Products for Makeup Artists 2021 - Natalie Setareh

MUA Business & Marketing

The Best Products and Tools for Makeup Artists

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The post was originally published on January 7, 2021. Edited: December 22, 2023.

Let’s talk about products for makeup artists. From time to time, we all need to reassess what we have, toss out things that are past their prime, and restock with some new items, like a top-notch palette or a professional makeup brush. If you’re feeling like it’s time to update the products in your professional makeup kit, you’ve come to the right place!

Now, I know it’s not easy — or cheap — to build out your professional makeup kit and keep it stocked with fresh new high quality products all the time. I mean, there are so many amazing new products out there, and truth be told, I’m sure we all wish we had money to try every single one of them out.

But, that’s where we MUAs can learn from each other! I know I’ve had a lot of experience with various makeup products over my years working with clients, and I know the same can be said of any working professional makeup artist out there. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all share our expertise with each other? I decided to put my money where my mouth is and write up this post with some of my favorite products and the best tools for professional makeup artists so you can plan your purchases.

Before we dive into the shopping list, I want to talk about something a little more serious… makeup kit sanitation.


Makeup Kit Sanitation

A big part of going through your professional makeup kit is determining which makeup tools and products you can hold onto a little longer. Those high quality products should definitely be sanitized regularly for the health and safety of your clients.

If you want to learn more about how other makeup lovers keep their kit sanitized, especially in the COVID and the post-COVID world, you must listen to my recent interview with Katrin Levi on my Be Your Own Makeup Artist podcast. Our “sanitation conversation” includes everything from LED lights to must-attend sanitation certifications (both free and paid) and sooo much more.

[su_button url=”” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#814B84″ size=”9″ center=”yes” radius=”0″]Read the “Conversation on Makeup Sanitation” blog[/su_button]  [su_button url=”″ target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#814B84″ size=”9″ center=”yes” radius=”0″]Listen to the podcast episode[/su_button]


Ok, now that we’ve got this out of our way, let’s talk about my fave products for makeup lovers and why I think they’re worth considering!

Products and Tools for Makeup Artists



This post contains affiliate links, which means I will earn a small commission if you purchase a product on the link. As always, I only recommend high quality products I would (and do) use myself.

There’s nothing more fun than buying makeup palettes (all those colors!) but if you are a serious makeup artist who wants to find meaningful work and income, there are going to be some other things you need to stock up on. These are some of my go-to products and tools for makeup artists, the things I simply can’t live without!

You can also explore my Essential Tool Guide to learn more about the makeup tools to apply makeup confidently. If you’re still using free “brushes” from compacts, it’s time to invest in quality, long-lasting tools that don’t have to cost a fortune.

1. Cozzette Canisters

Cozzette Makeup Vessel

No more exposed brushes – it’s closed containers all the way in a COVID (and post-COVID) world. Cozzette Canisters are sleek, durable, and easy to sanitize. They are easily one of the best accessories to have in your professional makeup kit. I love them because they are specifically designed for professional makeup artists who are on the move and need something practical and dynamic.

These containers will protect brushes, mascara wands, sponges, and anything else you need to keep safe from dirt and contamination. They also come in different sizes so you can have multiple canisters for your best tools. The only downside is that they are not see-through.


2. MyKitCo Brush Caddies

MYKITCO | My Big Brush Buddy Combo

I simply looooove these MyKitCo  brush caddies. They are clear, look pretty, and are designed by makeup artists for makeup lovers, so you know they are built for performance. With MyKitco brush caddies, you can store and transport your best makeup brushes anywhere you want super easily, whether it’s for special events. This brand actually has a bunch of products designed by makeup artists, so it’s worth checking their whole line!



3. Clear Pencil Cases

Clear Pencil Cases

If you work on set or have multiple clients (think bridesmaids/bridal makeup), you can keep all the brushes separate and avoid cross-contamination by using clear pencil cases. Then, you can just douse and sanitize the pencil case and save them for your next multi-client gig. They are the perfect solution for keeping everything neat and tidy, too!

4. Tools for Scraping Eyeshadows 

Eyeshadow Scraper and Spatula

You may not want to scrape your eyeshadows, and that’s fine, but if you know you aren’t going to have time to sanitize between clients and you’ll be using the same palette for multiple people, this is a good way to keep everything safe from cross-contamination. Of course, if you have loose pigments, you don’t need to worry about it.

Anyway, if you’re going to scrape your eyeshadows, here’s what you will need:


5. A Makeup Mat

Makeup Mat

Makeup mats are great for when you’re going to set up your kit on jobs. They keep everything neat and organized and they keep your makeup products and tools from touching the table. Nothing screams unprofessional than leaving the area you are using dirtier than when you arrived. Silicone placemats are also a great option (and very easy to clean) if you can find one that’s large enough for your work surface.


6. Extra Black Hand Towels

black hand towels

You are always going to need more towels than you think you will, so it’s best to have backup sanitized towels ready to go at all times. I like to use black towels because white ones tend to be hard to keep clean. Opt for the hand towel size, too. This size is easier to handle than the smaller washcloth size. You honestly cannot have enough black hand towels! I travel with 2-3 for do-and-go jobs.  


