Kit Basics

3 Tips for Maintaining A Natural & Organic Makeup Kit

Keeping a natural professional make-up kit fresh, can actually be very tricky. Here are three top tips from conscious beauty union founding member, Lou Dartford.

Health + Wellbeing

Kit Audit

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One of the reasons many of us choose to use natural and organic products is because of their lack of certain ingredients, one of which can be certain preservatives; parabens perhaps being one we all recognise. Maybe we choose to avoid certain preservatives because of their origin – many are derived from the petroleum industry, or perhaps we’ve seen health concerns associated with them. Whatever our ethos, we still need to ensure the products we use are safe for our clients.

It is not uncommon to see brands market their products as preservative free. This is actually dangerous territory; products need preservatives to keep them clean and safe.

Without correct preservation, products can become contaminated by bacteria, fungus and indeed viruses. As professional makeup artists, we need to be vigilant of this. It is our duty of care to ensure we are using products that are safe for our clients. Now more so than ever; when we eventually get back to work – cleanliness of our kits is going to be even more paramount.

Tips for keeping your kit fresh

It can be hard to let products go, especially if they have cost us money; if there is a lot left it also goes totally against our sustainability principles. We, therefore, need to really try and manage our kits well.

1. Vigilance

Conventional products will have preservation systems that allow them to sit in transit and storage for sometimes a couple of years, and then on our shelves for a while longer. By the very nature of natural and organic, this length of time isn’t possible, as often those said preservatives are not permitted within formulations. Natural and organic products still need to contain a preservative, especially if they are going to be used in a professional make-up kit. These products will however have a shorter shelf life than that of their ‘conventional’ counterparts. 

  • When you have these products in your kit, in fact any product, always check the PAO symbol (period after opening). This tells you how long a product will last once it has been opened.
  • With some products it can be as little as 3 months, although an average is around a year.
  • From our experience products can also go off before their use-by date. This can be due to the natural ingredients perhaps reacting to temperature changes during their travel or storage, contamination perhaps or other reasons – vigilance is key.

2. Rely on Your Senses

You can usually tell if a product has gone off by a smell or texture change. It can be tempting to keep products for longer, especially if they do still smell ok – however, oils can go rancid without us knowing and they can be damaging for the skin. Bacteria and other nasties can also be present which can cause more damage (to our reputations too).

  • Make a note of when you open products, this is really important to keep track of what you have.
  • Don’t open products unnecessarily – learn to mix what you already have open.

3. Keep It Clean

  • Never apply product straight from packaging to face. Always decant what you need onto a clean pallet and then put the packaging lid straight back on. This will help stop contamination of product.
  • Use IPA to clean brushes, any equipment, packaging,  etc.
  • Store your kit and any unopened products in a cool place. Changes in temperature can cause natural oils to melt – they will solidify again but it can start to affect the product consistency.


A makeup artist’s kit is a reflection of them as a professional. We must strive to keep it clean and the very best we can. As a conscious beauty professional, it can get a little trickier as products can have a shorter shelf life. However, that is why we choose to do what we do, we value the many advantages of using such products in our kit. With a little conscious management, we too can present wonderful kits that do good for our clients, ourselves and the planet.

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