It’s often the little things which make me happy and the same goes for the contents of my pro kit. In this post I’m sharing some items in my kit which may seem insignificant on their own but I couldn’t be without…
Tube Squeezer Key (£1.50)
Many years ago I had a key for toothpaste tubes but at some point it was lost (probably in a house move) and have ever since been frustrated by the impossible to reach residue when I get to the end of a tube, so when I discovered that Upcircle had produced a key you can imagine my excitement!
Made of metal alloy, this key not only made it into my bathroom (and also my kitchen drawer – tomato purée tubes!) but also into my kit and has become an essential for extracting moisturiser, cleanser and much more from plastic and metal tubes alike. Simply slide the key onto the end of the tube and twist…
– 100% recyclable and plastic-free.
The Makeup Mat (£21.99)
I am always on the lookout for sustainable solutions for my kit. When I started out, I was taught to lay out a towel and couch roll (basically an oversized loo roll) on my station and set up on that. I still set up my station in this way but over the years I’ve adapted. Not wishing to persist with couch roll (partly because it’s hard to get an ethical version but also to avoid unnecessary waste), I switched to a wipeable makeup mat. I’ve had a few oilcloth and vinyl mats over the years but the nature of their materials meant they couldn’t be recycled when they died.
A recent purchase was The Makeup Mat, a recycle-able silicone mat which is non porous surface so it doesn’t harbour germs and bacteria but also is totally wipeable – the perfect, reusable solution to single use couch roll! It is heatproof and has a rim which prevents spillages (I have a lot of them) seeping onto laps. To top it all you can have them personalised (in case you [or your actor] forget your name ;)!
– Recyclable (not kerbside) and plastic free
Mini Cosmetic Spatulas (£2.99)
Another purchase from Upcircle were these mini scoops. Perfect for helping to maintain a hygienic kit, particularly in this Covid world, the scoops some are great for removing cream products from jars and palettes.
The scoops come in two sizes to give you a little more flexibility in terms of product quantity. They are also lovely and small so are handy to use in a set bag or carry in a small kit and are an alternative to the longer, full-sized spatulas. Being metal alloy they can be cleaned and reused so again helps to reduce wastage.
– 100% recyclable and plastic-free.
Microfibre Detail Applicators (£6.95 for 50)
If there was ever a product that you didn’t know you needed until you had it then this was it for me! The Microfibre Detail Applicators from Guru Makeup Emporium, a pro makeup store in Kensington, West London.
As a general rule I try to avoid using disposables in my pro kit wherever possible but on occasion it is a necessary evil and so when I do, I use bamboo handled brushes which have a lower footprint than their plastic counterparts.
I ordered these just to try them out, thinking they wouldn’t really be especially useful to me however I was wrong. I have discovered they are an essential when applying prosthetic makeups. The tiny microfibre end (and it is tiny) is perfect for applying glues, getting into those small, hard to reach areas and blending away edges (making them look invisible against the skin in other words). Despite being so small they hold sufficient amounts of product and I have found them invaluable. They are also great for cleaning airbrushes, applying makeup to tiny blemishes (like burst vessels), cleaningo bike components and much more!!
– Bamboo handle
Handl Bag Strap (£25.00)
Maybe not a beauty inclusion but certainly a wellbeing one! Aches and pains are a perpetual problem when you are a Makeup Artist. Bending at funny angles when applying makeups (however hard you try not to), standing for long periods on set and carrying heavy kit bags, all play havoc on your body.
The majority of pro kit bags may be great in design but they are united in one flaw – invariably they have a poorly designed shoulder strap. They are always too thin and offer no protection, therefore once the bag is filled with all manner of bits and pieces required for a day on set, they end up digging into your shoulder in the most vicious way.
Having seen them on the shoulders of many a Makeup Artist, on my last film I purchased the Snow Leopard Handl bag strap (from PAM) to ease the pressure on my shoulders. It certainly made a huge difference! The strap is 5cm wide and so it spreads the load over a larger area and make carrying a set bag all the more comfortable. The quality is great and I can see it lasting for years to come. There are a myriad of designs to choose from too!
Handl are a small UK business founded by Mother-Daughter duo Karen and Amy. They design and make detachable and adjustable shoulder straps which give a new and comfortable lease of life to a kit bag (or any other bag). I have a number of kit bags and so I will definitely be getting a couple more in the future.
Have you found any little things that make a difference?
Images: LJS – OMUA