This beginner Makeup Artist Starter Kit Essentials blog post has been requested for years and I finally have it up (insert pat on the back). I remember when I was just getting started as a freelance makeup artist, and it was so overwhelming to know what essentials I needed to build my starter kit. Now that I’ve been painting faces for over 15 years, I know what makeup essentials like foundation, blush, concealer, color correctors, brushes and other tools you need in a professional makeup kit when you are just starting out. You need the right products to make sure you are prepared for any makeup job whether it’s bridal, commercial or editorial. Putting together your beginner makeup kit doesn’t have to be expensive if you are on a budget. With that said, you want to make sure you have everything you need, which is why I am going to give you a basic makeup list so you can get started in your career with confidence.
When I first started out, I went to a makeup school, and they gave me a complete professional makeup artist kit that had everything I needed to get me started. Though, the makeup was just ok; I would highly recommend investing in high-quality makeup from the get-go if you want high-end clients. Plus, using the right products allows you to perform better and for your makeup application to be flawless whether you are doing a natural or smoky eye look. When you perform better as a makeup artist, you get booked for better jobs.
Pro Makeup Essentials Kit List
When you are building your beginner makeup artist starter kit, it’s far more than just makeup. You need to be fully prepared with all of the basic tools from makeup brushes to disposable makeup wands, tissue and more. Here is a list of everything I keep in my makeup artist kit for all occasions.
Professional Basic Makeup Kit List Tool Essentials:
- ZUCA Pro Artist Case (I have tried many pro makeup kit bags, and this one is the easiest to haul cosmetics around with. Plus, it keeps everything really organized and in-place.) Getting a rolling makeup case that you don’t have to carry is essential. You can also check out this other pro makeup bag option that has tons of space to carry all of your pro-makeup essentials.
- Makeup Brush Belt
- Portable Makeup Light like this one on Amazon (such a killer deal too).
- Hand Held Mirror
- Tissues and Paper Towels
- Q-Tips for wiping away any eyeshadow or mascara smudges.
- Cotton Rounds to help remove unwanted makeup.
- Oil Blotting Sheets for reducing oil on the skin without adding powder. This is good to hand brides.
- 99% Rubbing Alcohol and a spray bottle for cleaning makeup brushes and sanitizing makeup after use.
- Hand Sanitizer
- Hair Styling Cape to keep clients clothes protected from Makeup.
- Hair Clips to keep clients hair out of their face.
- Makeup Spatula and Palette (how cute is this heart shaped makeup mixing palette one??)
- Pencil Sharpener for eyeliner and lipliner
- Lash Curler and here is my favorite lash curler from Japonesque
- Disposable Mascara wands
- Eye Makeup Remover
- Face Wipes for sensitive skin
- Skincare Set that is suitable for all skin types to prep skin prior to applying makeup (I use the Beautycounter Countermatch collection and my clients love it).
- Complete Makeup Brush Collection like this complete set from SIGMA. This brush set has everything you need to get you started as a new pro makeup artist.
- Beautyblender $20 or my favorite knock-off Beautyblender
- Fake Eyelashes by Ardell in Demi Wispies and Babies and Duo Lash Glue.
Beginner Makeup Artist Kit List
Here is a list of everything you should have in your beginner makeup artist kit from foundations to brow products and everything in between. I added some makeup that is great when you are just starting out and are on a budget, but then I also added my favorite must-haves in each category. This is an extensive list for a new makeup artist, but it literally has everything you need to get started.
Beginner Makeup Artist Starter Kit for Foundation, Concealers, Color Correctors
HD Foundation: For new makeup beginners, start with the Make Up For Ever Ulta HD Invisible Cover Cream Foundation Palette for a medium to full coverage. It’s easy to pack away, and it gives you a great foundation color range to start with. A few of my other favorite foundations that I carry in my professional makeup artist kit is KOH GEN DO HD Maifanshi Moisture Foundation, Beautycounter Moisture Foundation for a dewy light coverage.
