Building Your Makeup Kit As A Freelance Makeup Artist

beginners guide to building makeup kit

Whether you are any professional makeup artist, Instagram Artist or you want to increase your beauty products as a freelancer, you should know what things need to be there in your makeup kit. As a freelance makeup artist, building a perfect makeup kit is no ordinary feat, rather it requires a financial investment, proper research, quality products and in-depth analysis. After all, it’s your tool to expertise and source of income.

With a broad range of so many makeup products in the market, you may get confused while selecting which products should be in your makeup kit and what isn’t needed. Most of us go to the shops, and all our concern revolves around getting the products within our designated budget. But bear in mind to buy the “right” (quality) ones within your budget.

If you want to get the right things without wasting your money and standing all confused in the store, then this article will hopefully shine some light on some tips when creating your kit. Before knowing what things you should have in your makeup kit I am going to discuss some tips that you should know to grab all the products within your budget whether you are a freelance makeup artist or are among the beginner learning how to become a makeup artist.

So… let me share some products, which I adore and recommend but please do remember each kit is personalised and we all have our favourite makeup brands and products.

  • Assessing and analyzing it:

Find out if you are comfortable in spending your money on some natural shades and neutral colours or you prefer to go for bright and shiny colours. When you find out what you need then go for choosing all the products that must be a part of your makeup kit. While selecting the products you have to keep in mind the sector you are entering. If you are trying to get work on editorial shoots then your kit would involve a mix of camera tested makeup and even facepaints for the more creative makeup deisngs. Whilst if you’re interested in building a kit due to wanting to be a bridal makeup artist then you will have more products focusing on the skin prep, and more neutral toned makeup products.

  • Go for choosing the products carefully:

When I first started putting my kit together, I would buy the cheapest of the cheap without even doing any research if the products would quality products. I learnt that it’s best to focus on quality products, and sometimes spending a little more money might be the most cost effective in the long term. For example, when I first started out I would buy £1 lipsticks which would only stay on for 5 minutes which were fine when it came to photoshoots but not for bridal makeup. That’s when I invested in a few long wearing shades which did cost more but make my bridal clients happy – allowing me to get recommendations for future work. Investing in the right products can go a long way. So go for the ones that are good quality yet affordable. Instagram is a great place to find recommendation on products which makeup artists are currently using in the field.

Also, know that every brand with a high price is not always of going to be of good quality. For your information, certain expensive brands are offering the same quality products provided by cheaper priced brands.

As you know that any professional makeup artist has to deal with a lot of customers having varied skin types and tones so having a quality of products is necessary. You should have a palette instead of individual pieces. You can buy eye shadow, concealer, blush and lip palettes which will serve to be cheaper than that of purchasing individual pieces. This will also make it easier to organise when setting up for a client but also means you’ll be less likely to over pack (as makeup kits can get heavy really quick!)

  • Spend time reading reviews and seeking advice:

In the market with a broad range of makeup products you do not have the time to check out each of them, so the best solution is to do research on what people say about a specific product or seek advice from them. Prefer seeking help from the experienced makeup artists and interact with different groups to discuss the products you are unsure of. It is not essential to rely on others, but still, reviews can be helpful by the experienced ones.

  • Consider buying in bulk:

There are several tools a makeup artist has to use instead of just cosmetics like foam sponges, mascara wands, cotton pads, etc. When these tools have to be re-stocked then buying all the new tools might be expensive, so it is better to buy in bulks. It will be a better option, allowing you to spend more money on your makeup products.

Essentials for your makeup kit:

Remember, it takes time to grow a solid makeup kit. So start with the basics and overtime build up your kit, there is no point in you buying 20 lipsticks and only 1 foundation. Remember to be resourceful, for example buying a light foundation and a dark foundation so you can mix the two colours to create your own shades, or using eyeshadow to fill in the brows and even use to add colour to the cheeks.


Down below I am going to list down all the products to let you discover what must be a part of your makeup kit whether you are learning how to become a makeup artist or if you are any freelance makeup artist.


OUT Cosmetics


Makeup products for face:

When it comes to makeup, the main thing to deal with is the face. Now I am going to list down some essentials for the face that every freelance makeup artist must have with him.

      • Prep
      • Foundation
      • Concealer
      • Blush
      • Bronzer
      • Setting powder

All of these things might seem much to be kept, but they aren’t and will easily fit into your kit. Remember, you can buy pans and create your own face pallets.



When I started as a freelance makeup artist, I would always forget about prepping the skin. Moisturising the skin can have a huge impact on how the makeup looks and sits on the face in the end, especially if someone has dry skin.

      • What you need:

For professional work, be prepared for the 3 main types of skin. Dry, Oily and combination/sensitive. Start by having 3 moisturisers for each skin type.

      • A rich moisturizer for clients with dry skin.
      • A light oil free moisture for clients with more oily skin.
      • Something organic/no perfume created with sensitive skin in mind.



You might be aware of this product even if you are still in the line of learners or becoming a freelance makeup artist due to its commonality.

