I'm Natalie, an American born makeup artist & makeup educator based in Wiesbaden, Germany. I truly believe that makeup, when applied well, can transform us in so many ways. My page is a space for inspiration, education, and advice. Thanks for being here & I'd love to connect with you!

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How I Save Big When Restocking my Pro MUA Kit

Restocking my Pro MUA Kit Blog Image

I asked in my Instagram stories whether or not you’d be interested in knowing what I purchased during the Black Friday through Cyber Monday shopping whimsy. A little over half of you wanted a podcast and the rest of you wanted a blog, some of you wanted a podcast, so I did both. No, the podcast is NOT a transcript. I’d err to say the podcast has quite more details and explanations of this post — so if you have the time, I’d encourage you to take a listen.

So here you go…


Here’s the short and sweet post outlining the major purchases I made (without batting an eye) for restocking my pro MUA kit and I am sharing these buys with you!

I’ve found there are always savings around other major holidays ::hint hint Back To School::

So the first “impulse” purchase I made were brushes.

Brushes

Brushes are, in my opinion, the single most important investment you make in your professional (or personal) makeup kit. Without brushes, forget makeup?

…and the brush brand I invested in this year? Rephr.

Rephr Makeup Brushes

I decided to invest in quite a few Rephr brushes this holiday season. At the time I am writing this post, Rephr is offering a $100 credit after the purchase of a $168 bespoke brush set. Normally, I’m anti-brush sets but because Rephr allowed me to customize each brush in each category from the bristle type to the handle type, I couldn’t resist. The bespoke brush kit includes six brushes, which is a pretty good deal. 

I added on a brush before I knew about the next deal (which I’ll mention below), which brought my total to $192. I returned to the site to use the $110 credit (they were also offering buy one, get one free every brush purchased). So essentially what happened is I purchased three brushes full price but received three for free. In total, I’ll be receiving 12 brushes for $198. 

This averages out to $16.50 per brush and while this may seem like a huge investment, my brushes are my babies and they need to withstand the rigors of use and washing and use and washing. Quality over quantity… always. This price of these brushes are pretty average when compared to the cost of brushes in my kit. I have high end Hakuhodo brushes but also swear by brushes from Sigma and Real Techniques. 

If you want to know the specific brushes I got, and why… well, that’s sort of like my trade secret. See, people book private lessons with me to learn about makeup and makeup artists book consulting calls with me to learn these secrets. I even wrote a book on how to wear makeup and I outline my favorite brushes and why in there, too! So, if you wanna know the nitty gritty, that’s where I spill my secrets.

What else did I splurge on?

Skin Prep

Sonia Roselli Skin Prep Line

You may remember the whole Skin Care vs. Skin Prep conversation I had with you already. Well, very rarely will I buy an entire line of something. Why? Because there’s normally only one or two holy grail items in the bunch and everything else, well it’s a crap shoot. I’m looking at you gift sets from Sephora! 

But, I made an exception this season… and I made this exception with Sonia Roselli

This is a line created by a makeup artist for makeup artists. 

Pro makeup artists know the challenges that surround skin prep and well, when a pro makeup artist develops a line to fill a void in the industry, they are normally pretty amazing. 

I used two bottles of her hugely popular Water Balm faster than any other skin prep product in my kit. I just knew that something was missing in my kit… the rest of her product line!

Now, this line rarely goes on sale and it is not inexpensive. When Sonia announced that she’s updating the packaging and that everything in her warehouse is 40% off, I didn’t walk. I ran. And when I got there, I purchased her entire line times two plus an additional two Tiger Eye brush soaps.

Makeup Brush Cleanser Sonia Roselli Tiger Eye Brush Cleanser

Yep, my clients are gonna LOVE me and it’s going to suck when I have to pay full price next year to replace these items. But, only the best for my best. 

A New Makeup Mirror

Glamcor Riki Skinny Mirror

As you know, lighting is EVERYTHING when it comes to makeup. I have invested in The Makeup Lights, which are totally amazing. These lights allow me to do and see my work in ways that make me a better artist. 

But there’s a problem.

The client “makeup” reveal and private lessons. 

The handheld mirrors I’ve had throughout the years have cracked or broken. Also, when I would hand my client one of them to look at their makeup, they are seeing “my” light and not “their” light. It’s kind of hard to understand, but trust me. It’s been bothering me for a while. 

Broken mirrors are not classy. Neither is looking at makeup palette mirrors (which I’m guilty of handing off to clients from time to time). So it was time to upgrade to Glamcor’s Riki Skinny with the carrying case. 

Their Black Friday Sale discounted this highly-coveted mirror (and one of Oprah’s favorite things of 2019) by 25% which is huge! I know this because I’ve been tempted to pay full price many times. 

Not only is this mirror evenly lighted with 5 dimming options, it has Bluetooth technology so you can magnet your phone to the mirror and take a flawless selfie! #nofilter, yo

The mirror also comes with a magnifying mirror which, for me, will help me get all the hairs on my chin. Haha, can you believe I just admitted that?!

I love that this mirror is large enough to show the entire face at arms length but also compact enough to travel (it’s the size of a laptop or conventional tablet). Of course, I opted for the shipping insurance and the gold case because #branding.

I plan on using this mirror for so many things. I’ll use it to record my “Get Ready With Me” videos for Instagram, my private lesson clients, client reveals, and of course makeup selfies. 

That’s all I purchased and that’s all I plan on purchasing. However these are items I’ve invested in during previous Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday sales. You may consider scooping up on the following items and saving some valuable moola!

Your new website! 

Tonic Site Shop Adriatique Theme

    • I switched from WordPress to Showit last year and I have never looked back. Of course, I went to the best of the best for my theme (pictured above) and saved big money with their Black Friday discount. I’m a proud affiliate for Tonic and I know you won’t be disappointed in going with one of their themes. Get 10% off with nataliesetareh. It’s SO worth the investment!
    • You can read more about what other systems and tools I use in my business here

The Makeup Light 

    • Like I mentioned before, professional lighting has changed my makeup game in SO many ways. The Makeup Light is the best in my industry and I can safely say I also have a “professional” lighting setup for non-makeup type events. I own two square panels and one eyelight. I travel with them to every job too (not necessarily every panel, but at least one). Worth. Every. Penny. But it’s not worth going into debt for. 
    • I started out by only agreeing to do a client’s makeup while facing a large window with natural light. Then, I got a ring light. Then, after I had some savings, more pro discounts, and also family members chipping in, I got my first TML. I’ve never looked back.

Cultivate What Matters: Powersheets

Lara-Casey-June-PowerSheets-mid-year-goal-setting

    • I’ve dedicated an entire post to my 2019 experience with Powersheets. Bottom line: Are they worth the hype? Yes. Should you get yours while there are so many discounts? Yes. Why? Because those discounts will not be found anywhere else anytime outside the holiday season or when they launch the next year’s powersheets. You best believe I bought my calendar during their 2019 launch.

There ya have it, the things you should be investing in YESTERDAY. All of these items are worth paying the full price, but if you can get a discount, why wouldn’t you? If you feel like I missed something, want to share your thoughts on something I posted, or just want to say hi, please leave a comment below!

XOXO,

Natalie Setareh

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Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can't put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you're doing it from a position of correction.

kevyn aucoin

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