Be A Professional Makeup Artist. What’s In My MUA Kit?

So last weekend marked an exciting time for Face Value Beauty Blog. I am venturing into the world of professional makeup artistry! HELLO new side hustle! I’m expanding my beauty obsession beyond myself and sharing my skills and tips with real, actual human beings rather than just the internet. Scary. 

And where else to start than at the deep end? A WEDDING. Yep, the biggest beauty day of many people’s lives. Obviously I am far too risk-averse to start my career with a bride, so I started with 4 bridesmaids instead. Better or worse?!

I’m going to do a series of posts about becoming a professional makeup artist, for anyone that’s considered it or even just generally interested! Today I’m talking about the basic kit that I’ve pulled together and then next week I’ll do a post showing the final looks, the products and techniques used.

What’s in my kit?

First of all – the brushes.

I have a personal collection of brushes but I wanted to keep those separate. Partly because there’s about a MILLION of them and they’re already well organised in my beauty drawers – every brush has it’s own place which I’m far too anal about. 

The main reason though, it would be really annoying to keep taking them out for MUA work, and then have to put them all back again. 

I can tell you right now, I just won’t do it – a bit like when you come back from holiday and take 2 weeks to unpack your suitcase (only when you run out of fresh pants, am I right?)

SO. I was in the market for a whoooooole new set – and one that covered all the essential brushes I needed including:

  • Big fluffy powder brush – to apply powder all over the center of the face
  • Small blusher brush x 2 – one for for lights and one for dark
  • Fan brush – for a light dusting of highlighter or setting powder
  • Wide, flat concealer brush – For concealing blemishes and dark circles.
  • Domed eyeshadow brush – for washing colour up to the brow bone and blending edges.
  • Narrow Liner brush – for under the eye, or powder liner
  • Flat angled brow brush – for filling in any gaps and lengthening the brow.
  • Small lip brush – for hygienically applying lipstick 

    Instead of buying these all individually for a £3-10 each, I looked for a full brush kit. These tend to have better value, and often come in a brush roll too. 

    A brush roll is a must for protecting your brushes whilst on the go, especially when you’re transporting them to and from your house. Oh, and they look dead fancy and professional too… The next step up for me, would be to get a brush roll that I can wear around my waist like a weapon belt. MAKEUP ARTIST GOALS.

    I ended up going with this full-scale 30 piece brush set (£16.15) from Glow Beauty Shop. I always find that online shops have better deals and prices, though it’s difficult if you can’t actually see and touch the merchandise first. For the price though, you really can’t beat it on value. 30 decent brushes for less than £20!

    It was a great set to start with though this one is geared slightly more towards a good base, with slightly more foundation and concealer brushes than eyeshadow brushes. It had all the brushes I needed though – I didn’t need to resort to my own collection for anything except tweezers.

    Other MUA Essentials

    This is before we even get to the good stuff, the makeup. I’m talking about things that ALWAYS come in handy, a must for all kits.

    Hand sanitiser – hygiene is EVERYTHING. Not just for your clients, but also for you. In the same way that your client can be infected by an unclean brush, you can also pick up stuff vice versa. Not to be massively sensationalist here but did you see the story about the girl that used her friends makeup brush which left her PARALYSED?! (read here from Medical Daily)

    Bacteria is a big deal guys, more awareness needs to be raised over brush hygiene. Some professionals even choose to use a barrier cream like Derma Shield. (£9.99 with free delivery)

    And it’s not just skin either – brush cleansers are absolute must-haves.

    My favourite brush cleanser is the MAC Brush Cleanser £12 but it’s a bit expensive and also not portable whatsoever. As an alternative, I recommend B Makeup Brush Cleanser (£4.99 with free delivery) because it comes in a handy little spray that I spray directly onto brushes before wiping until clean on a tissue or kitchen towel. For thorough cleansing, I’ll do a brush soak in it every month.

    Another essential is cotton pads. To be in conjunction with plenty of Micellar Water of course. I cannot live without them at home, and doing makeup elsewhere is no difference. Don’t forget about cotton buds too, to wipe up any small detailed mistakes- mainly when doing liquid eyeliner.

    Disposable mascara wands – eye infections are so easily spread, so I always make sure to use disposable wands for each person, and never pump a used wand back into the tube. You can find them for super cheap on ebay, I like these silicone wands, as they separate lashes more than the traditional mascara brush heads and are great for detailed mascara work.

    Another eyelash essential for me is false lashes. Strip lashes can look a bit too artificial, so my go-to is cluster lashes. These little bundles of 3-5 lashes are placed on top of the lash with glue and result in a fuller flutter, but more natural.

    I like to use these with regular false eyelash glue, so clients can remove them as normal with normal makeup remover at the end of the day. They really do make a HUGE difference – and they can look really natural if placed towards the outer corners.

    My set of choice is, again, from eBay China – such good value, you can get a box of them for 99p including delivery. Get your own lash glue though, I don’t ever use glue from unknown manufacturers from China. I like this Eylure Lashfix Glue, it lasts forever.

    If you don’t have 2-3 weeks to wait, you can also buy these in the UK – I recommend a kit like Eylure Duo’s And Trios £6.95 which is similar, and very easy to use.

    How much does it cost to get a kit together?

    When it comes to buying a kit, it doesn’t have to be expensive – you just need to shop around and plan ahead. Don’t go and buy everything from Boots. I found those 50 mascara wands for £1.96 from eBay – but it was a buy from China which means you wait longer.

    I don’t scrimp on quality for products, although it doesn’t mean that all your products have to be expensive. Although I’ll use a Rodial contouring powder, I also use cheaper brands like MUA and Elf Cosmetics which have some really high quality products too.

    More coming soon on products, when I get the professional photos back from the wedding!

    In need of a makeup artist? Ever thought about starting a new side hustle? Tweet me your thoughts @FaceValueBlog or send me a comment on Facebook!

    Zoe Bayliss Wong
    Zoe Bayliss Wong

    Zoe is a Forbes ’30 under 30′ finance pro, style writer, presenter and panellist, working for a fashion startup and trying to live that best life in the most IRL way possible.

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