Kit Essentials

Monday, 17 March 2014


I have been a Makeup Artist for 7 years and over the years I have learnt which products are my absolute essentials, without them at my makeup station or in my set bag I would feel very lost!  Infact, while I was arranging these products on my counter for the purpose of this photo we had to run out on set to do makeup checks and I forgot my beloved Prep and prime powder just when I needed it, reminding me why it is such a staple for me, luckily I had a back up mac studio fix with me in the right shade!  Hopefully this is helpful to those of you who are starting out and building up a kit not knowing where to start, I remember that feeling well!  Baring in mind these products are great for TV, things can differ slightly for fashion and editorial.  Please excuse the bad quality photo, it was taken on my iphone rather quickly at work!

An obvious but very important product is lipbalm, In this photo I have the Kiehl's Lip Balm #1 which is one of my favourites, I use it on women and sparingly on men as it is quite shiny.  Other favourites include Lucas' Paw Paw Ointment, Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour, Blistex and for a more matte finish the Nuxe Reve de Miel is lovely.  Its good to have at least two, one for your set bag and one on your table.

A good body cream is a must too, on some jobs I need mine numerous times a day.  A favourite is Kiehl's Creme de Corps, expensive but loved by everybody.  Any will do though but bare in mind the ones with shimmer can look sweaty on camera, not a good look!

Some thing I didn't realise I would need until I started actually working is eye drops, its surprising how often people ask for them.  I suppose most presenters, actors and artists work long hours on little sleep and rush around a lot so eye drops tends to help tired eyes look and feel more awake.  I buy the Blink single use ones.

Another great staple to have is Weleda Skin Food, an ultra hydrating moisturiser for anywhere on the body, even if you just use it to save your hands from washing them 100 times a day its worth the purchase!

A new addition, thanks to a fellow makeup artist friend (thanks again Anna!) is the Skindinavia No More Shine Makeup Finish spray.  You spray it on before makeup application, then apply makeup as normal and after powdering and final touches, spray again and it keeps makeup in place and holds off the shine for longer.  I haven't been using it long but I was really impressed with the results and will continue to use it, especially for those with very oily skin as it will cut down the amount of times I need to powder throughout the day.  This would be useful for brides too, they do have a specific bride formula but I'm not sure what the difference would be, let me know if you have used it!

A product I have had in my kit since my first day at LCF is my Dermacolor mini palette, available in lots of different shade combinations, this is an absolute must.  They give perfect coverage for blemishes, tattoos and scarring and you know you will have the right shade for anyone while they dont take up much room in your kit. 

Yet another anti shine product but again something I use on most jobs is MAC Matte, a matifying cream great for bald heads and oily skin.  Another great one is No7 Beautifully Matte Makeup Base, it can be used on all skin tones apart from black skin as I find it can leave an ashy finish but if rubbed in well it is great for up to mixed raced and asian skin tones.  The Mac one is clear so can be used on any skin tone but I find it is not as mattifying as the No7 one.

MAC Prep and Prime loose and pressed powder can be used on any skin tone, making it a great addition to a new makeup artists kit, and great for when you need to powder a few different skin tones on set quickly, to save you holding more than one powder or routing around in your set bag for different colours.

One of my favourite brushes is the MAC mascara 205 fan brush, it makes for a much more delicate and precise mascara application.  This only works when applying mascara on someone else, not on yourself.  I never use wands now, unless I want to apply a load of mascara.  The other two brushes you can see are my favourite brushes for easy eyeshadow application, the MAC 239 for packing colour on and the 217 for blending.

My final kit essential would be a good set bag, I used a rubbish one for years and it was a constant irritation!  When you are touching up on set you need to be quick, efficient and prepared, so a set bag that is either too big, too small, difficult to hold or that makes it hard to find things will only make you feel flustered and less confident.  It helps if its see-through, has different pockets and sections and a long strap so you can pop it over your shoulder and be hands free.  A tissue pocket at the front is also handy but not essential. Make sure you always have it stocked with the products and tools you may need on set and cover yourself for every eventuality - something I could be much better at to be honest!

I hope that is useful, I would love to know what your essentials are!

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