I’ve been looking online for ages for professional make-up kits and have found various quality kits from different brands at varying prices. It’s a little daunting since I haven’t tried most of the brands but I have been searching for reviews. I figured there would be others out there who are as confused as me so I’ve put together a short list and description of the ones that I’ve found (some prices are in dollars and some are in pounds, as I found them).
The idea is for me to buy a simple, affordable starter kit and to add to it as I go, choosing which products I like and want to work with. I have a few bits and pieces (liners, shadows, and my new Make Up For Ever flash case ;-)) but am no where near having a full kit. So here’s the ones that I’ve found online…
Makeupart.net has a collection of kits from small mineral kits at $75, Basic Mineral Kits at $499 to their Hollywood Kits at $1499 and Professional Mineral Kits at $2390. I haven’t found any reviews for these products so if anyone has tried them I’d love to hear about them. They have some cheaper kits designed specifically for students but you have to buy them in bulk.
FeroBeauty.com has 2 professional kits. The Starter Kit is 73 pounds and the Pro Kit is 95 pounds. I found a few reviews for these. Some people say they are okay for students and people just getting into the MUA business and most agree that they wouldn’t use them for professional use too much. I can’t give an opinion as I haven’t tried them but I dare say for the price they would be a good starting point, especially if you’re doing photo work and don’t need them to last all day.
BeautyExpress.co.uk has a selection of products and kits. The main one is their Professional Kit at 50 pounds (was 75). They also sell a Global Kit which has some products aimed at darker skin tones for 30 pounds, and a SBC Foundation set with 3 mousse, 3 liquid and 3 compact foundations in light medium and dark for 30 pounds (it’s 65 pounds on the SBC website).
SBCgels.co.uk have a Student Kit which also includes brushes and some disposable tools (mascara wands and sponges). This is 110 pounds “Worth over an astonishing £250 !!! if you bought the products individually”. They also sell a Global kit which is similar to the Beauty Express kit but looks to have different colours and is 65 pounds. Like I said above, their Foundation Kit has 9 foundations in 3 shades and is 65 pounds. The reviews I found for this brand were similar to the Fero reviews, i.e. okay for a starter/student kit.
Show Makeup sells products for MUA’s working in theatre, face painting and some cream bases for brides. Their kits include simple personal kits for 29 pounds and a full MUA kit which includes cream lipsticks, eye-shadows, bases and brushes for 145 pounds.
Blush Cosmetics sells some small makeup sets that could be good for beginners to practice with. If you want to start off really small then they have 2 Oumeidie 24 Colour Make-up Sets for 4.99 each both with 20 shimmer eye-shadows and 4 blushers. For something bigger they have a Professional Make Up set from The Color Workshop which has 32 eye-shadows, 16 lipsticks and more for 30 pounds (usually 50 pounds).
The London School of Beauty and Makeup sells an OPEN Makeup Kit for 150 pounds. I haven’t found any reviews about these. It is the kit that the school suggest buying when you start their course.
Stage Services Ltd is another site that sells makeup for theatre and amateur productions. Their Aquacolour makeup kit is 65 pounds and includes face and body paints and tools. Each kit is specific to a chosen skin tone, so you would need several kits to cover everyone.
BeeRoyal Products.com has a couple of kits. The Small Pro kit is $95 but doesn’t include any foundations. The Deluxe Pro Kit is $275 and includes foundations, correctors, shadows and more. Next is their Ultimate Mineral Kit for Professionals and Makeup Fashionistas. It has a lot of products including loose mineral foundations and eye shadows, and comes in a nifty tote bag. This kit is $495 but has “over $800.00 of Retail Mineral full size products”.
Make Up For Ever has a couple of kits available to purchase which look great. The Essential Kit is $372 and contains $700 worth of products. Their Comprehensive Kit is $563 and is worth $1125. I’ve used a few products from MUFE and like their foundations (even though, in Elizabeth’s words, “they smell like Grandma’s make-up”!), I love their concealer palettes and they have great range of eye-shadow colours. I think their Essential kit would be great kit to build up from!
Camera Ready Cosmetics sells a few different make-up kits. They have a Graftobian kit for $260 which has lipsticks, foundations and a corrector palette (if I don’t buy the MUFE corrector palette I will buy this one). They then have three CRC kits which are made up of a collection of products from different brands such as Graftobian, RCMA, Cinema Secrets, La Femme and more. You can buy them with or without a case, obviously being cheaper without the case. The Budget Student Kit is $400, Basic Make-up Kit is $460 and the Deluxe Make-up Kit is $585. They also have a Yaby Kit which is $450. If you’re looking to buy your pieces separately then this is a good site for you. They sell products used by MUA’s across the globe.
Mehron sells cream make-up kits which are said to be good for Tv, film, theatre and photography application. There are individual kits for $16 and a full kit for $70. There’s an “All Pro” kit that is “persperation resistant” and “non-streaking” for $55.
UnmasktheBeauty.co.uk sells two kits. There is a Pro Make-up Kit for 210 pounds and a Master Make-up Kit for 340 pounds. The Pro kit contains a bit of everything a beginner will need to get them atsrted and there is review of the kit from a college tutor saying that her students really like it! The picture shows mostly neutral colours but you could easily add more vibrant colours to your kit from whichever brand you like. The Master kit is basically a bigger version of the Pro kit, with more colours and shades. Each kit comes in a black case and has a brush kit. The products in these kits look very similar to those you get from teh likes of Coastal Scents, which everyone is raving about as being a great affordable brand. I’m not saying that they are the same, just that they look very similar. The more I look at these, the more I think they would make a great first kit, especially the Master one with it’s vibrant eye-shadows and six shades of liquid foundations!
I hope this list has been helpful. The advice I’ve been given from a few MUA’s is to buy the best quality products you can afford! This doesn’t mean the most expensive, as you’ll find out more and more when you start trying out different brands, so do your research. There are some web-sites out there that will send you samples of their products or sell mini sized products which is definately something to keep in mind when building a kit.
If you’re already a working MUA it would be interesting to hear which products you have in your kit and which brands you favour