Warning! This is a long one…
As a Make Up Artist I am forever getting messages about the products I use, how I use them, what I use on clients and what’s in my kit. This post will be an overview of my die hard products that are never too far away from my kit.
My make up and my kit make up are separate so that I know I can literally get up and go the morning of a wedding or day of doing makeups. Not only that, but it’s good to keep your make up and kit make up separate in terms of hygiene. I wouldn’t use an eyeliner on someone that I use on my myself for example, even with cleaning it. Perhaps that’s just me, but I like them separate.
The products I use I like them because I trust them, I have used them for years, they suit a large variety of skin types and are easily packed up. I would love nothing more than to pack up every type of highlighter and bronzer I own but I would need 3 suitcases. It’s important to pick the best of the bunch and keep it compact.
Before you even think about touching someone’s face or going near a make up product please make sure that you have a hygienic set up. In one zip lock bag I always have
– Spray bottle of water
– Spray bottle of alcohol
– Brush cleaner
– Hand sanitiser
You can pick up empty spray bottles anywhere, I grab mine from Boots as you can get different sizes and some even come in packs.
Hand sanitiser is one of those products that can smell so strong and I hate the thought of someone smelling that on my hands so I use The Body Shop Sanitisers in my kit. They have so many wonderful scents, I love the Satsuma one! They are £2.50, in a small enough size that will fit neatly without taking up too much room and they are usually 3 for 2 as well which is amazing!
Tools & Accessories
In addition to your hygiene you should of course have the following in your kit
– Clear travel bags. I get mine from eBay as I didn’t want to spend too much on them as I bag everything! You can also get them from the likes of Boots, Superdrug and even Primark!
– Disposable Mascara Wands – you can again, get these anywhere. I get mine from Mac, because I’m boujee but you can’t them from Sallys, Amazon, eBay, etc
– Sharpener (I sharpen and alcohol pencils before every use)
– Brushes, of course this goes without saying
– Eyelash curlers – I live for the Charlotte Tilbury Life Changing Eyelash Curlers
– Small scissors
– Metal Palette (I have a My Kit Co one – it’s great for mixing foundations)
– Eyelash glue
– Cotton pads & cotton buds
I do be genuinely shocked when I see make up artists start to work and they go straight in with primer or foundation. What. Are. You. Doing? I always use moisturiser, don’t get me wrong it doesn’t have to be anything fancy! Just use some type of skincare before applying, the make up will glide on so much better and the skin will look and feel fresher. Again, I have a zip lock bag with travel size cleanser, toner and moisturiser as well as a pack of wipes. I stock up on the No. 7 wipes when. they have the £5 off vouchers in Boots!
Some people love primer, some people hate it. I am one of those people that love it and I have many to prove it! For years I used the Smashbox primers but I fell out with them when they stopped doing the blue one! I now use the Make Up For Ever primers. They have one to suit every possible skin type and I do own most of them!
I would highly recommend for anyone even just starting out if you got the Mattifying Primer and the Hydrating Primer as most people can fall into the dry or oily category and at least that way you have something to suit the majority. If you feel like you want to expand The Smoothing primer gets rid of pores like nothing I have ever seen! They do mini 15ml sizes, £14.50 of some of the primers too which is a great way to try them out however, the larger 30ml size, £26 is better value. I have 30ml of the Mattifying, Smoothing, Hydrating, Nourishing and some of the Radiant primers as these are great for different skin tones, then a 15ml of the Redness Correcting Primer. Primers genuinely last me a really long time and unlike foundation where I find everything runs out at once, primers I will only need replacements every few months.
I also have the Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter’s. While not technically primers or foundations, they are more of a complexion booster so if a client is asking for nice glowy skin you can bet that they have this all over their face. I currently just have shades 1, 3 and 5 but plan on expanding because it’s just SUCH a beautiful product.
I have a hard time committing to one foundation. Like I have a few variations in my kit but can never decide if I want to just have one type of foundation to keep it simple or to cover my back have a few different formulas.
All my foundations are Mac Cosmetics, I trust them and I know how to work with them. I can make them thicker, make them lighter and I know they work well with the primers.
If you are just starting out, to save on expenses get familiar with the foundations you are interested in and get a few colours that you can mix to suit everyone but, please get a shade to suit darker tones. You don’t want to get caught out and not have the right shade for someone!
I have Studio Fix in probably too many shades… Pro Longwear as well as Face & Body. These foundations see me through every type of make up that people want, whether they want something sheer, full coverage, matte or dewy I have got you covered.
