Article Feature: Packing Tips for Makeup Artists

Hi Bellas,

I was recently interviewed with other makeup artists on how I pack my kit and to share some of my kit must-haves. Check out the article below!

I was born to Filipino parents in Riverside, California, raised in Orlando, FL and currently living in Atlanta, GA.  I started my beauty journey over a decade ago. I had just finished Business School and was armed with my degree and prepared to take on Corporate America. However, about a year in the game, I noticed that something was missing. The creative side of my brain wasn’t being nurtured. I was always interested in beauty but it was just something I dabbled in – doing makeup on myself and my girlfriends for a night out.

In 2007, I decided to fill a gap in the beauty industry. As an everyday beauty consumer, I could not find products or artists that suited my Filipino features and skin tone. I decided to fill this void by creating a blog catering to women of all ethnicities, ages, and walks of life. I also expanded Makeup By Ren Ren, the blog, to include video reviews and makeup tutorials on YouTube. My YouTube page has received over 8 million views and my blog has been featured on many top websites. I have also partnered with major cosmetic companies to offer product reviews, giveaways and interactive events for readers. After an overwhelming positive response, I entered into a professional career in Freelance Makeup by launching Renelyn Thomas Makeup Artistry.

In 2016 I took the leap and left Corporate America for good to focus on my beauty career. I became co-owner of Industry Makeup Academy in Atlanta, offering aspiring makeup artists the opportunity to follow their dreams like I did. Check out,, or to learn more.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all makeup artists bring?
I always bring a makeup light. Without the proper lighting, all the makeup in the world can’t do anything to fix it.

I also bring water activated makeup remover towelettes. They do the job of removing makeup as well as cleansing the skin and you don’t need a separate makeup remover. Since they’re dry, they’re so travel friendly. They do the job of removing even the most stubborn waterproof makeup and help exfoliate as well. Makeup will not lay smoothly on top of dirty or dry skin and these towelettes are so simple to use and compact for travel. They’re great for use to prep the skin or end the night making sure you go to bed with a clean slate.

Always pack emergency items like a sewing kit, stain remover pen, mints, hair ties as these are the items that you or your client will always need in a pinch.
How do you bring things with you?

I pack tons of clear makeup bags. I have one for skincare, one for lips, one for eyes, face, etc. Keeping your makeup organized and contained prevents it from breaking when traveling and also makes finding items as well as clean up much quicker. I love the Zuca pouches – they’re durable, easy to clean and last forever. They also stack nicely in any luggage. But really any clear makeup bag, as long as it’s a thicker clear vinyl will work. You need to be able to see the product and grab them quickly. For powder products I go the extra step of wrapping them in bubble wrap to make sure they’re cushioned.

What are your top tips for other makeup artists?

Make a list before you pack and check items off so that you don’t forget everything. Try to have travel sized versions of skincare or put them in mini 3 oz bottles you can find in the travel aisle. The key is to be mobile. Use a luggage that you can put on your back easily or something that you can wheel but still be able to lift up stairs – that’s how you don’t overpack. I see a lot of makeup artists overpack or not organize their kit and it just looks unprofessional and slows down their makeup process.

To view the full article along with some great tips from five other MUAs, visit