The cosmetics industry has changed a lot in the last 20 years. Our grandmothers had a limited makeup selection. Either they could go to the drug store, or they could go to a high end counter where professionals in lab coats would apply luxury makeup. There weren’t a lot of midrange products.
Things are quite different today. Now we have large makeup stores that carry a multitude of new and old brands of cosmetics and skin care. Because of this huge selection, it is a common question for up and coming makeup artists: How does a professional select products for their kits?
There are many factors that inform a professional makeup artist’s decisions about product choices. The first thing that might not be immediately apparent to the new comer is that, while the large makeup store at the mall might have some great products, most of them are packaged up for an individual consumer to purchase for personal use. This immediately becomes an issue for the pro artist concerning things like foundation, for instance. The professional needs to be prepared for any skin tone. While they certainly could have 20 bottles of every possible color choice on their counter, a more practical solution is a versatile, full-coverage creme palette like the RCMA vk palettes or the Kryolan Derma Color palettes.
This might bring up another question for some newbies. Brands like Kryolan, Mehron, and Ben Nye are industry standards, and you won’t find them at the big commercial makeup stores. In fact, most of a professional’s kit might be made up of brands most have never heard of! These are products that have stood the test of time on stage and in front of the camera. Most pros gravitate toward these rather than the newest trendy products.
Which brings us to trends. A pale blue, matte liquid lipstick might be the hottest thing this week, but you’ll be hard pressed to find anything like that in a professional makeup kit. The working professional is concerned with showing up prepared to make a person with any skin tone and face shape look their absolute best in front of the camera, rather than flash-in-the-pan trends.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. It takes most artists a long time to discern the appropriate kit choices. Attending a certified training program can jumpstart your career path in this competitive field. Building a great kit is only the beginning!