New Makeup artist student, needing advice---pros and professional amateurs alike please weigh-in! Thanks :) forums

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Oct 7, 2011
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   I just started MUA school.  I was wondering if you guys could weigh in and give me some tips on what items are holy grail for a new makeup artist and as a student.  I know I heard my instructor say on the first day that we should invest in a skincare dictionary, but are there makeup products encyclopedias/dictionaries as well?  Also what items should I invest in as a beginner---like what are the best products to use on clients---lotions, cleansers--you know the things I should keep in my makeup artist bag?  I do plan on going further in my education in skincare and makeup, but it'd be nice to know what to do for right now while I'm still a novice. I want to work particularly with those who have major skin flaws to hide---so best concealer kit???  It's so many things out there.  It's easy to get overwhelmed.  So tell me what to put in my MUA student survial kit. By the way, my school is MAC approved.  Thanks in advance! Muahs*****

Nov 18, 2011
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This is a pretty loaded question, and it would take someone some time to generate a complete list. You could help us out by first telling us what you know and what you already have. I mean, I'm an amateur at best, but I know what I love and what works on me. I would hands down get some eyeshadow palettes from bhcosmetics and/or I'd start with a neutral palette from cs or bh. I also love NYX's nude on nude palette as an alternative to Urban Decay's Naked Palette.

Jan 9, 2012
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I can recommend a couple of books, if you'd like.

The Complete Beauty Bible by Paula Begoun

Beauty: The New Basics by Rona Berg

Making Faces by Kevyn Aucoin

Then, of course, it can be fun to find much older beauty books in the thrifts, even with outdated info, they can be entertaining AND can provide inspiration. Of those, I'd say 

Face Forward by Kevyn Aucoin (yes, it's newer than Making Faces, but it's more inspiration than it is technique)

Color by Quant by Mary Quant

As far as product, I won't recommend a specific brand or color of anything, but, you will probably want at least these items in a basic kit:

As many decent brushes as you can afford! While you could get away with a prepackaged brush kit, if you're going to do this professionally, you will want some of the specialty brushes.

A range of foundation/powder--you can always mix shades if needed. If you are only getting ONE powder, make sure it's completely translucent. Plus, with a range, you can do highlights and contour that will look natural.

A range of blush/lip products

A full palette of neutral eyeshadows (browns and such)

A full palette of purple eyeshadows (I hesitate to call purple neutral)

A full palette of "crayon color" eyeshadows

If you have a full enough range of eyeshadow, you can skimp on eyeliners (shadows applied with the right brush look amazing--powder OR cream)

Cleanser and mister

And for special effects:

Hair wax (for use on brows)

Various "appliances" (false lashes, gems, etc)

White cream shadow

Color correctors

Glitter, fancy colors, and anything else that looks fun.


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