I tackled the Drugstore vs. High End in my article, Beginners Makeup Kit – High Or Low end products? and I want to go in more depth now I am starting to get more clients, and the realities of being a working makeup artist.
Here’s the reasons why you should experiment with drugstore before you invest in high end makeup.
1. It’s Cheaper
In the past, the line between drugstore and high-end was so clear, but nowadays the drugstore companies and consumers are catching up and the lines between the two sides are starting to blur. Why pay £20 for a lipstick when a £10 one from the drugstore will do just fine in this fast fashion world.
I personally think, and this is after spending in the region of thousands on education and stocking my professional makeup artist kit, you should start with drugstore. Hear me out. When you are first considering becoming a makeup artist, you’ve most likely got no idea who your clients are going to be, what they want and who you want to serve.
Starting out, you’re probably only going to be doing makeup on yourself, your family and your friends. When you’re doing this, choose some really good brands from the drugstore and start curating a separate kit from your personal makeup for this purpose only.
Brands I can recommend are Sleek, Rimmel, L’Oreal, Makeup Revolution, Kiko and any other that take your fancy. Sleek have an amazing array of super pigmented palettes and I’ve always been impressed with Kiko’s eyeshadow offerings.
2. Experiment Without Consequence
What I mean by experiment without consequence is that when you buy the cheaper makeup brands, if you mess up or spill something, or it goes wrong somehow, you’re not annoyed you spent so much money and it doesn’t work out.
This is especially true when you first start out. If you have a look at my professional makeup kit, most of the brands in there were drugstore. I’ve since gotten some new high-end brands to round out my kit, but only when I was confident I could handle them and use them to the best of my ability.
With drugstore brands, you can try out those wacky colours and decide if they work for you or not. You can afford to splurge on a bright lipstick or a dark one because it’s only £1! I love makeup and I think it’s such a great pick-me-up so I love to experiment with cheaper brands to get a handle on the product before I invest in higher quality brands.
I’ve just got some GORGEOUS colours from Nyx which I will be sharing with you and the quality is just outstanding!
3. Invest In High-End Brands When You Are Confident
So, you’ve played around with the drugstore brands, and it would be so easy to just use these on your clients. You can do, but then don’t expect to charge the higher-end of the scale in terms of your prices. And don’t be mad when the client turns their nose up at you because you just have drugstore.
You are not being paid to put makeup on that the client can afford for themselves.
I used Makeup Geek eyeshadows for a LONG time before I decided to invest in a MAC Palette at IMATS. I used a cheaper bronzer and highlight until I understood how they worked and invested in a higher end highlighter. Did I want to spend that money? Not always, but having higher end brands when you understand how the product works, is key to moving your business forward and charging higher prices.
This is the reason I try and find affordable drug store products to keep my prices affordable. If I had MAC everything or Anastasia Beverley Hills in my palette, I’d be charging double what my prices currently are. I’m pretty happy with the higher end brands I’ve invested in because I know they will last and I’ll get a tonne of use out of them.
4. Don’t Skimp On The Basics
It’s great to have a mix of Drugstore and High End in your kit, and it shows your versatility as a Makeup Artist, but don’t skimp on the basics. The basics for me are:
- Eyeshadow Primer
Everything else, I can and do with more affordable brands. For instance, I don’t have any Anastasia Beverley Hills eyebrow palettes or dip brows. I found a great dupe with the Morphe Eyebrow Palette and I will use that until it finishes and then invest in the ABH products.
I don’t have a MAC Blusher in sight, but I love the Morphe and Makeup Revolution ones for their pigmentation and price point. I have invested in NARS blushers and bronzers, but I know I will get a tonne of use out of them when I start taking Bridal clients i.a.
5. Have a Separate Kit For Types Of Clients
What I mean by this is, have more affordable brands when you’re doing Prom Clients, a mix of high and low end when doing Party Makeup and mostly higher end when doing Bridals.
Understand what kind of makeup your client wants, the kind of brands they expect in your kit and then curate your kit accordingly. I have started only taking what I think I need to jobs which is why it’s so important to have a client consultation to figure out their needs so you only take a select amount.
Not only will this save your back, but it stops decision fatigue. In this way, you become an expert and can guide your clients on what products will work best for them after the job is ended, because trust me, they will ask.
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