Thursday, 24 February 2011

My professional MUA kit in the making....on a budget.

Anyone who knows me personally, knows that primarilly - I am a musician. However. Being a musician is not all that good on the ol' finance department. I'm in the last year of my music degree at the moment, and after that finishes I have loads of exciting stuff tax etc to look forward to.

Being in a band means that I need to have a job which is extremely flexible (so that I can go out on tour without having to worry too much.) I already have a nice flexible job, but theres no way that my wages from that job can possibly cover my living costs once I'm out of college.

Sooooo I have been thinking about ways that I can earn a little money on the side of my job/band stuff. For starters - I'm going to start giving singing lessons. I have been thinking about doing it for a while but just didn't have the time to commit to it before. If anyone reading this knows of anyone in the surrey area who is after contemporary singing lessons (my speciality is in Rock/Metal but I can cover most popular genres) then get in touch (

I have also decided to try and get into doing freelance MUA work. It has always been my "backup plan" should the whole band thing not work out. I really enjoy doing it and I alteady own a lot of the stuff that I need for the business.

So, before summer I want to get a portfolio together. I am roping in anyone with a face for me to put makeup on and photograph :) I would love to work with any professional photographers in the making too so if you are one of those (again, in the Surrey area) then get in touch :)

Last year I sold my guitar amp. I barely ever play guitar anymore and when I do play, I use my boyfriends amp anyway.  My marshall stack was being used as a bedside table....which is obviously not what it was intended for. The money from the sale of the amp I put in my spare bank account and sort of forgot about it, so I am using those pennies to try and put together my professional MUA kit.

I am on a serious budget. People I have spoken to about it didn't think I could put it together for under £300. I totally disagree, and think I can manage it on around a third of that (so around £100).

My first lot of stuff that I have ordered for my kit came through today, so I thought I'd share it with you guys :)

Coastal Scents (sort of): Eclipse Concealer Palette - £4.18

Coastal Scents are a strange company. I don't really understand how they stay in business because all they do is slap their name onto wholesale cosmetic company products.

This is the "official" product.

This would have cost me $14.99 - plus the ridiculous international shipping prices that they put on top of that.

But if you search for it on is the same product. Without the coastal scents sticker on the front....for £ P&P

I gave this a test run on myself this morning (because I wouldn't wanna trial it on someone else just incase there is something wrong with it.) I really like it. The lightest concealer colour is great for covering my undereye circles and the green correcter covered up any redness that I had. The white highlight shade is really pretty too. I don't really understand why its in a "concealer" palette but Its a nice shimmery highlight which I'm sure I'll get plenty of use out of.

These concealers are SUPER creamy. Which makes them ideal for undereye circles (I hate when I try to use a concealer and it feels like I'm pulling my skin when I'm applying it.)

Sleek: Creme to Powder foundation tester kits - £2.99 each

I think that these are an awesome idea. These tester palettes contain all of the shades that Sleek offer in their foundation range. Sleek specialise in darker skin tones (as you can probably tell from the photo) so this won't cover the whole spectrum....but for less than £12 - It covers enough shades (in my opinion) to be worth the money.

You can probably get 3/4 applications from each little square, so its ideal for someone like me who is starting out because I don't need a huge amount of each color. You can use a scalpel to scrape the colours out of the palette and mix them together too which is nice because it means that any shades you don't can try your hand at making :)

Even though this brand is mainly for darker skin tones - the lightest colour (shell) matches my skin pretty closely. I tried this out this morning and it really is a nice foundation. Most creme to powders never really feel like they have fully set but this one really impressed me!

Sleek: Contour and Highlight Brush - £6.99

I had heard good things about this brush, and I really liked that it came with a pouch. Usually I wouldn't buy a double ended brush because when you sit them in a container - one of the ends always gets squished - but the pouch fixes that issue because I can lay it flat and still keep it clean.

The brush is really nice and soft. I have been using a MAC 168 to contour and I really don't rate it that much at all, it doesn't seem to apply colour very evenly. I havn't actually tried this brush out yet but its definitely softer than the 168.

Estee Lauder Makeup Artists Leather Brush Belt - £2.20
Ah the wonders of Ebay. I managed to grab this for £2.20. I don't know how much this should have cost me because I can't find it online (I think the lady I bought it from must have been an ex EL employee cause this looks like the ones that the employees wear). But considering it is real leather, and pretty robust - and that the MAC ones cost around £ guessing that I got myself a bit of a bargin here :)

Ruby & Millie: i-brush - £1.69

My mum and sisters seem to really like these and since boots were doing their £5 off Ruby & Millie vouchers, I figured that I would give it a shot. It is normally £6.69 but with the £5 off I only paid £1.69 for it. I have purchased most of the brushes for my professional kit from E.L.F's studio range (during their 20% off sale)- but I don't love their eyeshadow brushes as much as I do their face brushes, so I am getting the eye brushes elsewhere. My personal favourites are the GOSH brushes, so it will be interesting to see how this one compares to those.

Soooo this lot cost me £27.02 in total. Not bad considering the fact that I almost have the foundation side of things covered, I have every concealer I will need for a while, a lovely brush belt and a couple of nice brushes to pop in it :)

I will keep you guys updated with how my little kit is going :)


  1. How exciting! It looks like your kit is already off to a great start! Several years ago I attended a cosmetology school, and while I never did anything more than a few photoshoots for makeup, I found that those crazy 120 color pallets are great to have. They aren't top notch quality, but you can definitely make them work. It's great to have so many colors right there in one pallet, for such little cost.

    Good luck on your makeup artistry endeavors. By looking at your previous FOTDs, I don't think you'll have much trouble finding work :D

  2. I was actually really impressed by the quality of my 88 matte palette (though apparently the shimmer one isn't quite as impressive?)

    I have got a 120 neutrals palette on its way to me to make up for the massive gap in my collection when it comes to neutrals so fingers crossed I get on with that one just as well :D

    I guess sometimes you don't need top quality items...especially not for photography cause the makeup isn't going to be on the face for all that long :P

  3. I'm doing the same thing as you! Look up photography groups on, I do a lot of shoots through them! And get business cards too, they really help.

    Building my kit is... interesting! I don't have a lot of money, either. I have a 120 palette and a 66 lip palette, and I've made up lip palettes for neutrals/pinks slowly over time, too. I use small indie blushes (fyrinnae and Darling Girl), and a Dermablend concealer palette which I mix with moisturizer to use under the eye (though I just bought that palette you linked to, doesn't hurt for £4.) And I use a lot of the e.l.f. professional brushes too, they're amazing! Good to find someone to share tips with!

  4. Oh, I've found that cake mascara is a godsend!

  5. Cake mascara? I havn't heard of it. I'll look it up :)

    I have actually gotten a few more things for my kit since this post. Your comment just reminded me that I need to take photos and post the 2nd installment :)

    Thank yoou for the link to that site! I will definitely check it out :D x

  6. I use a Kryolan one - It's £14 on here but it sometimes pops up on ebay. I moisten it with a bottle of eye drops (so you don't have to lug water around with you) it's easy to sanitize, it has 3 colours and it doesn't dry out!

    Do check out meetup. There's lots of London based ones so if you're ever up here let me know!