Fun fact: I have been a makeup artist for almost a decade, so when it comes to what you need and don’t need as an MUA, I like to think I got a real good idea, so today, I’m sharing the ultimate makeup kit list, so you always stay prepared!
The complete 2023 professional makeup kit list
As a professional makeup artist, having a well-stocked makeup kit is essential to ensure that you can create a variety of looks for your clients. In this section, I will cover the essential makeup products that every professional makeup artist should have in their kit.
Primer is a crucial product for any makeup artist. It helps to smooth the skin’s surface, minimize the appearance of pores, and ensure that makeup stays in place for longer. When choosing a primer, it’s important to consider the different skin types and ingredients to ensure that it suits your client’s needs.
Foundation is the base of any makeup look, and it’s important to have a variety of shades and formulas in your kit. It’s essential to have shades that match different skin tones and types, and formulas that range from full coverage to sheer and dewy.
Setting powder is essential for setting foundation and concealer in place and preventing it from creasing or sliding off. It’s important to have a variety of shades in your kit to match different skin tones.
Eyeshadow is a versatile product that can be used to create a variety of looks, from natural to dramatic. It’s important to have a range of shades and finishes in your kit, including matte, shimmer, and metallic.
Blush adds a pop of color to the cheeks and helps to create a healthy, youthful glow. It’s important to have a variety of shades in your kit to match different skin tones and preferences.
Bronzer is perfect for adding warmth and definition to the face. It’s important to have a variety of shades in your kit to match different skin tones and preferences.
Highlighter is essential for creating a radiant, glowing complexion. It’s important to have a variety of shades and finishes in your kit, including powder, cream, and liquid.
Mascara is a must-have product for any makeup artist. It helps to define and lengthen lashes, and can also be used to create a variety of looks, from natural to dramatic.
Eyeliner is perfect for defining and enhancing the eyes. It’s important to have a variety of formulas in your kit, including gel, pencil, and liquid.
Lipsticks are essential for creating a variety of lip looks, from natural to bold. It’s important to have a range of shades and finishes in your kit, including matte, satin, and glossy.
Lipgloss is perfect for adding shine and dimension to the lips. It’s important to have a variety of shades and finishes in your kit, including clear, tinted, and shimmery.
Lip balm is essential for keeping the lips hydrated and smooth. It’s important to have a variety of formulas in your kit to suit different skin types and preferences.
Lip liners are perfect for defining and enhancing the lips. It’s important to have a range of shades in your kit to match different lip colors and preferences.
Face moisturizer is essential for keeping the skin hydrated and smooth. It’s important to have a variety of formulas in your kit to suit different skin types and preferences.
False lashes are perfect for adding drama and volume to the lashes. It’s important to have a variety of styles in your kit to suit different eye shapes and preferences.
Lash glue is essential for keeping false lashes in place. It’s important to have a variety of formulas in your kit to suit different skin types and preferences.
Eyebrow pencil is perfect for defining and enhancing the eyebrows. It’s important to have a range of shades in your kit to match different hair colors and preferences.
Eyebrow powder is perfect for filling in sparse areas of the eyebrows and creating a natural, defined look. It’s important to have a range of shades in your kit to match different hair colors and preferences.
Makeup Remover (for mistakes)
Makeup remover is essential for correcting mistakes and removing makeup at the end of the day. It’s important to have a variety of formulas in your kit to suit different skin types and preferences.
As a makeup artist, it’s important to invest in quality products that are suitable for different skin types and preferences. It’s also important to have a variety of tools, including makeup brushes, sponges, cotton pads, and paper towels, to ensure that you can create a flawless look every time.
Tools and Accessories for a Professional Makeup Artist
As a professional makeup artist, having the right tools and accessories is essential to achieving the perfect look for your clients. Here are some of the must-have items that I always keep in my kit:
Good quality brushes are a must-have for any makeup artist. I always make sure to have a variety of brushes in different shapes and sizes, including foundation brushes, powder brushes, blush brushes, and eyeshadow brushes. Investing in high-quality brushes will not only help you achieve better results but will also last longer.
