How to Choose Useful Products to get your Conscious Kit Started

Building and maintaining a fully functional makeup kit takes a lot of time and investment.  Below are some guidelines to help you use your resources to your advantage, and create a conscious and professional makeup kit to work in a variety of fields as a makeup artist.

If you have just come out of training, it is likely that you have a small makeup kit you have worked with up until this point.  

But if you have been in the industry,  you may already have an established kit, but you are looking to make it more conscious.

This article is designed to help you approach your kit in the most organised manner possible, so that you don’t waste time or money, helping the young artist create a fully functional kit and the experienced artist transition effectively.

It is near impossible to have a perfect “Clean” (Conscious/Ethical/ certified Organic/ certified Natural etc) professional makeup kit, because some jobs will simply have requirements that cannot be filled by products in these categories – however there are many choices that can be made in how we work that enable a conscious kit.

Remember that the most conscious kit is one where you only acquire what you need, use up product to its maximum, recycle products when finished, and only purchase products and tools made by ethical and reputable brands, that have principles and ethics at their core.

Find What You Have,
Get What You Need

Getting clarity on what you have and what you need will save you money and help you choose your purchases carefully.


What do you have ?

Begin by looking at what you have. Break down your kit into categories:

  • Brushes + Tools
  • Makeup
  • Skincare
  • Washables/Disposables
  • Hygiene
  • Nail Kit
  • Miscellaneous ( like organisation pouches or cases)
Using the sample kit checklist below, make a list of the items you are missing.


What do you need?

Look at the list of missing items/things you need and place them into 1 of these 3 categories:
  • 1. Items without which I cannot accept a job and look professional. (ie. a variety of foundations, brushes) – These are items that are real necessities.
  • 2. Items that can be purchased if a job comes in that requires it (eg. trendy colours, glitter items  seasonal colour) – These are  items you would like to have, but would be best purchased when you get a job in that requires them specifically.
  • 3. Extras, luxury items (eg.  a fancy new palette – specialty brushes) These can be purchased when you get some extra cash or as a treat.

Now you have a shopping list – and more importantly, you know where your priorities are


Now Shop!

Here are a few tips to help you save money when you are ready to shop.

  • Look for sales from quality retailers. NEVER buy from 3d party retailers or on sites like eBay or amazon – these are notorious for selling harmful fakes
  • Try to buy versatile palettes with varieties of colours that you can mix and match. Alternatively, purchase singles or individual colours and create your own palette. Palettes are a great way to save money and space in your kit.  Please see the suggested palette list here
  • Try to see how you can use one item for several purposes – ie use lipstick as a cream blush or a pearl shadow as a highlighter until you can afford to purchase more items.
  • Fix broken Makeup or mixed partially used makeup to create new colours using tools like FIXY 
  • When shopping for items like foundations that you will need a wide variety of shades, consider buying a few few tones (fair, medium and dark) and mixing as required. and getting undertone mixers to adjust to the colour needed.

Shopping Tips

Working with a Conscious Makeup Kit means using brands and products and adopting practices that are Ethical and Environmentally Friendly. Look for products that are at very least cruelty free, but also consider each purchase for how much use you can get out of an item.

If you are an experienced makeup artist with an established kit, but wish to change your products to more eco-conscious ones, the best way to approach this will be a like for like swap, as you need to replace items. For example, buy a new black pencil when the one you are currently using runs out. To find out more about how to read ingredients, please read this post.

For more ways to work Consciously please see the tips and suggestions here.

Research before buying

It is up to each artist to choose their ethics and then make their purchases accordingly. It will be more important to have a good working kit that will allow you to grow as an artist than to have a” totally organic” (impossible) kit that does not serve your clients. If you are able to grow as an artist, you will have access to greater resources to make purchases that match your ethics and aspirations.

For example,  starting out with a concealer / Foundation palettes from a brand like RCMA – an old school makeup stalwart. This is excellent product can be used across a variety of fields, one a variety of skin tones, it is cruelty free and free from mineral oil and Petrolatum. This brand is not really found on popular cruelty free makeup blogs or trendy shops, however, research into this classic makeup artist standby shows that it can have several good credentials at a practical price point.

As you work in your field, you will be able to make choices, so that if a certain brand with high ethics is not available to you right now, it can go on the “buy later” list, however practices like using washable items instead of disposable ones is a step in the right direction that can be implemented immediately..


It is possible to build a kit responsibly and consciously, so that each purchase is made with awareness in control,  and not out of fear of not keeping up with so and so and having the latest trendy item.

spending time on organisation and research will save money in the long run and contribute not a better way of working with our planet in mind.

Photo by Diana Ruseva on Unsplash

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