Building your Makeup Kit as a Beginner in the Industry - A Few Things I Did!
Building your kit as a makeup artist just starting out in the industry is tough. When I began as a makeup artist I was 16 years old and was working at a mediterranean restaurant as my first part time job while making minimum wage. I was lucky enough to have Saturdays open so I was able to have availability for clients on that day- but the issue was, I needed my makeup kit to do makeup on these clients! It was tough for me at the time to drop a large amount of money at once to have everything I needed, especially as a beginner that didn’t have much business coming in. Regardless of my situation, I made it work. In this blog post I will be showing you a few things I did so I could slowly build my kit and hopefully help you too.
Make Saving Money Towards What you Want a Priority
When I am out with friends, it is common for me to spend $100+ on food and drinks! Maybe for you it could be a different kind of spending but when we think about it, those $100 could easily be equivalent to a 8 pairs of eyelashes for a makeup kit that you could be using on 8 clients to make you $800. It really is all about priorities. Think about your ROI - your Return on Investment. Think more about what you can earn if you invest your money in the right place. If you really want it, make it happen!
I Bought Items as I Needed Them
Instead of dropping hundreds of dollars on a variety of foundation shades starting off, I would ask my clients for pictures of themselves without makeup on so I could color match them and then, if I didn’t already have their shade in my kit, I would go out and purchase one. I would make sure this foundation would be of good quality so I could use it for future clients to come.
You could also ask your client for inspiration pictures. For example, if your client requests a specific colored glitter, you could purchase that before you do their makeup and maybe + a couple other shades to keep in your kit instead of buying the entire rainbow at once. Eventually you could have the whole rainbow, but for the time being and for the sake of slowly growing your kit, buy what you need.
Doing something like this would allow me to be prepared for my client but also invest what I could at the moment as I was slowly growing my kit without feeling like all the money I was making be completely spent on my kit. Although, please acknowledge that it is important to understand that in the beginning of a makeup business, it is more investing than making profit just like any other start up business. This is just a way to ease off the burden of heavy spending all at once and feel better about our purchases and about our profit at the end of the day.
Attend Makeup Shows and Seek out Makeup Deals
Back before COVID, makeup events such as IMATS and PHAMExpo were popular. I remember what I would do was set aside money all year long until these events came around and I would shop for my makeup kit there! I would find a lot of shadow palettes, brushes, and lashes. There would be lots of deals going around and it was a great place to be especially as someone wanting to grow their kit.
I would also keep up with indie makeup brands such as Colourpop, Pinky Rose Cosmetics, and Beauty Creations on instagram to watch out for any special deals! You will also notice that these instagram brands have amazing products that perform just as great or sometimes even better than prestige makeup. If it performs well and you consider it as a long term product, add it into your kit!
Amazon is also a great inexpensive place to find tools as an artist! Here I find things like steel palettes & spatulas, disposable spoolies and lip wands, and other equipment like my ring light and high chair for a great deal!
My Final Message
In essence, what I did was try and prioritize my kit because being a makeup artist was something I wanted to be so bad. I was willing to make sacrifices because I had hope one day I would be in the position I so dreamed of being in. Be patient and also understand that growing your kit really never ends. Even now as a professional I see myself still looking for makeup deals and always trying to bring in new products for my kit. We never really stop!
I am wishing everyone building their kit a lot of prosperity in your business! Your return on investment will come. Be patient and don't get discouraged. Keep doing the best job you can with whatever you can!