Cottonballs, Tissue, and Q-tips
Hygiene is crucial when it comes to makeup application, so I always make sure to have plenty of cotton balls, tissue, and Q-tips in my kit. These items are perfect for wiping away excess makeup or cleaning up any mistakes.
Keeping your brushes clean is essential for maintaining good hygiene and preventing the spread of bacteria. I always carry a brush cleaner in my kit to ensure that my brushes are always clean and ready to use.
Good lighting is essential for achieving the perfect makeup look. I always make sure to have a makeup light in my kit, which helps me to see the details and ensure that the makeup is applied evenly.
My make light has a cool and warm setting, and I HIGHLY recommend your light has one too because if you’re a traveling MUA, you’ll have to do makeup is different lights and different times of the day, so you want to make sure your lighting works for your environment!
Spoolies are perfect for grooming eyebrows and separating lashes. I always carry a few spoolies in my kit to ensure that my clients’ brows and lashes look their best.
A razor is essential for removing peach fuzz and other unwanted hair. I always carry a razor in my kit to ensure that my clients’ skin is smooth and flawless.
Scissors are perfect for trimming false lashes or cutting tape for winged eyeliner. I always carry a pair of scissors in my kit to ensure that I can achieve the perfect look for my clients.
A pencil sharpener is essential for sharpening lip and eye pencils. I always carry a pencil sharpener in my kit to ensure that my pencils are always sharp and ready to use.
Tweezers are perfect for shaping eyebrows and removing unwanted hair. I always carry a pair of tweezers in my kit to ensure that my clients’ brows are perfectly shaped.
A good quality mirror is essential for achieving the perfect makeup look. I always carry a mirror in my kit, which helps me to see the details and ensure that the makeup is applied evenly.
Optional Makeup Items to Have in Your Kit as a Professional Makeup Artist
As a professional makeup artist, there are some optional items that you might want to consider adding to your makeup kit. These items can help you work more efficiently and provide a better experience for your clients. Here are some of the optional makeup items that I recommend having in your kit:
While having an airbrush kit is not necessary as a makeup artist, it was something I definitely included because a lot of brides (I was a wedding MUA) requested it. Airbrush makeup is great for creating an even, long-lasting look and perfect for events like weddings where you want your makeup to last all day. I did charge a premium to use airbrush makeup, and it doesn’t require practice to perfect it, but if you’re serious about your artistry and you find that clients request it, I definitely recommend getting one!
Shop: Airbrush kits
Eye drops can be a lifesaver when you’re working on a client who has dry or irritated eyes. They can help to soothe and refresh the eyes, making it easier for your client to keep them open during the makeup application process. I always keep a bottle of eye drops in my kit, just in case.
A makeup chair can make a big difference in the comfort of your clients during the makeup application process. A good makeup chair should be adjustable and have a comfortable seat and backrest. It should also be lightweight and easy to transport. I highly recommend investing in a good makeup chair if you plan to do a lot of on-location work.
Shop: MUA chairs
A makeup bib can help to protect your client’s clothing from makeup stains and spills. It’s a simple item, but it can make a big difference in the overall experience for your client. I always keep a few makeup bibs in my kit, just in case.
Hair clips can be a lifesaver when you’re working on a client who has long hair. They can help to keep the hair out of the way during the makeup application process, making it easier for you to work. I always keep a few hair clips in my kit, just in case.
Business cards are a great way to promote your services and make it easy for clients to contact you. Make sure your business cards include your name, contact information, and a brief description of your services. I always carry a stack of business cards in my kit, just in case.
Some people like virtual business cards and some don’t, for those who don’t, I like to keep a few physical business cards in hand. They’re pretty inexpensive and if they can help you book a client, why not?
I like to order my business cards from Zazzle. They’re easy, have really cute templates, and deliver pretty quickly!
