Frends Beauty Blog

The Anatomy of a Starter Makeup Kit

The Anatomy of a Starter Makeup Kit

Everyone loves the feeling of that first makeup kit!! We here at Frends know that this can be quite the investment, both in time and money, so before you start filling your shopping baskets let’s take a look at all of the essentials. Frends Beauty aims to get you exactly what you need for every price point! 

For Makeup you are going to need the following items to get you going!

Skin & Eye Primer

For minimizing pores, avoiding creases around the eyes, and helping makeup to stay put.
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Try Stila's Aqua Glow Perfecting Primer for your face, for $28.00

A Foundation & Concealer Palette 

An absolute must, one that ranges from fair to dark skin tones. Most foundation and concealer palettes are creams. This is a full coverage type of makeup, perfect for film, editorial, and certain events. If you prefer using liquid foundations on your clients, start with at least 3 shades, (one neutral toned ivory, one medium warm toned tan, and one warm toned ultra deep shade.) This will allow for you to mix these together to create a match for your clients. Skin colors are classified as either warm or ruddy. Warm complexions have a more yellow hue, while ruddy complexions are more pink. Most people have a warm complexion, so steer away from too many ruddy shades while shopping for your first kit.
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Try the RCMA Kehoe Palette #11 for $72.00

Contouring Palette

You will want to invest in a palette with several different color shades. For contour, you will want at least three matte brown shades, one for light skin, one for medium skin and one for dark skin. For your highlight options, Frends recommends two neutral/warm toned matte options, one light/medium and one medium/dark, and one shimmer highlight. These contouring/highlight palettes can be powders or creams, whatever your preference!
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Try the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit for $40.00


Everyone LOVES eyeshadow! For a beginning kit you are going to want a mostly matte color palette with a majority of neutral colors plus a few brighter shades and a couple shimmers mixed in.
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Try the amazing Viseart 01 matte eyeshadow palette for $80.00

A Basic Lipstick Palette

You’ll want to choose a palette with plenty of reds, corals, pinks, and nudes. A set of matte and sheer colors is best. A palette also allows you to easily mix several different colors together to pick a perfect shade for your client. If you love a certain brand of lipstick that doesn’t come in a palette, consider depotting into a Vueset palette. Friends also recommends having a clear gloss in your kit for a little shine, as well as a lip balm for men. (You never know when this will come in handy!)
Try the Viseart 01 Lip Palette Muse Nude for $80.00

An Excellent Brow Kit

Your color range should be from light taupe to deep brown, and perhaps black. You can gather a few different shades in pencils or creams, and/or you can choose a powder palette. It’s essential to have a few different brow shades to perfectly match sparse brows on your client, and different types of products allow for different brow looks. (ie: You should have a few pencils or creams in addition to powders, just in case your client needs a complete eyebrow drawn on; powder won’t help to create a new brow, but will only allow you to fill in sparse ones.)
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Try the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Palette for $88.00

Eyeliner and Lip Liner 

Absolute necessities! Liquid, gel, pencil or cake liners will all do. Find out what media you’re most comfortable using and make sure to have at least one black and one brown. Maybe throw in a pop color if you’re doing a fun shoot!
Try the INGLOT AMC Eyeliner Gel for $13.00

Setting Powder 

Setting powder is essential to setting any look! The foundation will be tacky and if you are using powder blushes, highlights and contour, you MUST make sure to set the foundation before applying powders, or they will stick to the face and will not blend. We at Frends prefer loose powder and a powder puff to set our clients’ faces because you are able to get a lot of product out and onto the face, which is essential for setting heavy cream foundations. However, you can use pressed powder and a brush if you prefer. Also, make sure you are using Setting Powder and not Finishing Powder. Setting Powder is designed to set the foundation and make sure the skin isn’t tacky following foundation. Finishing Powder is designed to finish off the makeup after it has already been set with setting powder, blushed and contoured. Finishing powder is used with a fluffy or fan brush and a very light layer is swept across the face to diminish the look of lines and wrinkles. A tiny amount is all you need; we have all seen those red carpet pictures of the girls with white circles around their eyes. That is because their makeup artist used finishing powder to set their foundation instead of setting powder. Don’t make that mistake!
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Try RCMA No-Color Powder for $12.00