Concealers: I use the Make Up For Ever Concealer Palettes in number 1 and number 4. You can use the darker shades for both concealing and contouring.
Make Up For Ever Flash Color Palettes: in Neutral and Artistic. These two palettes are amazing to have for any new makeup artist. You can create custom cream blush, lipstick, foundation, color correctors and concealer with them. It’s truly one of my favorite makeup products for a pro-kit.
Beginner Makeup Artist Starter Kit Essentials for Blush, Bronzer, Highlighter, Powder
Blush Palette: NARS has some of the best blushes around, and you can usually find a palette with a range of beautiful colors for all skin tones like this Limited Edition Wanted Cheek Palette. Over time you will discover which blush colors you use most.
Bronzer/Highlighter: Check out the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour and Highlight Kit. It comes with 3 highlighting and 3 bronzer/contouring colors. This palette is perfect for the beginning makeup artist professional.
Translucent Powder: My favorite Translucent powder that looks good on brides, tv, and print would be the KOH GEN DO Natural Translucent Powder. It’s not cheap, but it works amazing and lasts forever.
Beginner Makeup Artist Starter Kit Essentials for Eyeshadow, Eyeliner, Mascara, Primer
Eyeshadow Primer: I only carry the Urban Decay Potion Primer in my makeup kit.
Eyeshadow Palette’s: If you are a beginner pro makeup artist, the MORPHE Warm it Up Eyeshadow palette (for only $24) is a great start. Over time you will find what eyeshadow formulas you love to work with and what colors you use most. I have a ton of eyeshadow palettes, but my most used for clients are the Beautycounter Classic Eyeshadow Palette, Tom Ford Honeymood Quad, and Urban Decay Smoky Eyeshadow Palette.
Eyeliner: I always carry black, brown, white, navy blue, forest green eyeliner pencils from Urban Decay 24/7 collection (you can add other colors as you go). Then, I always, always have the Tarte Amazonian Clay liner on hand for a liquid lined look and because it stays incredibly well.
Mascara: I carry just black mascara in my makeup kit but have a few formulas. I like the Better than Sex mascara from Too Faced and the Tarte Light’s, Camera, Splashes Waterproof Mascara.
Beginner Makeup Artist Starter Kit Essentials for Lipsticks, Lip Liners
Lipstick Assortment: You can depot your favorite lipsticks and put them into this depoting lipstick palette container that most professionals use. Make sure you have lipsticks ranging from a deep dark red, to a pale nude so that you can custom mix colors if you need to for clients. You should have at-least 5 matte shades, 5 satin shades, 5 lipgloss shades to start. A few of my favorite lipstick brands are Beautycounter (the color intense collection colors classic red and Luminous Mauve), NARS (Raquel is a must), and Urban Decay (check out Insanity and Menace).
Lip liner: You can start with a simple collection of 5 lip liners. Here are the five lip liners I would recommend to start with, and they are all from NARS, which are my favorite. 1. Halong Bay from NARS (rose nude) 2. Vence from NARS (Neutral Cinnamon) 3. Ride it from NARS (deep mulberry), 4. Cap-d’all from NARS (Dusty Mauve) 5. Mariachi from NARS (brick red). My lip liner collection is huge now, but these 5 are a great start. I like to keep my eyeliners in a slider pencil box.
Beginner Makeup Artist Starter Kit Essentials for Brows
Eyebrows: Get the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Taupe, Caramel, Medium Brown, Soft Brown, Dark Brown, and Granite. I like using these brow pencil most in my makeup kit, and it’s perfect for beginner pro makeup artists.
That’s everything I would suggest for a beginner makeup artist. I would say that if you know you are headed into the makeup industry as a professional, your prefessional starter kit should reflect that. I would highly recommend not having any over-the-counter cosmetics in your pro makeup kit. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.