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.
Wow! Great timeline and walk through how you’ve organized yourself and your working products and tools, with all the highlights on strengths and flaws. The makers of these professional storage units should be listening and learning! Thanks!!!!
Thank you, Vivian! If the Stilazzi manufacturers could put some Zuca-esque wheels on it, they’d have an astronomical best-seller. PL
Amazing that you kept them all!!! Right now I have the Stilazzi + Zuca backpack since I do makeup + hair~ !
Thank you, Elizabeth! I love the Zuca backpack, as well. I know it was made for hair stylists, but it’s definitely the most portable of my cases. Please check in again!!!
This is great!! Thank you so much for sharing. Ever since I have started doing makeup ( alittle over 4 years ) I have always used a suitcase. Which has worked for me, but I am ready to retire. I have been thinking about the Zuca kit, but wasn’t sure about it. I know that most MUA’s love it but it is so good to hear what you have thought about all of them. I will being going to do some work in Rome this winter and was nervous about flying with my kit…. Any thoughts/suggestions?
Thank you for this very informative blogpost. 🙂
Could you please tell me what the measurements of the Stilazzi drawers are?
I’m curious if my Make Up For Ever magnetic palettes would fit into these drawers.
Hi, Lisa! Thank you for stopping by my blog and checking out the one about my (somewhat massive) collection of makeup kits & cases 🙂 The drawer dimensions on the Stilazzi are approximately 6 inches wide x 9 inches long x 2 inches deep. I’ve enjoyed it for the sheer amount of makeup and equipment it holds, but am not currently using it. It’s HUGE! Currently, I’m using a TasMerah with drawers, as well. Hope this helps. Please let us know if your MUFE palettes fit!!! And feel free to send a photo along, too! Best, Pamela