This episode was so packed I had to split it into two! So, let’s get back to the second half as we explore the dreaded task of rebuilding your makeup kit from scratch. Whether you’re a fresh-faced newbie or have faced the heartbreaking loss of your beloved kit, this episode is here to help you get back on your feet.
So grab your brushes, take a deep breath, and let’s explore how to build your makeup kit from the ground up.

how to build your makeup kit from scratch pt. 2
makeup kit

Listen to Episode:



This post may contain affiliate links, such as Amazon and Shop My, that I may earn from qualifying links. This means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, but never fear, because it means no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.


In This Episode We Cover:

  • Why it’s essential to make good decisions from the beginning to ensure you have the right tools to get the job done.
  • How palettes can make solid additions to your kit without owning “every product on the shelf.”
  • Making smart makeup product investments can sometimes mean less is more – find out how.


click here to read the transcript!


Episode 31: Show notes

makeup palette

In this post, I want to dive further into the world of building your own makeup kit from scratch.

If you haven’t listened to the podcast episode titled “How to Build Your Makeup Kit from Scratch: Part 1”, or read the shownotes to the first part of this second part, then I suggest you give it a listen before.

It’ll make much more sense, and the product recommendations will flow much more seamlessly going from Part 1 to 2.

That being said, if you’re all caught up, let’s get into part 2 of building or re-building your makeup kit from scratch.

Part 2: Tips, Recommendations, and Must-Have Products

As a seasoned film and TV makeup artist with over 25 years of experience, I can confidently say that building a makeup kit is no easy task.

And nor is it something that takes, let’s say 5 minutes!

In fact, it can be quite overwhelming, especially considering the seemingly endless options available in the market. But fear not! I’m here to share with you some essential tips, product recommendations, and must-have items to help you kickstart your journey.

Let’s begin with the basics.

Setting Powders

Every makeup kit needs a good set of powders.

Setting powders are crucial in achieving a flawless, long-lasting makeup look. And one of my personal favorites is the Revolution Banana Powder. It’s affordable and truly delivers excellent results.

Another brand to consider is Ben Nye, particularly their luxury powders. With their wide range of shades, you’ll be able to cater to diverse skin tones.

My Go-to Palette Products

Moving on to contouring and highlighting, I highly recommend the Mac Sculpt and Shape Contour Palettes. These palettes are not only solid additions to any kit, but they are also beautifully designed and easy to use.

For eyeshadow palettes, the Visiart Neutral Matte 01 Palette and the Lorac Pro Matte Eyeshadow Palette are excellent choices for beginners. They offer versatile shades that blend effortlessly, allowing you to create stunning eye looks.

When it comes to eyebrows, there’s one palette that stands out from the rest – the Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyebrow Palette. Trust me when I say that this investment will be worth every penny. With a wide range of shades, catering to every brow and skin tone, this palette will become your go-to brow product.

Now, let’s talk about cheeks.

Ben Nye’s Fashion Rouge palettes are a personal favorite of mine. They provide shades for light, medium, and dark skin tones, and they’re extremely easy to work with.

Another brand worth mentioning is Juvia’s Place, particularly their Saharan palettes, which are perfect for deep skin tones. And if you’re looking for something compact and travel-friendly, the Viseart Blush palettes are fantastic options.

Lip products can be overwhelming due to the sheer variety of colors, textures, and finishes available. To start, I suggest checking out the LA Girl Lip pencil collection, as they offer a set of 17 reliable and affordable lip pencils.
Pair this with your favorite high-quality lip pencils from brands like MAC, Charlotte Tilbury, or Makeup Forever, and you’ll have a great selection at your disposal.

As for lipsticks, lip palettes are the way to go. Danessa Myricks, Kryolan, and MAC all offer exceptional lip palettes with an array of shades suitable for various looks and eras.

To round off your starter kit, don’t forget about mascara and brow gel.
Lash Paradise by L’Oréal is a personal favorite, and for brow gels, both MAC and Anastasia Beverly Hills offer excellent options.

Building a makeup kit can be a daunting task, but with these tips and recommendations, you’ll be well on your way to creating a solid foundation.

Remember, investing in the right products from the beginning will save you time, money, and unnecessary stress.

If you’d like a more detailed list of my full kit essentials, check out my free essentials kit list here. This list can serve as a handy reference guide as you continue to build your kit or prepare for upcoming jobs.

I hope this post has been helpful in guiding you through the process of building your makeup kit from scratch.

Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for you. Good luck on your kit-building journey, and keep me posted on what ends up being your faves!


Click here to listen to this episode!



Episode Transcript

[00:00:00]: Welcome back to Five Minute Face Talk.
This is part two of my two-part episode, specially delving into the world of kit building, and it’s titled How to Build Your Makeup Kit From Scratch.
So I recorded this as originally one episode, but I got carried away, didn’t I?
So I’ve split it into two. Not quite like five-minute episodes, but at least it’s broken up so you can have a break, go and get another cup of coffee, come back and listen to part two.

So without further ado, I invite you to join me as I explore how to build your makeup kit from scratch.

[00:01:18]: Now, I’ve also got the Ben Nye Media Pro Powder Palettes in my full beauty kit, too, because they’re super high pigmented and they’re reasonably priced, and they’re a perfect entry point for you if you’re kit building.

They’ve got a lovely range of shades, and they’ll keep you and your client or your actor or model covered. Now, the Mac Sculpt and Shape Contour Palettes, I should totally mention them because they’re really solid additions to your new kit as well. They’re available in light to medium and a medium to dark palette. They are gorgeous, they’re solid, and they’re easy to use.

And as always with the MAC Palettes, they’ve got simple clean lines, a black design, and they just look sleek, which I’m a big sucker for. I mean, of course, as well as how the product performs, but it’s important. And last but not least, let’s talk about Eyeshadow palettes.

[00:02:14]: Whenever conversation turns to Eyeshadow palettes, I can’t help but go straight to Viseart and the Neutral Matte 01 palette, this should be your first stop with a range of taupes browns, nudes and through to light, bone and a white. And there’s also a charcoal black shade as well. This palette will keep you out of trouble for as long as it lasts. It contains beautiful matte and pigmented shades that will blend like a champion.
And I also wanted to mention in quite a similar fashion, the Lorac Pro Matte Eyeshadow palette. It’s another great starter palette for you if you’re starting out, and it’s kind of compact, but it’s a really solid range of soft pigments, from black through brick brown to sort of medium shades, bone, and then a soft white called linen that I love.
And also the Makeup by Mario Master Mattes.

[00:03:13]: It looks gorgeous. I haven’t used it before, so I can’t vouch for it personally, but I see it discussed a lot all the time with rave reviews. So I wanted to share that with you as well.

And also, I have to mention, because it’s a new addition in my world, the delicious Groundwork Palette from Danessa. And although it’s sold as a multitasker, I kind of end up using it mainly on the eyes. And if you haven’t listened, I had to split the podcast into two episodes because I had so much to say about it. But go and check out the Groundwork Palette episode – all about Danessa Myrick’s Groundwork palette and my lovely road test of the palette.

Did you know that if you had this one palette that I’m about to mention, it could easily become the only eyebrow color product that you could have your kit stocked with? And I’m not talking about gels or setting products here, but purely pigment and colors, for sure.

[00:04:14]: Now, can you guess what I’m about to say? Can you guess what palette it is?

It’s the Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyebrow Palette. Worth the investment 100%. And if you don’t have this in your kit now and you do beauty makeup, go out and get it.
Regardless of whether you’re beginning to build again or you’re fully stocked, this is just so easy to use, and it will do any brow shade, any skin tone that you have to make up. It’s slim and stores easily. It opens up like a book. It’s easy to use. It is just the best, and it has so many shades in it, you can’t go wrong.

[00:04:53]: Now, as far as setting powders go, if you’re starting small, I think a good idea is to get those canisters that lock into one another, the screw top ones, and that way, you can just store your range of shades altogether. I’ll link to it in the show notes.

And I’ll start with my favorite sort of middle-of-the-road powder, which is the Revolution Banana powder. Now, word of warning not to be confused with the banana baking powder. No, there will be no cooking on this show, so don’t mention the B word. Yeah, there’s no baking here.
The Revolution Banana Powder is also incredibly friendly on your back pocket and is just so good. Now, I also want to mention the Ben Nye luxury powders as well.
So if you stock your screw top stackable canister with the Ben Nye luxury powders, you can create a really solid range of shades.

[00:05:47]: And I also love to throw in at least one hyaluronic acid powder because they’re perfect to use on someone that has super dry skin.
Because, let’s face it, sometimes we do have to powder dry skin, and it sucks. It’s no fun. But with a hyaluronic acid powder, at least you’re giving that skin hydration. And the one that I use is By Terry Hyaluronic Acid Powder. That’s my pick for you.