      • What you need:

For starting out, try gathering 5 shades of foundation. Including a light and dark warm tone foundation and a olive toned light and dark foundation. This way you can start mixing your foundations to create the perfect shade for your clients. Remember to get a mix of matte finishes and dewy finishes.

      • I’m loving:

L’Oreal Paris Infallible 24H-Matte Mattifying 



One must have two types of concealer in their makeup kit. I highly recommend looking into a concealer pallet, as they will work out cheaper and easier to stay organised.

      • What you need:

As I said that you need two types of concealers; one for blemishes and the other one for under-eye. They can be of medium or light shades or both.

      • I’m Loving:

MAC Studio Conceal and Correct Palette



Blush is the most simplistic way to add colour to the face, from pink, flushed tones to warm peachy sunkissed tones.

      • What you need:

At least one good blush palette, which includes a range of matte finishes, and shimmer options.

      • I’m Loving:

Ultra Blush Palette Sugar & Spice



Perfect to sculpt and add dimension to the face, can also be used on the eyes.

      • What you need:

Look for a powder bronzer kit to start with, which offers a range of shades to suit a range of clients skin tones. This is something I personally found investing a little more money into due to wanting the shades to blend nicely with a range of different types of foundations and skin types.

      • I’m loving:

Kat Von D – ‘Shade + Light’ Face Contour Palette


Setting powder or Spray:

I have heard people complaining about their makeup and blaming the quality of products, but that’s not the fault of the makeup but the absence of setting spray or setting powder from their makeup kit. As a professional, you have to deal with this through setting powder or finishing spray.

      • What you need:

When starting out I focused on getting a translucent powder so I could use on all my clients no matter their skin complexion.

      • I’m loving:

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder Transparent


Makeup products for eyes:

Let’s move on to the eyes… Some of the essentials for eyes that should be in the makeup kit of every freelance makeup artist are:

      • Eyeliner
      • Eye shadow
      • Mascara
      • Eyebrow pencil


Black eyeliner is a must in every makeup kit, either as a liquid pen, or as a gel. This is where you have to experiment and see what you prefer using. Even if a client doesn’t want a winged liner most clients will still want a little across their lash line to make their lashes look fuller.

      • What you need:

Usually, black eyeliners are used, but you may also keep grey or any other lighter coloured eyeliner but starting out black is the most popular option.

      • I’m Loving:

Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner – Black


Eye shadow:

Now let’s talk about eyeshadow (my personal favourite part of doing someone’s makeup).

      • What you need:

As a professional, you should have at least 12 shadow colours in the range of colours, shades and shimmers too. Instead of going for the individuals, a palette will rather be a good option to help stay organized and maximise room. Make sure to have one good palette for nude tones and a palette, which features colour shades.

      • I’m Loving:

OUT Cosmetics Products recently

Morphe 25B Bronzed Mocha Eyeshadow Palette


My favourite product that I always keep with me in my makeup kit is mascara and so should you. Very affordable mascaras are available in the market.

      • What you need:

Go for one which is black to start with and one, which can build to create a more dramatic eye look.

      • I’m Loving :

Maybelline Express Falsies Mascara

Eyebrow pencil:

In a professional field, you will meet different clients. Some of them are into eyebrow game, and some prefer it natural.

      • What you need:

Invest in a few pomade shades for those who want ‘snatched’ brows and for the softer makeup looks why don’t you play with your eyeshadow shades before investing in other powder brow products.

      • I’m Loving:




The most captivating part of your face can be your lips, going bold with a statement red shade or a subtler nude depending on the occasion of your client. Starting out have a few shades, red being one of them and a few nudes, which suit a range of skin tones. Finally clear lip gloss is always a winner to have in your makeup bag.

Lip gloss:

Lip gloss gives a different and shinier look to your lips making them look beautiful and juicier than ever! Perfect for those who like wearing a lot of makeup or maybe tend to have dry lips.

      • What you need:

Starting out, have a clear lip gloss is a must so it can be used with a range of lipstick shades.

      • I’m Loving:

Clear lip gloss by Glossier



Now time to complete the look and pull it all together!

      • What you need:

You can use matte lipstick or cream, whatever you prefer. Keep with you 8-10 different colours of lipstick. As painful as it is, melting your lipsticks down and creating a lip palette saves so much room in your makeup kit.

      • I’m Loving:


Quality topped of with affordability is what you need to build your makeup kit on. Hunt for the right shades and invest in smart products, you won’t regret your choice. If you’re going to invest in more expensive makeup then make sure you check out reviews before buying and you’ll soon discover products you cant go without in your makeup kit.


If you found this post helpful or know anyone starting out as a freelance makeup artist, then don’t forget to give this post a share.


Don’t forget to check out my own makeup brand if you are looking for affordable makeup products.



2 thoughts on “Building Your Makeup Kit As A Freelance Makeup Artist

  1. Zoila Garza says:

    Awwwww this is the first post I find and read of yours, and I am loving it!! Already reading more! #NewlySubscribed

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