Professional make-up artists are universally known for always hauling a huge, expandable make-up bag around with them wherever they go. If you are a professional make-up artist, or indeed a MUA in training, you will know this to be entirely accurate. However, there are numerous other, just as vital, products and items that no self-respecting make-up artists could and should be without.
One of the most underrated products in any make-up artists toolkit is a bottle of quality sunscreen. Not only does sunscreen protect the client from those harmful and, sometimes positively dangerous, UV rays, it can also act as an excellent and very effective make-up primer. Not only that, but sunscreen can also be used as a thicker, more textured moisturizer and can even, depending on the brand and consistency, provide a youthful, dewy, healthy glow to the client’s face, hands, arms and decolletage.
Similarly invaluable in an MUA’s kit is a hair remover. Such devices are designed to help remove facial hair and exfoliate the surface of the skin, revealing flawless and youthful-looking skin beneath. For instance, Conture hair removers gently and literally painlessly remove facial hair and can be used as an incredibly useful preparation tool on the client. Having such a product on standby saves make-up artists valuable time, especially when they are working to a strict deadline or filming schedule.
An MUA’s Toolbox
For all your make-up needs, especially when working in film, tv and theatre, you should purchase your make-up from a professional, experienced and expert supplier of theatre makeup. It is always worth investing in quality make-up to avoid any potential problems or failures.
Aside from skin preparation for the client and the naturally large amount of quality make-up products, there are many other elements to a professional make-up artist’s toolbox. One of the ‘often forgotten about but pretty crucial, especially on a long shoot, items’ are some good quality breath mints, for obvious reasons. Along the same lines, a perfume or aftershave in a small atomizer as well as a face mask or two (even more important during the worldwide pandemic) and a small needle and thread kit.
Other essential items that should always be in your kit include bobby pins, hair ties and hair straws (if you often do bridal make-up) and a set of business cards to promote yourself and/or the company for whom you work. Ensure your business cards are kept regularly updated, and always refill your bag if you appear to be running low. If you have a tendency to work overly long hours with little to no breaks where you can eat a proper lunch and drink a good deal of water, consider carrying some glucose tablets for when your blood sugar needs a boost.
For professional make-up artists, it is advisable to also pack into your toolbox a stick of white chalk, a small can of hairspray, clear nail polish, a UV nail varnish curing travel lamp, toothbrushes and toothpaste and some nail polish remover pads.