Monday, April 7, 2008

Slowly yet surely building my makeup kit...

Hi Guys,

As many of you all know, I’m starting to get into doing makeup on the side. After all, something’s got to pay for all this makeup I’ve been getting. This has been one of my new year’s resolutions…I think I’ve finally found something that I enjoy and that I’m pretty good at it. It helps keep me sane with the craziness of my corporate job.

Part of the whole process is learning how to apply makeup, but you also have to obtain the proper resources as well. Throughout the past weeks I’ve been slowly building my makeup kit, filling my train-case I bought from ebay. Did I mention I love how many traincase has wheels? I brought it to my friends how this weekend for bridal makeup practice and it saved my back! Anyways, I’ve really kicked up my kit purchases a notch with this wedding coming up because I want to make sure I’m prepared! A lot of my items have come from MAC, Ulta, Sephora, Wal-MART, as well as This site is such a valuable resource because it really opened up my eyes to professional grade cosmetics. Many of these lines may not be familiar to you, but if you’ve done your research on, a lot of the makeup artists refer to this website and many of the brands offered on it. At first, I only knew of commercial lines that the public is exposed to such as MAC, Smashbox, MUFE, Urban Decay etc…but now I’m a big fan of makeup marketed towards makeup artist such as: RCMA, Graftobian, Cinema Secrets, etc… I love getting these products for my kit because they often come in convenient palettes in a variety of shades which are a lot easier to pack in your train case. On top of that…the products are always top notch…pigmented, in a wide variety of colors to suit every person, and easy to apply.

When I first started building my kit for example, the thought of purchasing a million different foundation colors was daunting. However, I pretty much have that covered now. I bought two foundation palettes from RCMA and they pretty much have every color you could ever need. I bought the sampler size version where each palette slot can do about 8-10 full faces worth of foundation. Since I’m starting out this works perfectly…and I can always replace colors that I run out of. Here’s a pic of the foundations…there are 18 colors in each palette and I have two different palettes. With 36 colors to choose from I usually don’t have a problem matching shades.

The foundation is cream based so I usually pick a scoop out with my mini spatula then mix in a liquid solution made for thinning out cream cosmetics. This allows me to turn it to a liquid foundation if I want, or mix it with other colors so I can have a better match. I highly recommend! I’m also going to purchase a few palettes from Cinema Secrets. They offer mini-palettes of 5 colors each…I’ll probably get one for really light skin tones and one from darker skin tones to widen my color range and buy more later if need be.

I also recently purchased a palette of Graftobian powder foundation with more than 10 shades. This can be used as a powder to set foundation, or by itself dry or wet, depending on the coverage.

This weekend, I went to wal-mart and ulta this weekend and picked up some essentials you may not think of putting in your kit…
From Wal-Mart:
-mini can of hairspray ( a lot of times, makeup artist have to do hair as well so gotta be prepared for touch-ups)
-nail polish remover pads
-visine – regular version
-visine for contacts
-mustache/eyebrow scissors
-cotton swabs
-small box of Kleenex
-plastic comb
-mini pack of unscented wet ones
-small hair-brush
-empty 3 oz bottle (for toner)
-cotton rounds
-small can of shaving cream
-hand sanitizer
-small empty spray bottle (for rubbing alcohol)
-hand held mirror
-disposable razors

Luckily Ulta is right next store, so I stopped by to purchase what I couldn’t find at wal-mart:
-velour puffs
-a large, washable round cosmetic sponge (to brace my hand on someone’s face when I’m doing makeup)
-black and brown waterproof mascara-I bought them from Max Factor, the kind that have a screw on top and the brush on the side…that way I can prevent myself from using the brush it came with…I have disposable mascara wands I use for other people…two wands, one for each eye

Online from various vendors, I’ve also bought the following in the last couple of weeks:
-brush apron (looks exactly like the one from MAC)

-disposable mascara spoolies
-disposable spatulas
-disposable lipstick brush applicators
-disposable lipgloss doe-foot applicators

I’ve been building this monster since November 2007. Here are other times I’ve collected or already had that I can stick in my kit:
-latex sponges – round and wedge shaped
-moisturizer – cetaphil I put in a mini jar
-graftobian lipstick palettes – 2 palettes, one in fashion shades and one in cool shades
-camera ready palette of blushes –about 8 blushes in this palette

