How to Create Professional Makeup Kits

Hey there, fellow makeup lover! I know you’re dying to create a professional makeup kit that will make your clients swoon. But where do you even start? With so many products and options out there, it can be overwhelming. Trust me, I’ve been there.

But fear not! I’m here to spill all the tea on how to create a makeup kit that will have you feeling like a total boss. We’ll cover everything from must-have products to organizing your kit like a pro. So grab your brushes and let’s get started!

Table Of Contents:

Essential Makeup Kit Items for Professional Artists

As a professional makeup artist, having the right tools in your makeup artist kit is everything. Trust me, I’ve been there. When you’re first starting out, it’s tempting to go wild and buy every shiny new product on the market. But here’s the truth: you don’t need a ton of fancy stuff to create stunning looks. What you do need are versatile, high-quality kit essentials that will have your back in any situation.

Must-Have Brushes

Let’s start with the basics: brushes. A set of quality brushes is hands down the best investment you can make in your kit. Seriously, a good brush can make even mediocre makeup look amazing. I always recommend starting with a versatile brush set that includes a mix of face and eye brushes. Look for soft, densely packed bristles and sturdy handles. Trust me, your brushes will be your best friends on long shoot days.

Versatile Eyeshadow Palettes

Next up, eyeshadow palettes. As tempting as it is to collect every pretty palette out there, I’ve found that having just a few super versatile options is the way to go. Aim for palettes with a mix of neutral mattes and shimmery shades that can take you from natural day looks to sultry smokey eyes. My go-to? The Viseart Neutral Mattes Eyeshadow Palette. The shadows blend like a dream and the color payoff is unreal.

Long-Lasting Lip Products

For lips, you’ll want a range of lip products in your kit, from nudes to bold reds. But the key is to choose formulas that have serious staying power. There’s nothing worse than having to constantly touch up your client’s lipstick. I’m a big fan of liquid lipsticks like Make Up For Ever’s Artist Liquid Matte. They go on smooth, dry down completely, and will not budge through multiple cups of coffee (or champagne if you’re working a wedding).

Setting Sprays and Powders

Of course, no professional makeup kit is complete without setting products. A good setting spray and powder will lock your artistry in place for hours. My ride-or-die is Skindinavia’s Makeup Finishing Spray. A few spritzes and your client is set for the day, no touch-ups needed. For powders, I love RCMA’s No-Color Powder. It sets foundation without adding any extra coverage or flashback in photos.

Gentle Makeup Removers

Finally, don’t forget the makeup remover. As important as it is to apply makeup, taking it off gently and thoroughly is just as crucial. I always keep a bottle of Bioderma Sensibio H2O in my kit. It’s a micellar water that removes even the most stubborn waterproof mascara without tugging on the delicate eye area. Your clients will thank you for treating their skin with care.

Choosing the Right Products for Different Skin Types and Tones

One of the biggest challenges as a makeup artist is working with a wide range of skin types and skin tones. Every client that sits in your chair will have unique skin needs and concerns. It’s our job to be prepared with the right products to make them look and feel their best. Over the years, I’ve learned that the key is to have a diverse kit with options for every skin type and tone.

Identifying Skin Types

First things first, you need to be able to identify your client’s skin type. Is their skin oily, dry, combination, or sensitive? This will determine what types of products you reach for. For example, someone with oily skin will benefit from oil-free, long-wearing formulas, while someone with dry skin may need more hydrating, dewy products. Take the time to assess your client’s skin and ask them about any concerns they have before diving in.

Matching Foundation Shades

Next up, foundation. Matching foundation shades to your client’s skin tone is an art form. It takes practice and a keen eye. I always start by determining their undertone – are they cool, warm, or neutral? Then I match shades along their jawline in natural light. The goal is to find a shade that seamlessly blends into their neck. I like to have a range of foundation palettes in my kit so I can custom mix shades if needed.

Selecting Eyeshadows for Different Skin Tones

Eyeshadow is where you can really have fun and get creative. But certain shades and finishes tend to complement certain skin tones better than others. For fair skin, I love soft neutrals and pastel hues. Think champagne shimmers and pale pinks. Medium skin tones can handle richer, warmer shades like bronze and copper. And for deep skin, vibrant jewel tones and metallic finishes look stunning. The Danessa Myricks Lightwork Palette in Transcendence has quickly become one of my favorites for its incredible shade range and color payoff.

Lip Colors for Various Complexions

Lip color is the cherry on top of any look. But just like with eyeshadow, certain shades complement certain skin tones better. Fair skin looks beautiful in soft nudes, light pinks, and classic reds. Medium skin can rock deeper nudes, corals, and berries. And for deep skin, rich chocolates, bold fuchsias, and orangey-reds are stunning. I always have a variety of lip palettes and lip liners on hand to mix and match. The Danessa Myricks Evolution Lip Palette is a staple in my kit for its long-lasting, highly pigmented shades.