Okay, cheeks. So I have to continue the palette theme here because, well, I love palettes.

[00:06:19]: And with Ben Nye again making an appearance this time, with the Fashion Rouge palettes because they’re beautiful, and they have shades to cater to, light, medium, and dark skin tones within the palettes, I just find them really easy to use, and I just don’t go anywhere without them.

And I’d also like to share my Juvia’s Place Saharan palettes for deep skin tones. I love them.

And one last mention of the Viseart Blush palettes, which are also fantastic. And although the palettes are on the smaller side, they are perfect for a compact kit or if you’re traveling.

And now lips. I always find this is the hardest part to start from scratch with lip pencils and lipsticks because, well, there’s just so many colors, textures, and finishes and mediums, and there’s just so much going on in the lip world these days that your options are kind of endless. But there’s nothing worse than choice paralysis, is there? So I’ve got a solution for you.

[00:07:21]: Let’s just start with lip pencils, right? So with so much choice, don’t you wish that there was an affordable set of pencils that you could rely on and show up with? And then perhaps you could add just a few of your go to lip pencil shades that you always rely on? Well, that’s exactly what I’m thinking here.

So how about you check out the 17 Colors of LA Girl? Yeah. LA Girl.

They have a collection of 17 lip pencils that will get you going. Right?

You have a set, and it looks good. They are in black packaging. They look similar to MAC and Makeup Forever lip pencils.

And then what you can do is just spend a little bit more on your favorite lip pencils.

[00:08:07]: Say, if you’re a MAC girl, my favorites are Soar, Whirl, and Beet, and maybe a Russian Red in there as well.
Or if you’re more of a Charlotte Tilbury and you want to grab your favorite Pillow Talk.

Or for me, I can’t go past the Makeup Forever Aqua Lip Waterproof lip liner, and at a lower cost alternative, the NYX lip liner pencils are really great, too.

And now lipsticks to give you the variety, you just we have to go back to the palette again.

There’s just no other way, really.

So my suggestions for lip palettes are the Danessa Myricks Luxe Cream Palettes in the Feminist and the Nudist, there’s a Kryolan lip Sheer Palette, I think is what it’s called. And it’s less full on with more sheer options, which are also it’s a really handy thing to have in your kit.

And I just can’t go past a MAC lip palette, because, as you know, I love so many MAC palettes.

[00:09:06]: This episode is full of them. But the iconic MAC lip shades. And I guess that’s why I have to mention the MAC lip palettes and that Pro Editorial Reds. It’s gorgeous, and it is so great for you. If you do a lot of period shows in your work, it is all you’ll need for 1940s and 1950s work. It’s just beautiful.

And then they’ve got the Modern Browns, which is more of an understated lip or probably carry you through into the maybe even a contemporary look. And then on the flip side, the fab Editorial Oranges with a couple of really pretty sort of gold shimmer tones in there as well.

[00:09:46]: And then, just to round out your starter kit, I’d probably just add a black or brown mascara.
I love Lash Paradise. I tend to go back to it time and time again.
And a clear brow gel or clear mascara. MAC and Anastasia Beverly Hills are my favorites.

And all of these things are going to set you up with the very solid beginnings of a makeup kit.
Getting started is totally overwhelming. Makeup’s expensive and is really, if you think about it, it’s probably one of the biggest investments that you’re going to make in your work as a makeup artist.

[00:10:22]: So it’s worth making good decisions from the very beginning.

And this not only ensures that you’re going to get the job done and help people look and feel their best, but that you have the tools that you know and can rely on to get you there.

I hope you’ve enjoyed going through these essentials for makeup kit building with me, and if you’d like a free download of my full kit essentials list, well, I’d be happy to send it your way.

Just go to and you can access my list there. I find that it can be a really handy reference guide for your makeup kit, and it’s kind of cool to be able to refer back to before the start of each job or if you are literally building your kit from scratch. Okay, thank you for joining me. This has been fun. And good luck with your kit building.

Kerrin [00:11:15]:

All right, we’ll see you next time. Bye.

Take Me Back to the Podcast Homepage

More about the Podcast

If you loved this episode, and you haven’t subscribed to the podcast yet, don’t forget to.

And if you know someone, perhaps you have a friend who’s a makeup artist or loves makeup, and is always looking for a new makeup podcast to pop in their ears, then it would mean the world to me if you could share my podcast with them.
I love makeup and skincare, and it’s my honor to share my passion with you, so you can listen to my show, Monday and Thursday, by simply subscribing below.


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.