Which makeup tools do all professional artists agree are a must-have?
If you've been in the makeup business long enough, then you know that one habit common to all makeup artists is that we never stop buying makeup products and tools.
It's worse if you're new in the industry. Apart from knowing your makeup terms, deciding on what to buy can be overwhelming, and it doesn't help that beauty influencers make it seem like you need every new product in the market, which you don't.
To avoid splurging money on tools and products you don't need and will regret buying, you need to stick to the basics, which is why we've come up with a list of essential makeup tools that you'll need as a professional makeup artist. But before we get to that, let's take a look at some things to keep in mind when shopping for makeup tools.
1 . Sanitization products
Maintaining proper hygiene is important as a makeup artist since you'll be attending to different clients, it is only right that you sanitize and disinfect your hands and brushes and other applicators after use, to prevent passing on bacteria from one client to another. For this, you'll need
2 . Skin prep products
A well-prepped skin makes an excellent base for makeup application. Now, we know skincare can be quite expensive, not to mention that you'll be dealing with different skin types. But there's no need to break the bank. All you need to get started is a gentle cleanser like micellar water, lightweight moisturizer (e.g Cetaphil and Neutrogena), face serum, and lip balm.
3 . Makeup Mirror
Makeup mirrors depending on the type and size are a great addition to your makeup tools. You can install big vanity mirrors with LED lights in your makeup studio. They can be mounted on the wall or built on a shelf. With a chair in front, this will serve as your workstation for when clients come to you to get their makeup done. And for outside jobs that require you to leave the studio, you'll need a portable mirror that can fit into your makeup bag. Makeup mirrors are essentially important as they offer both you and the client a clearer image of the work done making it easier to spot mistakes and fix them immediately.
4 . Brushes and Beauty Blenders
For smooth and even application of products on the face, you'll be needing a quality set of brushes and some beauty blenders. Beauty blenders are great for blending out foundation, concealers, and setting powders and need to be changed regularly but brushes can do literally everything and if you invest in good ones, they can last for years if well kept. You can buy them as single brushes or in a set, whichever way, make sure you have these basic brushes.
Primers act as barriers between the client's skin and the makeup and they are of different types. There are hydrating primers for dry skin, oil control and mattifying primers for oily skin, and pore-minimizing primers for mature skin. If you work with clients that wear their makeup for long hours at a stretch, then you'll want to invest in at least three different primers for each skin type, it will make your makeup application smoother and help it to last longer.
6 . Foundation
You'll need a wide range of foundations including full coverage, medium coverage foundation, and BB creams. They come in tubes, bottles, palettes, and sticks. You'll also need different shades for different skin tones ranging from lightest to darkest. If you can't afford to get the full range of foundation shades, you can start with two of the lightest shades, two medium shades, and two dark shades of foundation and mix in between to get the desired match for your clients.
7 . Concealers
Concealers are multifunctional and are primarily used to cover up dark spots, blemishes, and dark circles. They can also be used to highlight the brows, brighten the under eyes and other parts of the face, and also serve as a base for eyeshadow. Just like foundations, there are full, medium, and light coverage concealers, some come in little glass bottles with applicator wands (liquid concealer) and others come in palettes (cream concealers).
8 . Powders
Powders come in various forms including setting powders, finishing powders, and translucent powders. Most setting powders come in loose form in a cup and are used to set foundations and concealers in place and also to bake. Finishing powders as the name implies are used as a finishing touch to the makeup look. You'll be needing both of them. For the finishing powder, you can invest in a palette, which usually contains 6-12 shades and for setting powders, three cups of light, medium and dark shades will do for starters.
9 . Blush, Contour, Highlight, and Bronzer Palette
Though you can get these as single palettes. To save cost you can get a four-in-one palette that contains different shades of blush for adding color to the cheeks, contour, bronzer to sculpt and add warmth to the face, and highlighter to brighten.
From subtle glam to dramatic, eyeshadows help you to create different looks for your clients. They come in pallets and single colors and of course, we'd recommend you get the eyeshadow palettes, as they contain more colors and are easier to pack and organize especially when traveling for outside jobs. Your eyeshadow palette should include, nudes, shimmer, bright colors, and metallic and smokey shades. You can also invest in a few eye pigments and liquid eyeshadows.
For well-defined eyebrows, your brow kits should include, brow pencils, brow gels, brow tint, brow powders, razor blades, and spoolies. For your brow products, you only need three shades, light brown, dark brown, and black.
Gel, liquid, and pencil eyeliners are a must-have in your makeup kit. They can be used to line your upper and lower lash lines. The more common shades are brown, black, and white but with the introduction of neon graphic liners, you can pretty much create amazing eye looks with any eyeliner color of your choice.
13 . Mascara and False Lashes
To add volume to your client's natural lashes, apply a generous coat of mascara, and to further elevate the makeup look, you can apply false lashes. These come in different shapes and sizes. Choose the one that best suits your client's eye shape and make sure to apply it with quality lash glue.
There's no makeup without lippies and for that, you'll be needing different colors of lip liners to outline and define the lips, lipsticks both matte and creamy and of course some lip gloss for that extra shine. You can also invest in a good lip palette that has nudes, reds, and coral colors.
To lock everything in place and make sure your makeup doesn't move an inch, you'll need to invest in a good setting spray.
It can be messy when you leave your products lying around. Eyeshadows can break, foundations can spill and you might even lose some of your favorite brushes. To keep your products and tools well organized, we recommend getting small transparent makeup bags to store each of your products and work tools. Also don't forget to invest in a travel bag or case, for easy storage and movement of your work tools when the need arises.
As a professional makeup artist, a good source of light will not only help you create great looks but also capture amazing pictures and since we can't always depend on natural light (the sun) it's wise to invest in at least one extra source of light. The most common option for many makeup artists is LED rechargeable ring lights. These come with a bag and tripod stand, so you can carry them with you anywhere you go.
If you're ready to take your makeup business to the next level and increase your customer base, then you should consider setting up a portfolio. A website containing pictures of your best works would be very professional but you can also start by uploading your stuff on social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
Building your dream makeup kit requires time and money, but what's more important is how well you can use the makeup tools available to you. Just stick to the basic tools we've mentioned and you're good to go. Some extra tools you'll need are cotton pads, Q-tips, a sharpener, a steel mixing plate, and a lash curler.
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