Organizing and Storing Your Professional Makeup Kit

Let’s be real, as a makeup artist, your kit is your lifeline. It’s what allows you to create magic on set or on location. But all those products, brushes, and tools can quickly turn into a hot mess if you’re not careful. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than digging through a disorganized kit while your client is waiting in the chair. That’s why investing in proper storage and developing a system for organizing your kit is so crucial.

Investing in Quality Makeup Cases

First and foremost, you need a sturdy, reliable makeup case (or two, or three). This is not the place to skimp. A good quality case will protect your precious products and make transporting your kit a breeze. I’m a big fan of the Zuca Pro Artist Case. It’s basically a suitcase for your makeup with tons of compartments and customizable inserts. Plus, it has wheels so you’re not breaking your back lugging it around.

Keeping Brushes Clean and Sanitized

Keeping your brushes clean and sanitized is non-negotiable. Not only is it more hygienic for your clients, but it also extends the life of your brushes. I like to deep clean my brushes once a week with a gentle brush cleaner like Parian Spirit. In between clients, I do a quick spot clean with Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner. It’s a rinse-free formula that disinfects and dries quickly so you can move on to your next client ASAP.

Using Disposable Applicators

In addition to keeping your brushes clean, using disposable applicators is a must. Things like disposable mascara wands, lip wands, and sponges prevent cross-contamination between clients. It’s a small extra step that makes a big difference in terms of hygiene. I always keep a stash of disposables in my kit, readily accessible for each new client.

Creating a Mixing Palette

If you’re like me, you love mixing and customizing products to get the perfect shade or consistency. But mixing on the back of your hand is a recipe for a messy kit (and wasted product). Enter the mixing palette. A stainless steel or glass palette gives you a sanitary surface to mix on and keeps your kit looking professional. I use mine for everything from custom foundation blends to DIY lip colors.

Tips for Building a Versatile Kit for Various Makeup Looks

As a professional makeup artist, versatility is key. You never know what kind of look a client or job might call for. One day you could be doing a natural, barely-there look and the next a full glam face. That’s why building a kit that can handle any request thrown your way is so important. Over my years in the industry, I’ve learned that the key is to have a mix of tried-and-true staples and fun, trendy products.

Essential Products for Bridal Makeup

Bridal makeup is a world of its own. When I’m building my bridal kit, I focus on products that photograph well and have serious staying power. I always have a range of long-wearing foundations like Kevyn Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer on hand. It provides beautiful coverage without looking cakey or flashback in photos. For eyes, I love Viseart’s Bridal Satin Eyeshadow Palette. The shades are perfect for creating soft, romantic looks that will last through all the happy tears.

Creating Smokey Eye Looks

The smokey eye is a classic for a reason. It’s sexy, dramatic, and can be customized to suit any eye shape or color. When I’m creating a smokey eye, I always start with a good eye primer to ensure the shadows stay put. Then I layer on a mix of matte and shimmery shadows, focusing the darker shades on the outer corner and blending like my life depends on it. The key is to use a light hand and build up the intensity slowly. I love using the Melt Cosmetics Gunmetal Stack for a foolproof smokey eye.

Achieving Natural Makeup Styles

On the flip side of the smokey eye is the natural, “no-makeup” makeup look. This is all about enhancing your client’s features without looking like they’re wearing a ton of product. I start with a lightweight, dewy foundation like Face Atelier’s Ultra Foundation. Then I focus on adding subtle definition to the eyes with a soft brown shadow and a coat of mascara. A cream blush on the cheeks and a tinted lip balm pull the whole look together. The goal is for your client to look like the best version of themselves.

Contouring and Highlighting Techniques

Contouring and highlighting have become staples in any makeup artist’s kit. When done right, they can completely transform the face by enhancing bone structure and adding dimension. I always start with a cream contour product

Key Takeaway: 

Building a pro makeup kit? Start with quality brushes, versatile eyeshadow palettes, long-lasting lip products, reliable setting sprays/powders, and gentle removers. Don’t forget to cater to all skin types and tones. Organize your tools in durable cases for easy access. Mastering these essentials lets you create any look.


There’s the scoop for you. You now have all the tools and knowledge you need to create a professional makeup kit that will make you the envy of every makeup artist in town.

Remember, investing in quality products and keeping your kit organized is key. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different brands and shades until you find your perfect match.

Let’s face it; crafting the perfect makeup kit is an adventure filled with trials and triumphs. Follow this advice closely, and soon enough, you’ll be painting faces like a pro! So go forth and create some magic!

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