Makeup Starter Kit: A Beginners Guide.

Makeup is your most vital tool as a makeup artist, so having an understanding of your choice in tools and how they work is very important.

Being an artist is not just what it is all about, you must be able to learn different techniques and the understanding that this is an ever evolving process as a makeup artist. This means that you must be regularly researching and updating your knowledge of new technical trends in the makeup industry and new makeup products.

When you first start out, you feel really overwhelmed with all of the products out there to choose from. When I started out I did not know where to begin, what to use, what was essential and what was not.


It took a while to understand that all you really need, when your starting out, are a few colours of each type of makeup to cater to different skin tones . What I am trying to say is, you do not need to go any buy every single shade or shadow for your starter kit. The great thing about most makeup products is you can mix them. Always remember as you grow so will your kit.

Essentials for a Starter Kit: 

When I started out I only had the following list of products and for a beginner I think this is more than enough to get you going:

  • Liquid Foundation – 5 shades including a light shade and a dark shade;
  • Light and medium concealer;
  • Translucent and Banana powder;
  • Black and brown mascara;
  • Black and brown eyeliner;
  • 12 eyeshadows – I tend to use more neutral shade (  5 different browns to orange) but also one blue/ green/ pink. I tend to have a mixture of shimmers and mattes (try to keep a gold and neutral shimmer in the kit). Always have a black shade;
  • Brow pencils – Darkest Brown/ Light brown and Blonde;
  • 8 shades of lipsticks – nudes to reds, be sure to include pink;
  • Glosses – clear/ pink/ nude
  • Lip liners – try to buy ones which match the lip stick/ glosses you have. You do not need to buy one lip liner for each but try to find shade will can go with a few lipstick shades;
  • 6 blush shades and a bronzer – I go from peach to pink shades.


The best way to increase the content of your kit  is to have consultations with your Client. This will give you can idea of what you need to buy, that is not already in your kit. This is how your kit grows without breaking the bank all in one go.

Pro Tip: As I mentioned, your knowledge is ever evolving, so at least once a month do some research or take time to learn about new developments in the makeup industry. Go to makeup counters, try and test the products. Do not be afraid to ask for samples. 

Lets look at 2 key products that gave me anxiety when I started out in more detail:


When I started out I found picking foundations to be such a daunting task. It comes in so many colours and levels of coverage, from sheer to full coverage. The sheerest foundation is a tinted moisturiser and the most full coverage is a liquid/ cream foundation. You can also get loose mineral foundations or a powder, which I think is in the middle when it comes to coverage.

Foundations also come in a number of finishes from powder to to cream and by the end of it your put off buying foundation all together. I avoided buying foundation for a while when I started out and stuck to similar skin tones to mine for months.

Pro Tip: Try to buy a few of each formula of foundation for your kit. I tend to go with liquid foundation more ( which is most requested) but for my mature clients I tend to use a more sheer liquid foundation/ tinted moisturisers. I vary rarely use powder foundation so I tend to have a light, medium and dark shade in my kit, in case. 


The best thing about foundations is that you done need to have a ton of shades because you can mix them to create an exact colour match for your Clients skin tone. As your kit grows you should have roughly between 10 to 15 shades of foundation, ranging from light to dark, in all formulas.

Pro Tip: Try to include lighting and a darkening drops. These are great in helping to darken or lighten foundations, especially as a beginner with a smaller kit. 

Make sure you build your kit with a range of coverages like sheer, medium and heavy foundations, this will help you to cater to all your Clients needs. It is also important to remember that not everyone is the same skin type, so being prepared with products that work with skin properly is part of your duty as a professional.

Pro Tip: Consultations are the key to understanding you Clients skin, tones and textures. This will help you to stock your kit for future Clients. 



This is another product which gave me anxiety! Like foundation there are so many shades. As with foundation, you will need a wide range of shades to match different skin tones. When I started out I had 3 shades – light, medium and dark, which at the time and my rate of work . I now have about 10 to 12 shades in my kit  ( as I have grown so has my kit) and personally I think that that is enough to cover all skin tones.

Similar to foundation you can mix concealers which is why you don’t need to buy so many when you start out. Lighting and darkening drops will also help to match skin tones are accurately.

Pro Tip: For a more natural look add a few drops of tinted moisturiser to the concealer. 


Another really great tip I got from a makeup artist is that if you find that you still aren’t able to get an accurate match, try adding 4 to 5 shades of colour corrector concealer. You can get really great concealer wheels from MAC, Kryolan or Makeup Forever.  By dabbing small amounts of yellow or pink you can warm up a beige tone to match you Client’s skin tone.

When stocking concealer, be sure to have a few colours for the under eye area as well as for the rest of the face. I like to buy concealer sticks and cut them out to store in palettes for easy use and mixing. You are an artist after all.

Let your kit grow as you do. As you learn and develop, your kit will do the same. Don’t break the bank starting out.



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