How to work with your client: Top Do's and Don'ts!

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Let’s be honest, no one is perfect! We gain our experience through hits and misses, trial and error, we learn our lessons, and it is ok! I wish there was somebody right beside me every time I did a client’s makeup when I first started working as a freelance Makeup Artist, who told me what to do and what not to; but this is real life, and I’ve learnt a lot through my own experiences, practice, and by being very observant, reading and asking! Sometimes a client’s face can say it all (and sometimes you have to ask)! Your main goal is to always make your client happy and never frustrated; especially on her special day!

Being a Makeup Artist is a hard job as you always have different faces, different skin types, different expectations and different tempers in your chair. You have to be able to deal with all of them to become a really good artist! To achieve this you will need to constantly practice and try to improve your game by cruising the web to find answers and connecting with fellow artists from around the world, learning creative tips and tricks, or by randomly playing with makeup and trying/inventing new techniques. Some techniques or tricks will work on one client but they won’t work on another; you will need to perfect these techniques and "see it to believe it" (ie: practice!) before glamming them up!

In this article I will share with you my top do’s and don’ts while working with a client that I have collected personally from experience. This list will prove especially helpful if you are new in this profession as it will save you time and will help you a lot to avoid some critical “newbie” mistakes:

1.     Listen to your client! Always ask your client to show you a makeup look that she is into, as you have to see what exactly she means by “soft and natural”. Each client interprets a look in a different light. For some girls it will be a really soft makeup look using 1-2 eye shadows, a tiny bit of contouring, a thin eyeliner with a small wing and a nude lipstick, while for another one it will be Kim Kardashian’s full glam look with Kylie Jenner’s over lined lips! You have to be on the same page. This way you will do your job professionally and your client will be happy after once you are complete!

2.     Never do your client’s makeup in bad lighting. It is very easy to be tricked this way. You will see that makeup is perfectly blended and applied well but the minute your client steps outside in the daylight or in a better lit atmosphere, you will see that it is a disaster! Invest in a ring light or any other light you can take with you on location, this is a crucial tool of the trade and will help with your client’s makeup application always! Also, you always have to ask your client about the event she is going to attend as if it is in the open air (you will probably need more light foundation, you will use less contouring as daylight will make makeup accentuate skin’s imperfections even more and you will want her to look fresh and light) or if it is inside (then you can go a bit heavier with makeup).

3.     Always make sure that foundation is of the right color. You have to make sure that her face, neck and chest are of the same color. If you see that her face and neck are much lighter than the chest (especially if she wears an open dress) you have to take foundation that will be the same color as her chest and bring it down to the neck as well. If only her face is lighter, then use foundation that matches both neck and chest only on the face!

4.     Contouring is great, I love it! However, it is a great technique only when it is applied onto the right areas, properly blended and not visible. It is an illusion of shades and lights but not something that you are meant to clearly see! It is so easy to go overboard with it, especially on older clients. Take contouring shades that are not too warm as shades are cool not warm. Here comes the rule that we all know: less is more. Start with less contouring, you can always add if necessary.

5.     When highlighting do not chose a concealer that is too light, as if you take one that is 2-3 shades lighter it will look as though your client sunbathed in sunglasses! Also you have to apply it correctly: from the tear duct down to the nostril and up to the end of the eye (in a triangle shape). This way you will cover dark circles as well as brighten the whole under eye area.

6.     Brows are extremely important, they frame our faces. Do not neglect to fill them in especially if your client is wearing a full face makeup, without brows she will look strange and her face will be washed off. However, don’t be fooled by the new trend on Instagram for brows, brows have to look natural and not like you just painted them all with one color. Your inner part of the brow has to be much lighter than the tail. In this case, it is better to use a brow pencil or powder! You can always add extra product if you need your brows to be more bold for some reason. Today, bolder brows are a trend but always ask your client if she is ok with you making her brows a bit thicker because she may not be into it at all!

7.     Never experiment with something new on a client’s special day. You can do it on a trial, that’s what they are about; for example, choosing bolder colors on the eyes, or lips, or trying more dramatic eyeliner (of course if it is something that your client was looking for but never tried and would like to see if it suits her or not). Keep in mind, if it is an emotional day and she wants something she never wore before, it will be better to talk her out of it in a polite way as she may regret it and you will not have time to fix everything. She will have pictures of this event for the rest of her life and she doesn’t want to remember bitterness of this day instead of happiness! For this type of special day, it is always best to convince your client to choose a makeup look which will enhance her face features, looking more like herself.

8.     Make sure that the makeup that you create for your client will photograph well. It means that when they will be photographed with a flash there will not be any flashback (it is caused by SPF in moisturizer or foundation, or loose powder that has silica [it’s not the same as silicon or silicone]). Make sure your products are free of these ingredients, if possible (and test out the makeup look with photos as well)!

