Makeup Equipment Every Makeup Artist Needs and Their Uses

Updated: Jan 30

Makeup brushes, cosmetics, and tools

Makeup is an art, practiced with grace and requires specific tools to get the job done. While most of the tools I am about to mention aren't a must-have, having them will make a great difference when engaging in the makeup application process. As makeup artists, our training taught us how to create those luscious lips perfectly blushed cheeks, and eye shadows that are the envy of the great Pablo Piccaso. But what about the tools that are essential to achieve this end result? Building your profile and an attractive portfolio requires the right equipment, tools, and products to realize your maximum potential.

I think it is better to have them and not want them than to not have them and then need them. So this is my list of makeup must-have tools, products, and their uses. Let's start with this list below;

Cleansing, Toning, and Moisturizing Products (C.T.M)

  • Cleansing lotions are needed to prepare the skin,

  • Eye makeup removers

  • Toning lotions

  • Moisturizer- A lightweight moisturizer that creates the ideal layer to apply your makeup is that barrier placed smack between your skin and the makeup.

Check out my earlier blog post on the importance of having and maintaining a good skincare routine and the added benefits it offers. Here's How I Do My Skincare Routine In Just 4 Easy Steps, And Why You Should Do It Too In this blog I shared some of my favorite products and how I use them to achieve almost flawless skin.

Dry cottonwool

These may be stored in a closed container to prevent cross-contamination. cottonwool is often used to apply loose face powder.

Damp cottonwool

Use these to cleanse the face before applying your makeup.

Cosmetic sponges

Cosmetic sponges are often used to apply and blend foundation. I use them to apply blend concealers.

Pencil sharpener

Pencil sharpeners are good to have around, they are used to sharpen cosmetic pencils


Spatulas are important and it is always convenient to have several of them. Use them to pick up and to mix products.


These are necessary many people use them just to clean the ears but a good makeup artist knows how to use what he or she has. Many times we get those smudges on unwanted areas and trust me when I tell you that many times my q-tips saved the day. They can be used to tidy up edges and correct detail areas. Go get yourself some q-tips.

Disposable mascara tips and lip wands

Always remember that your mouth is the residence of bacteria, and even your eyes so sharing items is a no no. It is best practice to use disposable mascara and lip products whenever possible. Buy these in bulk so you always have them on hand.


These are not often used but in the name of cleanliness I recommend having them on hand. They are needed on hand to aid in the shaping of the eyebrows if the need arises. More importantly, they can be used to position and place your false eyelashes. In my opinion, they are a must-have and they are inexpensive.

False / Artificial Lashes

Be prepared, your clients will want that look, you know that look, those flashy eyes. They will ask you for false eyelashes. in my beginner years, I learned how important it is to have an assortment of false lashes on hand. They do make a difference so get some.

Eyelash Curlers

An essential to your makeup bag, Used it to curl and style the eyelash. We usually curl the upper lashes.


You will need a wide assortment of makeup cosmetics, from foundations, concealers, makeup palettes, eyeshadow palettes, blush, lip gloss, mascara, eyebrow pencils, and the list goes on and on. My blog on the different types of foundations will help you to learn more about this essential makeup cosmetic basic to achieving that flawless look. 5 Types of Foundation You Should Know if You Are a Makeup Lover

Makeup Palette

This is used to prepare all your cosmetic products before application. Not many makeup artists use a makeup palette but I can tell you the PRO MUAs do. They are often more knowledgeable on how to blend so they will use a makeup palette and so should you if you want to take your makeup game to the next level. Here is a simple makeup palette you could try, it also comes with a spatula, another handy tool. I started out with this one; there are also palettes that can be carried around on the back of the hand for easy access.

Stainless Steel Cosmetic Makeup Palette, Professional Cosmetic Mixing Makeup Palette Spatula Makeup Artist Tool,

Makeup Brushes

Makeup brushes are your weapons at war, which require you to have an assorted amount of at least 3-4 sets to allow for adequate disinfection after use. Check out my earlier post: The Beginners Guide for Makeup Brushes and their Uses here I described some basic makeup brushes and how to use them.

These is an affordable set to use.

