One of the more challenging things about starting out as a makeup artist is building up a pro makeup kit. It can feel very overwhelming to decide where to begin. Not only that but there is the issue of cost. Of course, you want to use only the very best for your clients! But when you are starting from scratch and trying to cater for a whole host of clients and their specific needs it’s difficult to know where to begin never mind affording everything. I remember this feeling vividly! And so I have compiled a list of tips that will help to build a pro makeup kit without breaking the bank.
1. Apply For Pro Discount
So many great brands offer a generous discount to makeup artists whether you are fully qualified or a student.
Most are free and straightforward to apply to. My personal favourites for being hassle and cost free are NARS, Illamasqua, and Charlotte Tilbury (CT have the loveliest pro team!)
NARS ~25%-40% (tier system) Free to apply
MAC ~Up to 35% They do charge £25 for a 1-year membership or £40 for 2 years
Charlotte Tilbury ~30% Free to join
Illamasqua ~20%-40% Free to join
Guru Makeup Emporium ~up to 35% on selected brands
PAM ~ Up to 35% based on your credentials
Urban Decay ~ 40% Free to join (US only)
Bobbi Brown ~ Up to 35% they charge £15-£25 per year based on which level discount you qualify for.
2. Use Your Connections
Have a get together with makeup artists that you know and split up products between your kits. You can either swap items or split up and share products like lipsticks (DIY lip palette tutorial here), eyeshadow pigments, foundations etc. This is a fabulous way to increase your kit size with zero outlay.
If you don’t know any other makeup artists check out forums, Facebook groups, even Google local artists and get in contact.
As well as potentially building your pro kit this is a great way to make like-minded new friends and business contacts.
3. Go “Back To School”
A similar tip to the above but I thought I would add it in. Some Makeup schools kindly allow ex-students the use of their supplies. So do check with your college or school to see if that is something that they offer.
4. Check Out Facebook For Sale Groups.
Either locally or beauty specific groups like this one. There are often some great, barely used kit items for sale at good prices. Also arranging a local collection means more money saved to spend on your kit.
(Please be aware of fakes! Fee has a great post on how to tell fake products here)
5. Head To The Highstreet
The saying “Buy cheap buy twice” hasn’t really applied to high street makeup for a good few years now.
Of course, it would be a dream, to have a makeup kit full of Tom Ford!
High street/Budget brands have upped their game since the late Noughties and continue to do so.
Some of the best purse friendly places to check out~
Sleek makeup (Great NARS blush dupes).
*Amazon (For lashes)
6. Subscribe to the mailing lists of the brand’s you love for offers straight to your email.
No explanation needed. 🙂
7. Competitions and Contests.
I’m guessing that you follow a lot of makeup artists and brands across various social media platforms.
If so, you will have no doubt come across a contest or Two from them. There is usually a makeup related prize for the winner. Obviously, this isn’t a foolproof way to increase the size of your makeup kit but it doesn’t hurt to try! 😉 I recently entered the following Insta comps which are both still active… here and here 🙂
8. Most importantly prioritise what you (actually) need.
You can save yourself money simply by doing this step. Always keep in mind that having the basics covered will take you further than having 20 of the latest eyeshadow palettes gathering dust in your kit.
I hope these tips will be helpful if you are in the process of building up your makeup kit!
If you have any more tips, please leave them, in comments to help each other out.