A phone charger can be a lifesaver when you’re working on location and your phone battery is running low. It’s important to be able to stay in touch with your clients and colleagues, so make sure you have a phone charger in your kit. I always keep a portable phone charger in my kit, just in case.
These optional makeup items can help you work more efficiently and provide a better experience for your clients. Consider adding them to your kit if you haven’t already.
Options for Organizing and Storing Your Makeup Kit as a Professional Makeup Artist
As a professional makeup artist, keeping your makeup kit organized and easily accessible is essential. There are several options to choose from when it comes to organizing and storing your makeup kit. Here are some of the most popular options:
A makeup tote is a great option for those who need to transport their makeup kit frequently. It’s a convenient way to keep all your makeup in one place and easily accessible. Look for a tote with compartments and pockets to keep everything organized. You can also find totes with adjustable dividers to customize the space according to your needs.
Shop: makeup totes
A makeup case is a more substantial and sturdy option for storing your makeup kit. It’s perfect for those who have a lot of makeup and need a more permanent storage solution. Look for a case with compartments, drawers, and trays to keep everything organized and easily accessible. You can also find cases with wheels and extendable handles for easy transportation.
Shop: makeup cases
A makeup bag is a great option for those who want to keep their makeup kit compact and portable. Look for a bag with multiple compartments and pockets to keep everything organized. You can also find bags with adjustable dividers to customize the space according to your needs.
Shop: makeup bags
Tips for Organizing Your Makeup Kit as a Professional Makeup Artist
No matter which option you choose, here are some tips for organizing your makeup kit:
- Sort your makeup by category (e.g., foundation, eyeshadow, lipstick) and keep them in separate compartments or bags.
- Keep your most-used makeup easily accessible by placing them in the top compartment or pocket.
- Label your makeup containers so you know exactly what’s inside.
- Use drawer dividers or trays to keep everything organized and prevent items from shifting during transportation.
- Keep a separate bag or container for your brushes and tools to prevent them from getting damaged or dirty.
- Clean and sanitize your makeup and tools regularly to prevent bacteria buildup.
Choosing the right option for organizing and storing your makeup kit is essential for a professional makeup artist.
Whether you choose a tote, case, or bag, make sure it has compartments and pockets to keep everything organized and easily accessible. Use these tips to keep your makeup kit in top shape and ready for any job.
Maintaining Sanitation as a Professional Makeup Artist
As a professional makeup artist, maintaining proper sanitation is crucial to ensure the safety and well-being of your clients. Here are some essential items that I always have in my makeup kit to maintain sanitation:
Using disposable applicators is a great way to prevent cross-contamination between clients. I always make sure to have a variety of disposable applicators in my kit, such as mascara wands, lip brushes, and disposable sponges. It is important to use a new applicator for each client and dispose of them properly after use.
Hand sanitizer is a must-have item in any makeup kit. I always carry a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer with me and use it before and after each client. It is important to make sure that the hand sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol to effectively kill germs and bacteria.
Alcohol is another essential item for maintaining sanitation in your makeup kit. I use 70% isopropyl alcohol to sanitize my makeup products and tools after each use. It is important to use a clean cloth or paper towel to apply the alcohol and let it dry completely before using the product again.
Wearing a face mask is an important step in preventing the spread of germs and bacteria. I always wear a face mask when working with clients and make sure to have extra masks in my kit in case a client forgets to bring their own. It is important to dispose of the mask properly after each use and wash your hands before and after handling it.
Maintaining proper sanitation is crucial for any professional makeup artist. By using disposable applicators, hand sanitizer, alcohol, and a face mask, you can help prevent the spread of germs and bacteria and ensure the safety and well-being of your clients.
Makeup palettes I love & recommend
When it comes to being a makeup artist, more is not always best, especially when you have to climb up four flights of steps for a wedding gig, and there’s no elevator in sight (true story), so I highly recommend investing in high-quality makeup that can be used several ways.