A Solid and Trustworthy Setting Spray

Setting spray will save your life if you are on set all day or if your environment is especially humid. We have found that spraying a bit of setting spray over your face primer, before you start makeup as well as right after your look is complete, truly holds the makeup all day long!
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Try Ben Nye Final Seal for $8.50

Next we have a list of the tools you are going to need! The best products deserve only the best tools!!


Here are few essential ones to get first:

  • Dense Kabuki Foundation Brush
  • Medium Dual Fiber Foundation Brush
  • Medium Blush Brush
  • Angled (Fairly Dense) Contour Brush
  • Medium Fan Brush (for finishing powder)
  • Small Fan Brush or Small Tapered Face Brush (for highlighting)
  • Large Flat Eyeshadow Brush (all over shadow)
  • Small Flat Eyeshadow Brush (Lid color)
  • Fluffy Blending Brush (for crease color and blending)
  • Small Pencil Brush (for undereye shadow or inner corner shadow)
  • Large Fluffy Powder Brush
  • Angled or Straight Eyeliner Brush
  • Stiff Angled Brow Brush
  • Lip Brush


Try Stilazzi makeup brushes, starting at $3.95

Beauty Blender 

For blending foundations and other liquid products. To keep in your kit, you may need several. This is because you will need to have a clean one for each client, and if you have 3 clients that day, you don’t want to have to keep washing them in the middle of your applications. Many companies, like Frends Beauty Supply, sell “Pro Packs” where you can purchase 6 for a discounted price.
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Try the Beautyblender Pro Pac for $80.00

These are the other basic tools you are absolutely going to need to get started.

  • Tweezers
  • Eyelash curler
  • Scissors (large, to keep on hand and small for brow trimming)
  • Sharpener
  • Spatula (this is for swatching foundations, concealers, correctors, and lipsticks and mixing them on your palette to create the perfect shades)
  • Stainless Steel or Glass Palette (used for mixing products)

And to top it all off, here are some additional things to always keep within reach.

  • Cotton Swabs
  • Cotton Rounds
  • Face mist spray (for dry skin)
  • 93%-99% alcohol (for disinfecting)
  • Small spray bottle of water
  • Face wash
  • Moisturizer
  • Sunscreen
  • Tissues
  • Lip Scrub
  • Disposable lip applicators
  • Cleansers / Toners
  • Makeup remover
  • Makeup Wipes
  • Baby Wipes/Wet Ones
  • Brush Cleaner
  • Paper Towels (for any unexpected spills, or to clean foundation/lipsticks off your metal or glass palette)
  • Hand Towel(s) (to lay your set up on)
  • Ziploc bag/actor bags (If you are working on multiple models, keeping their products separated in ziplocs or small plastic actor bags makes it easy on set)
  • Sharpie (for writing names on ziploc bags)
  • Pens (you never know when you’ll need a pen)
  • Business cards (Almost every shoot is a great place to network, unless you’re an assistant and you have a Key MUA. If you are working under a Key, it is NOT your time to shine, make them look good, and they will remember you.)

Don’t forget your case!

  • Invest in a train case to keep everything secure and in place.
  • Soft sided are lighter vs traditional train cases for clients on the go.
  • 3 tiered accordion or stackable configurations that grows with you.
  • Plenty of compartments for better organization.

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Try a Stilazzi New Yorker professional makeup case for $299.00, or a ZUCA Artist Backpack for $139.00

For more information, check out the infographic that we made for this!

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There you go! Frends Beauty carries everything you need to get you started on the perfect kit and we are happy to help you find all of these items in our fabulous store!

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