L.A. makeup artist Liza Macawili Ramos shares advice on kit building

Our friend Liza Macawili Ramos is back again with some tips on kit building. She was here a few years back sharing some tips with you guys. Circle back to her interview here!

PC Adam Adolphus

PC Adam Adolphus

I asked her the same questions that I asked Christopher Milone, check out his answers in the last post here. 


 1.What is your advice to someone starting out as an MUA on how to build a solid kit?

If you are just starting out as a makeup artist, I suggest you buy a starter kit from your makeup school or favorite brand. They usually deeply discount the kit and it contains the basic necessities for doing a makeup. I also think you should work in retail for a beauty supply or counter. Not only do you get familiar with a variety of products but you get gratis from several lines. You really get to figure out what you like and don’t like.

 2. The 1-3 things everyone should have in your kit.

Every makeup artist should have a range of foundations to match every skin color and quality makeup brushes.

In my kit I’ve been using a lot of the Viseart palettes for eyeshadow, concealer and lip color. I also love the Youngblood powders and highlighters. There is a new Illuminating palette that’s coming out this summer I am really excited about. The Cinema Secret foundation palettes are great for offering a wide range of colors, offer beautiful coverage and travel nicely.

 

3. What you wish you had known when you started building your kit?
I wish I didn’t waste so much money on cheap makeup. Yes, you can make it work, but you have to work harder to blend it and keep it on.  I would rather just spend the money on quality products and not have to fight the makeup as the shoot goes on.

Follow on Insta @lizamakeupartist

Follow on Insta @lizamakeupartist

Bio:
Liza Macawili Ramos has over 20 years of experience working in the beauty industry. She is a current judge for The North American Hairstyling Awards makeup category and a member of the Youngblood Cosmetics Artistry Team. Her clients include Wella, Clairol, Sebastian, Nordstrom & The Enthusiast Network.

I love to follow Liza on Instagram, she is so fun! @lizamakeupartist or @lizamakeup

I said this on the last post with Chris’s tips but I will say it again because I can’t scream this loud enough…….

Surround yourself with artists like this!!!!

Artists, like Liza, who are smart, experienced, kind and generous enough to share their knowledge with you. Why? Because they get it. A rising tide lifts all boats! Build your community with people who lift up others. Be the person who is lifting up others. That is how we strengthen and grow this industry.

Want more insight on how I built my kit? You can pre-order the Kit Building Course today. It will be available at the end of April. Use the code PRESALE to save $10 before the course goes live.

Kit Building Course SALE

 

Professional Makeup Artist Kit Building Tips. How to do more with less!

The question I get most often, after people subscribe to the email list and get the list of kit basics is what specific brands and shades of products that I recommend. The answer is always to first evaluate who your Ideal Client is (you should really dig deep into this guide!)

Since I get this question so often, I decided to dig a bit deeper into what is in my actual working artist kit. The work that I do is mostly in commercial production, portraits and special events, so my kit is built for the type of client that I work with.

In this video, I talk a little about the 2 main foundations that I use (Graftobian and Temptu S/B airbrush) and why they work for me.

No matter where you are and what type of clients you are serving, I recommend choosing products that will take up minimal space in your kit. Palettes are great space savers.

A professional artist is prepared for all complexion colors and skin types!

In this video, I talk about choosing foundations that you can build up the level of coverage or mix moisturizer to sheer out as needed. Be prepared to manipulate your products to customize the shade and coverage that is ideal for your client.

More Kit Building Tips are coming soon. If you would like to walk thru how Ive built my kit and why it works for me, join me for the Kit Building Course in April. Pre-Order now here and save $10 by using the code PRESALE.

If you have questions, add them in the comments and I will make sure to add whatever you are looking for into the course before it launches!

xoxo

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13 things you need to add to your Pro-Mua Kit today

Over the years my kit has grown and expanded with my career. I have gone from the tiniest little tackle box to a loaded down SUV full of everything I can think of that I may need!

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Yep, that is the actual little tiny Caboodle (but a knock off!) that I used to keep my treasures in when I first started many, many moons ago! I keep in the closet, (empty and apparently very dirty!) to remind myself of how far I’ve come. And maybe just in case I ever need it

In the event that a client needs anything, especially anything personal (hello tampons!) they are going straight to the makeup artist/stylist. You want to be the one who saves the day! That is kind how my kit grew and grew. Anytime someone would ask me for something, if I didn’t have it that day, I would make sure to have it the next time.

I work in a market where I do hair, makeup and wardrobe styling so that is one reason why I have so much stuff. Another reason I can afford to bring so much with me is because I am driving my kit around in my big mama SUV. Regardless of where you are in your career or how you travel with your kit, you will want to make sure you have some of these “in case of emergency” items.

Yes, we are talking about a makeup kit and what I am about to tell you has nothing to do with makeup BUT when someone on set or at a wedding needs one of these things, the makeup artist is the first person they ask. If you don’t have it, they won’t hate you forever and never hire you but if you DO have it, you will basically be a super hero who saved the day from impending doom.

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Sounds dramatic but its just so true. Production or special events can be a full on soap opera at times. I like to avoid the drama and turn frowns upside down whenever possible. Here are some things I carry with me that have wowed my clients.

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  • Snacks- For you or your client in a low blood sugar situation.
  • Tampons
  • Drinking Straws- To keep your lipstick in check!
  • Lint Roller
  • Sewing Kit- Get one with prethreaded needles, scissors, safety pins, seam ripper
  • Manicure Kit
  • Eyeglass Repair Kit
  • Baby Wipes
  • Breath mints/Wisps/Mouthwash- Keep everyone’s breath minty fresh!
  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Bug Spray
  • First Aid Kit- You never know when you need a bandaid or OTC pain reliever.
  • Umbrella

These are not expensive items, but they are priceless when you need them. That umbrella is clutch when the bottom falls out of the sky and that gorgeous client you’ve been working so hard on has to step out into the rain. Or when you are on an outdoor set working in film and tv, that umbrella may be the only spot of shade you can find for hours! If its summertime and you are in the south, you will want to make sure to have bug spray and sunscreen.

If you subscribe to the mailing list, you have gotten the list of kit basics and pro discounts. If you haven’t gotten that, make sure to subscribe today. The list of basics doesn’t go into specific products, shades and brands because that is really personal preference and should be tailored to your ideal client. But the question I hear most often from you is that you want to know what I am using in my kit.

Kit Building Course SALE

So that is why I am designing the Build Your Own Pro-MUA kit course coming in April. You can pre-order and get it for just $19.99!

To preorder, head over here and use the code PRESALE, this will be available for a limited time so act fast if you want to save $10. 

This course is for you if you want to see what I actually use in my real working artist kit. I will show you how I pack and organized my products and which specific products/tools I use and why I chose them.

This course is NOT for you if you want me to tell you how to “get cheap products”. Building a kit to work as a professional artist is an investment in your craft. Your products should be chosen with your ideal client in mind and I don’t think anyone would describe their ideal client as a girl who wants “the cheap stuff”.

I work in special events (brides), portraits and commercials/tv so that is what my kit is build for. If you are building a kit for special effects or body painting, this course is NOT for you. I do some editorial and high fashion shoots, mostly for personal projects, so I will chat about that but we will mostly focus on what to put in your kit to work (and make money) as an artist.

What you can expect in the videos….

  • Getting started
  • How to chose the right bag or case.
  • Storage
  • Brushes and Tools
  • Complexion
  • Color
  • Definition
  • Lashes
  • Lips
  • Airbrushing

Of course I’ve got some good bonus info for you! Here are some of those extras…

  • Hygiene Tips
  • Product Expiration
  • Handling Mature Skin
  • Working High Def
  • Bridal Musts

You can order pre made kits to get you started but I feel that building your own arsenal of carefully curated products and tools lets you show up and work as a true professional. There is not one way to do this. Your kit will be unique, (think beautiful snowflake!), just like you as an artist and your fabulous clients.

I would love to give you a video tour of the kit that I have built over the last 13 years.

Pre-Order HERE and Save $10 Today!

Use the code PRESALE (for a limited time) and save! Once the course is live (April) it will be $29.99 and some extras will not be included.

Know a friend who is struggling to build her kit? Be a pal and pass on this info!

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Get Started Building Your Makeup Kit and Business

Hey There!

I have been hard at work over here getting organized for the big rebrand. I can’t tell you how excited/nervous/anxious I am to share everything I have been working on.

Why am I excited?

Because I think you are going to be excited about all of the resources that I am putting together for you.

Why am nervous?

Well, this is a big, big, big investment. I am investing a ton of time (all day, every day) and a small fortune to blend my work as a freelancer (check me out here) with these resources to help you do the same thing!

Ya’ll when I say a small fortune, I mean it! I have a few thousand out to a designer who is working on the visual flow of the new branding and website, a few thousand to an attorney that is filing a trademark for the new business name (that is why I haven’t shared it yet!) and hundreds of dollars to have my kids in daycare so I can focus on getting this off the ground this year.

But I’m investing, I am investing in myself and in my business. Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to invest in yourself. I am challenging you to stretch yourself a little. Stretch yourself to the point where it is a little scary (but still fun) and see what you can put together.

I am doing it! Let’s do it together! If you aren’t dreaming big, you may not want to come along for the ride when we switch over to the new brand.

Are you up for the challenge?

Here is the new makeup kit basics checklist! It is free to download!

You can see more guides and resources here, at the store front. 

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More stuff is coming your way! If you want to stay in the know, make sure to subscribe to the email list. AND open the emails when they come to your inbox because there are some special goodies that only subscribers get.

xoxo- Let’s create great things!-xoxo

Emily

Part 1 of the Building Your Kit series

You are ready to be a Money Making Makeup Artist, right? First things first, you are going to need to start building your kit. This is process. It doesn’t happen overnight or all in one day. Since its a process, I will break it down in a series of blog posts. Lets get started….

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Step one… Drop your name and email above this post (under the logo) and get on the VIP list. You will not only get my list of must have basics and a list of all the Pro Discounts that major brands offer and how to apply for them, but I will send you tips and tricks as I update this blog.

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Step 3…Yep, you guessed it… we are going back to that crucial first step I always tell you is the starting point for making decisions. Before you can decide what products and tools you will need, you need to understand who your ideal client is and what they will want you to do for them.

Will you be working with brides, commercial advertising, film and television clients, special events? Will you be traveling and what kind of set/locations will you be on? While it can be so much fun to go out and buy all the fun eye shadows, lipcolors, pencils and brushes on the market, you will need products that will get the job done and be sustainable. 

Focus on buying what you NEED, not what looks fun. Once you get the basics down (you did step one and snagged my list of basics, right?), you can get a little more advanced and  have a little fun.

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This is a huge (and super important!) investment of time and resources so choose wisely. Start by getting clear on your ideal client. If you haven’t done this yet, create your ideal client profile. Yep, I want you to put it to paper so you can get a strong visual of who this person is. We dig really deep into this in the workshop, so let me know if you need some help and we can all do it together.

You can totally buy a starter kit. However, that kit may come with lots of things you don’t need (for YOUR ideal client) and not enough of what you do. So work on creating a custom bag of tricks that will set you apart as the true professional.

Are you ready to get started? Go work on that detailed description of your ideal client and I will back with what comes next!

We are getting ready to start the awesome 6 week course on building your own MMMUA biz. Check out this page for more info like how to register, when it starts and what it includes!

Money Saving Tips

When it comes to building your professional makeup kit, you may experience the occasional sticker shock. Makeup is expensive, right!  Not to mention, the tools necessary to apply it! Don’t worry, before you go around paying full price for things, start here first.

Here are some of my money saving tips:

First, check out this giveaway, FREE stuff is a great way to save money:)

 

-If you are a licensed cosmetologist or a student, you can purchase products from your local supply store, AT COST, which is about 50% off of retail. I LOVE Cosmoprof, see if there is one in your area.

-Make sure to take advantage of awards perks from places like CVS. Their ExtraBucks Beauty Club rewards will give you money back for every $50 or so of purchases. You are also available for special coupons too! I get free stuff here all of the time. For more on my adventures in couponing and getting free stuff, you should subscribe to get my blog to your email.

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-Are you a Sephora Beauty Insider? For each purchase you make, you earn points that you can redeem in free products! If you don’t love the products they have, you can roll your points onto your next purchase. Its free to sign up!

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-Attend a trade show. I know people who save their pennies all year to travel to IMATS or THE MAKEUP SHOW and buy all the products for their kits there. You can score some really sweet deals and get some great education too! I got some AMAZING things and learned so much from the Makeup Show in NYC last year. NYCMakeupShow-1

– Make sure you have access to professional discounts for the products you love and purchase often. Have you signed up for the email list (just look at the top of this page, under the logo, put in your name and email, hit GIVE IT TO ME). I will send you a list of everything you need in your kit + how to apply for all the professional discounts. Some are free and some have an annual membership fee.

I asked in my Beauty Blogger groups for their suggestions and here’s what they had to say….

Justina’s Gems says she likes to buy things in sets on QVC or Sephora. Oftentimes, instead of buying a bronzer for $30 they will have a bronzer, primer, and a blush for the same price. It really helps build her collection!

Madame B Fatale also recommended making sure to take advantage for programs like Back to Mac (check out my video on on that here).

She also reminded me about ordering in bulk. Just this week I stocked up on lashes, you probably saw that on Instagram if you follow me @emilyhudspeth.

Get your lashes here, they have every kind of lashes and every kind of glue. Its pretty awesome!
Madame Madeline is your online Shoppe for discount Ardell False Eyelashes, Andrea Lashes, and hundreds of false eyelashes.Image-7

Being on this email list (just put in your name and email above and hit GIVE IT TO ME in orange) has so many ways you can save money. First you will get my guidelines to creating a great professional makeup kit. Then you will get the list of all the pro discounts and how to apply for them.

And you will get awesome emails like this one reminding you when we have giveaway and great specials, like the current one for saving $200 on the March workshop!

We are getting ready to start the awesome 6 week course on building your own MMMUA biz. Check out this page for more info like how to register, when it starts and what it includes!