7. Zuca Bags

Zuca rolling makeup kit

Zuca bags are fantastic! I love the rectangular ones that came with my travel kit. They are clear and deceivingly large, and I can lay them out straight from my case and be organized right out of the gate. I can fit both hair and makeup products in them with room to spare for a full day on set, so in my opinion, this is definitely a good choice if you want to invest in just one tool to transport your brushes and makeup. Plus, they double up as a seat when you or your talent have no place to sit.

I’ve even seen makeup artists set up lights off the top of the handles.


8. MYO Containers

Products for Makeup Artists

It’s crazy how much product fits into these MYO containers. These palettes are great when you need to build multiple kits for longer projects that need to have cream, liquid, and powder products. Honestly, their products are great and practical and save you a lot of time and space. Their cases are also super resilient. I’ve even heard of MUAs dropping them onto the floor, and nothing happened. That’s impressive! This is a favorite product of Grishan Roof, the Queen of Depotting. Her interview was on of the most popular interviews of all time on the Be Your Own Makeup Artist Podcast. Check it out here.


9. Single-Use Sponges

Real Techniques Beauty Sponges

Single-use sponges are a great choice, especially in COVID times. If you don’t want to use single-use items and you want to keep doing your best work with your favorite high-end sponges, I recommend raising your price slightly to accommodate the cost of the sponges so that you can give the sponge to your client at the end of the appointment. If you’re going to use single-use sponges instead, don’t forget that most sponges are recyclable! Also, a great way to elevate your client experience is to gift them the beauty blender — you can’t reuse it anyway! I don’t love using things once and tossing them, but it’s nice to know that I’m not harming the environment in the process.


10. Velour Puffs

Velour Puffs - Products for Makeup Artists

Velour puffs are super practical. I particularly like the Camera Ready Cosmetics ones. Velour puffs are usually a sustainable alternative for a good reason because some of them can be thrown in the washing machine. While this is definitely eco-friendly and saves you some money, you can also gift these to your clients, and they’ll feel like a million bucks.


11. Fan Brushes for Mascara


BDELLIUM TOOLS | Studio 729 Duo Fiber Bent Mascara Fan Brush

Did you know that you can replace mascara wands with multiple mini fan brushes for a smooth application?

Disposable wands are so bad for the environment, and agencies like Wands or Wildlife are no longer accepting them because they have too many. A great alternative to disposable wands is carrying mini fan brushes scraping your mascara onto your stainless steel palette, and applying mascara in this way! This method is great since you can get really deep into the lash line.


12. Spoolie Brushes

Disposable Spoolies - Products for Makeup Artists

I don’t think you can call yourself a make-up artist without having a large supply of these disposable Spoolie wands. I always keep a handful of these in my kit, not just for mascara but also to groom eyebrows, comb out clumps of mascara, comb out products from bears/mustaches, etc. Never double-dip these into anything after use. You can check out my Essential Tools Guide to learn more about the tools I recommend for foundation, blush, bronzer, eyeshadow, eyeliner, brows, and more!


13. Elf Lip Brushes

Elf Lip Brush - Products for Makeup Artists

Again, disposable brushes are really bad for the environment, so I like to stock up on them and keep them in my kit for fast jobs so that I don’t have to use disposables. Because these lip brushes are an affordable price — you can gift the brush to your client/talent and make them feel extra special!


14. Vivan’s Set Bag

Vivan's Set Bag - Products For Makeup Artists

Hello, Washable! I love my set bag – designed by Academy Award-winning make-up artist Vivan Baker; if this bag is good enough for her to use on the set of Academy Award-winning films, it’s good enough for me. The best feature is that to stop the spread of viruses and keep things clean, they have ensured that almost every part of this bag can be cleaned with bleach products. Apart from that, it is spacious, with a light interior to make it easy to find everything you need. It is an investment, but it’s definitely worth it!


15. Isopropyl Alcohol 70%

Isopropyl Alcohol - Products for Makeup Artists

I buy this alcohol in bulk and keep a glass bottle filled with me on every job I do. It’s perfect for sanitizing makeup products and serves as an excellent makeup remover. This is also great for making sanitizer wipes. I keep mine in a dark glass spray bottle, similar to here:


Additional Tips and Recommendations

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That’s a Wrap!

While sanitation has always been a top concern for professional makeup artists before COVID, moving forward makeup artists and clients, COVID has changed how makeup artists pack, set up, and manage their kits probably forever.

Remember, investing in high-quality products is the most important thing for a professional make-up artist, and these recommendations aim to enhance your kit’s functionality while prioritizing hygiene and client experience.

If you want to discover even more professional makeup tips and insights, check out my blog post Holiday Gift Guide For Beauty And Makeup Enthusiasts. It’s packed with expert recommendations, the latest trends, and must-have products straight from a seasoned makeup artist. This is your opportunity to tap into the wealth of knowledge shared by a professional makeup artist with years of experience. Don’t miss out on the chance to enhance your professional makeup kit, refine your skills, and stay ahead in the ever-evolving beauty industry.


See anything missing from this list? Let me know in the comments below, or write me an email or message me on social media at @nataliesetareh on Instagram.



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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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