I have tried concealer after concealer and the best one that I have tried that suits a wide variety of people is the Make Up Revolution Conceal & Define Concealer, £4. Now, there are SO many different colours which is amazing for a brand to have but it doesn’t mean you need to own all of them. One of the key things about being a Make Up Artist is that you need to make do with what you have so just aim to have something light, medium and dark at first. Then you can add to your collection.
Contour isn’t something that I do on everyone so I don’t see the need in having loads of products for contouring and highlighting so sticking to the basics is key. I am in love with the Technic Cosmetics Colour Fix Cream & Powder Palettes which retail for £6 online but you can grab it cheaper in stores. I recently picked up a few in Franklins for £2.40!
They are great not only from a price point of view but genuinely really good products! I used to use the Anastasia Beverly Hills which are amazing of course too, but I don’t seen too much of a difference to warrant paying £42 compared to £6 or less!
Loose powder is just a no go for me for generic make ups. They are messy, they get all over your kit and are annoying. I am all about the pressed powder life. Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder, £34 gets my vote every single time and I carry all 3 shades. It is the most perfect powder, I am in love. I actually get excited for the powder stage to watch the powder work it’s magic. It effortlessly sweeps over pores, making the skin look super smooth without looking too ‘powdery’ and ensures an all day lasting finish.
I wouldn’t dream of changing the powder in my kit but I do also have the Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder, £3.99 which is what I used before – to have just in case.
I have a bit of an obsession with bronzer so when you look at my kit this is probably the one messy, unorganised – still in a clear zip bag though – part of my kit. I find new bronzers from different brands and just die over them and I always end up buying two of each. One for me, one for the kit.
I would be lost without my Nars ‘Laguna’, Mac ‘Give Me Sun’ as well as a few other Mineralize Skinfinish’s and my Chanel Soleil de Tan. I do however have Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion, £30 bronzers in all shades so I know I have at least one bronzer to suit everyone but I can’t stop buying new ones…
For being highlighter obsessed, I am surprised I haven’t got more in my kit. For cream highlighter is just has to be my Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wand ‘Spotlight’, £29.
Powder highlight I tend to go between my BPerfect Mmmmitchell Sub Zero, £32.99 as it is all in a handy palette and plenty of colours to suit different tones. However, I tend to reach for a Mac palette that I curated myself of my favourite Mac Extra Dimension Skinfinish, £25.50 shades ‘Oh Darling’, ‘Whisper of Gilt’ ‘Doubleglam’ and ‘Show Gold.’ De potting them and
I love blush. One thing I learned was that one blush doesn’t suit everyone. So I have a wide variety of blushers as I find it’s what awakens up a make up and transforms a persons complexion.
I have created Mac palettes as I love the inserts that you can buy that fit 6 blushers in a palette. It makes life so much easier when packing up a kit as there is already so much to pack! I definitely use these the most as they sit so well on top of the other products I use. My favourites and most used are Peaches, Swiss Chocolate, Fleur Power & Melba.
I do also have a few of the Milani Baked Blushers, £10 and Charlotte Tilbury Beach Sticks, £30 as I love these on more mature clients! They give a beautiful glow to the skin without looking dry or caked.
I am a creature of habit for eyebrows and I like to do a certain style. Of course, on request I will do whatever the client wishes but I like to use pencils and brow gels. I try and stay as far away from thick gels or pomades as much as possible.
I couldn’t possibly use any other brow pencil than the Mac Eyebrow Stylers, £15 they are perfection. They last for ages, are twist up which I love and have really great colours. I do love the NYX Micro Brow Pencils, £9 which are a great alternative!
In terms of brow gel, one of my favourite Charlotte Tilbury products of all time are the Legendary Brow Gels, £18.50. They fluff the hairs up perfectly without looking too fake and ensure that it stays all day.
I have gone through many phases of eyeshadow in my kit, from carrying what felt like a hundred single eyeshadows to carrying a hundred palettes. I have since downgraded the palettes I bring with me and keep it as simple as I can. I have my favourite bridal type palettes and my weekend palettes and they seem to cover me for just about everything.
I mainly use
– BPerfect Carnival Palette, £39.99 – I cannot remember what I did before this palette came along. Seriously.
– Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics Palette
– Mac Cosmetics Palettes that I have made – I live for these
– Mac Cosmetics Pigments, Doll Beauty Pigments, Urban Decay Glitter Liners & Helen E Glitters (these are everything)
I love gel liner and try to use it above liquid liner when I can. I find it lasts longer and I don’t have to worry about it crumbling. I have a few favourites but I always tend to opt for Inglot’s Gel Liners and I have quite a few colours – you just don’t know what someone will ask for! 77 (Black) and 96 (Brown) are among my most used and of course Inglot’s Duraline is never too far away in case they dry out a little. Side note – if you haven’t purchased Duraline before, I highly recommend you try it. It has so many amazing purposes, but I especially love it for mixing with gel liner.
I don’t really worry about the mascara I use as not only do I have the disposable mascara wands but most people want eyelashes applied. I love the Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara, £10.99and this is generally what I’ll have, unless I have received little mini mascaras which are so handy for your kit! Anytime I am buying anything at a make up counter I always ask for mascara samples – if you don’t ask you don’t get!
I love all eyelashes, even the most strangely theatrical and dramatic lashes. That being said, typically I am working on bridal party make ups so I aim to keep my lashes on the more natural and fluffy side.
I use individual lashes a lot either on their on or on top of strip lashes and I love the Eylure Individual Lashes as you get small, medium and long lashes in the one box as the majority of other brands you have to buy a whole box of the same size.
For strip lashes, I have Ardell Demi Wispies as you can buy them in packs, so it saves you a little money! I change up my lashes each time depending on what’s on offer but I always go back to the Ardell’s.
Mac. Rimmel. Charlotte Tilbury. No others will do! I pick up the odd lip liner from other brands here and there but I just use them on myself, I love these brands of lip liners for the kit as they are great on everyone.
I love Mac due to the colour range, Rimmel’s are super creamy and so great on maturer clients and Charlotte Tilbury just because, they are Charlotte Tilbury. Most used/highly recommended shades:
– Nude Mac ‘Spice’ & ‘Boldly Bare’ | Rimmel ‘Tiramisu’ | Charlotte Tilbury ‘Hot Gossip’ & ‘Iconic Nude’
– Pink Mac ‘Soar’ & ‘Edge to Edge’ |Rimmel ‘Eastend Snob’ | Charlotte Tilbury ‘Pillowtalk’ & ‘Pink Venus’
– Red Mac ‘Cherry’ | Charlotte Tilbury ‘Kiss n Tell’
– Plum Mac ‘Nightmoth’ | Charlotte Tilbury ‘Bad Romance’ & ‘Love Trap’
Similar to the lip liners I have the lipstick in shades to match. I’ll admit, I have an unholy amount of lipsticks but to make it easier to carry I have depotted them and melted them down into palettes. You can get empty lipstick palettes from anywhere but mine are from Mac £2, of course!
Most used/highly recommended shades:
– Nude Mac ‘Honeylove’ & ‘Viva Glam II’ & ‘Peachstock’ | Tom Ford ‘Sable Smoke’ | Charlotte Tilbury ‘Kim KW’ & ‘Pillowtalk’
– Pink Mac ‘Creme Cup’ & ‘Snob’ | Estee Lauder ‘Desirable’ & ‘Powerful’ | Charlotte Tilbury ‘Liv It Up’ & ‘Velvet Underground’
– Red Mac ‘So Chaud’ & ‘Ruby Woo’ | Estee Lauder ‘Envious’ | Charlotte Tilbury ‘Walk of Shame’ & ‘So Marilyn’
– Plum Mac ‘Rebel’ | Tom Ford ‘Casablanca’ | Estee Lauder ‘Irresistible’ | Charlotte Tilbury ‘Love Liberty’
I don’t have a whole pile of lip glosses in my kit as I tend to use clear or light glosses over lipsticks. I have recently started using Charlotte Tilbury ‘Collagen Lip Bath’, £25 on everyone as it makes the lips look unbelievably plumped and full as well as deliciously glossy! I have a few odd coloured glosses from all over the place but I use the Lip Bath most often.
NYX Matte & Dewy Setting Sprays, £7 are my go to, I love them! For anyone who is oily of course gets the matte spray which helps to tone down shine. Anyone who is dry, yes you guessed it – they get the dewy spray. I recently started using the Iconic London Setting Sprays, £20.50 but they are extremely dewy and only for those that like a good glow!
This was believe it or not, a quick overview of what is in my kit. If you have any questions about anything I use or if you use something in your kit for clients I would love to hear about it – maybe it’s something I could use myself!