BS-MALL Makeup Brushes Premium Synthetic Foundation Powder Concealers Eye Shadows Makeup 14 Pcs Brush Set, Rose Golden,with Case

Adequate lighting

The lighting must be bright, also having a magnifying lamp would be ideal. Having these two items allows us to properly inspect the skin for areas that require special attention. Blemishes that would require concealer or even identify contraindications that would prevent the application of makeup.

Ring lights are usually your best bet, I can say personally, they brighten up my work area and even add value to my videos for my youtube channel. You can start with this ring light, I have one and it is an amazing addition to my work area.

10'' Ring Light with 50'' Extendable Tripod Stand, Sensyne LED Circle Lights with Phone Holder for Live Stream/Makeup/YouTube Video/TikTok, Compatible with All Phones.

White Facial Tissues

These are a must-have, they save me every time on a very hectic photoshoot with many models to attend to. Used to blot the skin, or basically handy to help with any clean-up.

Clean Skin Club Clean Towels XL | World's 1ST Biodegradable Face Towel | Disposable Makeup Removing Wipes

Disposable tissues

Disposable tissues are needed as well to cover your workstation and to generally clean up any mess.

Hand mirror

Use a hand mirror to show your clients the results of their makeup. Handy for outdoor photoshoots. This mirror is portable and was ideal for my photoshoot sessions in remote locations.

Gotofine Double Sided 1x - 7X Magnification Hand Held Makeup Mirror with Stand


These are used to prevent the client's hair from interfering with the makeup application.

Bowl Type Bins

Use these bins to dispose of waste materials, it would be ideal to get pedal bins. Pedal bins prevent contamination of hands and tools.


Use clean towels for each client. The cross-contamination of your tools and products is always something you should have in mind. Never use one towel for multiple clients.

Microfiber Facial Cloths Fast Drying Washcloth 12 pack - Premium Soft Makeup Remover Cloths

Client Record book/ Card

This is a confidential data sheet for each client. I use it to record and track my client's makeup treatments. A good client book can be used to track your client's visits and the different services they requested. It is used to store their personal information, such as email addresses, and phone numbers. It is especially useful if you run a salon with an active clientele. If you plan to treat your clients by offering discounts on their birthdays, a client book is a must-have. Some large well-established salons use salon software to register and track their clients but when just starting out a good Client Record book/Card will definitely suffice.

Beauty Chair

Try to get one that has a reclining back and headrest. Makeup is hard to deal with on certain surfaces so if possible, ensure the surface is easy to clean.

Beauty Trolley

You will need a surface to place your makeup products and tools. A trolley that provides arms-length and easy access is important as it helps you to decrease your work time and reduces hassle. Organize all you need beforehand on a handy trolley or table.

Makeup Bag

Below, there is a photo of me wearing my makeup bag. This bag is great to have when doing work in the field. I do a lot of photoshoots so I am always on the go. Wearing a makeup waist belt/ bag keeps my brushes, pencils, applicator, etc nearby.

Beautybaby Artist Professional Makeup Brush Waist Bag Cosmetic Portable Multi Pockets Bag with Belt Strap Black

Unleash the pro makeup artist in you, get the tools you need to do makeup at the highest level and standards. Starting out fresh in the business can be a very exciting and challenging experience, I was there, your overall success will ride greatly on the tools and products you use and how you use them. So always be prepared and organized at all times. In an earlier post, How To Apply Makeup Step-By-Step For The Beginner. I gave a step-by-step process on how to do a full makeup session, now that you know the tools you need, using them to do a full makeup has never been easier.

Thanks for spending time with me, whether you are a practicing makeup artist, fresh out of makeup artistry school, or just a beginner enthusiast, I hope you learned something that will enhance your makeup journey. Check out my other blog post, they share personal and professional insights that you may find useful. Until next time stay fabulous!

Ilgrid Tibby is a certified Makeup artist and Nail Technician based in Jamaica
Ilgrid Tibby - Makeup Artist & Nail Technician

This page contains affiliate links. This means that if you click a link and purchase one of the products on this page, I may receive a commission, there are no additional costs to you. This has no bearing on my opinions or the items I review on this blog. Everything we do is to benefit you as the reader, so all of my opinions and reviews are as personal, honest, and unbiased as possible.