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Makeup Education & Tips

How To Add Foundations To Your Pro Kit

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How To Choose Foundations for Your Pro Kit

If you’re a makeup artist, you know how much time and energy you spend thinking about choosing the best foundations for your pro kit. You want to make sure you have quality products in a range of shades, but you also don’t want to over-buy and over-stock your kit because that ends up being a waste of money. It’s a careful balance but it’s one that is really worth thinking about because complexion work should be #1 for any makeup artist.

Like I say, you might get hired for your dramatic and detailed eye makeup artistry but you’ll get rehired and referred because of your complexion work. Your clients, models, talent – they want to feel confident in their skin – and foundation is a huge part of the puzzle. And that’s why foundation is such a popular topic amongst makeup artists. I know I’m often getting questions from other MUAs like:

“What foundations do you carry in your kit?”

“What shades do you recommend I carry in my kit?”

So, I decided to share my thoughts here, as well as my personal strategy for adding foundations to my pro kit. Ready to dive in?

First, these are the six questions that you need to ask before buying ANY foundation:

  • Will I use it a lot?

  • Is it buildable coverage?

  • Is it formulated for many skin types?

  • Does it work well in the climate I live/work in?

  • Can I get it with a pro discount?

  • Do they have an inclusive shade range?

Honestly, all the answers to these questions should be YES. Let’s dive into each and I’ll explain why.

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Question 1: Will I use it a lot?

Product that goes unused in your pro kit expires. Expired product = waste of money. When you are first starting out, it’s almost impossible to know what you will and won’t use up before it expires.

If you are just now in the midst of building your pro kit, I highly suggest you either book a kit-building call with me here so I can help you map out your process step-by-step, saving you a lot of time and money!

Question 2: Is it buildable coverage?

Some of your clients may want a no-makeup-makeup look whiles others will want a more glamorous look. So ask yourself, what do *most* of your clients book you for? If you do a lot of minimal makeup looks and a au natural looks, there’s really no reason to carry a full-coverage foundation in your kit.

I’m looking at you MAC Face & Body is probably my favorite ‘skin like’ foundation I use on extremely youthful skin, aging skin, and clients who really don’t want to feel like they are wearing makeup. While F&B is buildable, I wouldn’t reach for it for a medium-full coverage face because that’s a lot of product (and time).

Question 3: Is it formulated for many skin types ?

As a professional, you need to have foundations that caters to ALL skin types (and skin tones, don’t worry, we will get to that in a second).  This is where we really can narrow it down to what works in a pro kit – if you work in a super humid climate, you need to know and make sure that the foundation won’t slide or melt off the face (to a certain extent, you’ll probably need other products). Conversely, if you work in a super dry climate, you want to make sure the foundation doesn’t get sucked into the skin like a sponge – or that the foundation doesn’t accentuate dry patches.

Now, most of these issues are remedied with a good working knowledge of skin prep but still, foundations need to work on everyone and every climate.

Question 4: Can I get it with a pro discount?

Ok, this isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker BUT it kinda is to me.

I like supporting brands that support artists and honestly, brands that support artists generally know what’s up. Brands that support artists know that artists WILL use their products, which means that generally speaking, the products are approved for professional use.

Professional use means they perform well in for the applications makeup artists typically use them for; things like film, television, stage, theater, photoshoots, weddings, special events, etc.

So yes, while saving money is nice (and that’s probably my favorite thing to do is save money), it’s not the only reason I am including this question here.

Question 5: Do they have an inclusive shade range?

This is probably one of the most important questions you need to ask yourself before buying *that* foundation for your pro kit. Does the foundation have an inclusive shade range? If the answer is no, the answer should be obvious.

One of my favorite foundations of all time is/was Chanel Vita Aqua Lumiere – it seriously lays SO beautifully on my skin and I look amazing in videos with it on.

I loved it so much I went to buy it for my pro kit because EVERYONE deserves to wear this gorgeous foundation. Low an behold the deepest shade they carry wouldn’t even work as a contour shade for me.

Chanel Foundation Shade Range

Effective immediately, I discontinued personal use of this foundation because I am essentially, as a makeup artist, a walking advertisement for “what foundation are you wearing?”

Drumroll Please: And the pro foundation I carry in my kit is… 

Danessa Myricks Vision Cream Cover! DM Vision Cream CoverI’ve been using this for YEARS… in fact, you’ll see pictures of this foundation in my book.

Rachel Lusk also loves it in her luxury bridal kit

I literally purchased her entire foundation lineup the same week it came out.

Read my review and assessment of this foundation here.

Closing Thoughts:

Whether you roll with the Danessa Myricks foundation or not, cream foundation is, in my opinion, the best foundation for your kit when you’re considering the investment. You can manipulate them specifically for the climate, the skin type, the skin tone and undertone. You can use them as concealer, and you can sheer them out into a tinted moisturizer. Cream foundations are hands down the most versatile.

If you want a good break down of all the foundations (as well as all the other makeup products out there), I highly suggest you grab a copy of my book Be Your Own Makeup Artist. This book is for makeup beginners, but it’s also being used as cosmetology school curriculum because it’s the PERFECT book (inclusive, unbiased) for aspiring makeup artists just starting out.

If you are just now in the midst of building your pro kit, I highly suggest you either book a kit-building call with me here so I can help you map out your process step-by-step, saving you a lot of time and money.

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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.

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