Sunday, January 20, 2013

How to Pack Like a Makeup Artist [Makeup Kit Essentials]

Hello everyone! I thought I would make a blog post about what type of beauty products are important to bring with you as a freelance makeup artist. Keep in mind that various clients require various products so the photos shown below are not necessarily everything I carry every time I meet with a client. Also, some essential products are not shown below, however I will mention other important products to carry with you at the end of this post.

My current makeup train case is made by a company called Zuca. Zuca provides carry-all luggage with utility pouches, various pockets, and compartments within the bag. Athletes, business people, pet owners, travelers, and makeup artists have used Zuca, and from experience, it is definitely a reliable train case for ensuring all my items are kept secure and organized. I purchased my Zuca Pro Artist Case off the Inglot Cosmetics website. I'm a huge fan of Inglot so I figured what better way to support the makeup industry than to purchase one with one of my favorite makeup brands embroidered on it. :)

I can't wait to use my Zuca as a carryon case because it is permitted in the overhead bin of airplanes (However, not all Zuca bags are. I would recommend researching their website for more information about that). As a makeup artist train case, it works amazing! It holds so much! I was almost afraid I was going to run out of room to fit things but the utility pouches are extremely roomy and very sturdy. I mean come on, ice skaters throw their skates into these things, I'm sure it can withstand fragile makeup! ;)

The case itself has so many pockets! My favorite feature about the Zuca case is the fact that it has a built in seat! How perfect can this be for travelers and makeup artists? If I'm waiting in a long line I can comfortably have a seat right on top of the case. Or if I'm working on a client that needs a quick touchup, she conveniently has a place to sit down. I can go into more details about that in a different post! Let's get into the makeup!

The photo above shows generally what I would carry with me to a makeup gig. I pack more than I need because you can never be too safe! You just never know what can happen so it's important to bring everything that you feel is essential for yourself and your client(s).

I recommend investing in a brush apron (aka brush belt). I purchased my brush apron from Crown Brush. It's perfect for holding all your face and eye brushes... and more! I like to throw in my mixing palette and spatulas because I use them just as much as I do my brushes.

Moisturizers, face primers, and finishing sprays (and eye cream!) are extremely important to have in your kit. Every person has a different skin type and it's important to prep their skin accordingly before you apply makeup.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: Stay away from products with SPF if your client will be photographed. This will keep them from having a white cast on their face when the camera flashes!

Blush and highlighters are your best friend! I forgot to mention bronzer as well but you get the idea. I like to carry various BHB when I'm working with a client because it allows me to mix different colors that will fit them perfectly.
HINT: NARS Albatross is my favorite highlighter! ;)

Foundation and concealers are probably one of my greatest investments I've made. Since I've purchased my foundation and concealer palettes of different shades, it has allowed me to work comfortably with different clients regardless of their skin tone. With these palettes I can easily mix different shades together to create the perfect match for my clients' skin color. Don't forget your correctors! Don't mistake them for concealers. Correctors CORRECT discoloration such as dark circles and redness. This usually goes underneath concealer.

I'm not a fan of carrying all these lipgloss and lipstick tubes. I do love my lip palette though! This will just have to do for now. I do recommend depotting your lipsticks into palettes because it makes for easy traveling. Plus you can easily mix colors. I'm all about mixing colors together to find a perfect shade for my client. It's all part of being creative!

Eyeshadow primers are a must have for keeping eyeshadow in place all day.
Eyeshadow bases work the same as primers, however; these typically come in various shades that can cater to the look you're going for.
Lash curlers are just important to have. Who doesn't own a lash curler?
Lash glue of course for those false eyelashes! My favorite lash glue is the dark tone Duo.

I never carry single eyeshadows, at least not at the moment! I like carrying palettes and putting single eyeshadows into palettes because they're easier to carry around. I carry all my palettes from neutrals to bright colors. You just never know when your client may be feeling like a chameleon!

I always carry eyeliner in different shades and forms. From blues and purples, to pencil, gel, and liquid. I carry it all! The same goes for mascara. Just make sure your mascara is waterproof because GIRL, you do not want to see black tears falling from your clients' face.

Blotting sheets are perfect for those that are prone to getting oily. Instead of packing on more makeup on their face, try oil blotting sheets to absorb the oils. Less cake on that face!
Velcro hair clips are really great to push hair away from the face. Hair clips can leave dents in your hair so I recommend using velcro hair clips!
Tweezers are essential not just for plucking stray hairs. I use them to apply false eyelashes!
Blending sponges are personally MY best friend. Talk about flawless application! I love this for foundation, concealer, and powder. It's just perfect. I like the ones from LeCosmetique. They're super affordable and they work like a dream! Read my review on them here.
Sharpeners for those stubby eyeliner/lip pencils!
Scissors for cutting, trimming, opening... anything! It's just good to have!

Wedge sponges are great alternatives to using your hands on your client. I try not to ever touch my clients' face with my hands unless I'm just using a finger to lift the eye and what not. When it comes to applying moisturizers, primers, or anything that's usually done with fingers, I reach for these!
Q-tips are essential for fixing booboos!
Makeup wipes are pretty standard. You have to have them!
Hand sanitizer is super important to have! I never start working on a client unless my hands are clean!
Cotton pads are great for removing makeup, fixing booboos, and all that good stuff!

The utility pouches easily stack up on top of each other without falling over. They come with handles so you can carry them if need be, and you can label each pouch accordingly!

Here is my train case with everything in it. Although it looks full, I know it can hold MUCH more! Not to mention the extra pockets and zippers on the outside and compartments in the front flap.

Closed up and ready to go! I love taking this with me! It's so cute yet very professional. You'll definitely be going to town with this case! :) I've also attached my hand sanitizer to the side of the case for easy access.
Clean hands = happy hands :)


  • False eyelashes in varying lengths and styles.
  • Disposable applicators (eyeliner, lipgloss, mascara).
  • Bobby pins and hair clips to keep stubborn hairs out of the way.
  • Chewing gum because nobody wants to have smelly breath when you're working face to face with your client!
  • Paper towels and tissue for easy clean up.
  • Rubber bands to keep eyeliners and lip liners organized. I also like to use them for keeping dirty brushes separate from the clean ones!
  • Hair brush and comb in case your clients' hair is not done yet.
  • Hairstyling cape in case your client is already dressed. This will keep any makeup spills from getting on their clothes. You would not want that to happen!
  • Oil-free eye makeup remover to clean up any booboos! Oil-free is the best way to go because it won't leave a greasy residue.
  • Brush cleaner for when you need to reuse brushes. The brush cleaner from MAC is my fave! It dries your brushes fast so you can easily reuse them in no time.
  • Business cards are good to give to your client and other potential clients. I like to give them out to vendors such as hair stylists, wedding planners, and photographers. It's a great way to market yourself!
  • Color wheel is great for helping you choose colors that complement each other. It also helps you to coordinate colors and correct them! For example, in the color wheel orange complements blue. Therefore, you would use an orange or peach color concealer to correct bluish dark circles. The same goes for correcting redness, you would use a green corrector. Get it?
  • Hand mirror convenient for your client to see themselves close up when you're finished.

What else would you consider an essential for a makeup artist kit?