For example, instead of carrying around 100 different eyeshadows (ugh, very heavy!), invest in a few high-quality eyeshadows that can be mixed and matched to create other colors—quality triumphs quantity when it comes to your professional makeup kit.
As a makeup artist, I purchase a lot of kits, especially kits that allow me to mix shades to create the perfect shades for the many complexions and skin types I work with as a makeup artist.
Here are some kits and brands I LOVE!
Anastasia Beverly Hills – Brow Pro Palette
Eyebrows frame the face and it’s super important you’re able to match different hair colors. I love this eyebrow kit because it has every color you need (and if it doesn’t, you can mix to match it!). Additionally, this kit is super sleep and doesn’t take up much room.
Makeupforever Cream Contour and Highlight Palette
As a wedding makeup artist, most brides want that glow! I love this cream and highlight palette because you build the coverage of your highlight and it can be used all over the face and body. The only con is that it’s not great for deeper shades, so I do recommend having a dark gold shade in your kit for the melanized women!
Graftobian Super Palettes
I was TIRED of lugging around 67+ foundation bottles… only to still not be able to match colors, this super palette literally has every foundation shade you need. These palettes can be used for foundation, concealer, and even eyeshadow! Add some moisturizer, and it’s a bb cream! Plus, this palette comes with a lipstick kit as well. Another thing I like about these palettes is they’re sleek, not heavy but high-quality so you won’t have to fear these breaking out your client’s face!
Makeup forever12 Flash color case Multi-use Palette
This can be used for EVERYTHING! You can use it to color correct, as lipstick, as eyeshadow (or eyeshadow base), eyeliner, and I’ve even added oil to make a gloss with this kit.
Don’t believe me? Check out this video where I used this palette as my makeup base:
Oh, and if you love makeup tutorials, be sure to subscribe to my beauty youtube channel!
What do makeup artists wear?
As a makeup artist, I know how important it is to dress appropriately for the job. Not only does it make me feel confident and professional, but it also sets the tone for how my clients perceive me. But what exactly do makeup artists wear?
When it comes to makeup artist attire, there are a few key factors to consider. First and foremost, practicality is key. As makeup artists, we work with a lot of products that can easily stain or ruin our clothing, so it’s important to wear something that can withstand the job. Additionally, we want to be comfortable and able to move around freely, as we may be standing for hours on end.
But practicality doesn’t mean sacrificing style. Many makeup artists have developed their own unique sense of fashion that reflects their personality and brand. Some opt for a classic, tailored look, while others prefer a more trendy, fashion-forward approach. Ultimately, the key is to find a balance between practicality and personal style that allows us to feel confident and comfortable while on the job.
On gigs, I personally wear some comfy flats and a black dress or black jumpsuit for comfort and professionalism. I live in Florida, so in the summer, I would sometimes opt for a light, loose denim dress, which is more comfortable and keeps me cool.
As a makeup artist, my attire is an essential part of my professional image. It is important to dress professionally and follow a dress code to show clients that I take my job seriously.
Makeup attire tips:
Professionalism is a crucial aspect of any job, and being a makeup artist is no exception. As a makeup artist, I represent both myself and the company I work for. Therefore, it is important to dress appropriately and maintain a professional appearance. Here are some tips on how to maintain professionalism as a makeup artist:
- Wear clean and pressed clothing: It is important to wear clean and pressed clothing that is free of wrinkles and stains. This shows that I take pride in my appearance and pay attention to detail.
- Avoid wearing revealing clothing: As a makeup artist, I should avoid wearing clothing that is too revealing. This includes low-cut tops, short skirts, and tight-fitting clothing.
- Wear comfortable shoes: Since I spend a lot of time standing, it is important to wear comfortable shoes. Flats or low-heeled shoes are a good choice.
- Wear black or neutral clothing: Black or neutral clothing is a safe choice for makeup artists. It creates a professional and sophisticated look and allows clients to focus on the makeup rather than the clothing.
