skin Equilizer Primer “matte finish”,  Urban Decay Optical Illusion Complexion Primer, TooFaced Primed & Powerless Primer**

Foundations:

Foundation is not a one-size-fits-all situation. There are a few routes you can go when putting your kit together. I went with full sized bottles of liquid foundation but in hindsight – I would have rather done a palette with cream foundations instead. You want to choose a brand of foundation that works for a variety of skin types OR bite the bullet and learn airbrushing. The next service I want to offer my clients is airbrushing – so stay tuned for more info about that.

Makeup Forever Liquid Lift Foundation, BH Cosmetics Naturally Flawless Liquid Foundation**, Bobby Brown BBU Foundation Palette**, Mac Studio Face & Body Foundation

The Makeup Artist Starter Kit Guide

Concealers:

This step is very important when it comes to covering blemishes and imperfections, as well as completing the overall “flawless” feel. They can also highlight underneath the eye and help with contouring.

Mac Studio Concealer Palette, Perfecting Concealer Palette, NYX Professional Makeup Color Correcting & Concealing Palette, Tarte Shape Tape**

Contouring:

Blush:

Blush is great because it adds depth and warmth to the face. You 100% need several shades to accommodate many skin tones and undertones. I have about 6 blush shades and find I am able to utilize them to flatter all types of skin shades!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Blush Trio, Makeup Forever Blush Trio, Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush **, Tarte Bliss Blush Palette, Lorac Color Source Buildable Blush**

Bronzer:

Bronzer is very important to highlight the cheekbones. I like to add bronzer to the temples, under the cheek bones, around the jaw and on each side of the nose. The point is to slim the face, and draw attention to the naturally beautiful features of your clients face.

Tarte Park Ave Princess Bronzer & Contour Palette, Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer**, Elf Bronzer Palette, TooFaced Sun Bunny Natural Bronzer

The Makeup Artist Starter Kit Guide

Highlight:

I am obsessed with highlighter – but it isn’t ideal for every skin type. It has a tendency to make skin look overly textured and can emphasize existing texture on the face. But, it also can make your client look like a glowing goddess so assess the clients needs and then glow, baby!

Solstice Highlighting Palette, Elf Shimmering Highlighting Power, Urban Decay Illuminated Shimmering Powder**, Wet N Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Palette

Eyes:

Eye Shadow:

I feel like this doesn’t need a lot of explanation but just to ere on the side of safety, here’s the rundown: You are going to create the bulk of your looks with this product. It stands to reason you are going to need several palettes, whether you put those together with single shadows or decide to buy a big palette all at once.

BH Cosmetics Neutral Eyeshadow Palette**, BH Cosmetics 88 Color Matte Eyeshadow Palette, Naked3 Palette**, Naked2 Palette

Eyeliner:

You have options between liquid, cream or pencil liner. I prefer liquid liner or pencil liner but you can choose what you like to work with the best. It will also depend on the eye type of your client! If you do go the liquid route – make sure you only buy liquid pots that you can dip sanitary liner brushes in so you do not contaminate your products.

Elf Expert Liquid Liner**, MAC Liquidlast Liner,  Ofra Eyeliner Pencil, Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Eye Pencil**

The Makeup Artist Starter Kit Guide

Mascara:

I like to keep both waterproof and regular mascara in my kit at all times. Same comment as before – make sure you have sanitary mascara brushes so no cross contamination happens.

BH Cosmetics Bliss Lash Ultimate All-in-One Mascara**, Elf 3-in-1 Mascara, Elf Waterproof Mascara, Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara

Eyebrows:

Eyebrows frame the face and can make or break your makeup game on your clients face.

Urban Decay Brow Box, NYX Professional Micro Brow Pencil, Eylure Brow Palette

Lips:

For this, I prefer to use lip palettes. They are easier to sanitize and carry around than individual lipsticks. Plus you can easily see all your colors in one place.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Palette**,  MAC Lipglass, Be Legendary Cream Lipstick Palette

The Makeup Artist Starter Kit Guide

Setting Sprays:

If you want your beautiful makeup to last all night long – setting spray is your best friend. You can choose between dewy, matte and normal finishes to complete your look!

Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Spray, NYX Matte Finish Makeup Setting Spray, J.Cat Beauty Spray, Set, Go Setting Spray

Tools: 

Tweezers, Spoolie, Disposable Mascara Wand, Disposable Liquid Liner Brush, Disposable Lipstick Wand, Isopropyl Alcohol, Clear Spray Bottle 32oz

Traveling Makeup Cases:

Pro Rolling Makeup Case, Rolling Makeup Case Trolley, Rolling Makeup Artist Case

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The Makeup Artist Starter Kit Guide


I really looked for a guide like this when I was putting my makeup kit together and couldn’t find a comprehensive list of products to add to my kit getting started. I hope that this is helpful for those of you who want to take your makeup artistry to the next level.

Let me know what you think of this makeup artist starter kit in the comments below!

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45 Comments

  1. There is so much good information in this post. I’m on the hunt for a good moisturizer and have thought about getting the Benefit Total Moisture Face Cream. My poor skin definitely needs something right now. I also want the Ordinary Caffeine Solution because that’s another problem area for me lately.

  2. OH, I love everything you listed, but especially the Melted lipstick, ones of my true faves! And love how you organized your makeup in those copper mugs!

  3. Wow! I actually didn鈥檛 know about a lot of these! I want to try the caffeine stuff! I have puffiness under my eyes! This is spot on!

  4. I also used to be a freelance makeup artist back in my home state and I wish I had some of these products in my kit when I was I was doing makeup. You have such a wide range of products!

  5. Loved reading your post and your recommendations on different products! I鈥檓 in the market for a new primer, so I鈥檓 happy you spoke on some of your top picks! I have been keeping my makeup simple recently, but I鈥檝e been feeling more inspired to do full makeup looks for spring!

  6. Can you just come do my makeup everyday? K thanks. You seriously amaze me! And while all of these goodies are super important, it takes real talent to do something with it. Which you have! Love watching you grow!

  7. This is fantastic. And so in depth. I love seeing what is in people鈥檚 kits! I definitely added a few things to my wish list. And followed you on all your platforms lol! ????

  8. Man! I’d love to have this as my makeup stash. I am definitely not a makeup artist (can barely do my own haha!) but I sure love playing with makeup! Saving this to reference when I want to branch out and try some new beauty products!!!!

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