9.     Always hydrate your client’s face, under eye area and lips before putting on makeup! This way you will prevent foundation and concealer from being patchy, it will blend easier, as well as bold lip colors will look great on soft lips rather than on chapped ones. I would say skip the bold colors on the lips of your client if they are too dry.

10.  Highlighter has to be applied on certain areas to make your client glow from within rather than greasy! If you put highlighter on the tip of the long nose you will make it look even longer; if you apply too much highlighter onto the forehead it may look as though your client is sweaty! Stay away from chunky highlighters, they look unnatural on a face and may photograph unevenly making some spots on your face white.

11.  If your client has watery eyes opt for cream eye shadows, or waterproof eye shadow sticks, which will stay put much longer. You can also apply individual lashes on her or maybe it is a great idea to skip false lashes at all as the glue will be dissolved by tears.

12.  Do not bake! Baking makes your skin imperfections look more visible, as well as your older clients will see their wrinkles much better after baking! Do not do it, especially on under the eye area! You want your client to look younger not older after you’ve done your work! I would say use less powder. Apply just the right amount to set foundation but not to make the skin texture visible.

13.  Always ask your client if she is happy with her makeup. If you see any hesitation on her face insist on her telling you what you can change to make her 100% happy! Listen to her. And do exactly what she wants, not what you think would be better! (Though as the professional and artist it is always okay to kindly suggest options to your client).

Drugstore 'Dupe' Makeup Kit

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We all know that makeup can be expensive, and as a professional Makeup Artist, you may need to buy products more often (foundation, powder, mascara) while others less often (eye shadows/palettes, lipsticks, brow products); however we also know that either way, as a professional who is running their own business, it is always a positive benefit to save money whenever and wherever you can!

How to save money?

1) You can keep in close contact for sales from time to time when you can get high end makeup products at 30-50% off or even more (Sephora has an amazing sale section, especially after the holidays!).

2) Utilize those PRO cards! Remember, you will always receive up to 40% off brand name makeup products from our partners, once you have completed our Online Makeup Academy course(s).

3) Recently (and this may be the most interesting to follow), you can locate that “coveted new makeup product” (the style that was just released and is hot and on trend!) through a drugstore makeup ‘dupe'. Makeup aficionados have recently honed in on the fact that multiple drugstore brands will produce “makeup dupes (duplicates)”- that’s how they started to call it- of the high-end products, which do the same job, or sometimes can be even better than some expensive products.

Today, we have a lot of inexpensive brands that produce amazing quality products at great prices. Think it over, can you justify paying much more for a product if there is one that is available that is similar and is the same color, texture and looks and feels the same way? Depending on your need, budget, and reason for purchase – it may make the most sense to go for the comparable product that is less expensive.

The concept of makeup dupes have recently become so popular that you will see a lot of makeup artists (or aspiring artists!) and beauty influencers making it their goal to find duplicate substitutes of a current hot product. There are even newly created groups on social media discussing makeup products, drugstore brands, and their hits or misses. As well as asking for reviews to see if a specific more expensive product is actually worth the money, or if there is in fact a dupe instead for the high-end product. Especially once a new product is released, you will almost instantly find information pertaining to what dupe can be used instead of this new release. This makes it great for the average makeup lover, but pretty tough for high end brands to compete with, right? Let's use this to our advantage!

As a benefit to our Online Makeup Academy followers and students, we have decided to embrace this trend and provide a makeup dupe list of our Professional Makeup Kit that we offer as an added bonus for our students. This way – if you have received our kit, and you are looking for an alternative replacement, you will be able to replenish without worrying about the cost (we provide you with the brand name products, but we realize that not everyone can afford this or would like to replace the same product within their kit!). You may even want to substitute and/or create a brand new kit with the comparable versions (the “dupes”) of the products that we include in our exclusive brand name professional makeup kit, which will save you money in the long run.

This list will also help our students who choose to sign up for the course without the option of our Professional Makeup Kit (maybe we are unable to ship to your location, or you have other reasons for opting out of our brand name kit). With this comprehensive list, you will know exactly what product you can substitute with to create the foundation of the professional makeup kit that is right for you.

First and foremost, our course provides knowledge and education, the specific tools (makeup products) can be different depending on your needs (we provide the makeup kit selected from our instructors as an added bonus!) You can achieve the same great look by using these suggested drugstore products. It’s all about your education, practice and technique. Our goal is to deliver top notch industry education, value, and tools (including cosmetics), but which brand of cosmetics you select, are not crucial – it will be dependent upon what works best for you and your clients. Your skills, practice, and dedication to your client satisfaction are what will always matter the most. This is what we hope our students will take away, and the backbone of what our online course provides you with. 