-camera ready palette of shadow – about 5 basic colors –browns, grays, and black

-gel eye liner in black and brown

-fake lashes
-clear brow gel (from E.L.F only one dollar!)
-brush cleaner in a small bottle
-duo lash glue
-pencil sharpener
-translucent loose powder
-loose powder in a café color
-hair clips
-binder clips (to hold back clothing in shoots)
-makeup remover wipes
-aquaphor (for lips)
-pallet of neturalizers by cinema secrets
-graftobian crème blush palette

-oil blotting papers
-heated eyelash curler
-and a variety of makeup brushes in my apron…everything from M.A.C, to target, to no-name brands, to Michaels…

Many items I change in and out of the train case because they are items that I also use…except I sanitize them thoroughly if I put them in my kit. For example, I avoid using the lipgloss wands or mascara wands that come with the product so that I don’t contaminate them. Items that I’m still working on buying solely for my train case are:
-various lip pencils
-eyeliner pencils
-various lipsticks
-mascara base
-regular lash curler
-I have multiple MAC e/s palettes that I change in and out depending on the client…you can just wipe off the top layer of the e/s with tissue when using it on someone else.

So that’s pretty much everything in my kit, or that I want to be in my kit. I hope this helps some of you guys because when I first started out I was doing so much research looking for some of things I should have. Hopefully now I’ll have more jobs to book to use this stuff! I just like being prepared in the meanwhile 

I’ve already got a few possibilities lined up…I’ll share more when that time comes. Let me know if you guys have any questions! I'd also love to hear any product suggestions from you guys!


Vanessa said...

Yup! Pretty much sums up everything needed! I also have bobby pins in my kit and clips to pull back hair or style hair, and I like hairspray to tame the eyebrows. Nice post sis!

Ethereal Prey said...

wow! that's a huge kit you're building! its so informative! Do my makeup now!

toss in some gas-x in there as well, some ppl get nervous and um happened when i was working in theatre, strangest things...

Mrs. Lynne, said...

Good list sis. You are well on your way to accomplishment :)

yummy411 said...

wonderful kit! i love your powder palette, makes things much more compact!

have you melted down l/s yet for containers? i'm so apprehensive about that.

i need to get a cape for the client, i already have an apron (powder on my black clothes! LOL) you have a fabulous kit!

do you have a mixing pan..for either your liquids or mixing your cremes?

lastly, you have enough cleaning products, but i carry alcohol wipes.. very handy!!

yummy411 said...

oh i meant to ask.. why did you decide on graftobian lipstick palettes/blush, etc. had you used them before and liked them or strictly off of recommendation? i've been trying to get to my review of those synthetic brushes by coastal scents, but i know it will be time intensive. to answer you directly, i don't think they are worth it.. even though they are only $20.. put it towards something else =( their badger brushes are more promising which i look forward to buying soon.

Sass said...

omg thank u for this! this is perfect for someone like me considering doing makeup on the side.

mayaari said...

looks like you're well on your way to having a fully stocked kit!

Beautymarked3281 said...

what a great blog:)I would also suggest keeping eyebrow templates in your kit,Ardell makes them and they are maybe $3 at Target. You can buy a silver ring at michaels to keep the templates in 1 place. This is great for helping create an arch for ladies without a shape or no hairs at all. Also, maybe throw in a primer and some cream shadows for the more mature skin. Dont forget to throw some of your business cards in your traincase:)Oh,I have also found it helpful to have my own "studio" chair(Ikea has them) and clip on desklamp, this will prevent you from killing your back and really help you out if you are ever in an area with poor lighting:) Oh, another idea, it may be good to collect "bundles of brushes," if you are ever working on a large group of people, have lots of bundles of brushes (eyes,lips,face) and when finished chuck them in a dirty bag to all be cleaned later up instead of cleaning/waiting for your 1 set of brushes to dry between each client:)Good luck on your wedding!!

Christiana Divine @ Memoirs of A Shopping Addict said...

how exciting! :) i'm so excited for you. it must be great to see how your kit has grown and being prepared so well! :D what a killer kit. :D

Victoria said...

what a great kit!!


