NOTE: Please be aware that anything listed below are suggestions that I like and that I carry in my kit.
Skin care is something that should always be in your kit. You cannot skimp on this. If you don't prep the skin properly then anything else you do beyond this will be pointless. Personally I like to carry no more than 2 Moisturizers in my kit. Let's be honest here, I'm a makeup artist, not a dermatologist. I just can't carry a skincare product for every single type of skin out there. So I carry what I feel I use and need the most. Also, all of the products I carry are for sensitive skin because you just never know.
- Aveeno Ultra-Calming Moisturizer - I like this because not only does it reduce redness but it calms irritated skin (especially in the winter).
- Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre (24 Hour Miracle Cream) - This is by far the best moisturizer I have ever encountered. It just leaves the skin super soft. And it serves as a makeup remover!
- Keihls Ultra Facial Toner - It's milky, doesn't contain alcohol and it doesn't strip the skin of any oils leaving the skin supple, not dry.
- Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream - I call this the "everything cream" because it really does serve as everything. I've used it as moisturizer on super dry skin, lip balm, hand cream and even "mascara" when I don't want to use actual mascara for kids and men (to give some definition).
This is where it gets tricky because there are just so many types of foundations out there that are absolutely beautiful and I wish I can own them all but really there is no point. Find the foundation that you love the most for your kit. I personally like to have one that gives a dewy, youthful glow (mostly used for print & bridal), and one that's a bit more matte without leaving the skin looking like it's screaming for moisture (mostly used to TV/Film HD). I also generally like liquids that have good cover. If I need to make them sheer I can always use a foundation thinner or moisturizer to do so. No need to buy sheer foundations when you can thin them out yourself. I carry:
- FACEatelier Ultra Pro - This is my 'go to' foundation and the one that I use the most. I'd say in about 95% of my work I've used this foundation. It's like liquid gold. Covers, leaves the skin looking flawless, dewy and youthful and a little goes a long way. Oh and they're travel friendly! Always a plus when you're traveling for work.
- Make Up For Ever (MUFE) HD - I love this foundation for TV/Film work. It goes on like second skin and just so light. It's the must have for HD and anyone who has super oily skin. It's matte without sucking the life from your skin. Sometimes there even isn't a need to powder. Any time I get to skip a step, is a happy day for me.
- *Optional* - Graftobian Hi-Def Glamour Creme - I love, love, love this foundation the best for women of color. Not to say that the other ones on this list aren't great for darker women, I just personally prefer to work with creams when it comes to women of color. A little goes a long way so be careful, it's smooth and buttery amazingness can turn against you.
Another tricky one. There's so many brands out there and some artists prefer one brand over the other and that's completely fine. Again, get what you feel most comfortable working with. But one thing that without question should always be in your kit...matte neutrals. I can't tell you how having matte neutrals in your kit is super important. Real paying jobs (you know, the type that you can live off and pay your bills) will 90% of the time want something clean and beautiful. That's not to say you can't own any shimmers. There are some beautiful shimmers out there that I use for my catalog work all the time - they're on the list, don't worry.
- Viseart 12 Color Eyeshadow Palette - Where do I even begin to describe this palette. Every pro that I know has this palette and just absolutely swears by it. In fact, it's so beautiful that most of the time it's sold out everywhere! It's the first matte eyeshadow that I've encountered that aren't chalky and blend beautiful (second is the FACEatelier individual matte neutrals)
- Urban Decay Naked Palette - Great palette with a beautiful range of neutrals and it's got both mattes and shimmers. They blend beautifully and I find that I use them a lot for bridal and/or special occasions for that extra glam factor.
- Yaby Best of Both Worlds Palette - What can I say about Yaby except you can't EVER go wrong with their eyeshadows. This palette contains both neutrals (in matte and shimmers) along with some color shadows. Some colors that you'll use a lot, some that you wont use as much. But at least they're in the palette for those "just in case" moments when a client suddenly wants a purple smokey eye.
You should always have a good assortment of lipsticks in your kit. Whether you want to buy them in a palette or buy them individually and make your own lipstick palette, is completely up to you. I like to buy them individually only because most palettes contain colors that you won't other wise find as an individual. Last thing I want to do is re-buy a whole entire palette for just one color because I love it, now I've become attached, use it often, run out of the color and then I can't buy just that one color because its palette exclusive. Defeats the point of saving money doesn't it? Plus, that's a total bummer. All of my lipsticks that I use the most are from different companies depotted into a Z Palette. I always suggest getting an assortment of various pinks, reds, burgandys, plums, corals and nude/neutrals. Brands that I love and use often are FACEatelier, YSL, Shiseido, Yaby, Revlon & Maybelline.
Again, get this in palette form. It's just easier and efficient and you get to cover all ranges of skin tones.
- La Femme 12 Color Blush Palette - The pigmentation of this palette is insane! You'll have this for a very long time as you'll use such little product to get the effect you need.
- NARS Bronzing Powder "Laguna" - I know I've said that palettes are key but when it comes to contouring, I use one color on pretty much everyone from fair to medium/olive toned. This color is just so gorgeous and I'm completely in love (and attached) to it. It's got these tiny gold flecks that, when applied, read as a healthy glow and not as a shimmer.
- MAC Bronzing Powder "Matte Bronze" - Another individual (and its MAC! - notice how I don't use anything MAC except for this powder). I carry this bronzer for one purpose and one purpose only. Men! That's right, I use it only when I'm doing male grooming. Why? Because men need matte. I can't exactly go around putting Laguna on their face now can I?
- Yaby Powder Foundation Palette "The Darks" - So you may have the occasional really dark model/client and "Laguna" just isn't going to cut it. That's where this palette steps in. Don't let the "powder foundation" name throw you off. You can absolutely use this as bronzer.
- Mascara - Get a regular drugstore brand. Whichever you like the most. Don't go expensive on mascara because no matter how many times you've used it, once you've opened it, it officially has a life span of 3 months before you need to dispose of it and get another one. Mascara's harbor germs so always remember, 3 months and it's got to go.
- Pencil Liners - Get one in Black and Brown. I like the Urban Decay 24/7.
- Liquid/Gel Liners - Same as above, 1 black, 1 brown. I like the Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liners (in the pot). I've recommended this liner to friends and some stated to have gone swimming and this liner just doesn't budge.
- Tweezers - I happen to love the Tweezerman brand. I've had one of their tweezers for years now (I carry 2). The other I keep replacing because either I keep losing it or others love it as much as I do and it happens to "walk" off set.
- Eyelash Curler - I carry 2 as well. I have the Shu Uemura one and the Yaby Heated Lash Curler. Both the best of their kind. I've had the Shu one for almost 6 years now (maybe more) and the Yaby heated for 2 years. Why a heated lash curler? Because sometimes you'll get those straight eyelashes that are just impossible to curl and I promise you this heater curler will save your day and make your lash curling way easier.
- Mascara Wands
- Cotton Balls/Pads
- Powder Puffs
- Makeup Wipes
The brushes you use are completely and totally up to you. There are so many different brands. Every artist that I've encountered likes different types of brushes for all sorts of reasons. Their softness, the handle, the colors, the multi-functionality. In the end you should use what feels right in your hands. I only want to state one little thing. Your brushes are how you "paint". These are your tools, an extension of you. Go too cheap and you'll end up replacing that brush in no time. But that doesn't mean that you have to go crazy expensive either (unless you want). I like functional brushes but they also have to do their job and be pretty. My most used brushes in my roll are by Bdellium Tools and Royal & Langnickel Silk Collection. Some are even Sephora brand. Just know that whatever you choose as your tools, should work for you!