If you’ve been following along with our blogs, you’ve learned the best ways to start building your brand and step into the makeup artist industry. Now while all of that is incredibly important, you certainly are not going to get far without the right kit.

Having been a makeup artist in the industry for over 30 years, Camera Ready Cosmetics' founder Mary Erickson knows quality and value. She understands what makeup essentials an artist needs. 

3 Key Things to Consider When Creating your Makeup Artist Kit:




Quality Matters When It Comes to Makeup Essentials for Your Kit

When we say quality, we are talking about professional-grade products made for makeup artists. Now, while YouTube and Instagram will have a ton of suggestions for how to build your starting makeup kit, keep in mind that beauty bloggers and celebrities are often being paid to push certain products, and quality does not always factor into the equation.

High-quality makeup essentials are not going to include the eyeshadow palette you got with 20+ shades for $15 on Amazon. When purchasing a product for your makeup artist kit, you should consider the ingredients, what is the color payoff, and is the product going to lay on the skin well. 

Packaging is also important. The product needs to be able to withstand wear and tear, or at least be able to be broken down and redistributed into empty palettes for ease of travel. 

Multifunction is a Must for Your Makeup Artist Kit

Not everything in your starting makeup kit is going to be able to have a variety of functions, but the more items you have that can serve different purposes, the better. This will help streamline your kit, save space, and reduce weight.

Examples of this are makeup essentials like brushes that can be used on eyes or lips, shadows that can be used wet or dry, or even lip color that doubles as a blush. It’s really up to you and your imagination as to how you can use items in different ways.

For Your Starting Makeup Kit, Remember: Sanitation Is Crucial 

Remember that you’re going to use this kit on many different people and not just yourself. You must keep not only your brushes and tools clean but also your makeup. 

It’s important to not just choose disinfecting sprays and easily cleanable packaged products but also disposable items. Never double dip into your tubes of mascara or lip color.

How you build a starting makeup kit can vary based on your primary area of focus within makeup. Whether you’re looking to work in bridal, fashion, or movies, this makeup artist kit will fulfill your essential makeup needs. Now, let’s start shopping.


Essential Makeup Shopping List for Building Your Starting Makeup Kit 

Skin are and prep products



Bronzer and blush

Eye makeup

Lip products

Tools and brushes

Setting spray

Makeup cases 


Top Skincare & Prep Products for Your Starting Makeup Kit

As a makeup artist, you will be working on many different skin types. The better prepped the skin, the better your makeup application and longevity of wear.

Remember the mantra: Cleanse, Tone, and Moisturize. These steps will help you to better understand the skin you are about to work on and prepare your canvas.

Our product recommendations for this crucial step include: 

Alcone Company’s Make-Off Makeup Remover Cloths

Inglot’s Muti-Action Toner Combination to Oily Skin

Embryolisse’s Lait-Crème Concentre

Bioderma’s Atoderm Lip Stick

Mehron’s Skin Prep Pro

Camera Ready Cosmetics’ Oil Free Makeup Remover

Foundation Must-Haves for Your Makeup Artist Kit

As a makeup artist, you must be prepared to accommodate a wide range of skin tones. Cream palettes are the perfect makeup essentials for your starting makeup kit because they offer a diverse selection of colors, and they work well with most skin types. Not to mention they are compact, so they take up less space than 10 liquid foundation bottles.

While Camera Ready has many high-quality foundation options, we have narrowed our favorite makeup artist kit selection down to the RCMA VK Foundation Palettes. What is great about this product is its versatility. Use the product as concealers, blend them down for foundation, or mix with skin prep to create a sheer/tinted moisturizer. The sky’s the limit with this foundation set!

Powder Makeup Essentials for Your Kit

Set it and forget it! If you have not been living under a rock for the last two years, then you have certainly heard of RCMA No-Color Powder. While, again, we carry many comparable high-quality setting powders, RCMA has been a staple in makeup artist kits for many years.

Along with an all-over setting powder, you will want to have some tinted options for contour and highlight. We recommend a space-saving palette with a range of shades. The Mehron Celebre Pro-HD Pressed Palette Highlight & Contour is a multifunctional makeup essential that includes all the brand’s most popular shades.


