17 tools every makeup artist needs

Unleash your creativity by enhancing your client’s natural beauty to give them a service they can savour. A lot of preparation goes into makeup artistry. Still, with the right items in your arsenal, you’re sure to make an impact.

It can be challenging to know where to begin with hundreds of products available on the market. We’ve got you, with a list of beauty essentials to make you and your clients blush.

This guide discusses what every makeup artist needs, including 17 items which cover:

  • Preparations
  • Bases
  • Touches
  • Business

What every makeup artist needs:


The first set of essential items are for the preparation stage. Everything you need to turn up, ready to begin. Make sure you can provide your customers with a quality service that they would like to receive again.

  1. Disinfectant

Before you use any of the following items, you need to think about hygiene. A disinfect is essential to clean your products after each client, as it helps avoid passing on bacteria.

Example: Makeup brush cleaner spray.

  1. Brushes

To apply makeup at a professional standard, you’ll need a variety of brushes for specific purposes. Some examples of these include ones for:

  • Powder
  • Foundation
  • Concealer
  • Blusher
  • Highlighter
  • Eyeshadow

Example: 24 cosmetic brush set.

3) Cotton pads and swabs

Cotton pads and swabs, are what every makeup artist needs to clean your client’s face before you begin. It can also come in handy to touch up any mistakes (e.g. wipe off excess eyeshadow).

Example: Cotton squares.


You need crucial starting points to put a base layer on your client’s face. It can help you define the look you want to achieve and cover any marks. 

4) Primer

To smooth out the pores and wrinkles on your client’s face, apply a primer. It helps your makeup sit better on their face, primed for your art.

Example: Face primer.

5) Foundation

Even out your client’s skin tone with a foundation, it covers spots and creates a layer to build on. It’s an essential foundation for all of the other makeup (hence the name).

Example: Airbrush foundation.

6) Concealer

Concealers will cover up any blemishes on a client’s face. You can brighten up parts of the face that they want to cover, like dark circles under the eyes. 

Example: Shape concealer.

7) Contouring

In either powder or cream form, contouring changes the visual shape of your client’s face. For example, if they want the appearance of higher cheekbones, contouring can do that.

Example: Contouring palette.

8) Setting powder

With all the base done, add a setting powder to ensure your hard work doesn’t go anywhere. Make the look last as long as your client needs it for (e.g. night out or photo shoot).

Example: Loose powder.


This stage helps you add art to different areas of your clients face. With varied options your creativity can shine, from the glamorous or to costume makeup.

9) Eyebrow pencils and powder

To give clients fuller, more shapely eyebrows use eyebrow pencils or powders. You can draw fine lines with a pencil to mimic hairs and create a natural look.

Example: Micro brow pencil.

10) Eyeshadow

A range of colours can give your client various options for eyeshadows. Use powders with your brush to blend out even art, which compliments the shape of their eyes.

Example: Pro palette.

11) Eyeliner

With a steady hand to apply, eyeliner can draw attention to your clients eyes. Use pens, pencils or liquid. Each can produce a different effect of eye-art.

Example: Eyeliner gel.

12) Mascara and lashes

You can use glue to apply fake lashes or mascara to volumise clients natural ones. These can create a variety of looks, that can range curl, lift or define their lashes.

Example: Lengthening mascara.

13) Lip liner and lipstick

A lip liner helps to define the natural curvature and outline, ready for lipstick. There are a variety of colours and consistencies available in lipsticks. You can even use shiny lip gloss to help clients standout.

            Example: Pro lip palette.

14) Setting spray

Like a setting powder after the base, a setting spray ensures your creative touches stay in place. It can help to set in all of your steady-handed work and visual face art.

Example: All nighter setting spray.


The final stage of what every makeup artist needs is for the business side of your profession. After the client is happy, make the most out of your work to help you find the next one.

15) Lighting

Capture iconic looks with stunning photographs to show what you can do. It’s essential to bring along lighting to take the perfect pictures. It could even be helpful for the application process. 

A ring light is an excellent portable solution. Take photos from the middle and benefit from an even lighting source. Encourage your client to share their look on social media and tag your business for more exposure.

Example: Ring light pro.

16) Portfolio

With all the masterpieces you create, add your best work to a portfolio. You can use this to secure future clients through a website or over your social media channels.

Alternatively, a printed portfolio can help people choose the looks they want. It’s crucial to understand client intentions to provide a quality service. Your book can ensure you’re both on the same page.

Example: Professional portfolio book.

17) Financial management app

Each of these items contribute to your business operation, so continue to keep stocked up and manage your earnings to cover their costs.

The last essential is a way for you to keep track of money. It can be done through your phone and there’s one app tailored to help you.

Example: Countingup.

Blend simplicity and finance with Countingup

Countingup is a business account with built-in accounting software, it frees up time for you to focus on your makeup artist abilities. It makes financial management accessible and easy.

With features like expense categorisation, all of the items you use are automatically sorted in your accounts, with HMRC approved labels. 

In addition, tax estimates throughout the year help you put aside what you need so your income tax Self Assessments are ready to file.

Get started for free.

For more tips for makeup artists, see: