A makeup artist’s kit is their home away from home. . . the thing that houses the stuff that makes brides & models feel happy & beautiful, TV personalities feel mattified & confident, and helps bring life to photo shoots. It’s no wonder that we take a lot of pride in its form and functionality. Plus, like a home, it’s always in a state of flux; neatness and disarray. I’ve put together a history of my own kits and a little of what was going on in my head when I operated out of each one:
Meet my family of 7 kits.
1st kit: MAC’s train case. I purchased this when I worked for MAC. Most artists had 2 or 3. Big purchase for me. . . $300+ for this little baby, but the symbolism was immense: I was a MAC makeup artist with a MAC train case. Bonified. Verified. Certified.
Kit #2. . . generic train case, without telescoping drawers/compartments. Purchased off Amazon, cheap. I needed something that would house my (large) Iwata compressor that I had just purchased from MAC Pro. I was moving up in the world of Pro programs. This held the airbrush compressor beautifully, but showing up on-site with two train cases was cumbersome, to say the least. Got the job done, though.
3rd kit. I felt like I’d made it. This rolling, 2-piece train case was the ultimate in roominess. The top kit lifted off the larger bottom; it held all my paint pots, powders, pencils, and liners. The bottom portion held my compressor and had a particle-board box compartment that held all foundations. This was my introduction to the world of kits on wheels. However, it was nightmarish caring this and my chair up the winding staircases of Charleston plantation venues.
Kit #4. My first name-brand kit, Tas Merah. I thought I’d died and gone to Kit Heaven. This was so easy to work from. . . it’s compact (made me hone my kit), had drawers to pull product from in case space was an issue and it had wheels. Alas, it was the narrow wheel-base and skinny wheels that proved to be its fatal flaw. Too many tip-overs made me begin my research into other rolling options.
Kits 5 & 6. Both Zuca. The back pack is currently my editorial/TV kit. I love its portability and almost always I have room on-set to spread out my wares. The rolling Zuca Pro is the standard for most MUAs. The big drawback is the bags that have to be compactly packed and unpacked and RE-packed; that means you MUST have room or a table top to work from, which doesn’t always happen. The Zuca’s wheels are very much like in-line skate wheels. . . the best of the best. Smoothest roll around. I have retired the rolling Zuca, perhaps for travel (a great TSA-approved carry-on).
Current Kit, #7. My Stilazzi Gone Topless. This is my favorite, so far. I’m back to the drawers, which I love. There’s plenty of room on the top of this kit for my compressor, lashes, pencils, and skincare. That leaves the drawers open for foundations, concealers, blushes, lippies, palettes, etc. My one wish: if I could only have the Zuca wheels on the Stilazzi case, my life would be nearly perfect. Purchased this kit from Frends. Phenomenal customer service and prompt delivery.