What a great post! Very informative. I've been wanting to do make up on the side in the future and started looking at things to build my kit and this helps me out a lot. Looks like you've got mostly everything covered. I think I'm going to check out that foundation palette in the future. :)

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

u know your stuff and u write well. Im just driving by. and nice blog? do chk me out sometimes and if ulike what u read, please do blog roll me and i will be back...and i have a book release party on April 24 from 7 to 10 at the MBar on Peters street, do accept my invite if u can make it

ChyiX2 said...

With all of this you're a professional make-up artist! I seriously envy the 2 palettes with 36 different shades. That would be sooo handy! I usually use translucent powder if I don't have the right shade.


MakeupByRenRen said...

NESSA: yup i have some hair clips but i think i'll add bobby pins too..thanks!

ethereal prey: lol that might not be such a bad idea...

mrs. lynne: thanks! i'm trying!

yummy: right now i have a plastic painters palette with a lid as well as a steel mixing palette so i can mix foundations, as well as put stuff like lipgloss and glue so i dont have to dig right into the product...i've yet to do the lipstick thing yet...i'm so scared to take things out of their lipstick containers! that's why i have two lipstick palettes so far...but a lot of the colors in there i'm not completely comfortable with so far...also with graftobian...i picked them because they had more colors to choose from then the camera ready cosmetics...also saw good reviews on specktra...i haven't used the creme blushes yet but i've used a few of the lipsticks and so far so good...thanks for the brush review! i've been looking for that...did you see pursebuzz's review on the brushes too? she seemed to point more towards the badger brushes as well...

sass: no prob! we gotta help each other out!

maayari: i'm trying! it's hard to stick on a budget though!

beautymarked3281: wow thanks for the tips! i saw once someone recommended a studio chair but it was expensive! i'll have to check out the one at ikea next time cuz my back does kill you have any creme shadows to recommend? right now i really just have MAC paints and paintpots...

chris: yup i def feel more prepared as i fill my kit more and i gotta use the stuff!

victoria: thanks!

lei: that foundation palette is great! especially for starting out with...

chyix2: translucent powder def comes in handy!

Ginny said...

wow, great kit you're building up. seems like everything you need.

spankedelic said...

hi ren. love your blogs! i used to be in the beauty industry before i went back to college! you're gonna be a great makeup artist! i used to do makeup for weddings, proms, parties, etc. it can get stressful. well, for me it was, cause i was doing their hair too! you should learn to do a few updos to add to your service. or curl their hair or straighten it. i would always fix their hair and then do the makup. i would just make sure they have an idea of what they want. the longest part is them deciding on what kinda hair or look they're going for. after that, it's not toooooooo bad. i would also take pictures and start a portfolio to show your future clients. that's what i did. i had pictures and then my other clients could look and pick what look they liked more. it just gave them an idea of what they would look like. well, you're gonna do well! you do an awesome job. take care!

Bliss said...

Oooo you have such a great makeup kit, i totally think you are more than ready ;) and i love the makeup site you show us hehehh.Many makeup artist that i know uses kryolan because they have more coverage but i think you have more than enough already :).

Kelly said...

hey, i love your blog! i'm a makeup artist too. it's also good to have a tide to go stick in there cuz you never know! i carry a lot of kryolan. their stuff has a lot of pigment in it. i have their foundation pallette and it gives good coverage too. but it looks like you have everything!

Emilee @ GMM said...

Great post, Ren! I have all the information I ever need if I ever decide to build a kit (as if I don't have enough crap already, haha).

stylishmomy said...

wow congrats and goodluck girl =) Im pretty sure youll do great! Im a lurker on your blog and just finally posted =) Stay gorgeous and keep the FOTD and tips coming. Im so excited for you.

(g)ezebel said...

dang! no wonder you needed that train-sized train case!!

A Caramel Goddess said...

I suggest tissue for watery eyes and runny noses. I know sometimes my nose runs for no reason, especially if it is cold. So being able to hand them something to clean up before they mess up your masterpiece would be helpful because most people don't carry any. You can get the big packs from a dollar store, I think they have ten mini packs in each. And with that, maybe some Neosporian for germs. I wish you success.

Tigress or Tame? said...

hi ren. i am debating between buying the RCMA Sampler palettes or the smaller, 5 slot cinema secrets ones. Now that u have tried them both, which would you recommend? Please reply!

CestLaVy said...

Hi there! Awesome awesome list. Helps alot. Do you prefer the RCMA palettes or the Graftobian HD palettes? I work mostly on warmer skin tones in the Texas heat! Thanks for your input.. my email is

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