Admissions (925) 855-5551 Guest Services (925) 855-5551

August 2, 2023

Getting started as a make-up artist – by Denise Gaston

As a student and/or licensed professional, you will have a myriad of choices when purchasing makeup products and supplies. What are your favorite brands? Most offer “pro cards,” which allow you to purchase at a discount. If you want to see multiple brands under one roof, plan on attending “The MakeUp Show.” Visit for dates and locations.

Have you decided on your target market? Are you wanting to get into the business of bridal? What about proms and/or quinceaneras? Will you serve your clients at your location only or on set? You have lots of things to think about! One thing is for sure; you must start where you are and build from there. It would be advisable to purchase makeup books to use as a guide. Here are some title options: Milady Standard MakeUp Edition 1, by Cengage Learning; MakeUp Is Art, by Carlton Books, Face Forward, by Kevyn Aucoin; and Making Faces, by Kevyn Aucoin.
Make-up looks you may be creating include daytime, evening, red carpet, avant-garde, bridal, and glamour.

Now let’s get to the fun stuff, “What to buy.” This list, while in-depth, is not all-inclusive. Your kit may or may not include many of the items listed.
So! You have your heart set on becoming a makeup artist with all the bells and whistles that follow this illustrious career; then reality sets in with the question, “Where and how do I begin?” Well, hold on to your blush brush. This article will give you the 411 on what you need now!

Let’s begin with the fundamentals. You will need a working knowledge of color theory and a color wheel. Get to know everything you can about color. Look all around you. Observe nature. Look at sunsets. What do you see during a lazy day at the beach or on a walk on a fall day? Color is best learned by observation and experimentation. Expand your mind. Take a trip to a fabric and/or paint store, checking out colors in every shade imaginable; last but not least, visit to see what the color of the year is, along with its matching palette.

As you begin your journey, you’ll want to create a client consultation form to gather much-needed information on your client. This is also a great way to develop a database for future business, cultivating hair, skin, and nail clients.

The perfect look begins with a properly prepared canvas, prepped, primed, and ready for your artistic talent. You are ready to let your creative hands begin, but first, brows need as much preparation as the face. Wax, thread, or tweeze the brows to achieve the desired shape.


Traveling Make-Up Case 2-3 Sets of Makeup Brushes Brush Cleaner Makeup Drapes Beauty Blenders Disposable Eye Drops Strip Eyelashes in Black and Brown (Short/Medium/Long) Lash Glue in Clear and Black regular & latex free, Individual Lashes in Black and Brown (Short/Medium/Long) Small Scissors (for trimming lashes) Setting Spray Mixing Palettes (stainless steel or plastic) Spatulas (small) to mix creams and liquids Bright Eyeshadow Palettes Neutral Eyeshadow Palettes Liquid Foundations Cream Foundations Pressed Powders Loose Powders HD Powder Banana Powder Highlighter/Contour Palette (variety) Color Correctors (yellow/green/lavender/peach) Brow Pencils (variety) Brow Powder Palette (variety) Lip Liners (variety) Pencil Eyeliners (variety) Gel Eyeliners (variety) Liquid Eyeliners (variety) Mascara regular and waterproof (Black/Brown/Blue)

Lipsticks (matte, shimmer, cream), be sure to have a blue-red and orange-red! Lipgloss (variety) Blush Palettes (warm/cool/neutral) Eye Glitters & Glue (variety) Moisturizer Eye Makeup Remover and Eye Makeup Remover Wipes Toner First Aid Kit Mirror (large and small) Gum & Breath Mints Eyelash Curler Tweezers (slant and straight) Two Pencil Sharpeners Variety of hair ties and/or clips to hold hair off the face Quart and Gallon size Ziplock Bags Airbrush Makeup Handheld Airbrush Unit Variety of Pods for Foundation, Blush, Highlighters Now that you have the 411 on settling up your basic make-up kit. Visit the next JD Academy magazine publication for your Avant-Garde and Special Effects makeup kit lists! Have Fun!

Denise Gaston is a passionate JD Academy esthetician educator. In addition to being a state-licensed esthetician, she is an International CIDESCO Diplomate. She has been in the skincare industry for thirty-two years and an esthetician instructor for eighteen. She is determined to be the best teacher she can be, as demonstrated by her achievement of Advanced Master Educator status from Milady in 2023 for completing seventy-two hours of continuing education.

Denise Gaston
Educator & Licensed Esthetician


, , ,

5 2 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x