- Avoid wearing jewelry: Jewelry can be distracting and may get in the way while applying makeup. It is best to avoid wearing jewelry or keep it to a minimum. Opt for simple earrings but no bangles or necklaces, which can make noise.
- Wear a smock or apron: A smock or apron is a great way to protect clothing from makeup stains and spills. It also adds a professional touch to my attire.
Frequently asked questions: professional makeup kit list
What should be in a complete makeup kit?
Here is a list of all the things I recommend having in your kit:
- Brow products:
- Lip gloss
- Lip balm
- Contour products
- Airbrush kit (optional)
- Makeup brushes:
- Makeup sponges:
- Mascara wands:
- Pencil Sharpener:
- Tissue/Cotton balls/Q-tips:
- Makeup light:
- Makeup chair:
- Makeup tote or Makeup case
- Hair clips (optional)
- Phone charger (optional)
- Business cards (optional)
Tips on makeup artist etiquette:
As a makeup artist, it’s important to maintain a professional demeanor and adhere to proper etiquette when working with clients. Here are some key areas to focus on:
Clear and effective communication is essential in the makeup industry. As a makeup artist, I always make sure to communicate with my clients before, during, and after the appointment to ensure that their needs are met. I listen carefully to their preferences and concerns and provide them with honest feedback and advice. I also make sure to communicate any potential issues, such as allergies or skin sensitivities, to avoid any complications during the appointment.
Providing excellent customer service is crucial in the makeup industry. I always strive to make my clients feel comfortable and valued. I greet them warmly, provide them with a clean and comfortable workspace, and make sure to answer any questions they may have. I also make sure to follow up with them after the appointment to ensure that they are satisfied with the results.
Contracts are an important aspect of any makeup business. I always make sure to have a contract in place before starting any work with a client. This contract outlines the services being provided, the payment terms, and any other important details. It’s important to have a clear and concise contract to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes.
Collecting Payment & Tips
Collecting payment and tips can be a sensitive issue. I always make sure to discuss payment terms with my clients before starting any work. I also make sure to provide them with multiple payment options, such as cash, credit card, or online payment. When it comes to tips, I never ask for them directly but make sure to provide excellent service and leave it up to the client’s discretion.
Overall, proper etiquette is essential in the makeup industry. By focusing on communication, customer service, contracts, and payment collection, I can provide a professional and enjoyable experience for my clients.
How to get booked as a Makeup Artist?
As a makeup artist, getting booked for jobs is crucial to building your reputation and growing your business. Here are some tips on how to get booked as a makeup artist:
Build a Portfolio
One of the most important things you can do as a makeup artist is to build a strong portfolio. This will showcase your skills and give potential clients an idea of what you can do. Make sure your portfolio includes a variety of looks, from natural to dramatic, and includes different skin tones and ages.
Networking is key in the makeup industry. Attend events, such as makeup trade shows and fashion shows, and connect with other makeup artists, photographers, and models. This can lead to potential job opportunities and collaborations.
Being professional is important in any industry, but especially in the makeup industry. Make sure you arrive on time, have all the necessary products and tools, and are dressed appropriately. A professional demeanor and positive attitude can go a long way in building a good reputation.
Use Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool for promoting your work and attracting new clients. Make sure you have a strong online presence and post regularly. Use hashtags to make your work more discoverable and engage with your followers. I also recommend having your own website where you showcase your portfolio, a little about you, and how to contact you for bookings.
By following these tips, you can increase your chances of getting booked as a makeup artist and growing your business.
So there you have it: everything you need to know when it comes to being a professional makeup artist. From the basics of a professional make-up kit and advice on what to wear to securing more bookings, I’ve covered plenty, right?
Becoming a professional makeup artist requires so much more than a basic understanding of makeup. You need to make sure you have the right attitude and tools to succeed in the industry. Having the proper attire, a well-stocked kit with all the essentials, and a winning attitude is essential for any makeup artist.
Do you have any tips or stories from your own experience of how you got into make-up artistry? I’d love to hear them below!
In my next article, I’m sharing the different makeup expiration dates.