6 days after I qualified in Make-up I was asked to do a friends make-up… for the BAFTA’s! Oh how I wish I was in London still or at least had the funds to pack up and go over and do her make-up for her.
Now she may have asked in jest knowing I was unavailable but it did get me thinking, I may already have the qualification in make-up but really I haven’t put any thought into what make-up I want to use as a professional. I did look at eye shadows which I think are good quality and got the Urban Decay Naked II pallet for Christmas but the reality is I still need to invest in quality foundations, concealer pallets, blushers, hi-lighters, bronzers, eye and lip liners, mascaras, many more eye shaddows and that’s just the obvious stuff before I start thinking about primers, setting sprays, brush cleaners etc.
Add into the mix that I also require anything I pick to be cruelty free and it really is a very limited market out there when it comes to salon professional brands.
In college I trained using Jane Iredale which, at the start I did not rate. However, having researched the brand a little more I can see that actually they offer far more colours and shades than we had at our disposal to practice with and have some very good feedback.
Other brands which looked good included Artdeco (which I couldn’t find enough information on with regards to being animal friendly) and Bare Minerals/Essentials. Both Artdeco and Bare Minerals are available from department stores and so I felt this really limited saleability of any products I would be using and swayed my decision to look further into Jane Iredale.
Now for those who don’t know much about the company, Jane Iredale are a company committed to creating mineral products that are paraben free, as well as free from harsh chemicals. Their cosmetics are vegan and are not tested on animals.
Knowing that they tick my boxes I contacted their UK supplier and I am in the process of arranging a meeting with one of their sales reps. The rep will then come out to demonstrate the product range to me and in general to encourage me to place an order. I have been advised by other professionals that their minimum opening order for Jane Iredale is £500 which, does seem like a lot of money to be spending BUT in reality to get a kit which has much of what we need to get our professional kit started, this is the kind of money we realistically need to spend.
I do also love that I will have the ability to sell their range to my future customers. Online beauty bloggers and review sites do really rate a lot of the range. Why not check out some of the product reviews on MakeUpAlley to check it out for yourself.
My advice when looking for your make-up kit is to:
Do your research. Don’t just go with one brand you know, look for others you may not have heard of and research them too. The reality is that although I am going with the brand my college uses, I actually spent several hours researching for brands which do not test on animals and then reading customer reviews and professional reviews on a few beauty forums.
Be realistic with your budget. Some brands will let you build your kit up as you go along without any minimum spend such as Artdeco and others like Jane Iredale will require you place a minimum opening order. Rationally think about what you need and cost it out in your head, you will soon see how quickly it all mounts up.
Look for the best value for your money. This sounds obvious but the fact is a lot of people will build their kit up with items they have brought on the high street or in department stores. These are very easy to get hold of quickly but will in the long term end up costing you a lot of money as you are not receiving any discount (unless you are using a store such as MAC where you can purchase a discount card if you are a professional MUA). Also you need to think about the saleability of your products. If you are buying your kit from a department store, then your clients will be going to the same place to buy “that lipstick you used” on them. Personally I want to know that my clients will be able to buy the products I use on them from me!
Take your time and prioritise. I know it is easy to get excited but it is important not to rush buying your kit as if you make a wrong decision it could be an expensive mistake. If you are short on funds, then take some time to save rather than buying a substandard item to start with. Think about what you need and buy in order of priority if you need to. You want to buy quality items once rather than substandard items twice.
Keeping all of the above in mind, I fully intend to be prepared for this time next year when my friend can again ask me to do her make-up for the BAFTAs. In fact, I intend to be prepared well in advance, so if anyone else requires their make-up doing for an awards ceremony or movie prem, please do let me know!