No Makeup Artist Kit is Complete Without Blush & Bronzer

Let us not forget the importance of color! In keeping with the theme, we have another great palette that offers some of the best color payout on the market. La Femme has so many shade options you could probably find a use for each, but for your starting makeup kit, we suggest the Exclusive Le Femme Blush Palette. The best part of this is that you can easily switch and swap with the brand’s huge selection of refills.

Not every face needs shimmer and shine, which is why we recommend matte blush or bronzers. However, to keep your makeup artist kit versatile, always have some shimmer on standby. For this, we included Ofra’s Beverly Hills Highlighter. Just add over the top of your matte colors to create glow and radiance.


Eye Makeup Essentials Every Kit Needs

When it comes to eyeshadow, a pro knows less is more. You DO NOT need every shade of shadow in your starting makeup kit. There will be times that a job calls for unique color options, but if you are working with professionals, you will be informed in advance. So, keep your kit streamlined and stick with the makeup essentials.

One of our most adaptable palettes, Ben Nye Glam Shadow Palette includes 12 versatile shades. Enhance eyebrows, highlight brow bones, create the perfect smokey eye, or dip into Inglot Duraline to transform it into a cake liner. One-stop shopping!

For a long-lasting smudge-proof liner in classic black, we’ve included the cult favorite Inglot AMC Eyeliner Gel.

Finish off the eyes with Inglot Volume & Waterproof Mascara. Remember to use your disposable wands! Save space by stocking up on the straight wands and just bend as needed. Add extra “oomph” with some falsies. Ardell Lashes’ Demi-Wispies are another makeup artist kit favorite.


Makeup Artist Kit Lips Essentials

Create the perfect pout with the combination of liners and a great lip palette. Graftobian Super Palette Lip Colors offers 16 long-lasting shades. Mix them together to up your color game. Use your RCMA No-Color Powder for binding, and top it off with shine using Graftobian SuperSeal Intense Shine Lip Gloss.


No Makeup Artist Kit is Complete Without Brushes & Tools

Brushes are a hard one to narrow down, and every artist has their favorites. For the purpose of simplicity, we have chosen the Bdellium Tools Maestro Series Complete 12pc Brush Set. This synthetic brush set has a little something for everything and even includes a roll-up pouch. 

Keep in mind, just because a brush is meant to be used for one purpose does not mean it cannot be used for many more. Find what works for you. Plus, the fewer brushes in your makeup artist kit, the less you have to clean after the job is done. 

With that being said, do not forget some of the most important tools of all, your brush cleaners. If you are new to Camera Ready Cosmetics, then you may have not yet heard of Crazy Merman Brush Soap. With a few easy steps, it can pretty much clean anything out of your brushes (even that stubborn Inglot 77). We recommend unscented because you never know if a client is sensitive to smell.

When it comes to the brushes that are doing double or even triple duty with no time to dry, make sure you have Cinema Secrets’ Brush Cleaner on hand for quick a switch. 

Finally, to round out your starting makeup kit, don’t forget a mixing palette and spatula. This is the greatest way to stay sterile and also mix shades for more variety. Esum was nice enough to create a palette set that also includes a double-ended spatula. Thank you, Esum!  

Setting Spray: The Final Touch to Your Makeup Artist Kit 

Just like this blog, we are going to finish off the look with a great setting spray. Makeup artists differ between their favorites when it comes to setting sprays. For this kit, we are going to include Skindinavia Bridal Makeup Finish Spray. The award-winning formula perfectly balances skin for controlling excess moisture and leveling out temperatures, so your hard work stays fresh and flawless for up to 16 hours.  

The Perfect Case for Your Kit

Now, let’s put it all away. Bigger isn’t better. Remember that we kept this starting makeup kit streamlined. No need to dig for what you need with theLarge Zuca Stylist Case. It’s easy to keep everything in order with customizable cushion foam dividers, which act as a buffer to protect your kit. Cleaning is super easy. 

Total Makeup Artist Kit Cost $922.81*

Depending on where you are in your makeup artist career, $1,000 can seem like a lot of money, but just remember you are investing in your future. Now, go forward into your career with your head high because with this starting makeup kit, you shopped like a pro!



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