Want To Be A Makeup Artist? Let’s Build Your Kit!

From 15 second viral clips on Instagram, to the continued growth of beauty channels on Youtube, makeup artists are an  influential part of social media.

The incredible success of MUAs such as: Beatfacehoney, Michelle Phan and Anastasia Beverly Hills; through social media platforms, has  inspired many men and women to become MUAs. The #makeup hashtag has 80,095,610 number of posts and the #MUA hashtag has 15,558,554 posts — so far!

To start your career off as an MUA, you must first build a great kit. A kit is what you pack and bring with you to a makeup job (aka “booking” or “gig”). There are so many things you can include in your makeup kit, from Q-tips for clean-ups, to baby oil for a “dewy look”. However, to be prepared for any gig, you will need these items to get started!makeup brush

Brushes! Every MUA must have awesome brushes. This determines how the makeup will glide on your client, how it will feel on their skin, and how effortlessly the makeup will blend. My top 3 picks for brushes are:

Foundations! You don’t need 25 different foundation colors to be a great MUA. As a freelance MUA assistant in New York, I have worked for many highly requested artists that only carry 5-8 colors in their kit. It’s all about blending! Make sure you have the fairest color for your pale complexions, the darkest color for your deep ebony beauties, and a median range of 3-5 other colors for the melanin in-between. You can also create highlights and contours with different foundations too!

Concealers! Same with foundations, you do not need 20 colors. As long as you have 2 color correctors and 3 medium coverage concealers, for dark to light skin, you are good to go! I personally like using LA Girls correctors and pro concealers because they’re affordable, have a full range of colors, and they provide medium to full coverage.

  • M.A.C.
  • NYX Cosmetics
  • NARS

Eye shadows! If you ask any professional MUA, you will know that most clients request neutral to smokey eye looks. So you do not need to know how to create a rainbow on someone’s eyelids — leave that for IG. As long as you know the basics of blending and transition coloring, you can get away with a 6 color eyeshadow palette. Some companies like BH Cosmetics have affordable palettes with up to 88 colors, and they can also be used for filling in the brows.

Powders! Neutral powders help to minimize shine and highlight areas of the face. Every client has a different skin tone, however these brands carry colors that can be used for all skin types:

Lippies! Lipsticks give your client’s lips a bit of pop! Nude, Brown, Pink and Red can start your makeup kit off just right. Blend them together, wear them alone or intensify your looks with lip liner.

Pencils! Eyeliners and lip liners help to create winged eye looks, fill in brows, and shape lips.

Last, but not least, every kit needs these essentials:

  • One black mascara with disposable wands — or false lashes if your client prefers that look.
  • Unscented moisturizing lotion to smooth out the client’s skin before makeup application.
  • Makeup wipes to clean up any messes.
  • Hand sanitizer to sterilize your hands just in case there isn’t a sink near by.
  • Brush cleaner for quick cleaning and for working with multiple clients at a time.
  • Tic tacs or gum – I personally place these items in my kit because the last thing I want is to suffocate my client with the meal I ate earlier.

These basics will have your makeup kit fully stocked and ready to take on any client, no matter their complexion. What are some things you have in your makeup kit? What are some brands you love? We’d love to hear from you!

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Sana Akibu is a former model turned beauty enthusiast now residing in New York City. She loves all things natural skincare, and currently operates her own skincare line; Natural Thrive Products. She can be found in her kitchen whipping up body butters for clients, or at her local Sephora testing out the latest and greatest in makeup. Find her on IG: @Sanakibz