Here are the list of ‘Drugstore Dupe’ Makeup Kit products which you can substitute with our brand name exclusive Online Makeup Academy Professional Makeup Kit:


1. First of all, you have to have a variety of foundations in your kit. Or at least you can have lighter and darker shades and then mix them together to create a custom color for your client (this is what we provide directly in our kit with the Make Up For Ever HD Foundations + MUFE 11 Foundation Palette).
Here, as a drugstore duplicate, we recommend getting MAYBELLINE Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation $8 each:

Truffle 362

Classic Tan 335

Classic Ivory 120

Natural Beige 220

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You can purchase the Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation here:

This foundation will substitute our Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation and will be a great alternative option.

2. As for concealers a great option will be MAYBELLINE Fit Me Concealer, $7 each:




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You can purchase the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer here:

This concealer will substitute our Make Up For Ever 11 Foundation Palette.

3. Eyeshadow - there are a lot of great quality but inexpensive eyeshadows available on the market, but we would love to recommend BH COSMETICS Neutral Eyes 28 Color Eyeshadow Palette, $14.

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You can purchase BH Cosmetics Neutral Eyes 28 Color Eyeshadow Palette here:

4. For color corrector, we recommend BH COSMETICS brand 6 Pc Color Concealer & Corrector Palette, $7.

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You can purchase here:

5. Drugstore mascaras sometimes are even better than high-end ones. We highly recommend L’Oreal® Paris Voluminous Original Mascara, $8.

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You can purchase here:

This concealer will substitute our Make Up For Ever Excessive Lash Arresting Volume Mascara.

6. Best drugstore eye liner to substitute Inglot gel liner will be RIMMEL LONDON ScandalEyes Gel Eyeliner, $6.

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You can purchase here:

This eyeliner will substitute our Inglot AMC Eyeliner Gel #77.

7. To set your makeup we recommend using NYX Professional Makeup Studio Finishing Powder, $10.

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You can purchase here:

This powder will substitute the Inglot setting Powder found within our kit.

8. For lips, we recommend the BH Nude Lips - 28 Color Lipstick Palette, $13.

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You can purchase here:

9. Blush and Contour we recommend using ULTA Complete Face 3-in-1 Palette, $14.

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You can purchase here:

10. For excellent quality yet affordable brushes, we recommend the SHANY Ombre Pro 10 Piece Essential Brush Set with Travel Pouch, $15.

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You can purchase here:

11. Last, but not least, the Mixing Plate with Spatula, $7.

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You can purchase here:

So your TOTAL for the whole kit is $147, not bad, right?! The money saved can apply to continued education, new products to increase your kit's benefits, or more color options to offer to a wide variety of clients.

With your clients, the best thing that we recommend is to use a mix of brands in your kit. All brands do different things well, they all have hits and misses. You must choose products that work best for you and the type of client you are working with. It will take time for you to familiarize yourself with what works best for you and for each individual job. Some clients may think that the more expensive product the more benefits it will bring them and it will look better. Of course, using luxurious brands can make a client feel pampered (so maybe splurge on one or two products eventually to have in your kit, if you’d like!), but as we would like to continuously emphasize; the products are not what makes the difference but your skills do! Any client will recognize this once you have made them feel their best through your talent and artistry!

Creating a YouTube Channel To Showcase Your Work


Once you have established your Makeup Artist education and have experience with professional makeup application, either from freelancing or creating makeup looks for your own platform and page promotion, and have also established your business by creating your website portfolio and/or an Instagram page, and have begun to receive engagement from your online/social media presence - you may be thinking, why not begin to expand your work onto other social platforms to reach and inspire an even wider audience? We suggest: go for it!

The best way to expand your business is to start creating videos! Some people may hesitate to create videos, thinking that they are a more expensive investment; but keep in mind, videos are far more informative than a picture, and much more engaging. You can start creating videos even on your smartphone, don’t be afraid to start small and grow as you learn! 

Your first venture into video creation can be exploring the video platform on Instagram. Creating videos where your followers become engaged and interested in how you may have created a certain look from a photo that you shared. However, Instagram gives you only 1 minute to show how you created a makeup look and definitely is not enough time for your audience to understand the full step by step process.

With that said, the best option will be to apply your step-by-step videos to a YouTube channel, where you are able to show the entire process. You can give your followers a sneak peek of your work on Instagram (this is always highly recommended!) so that they will then “click the link in your bio” to go straight to your YouTube channel to see the full process with details and explanations. If your audience enjoys your videos, they will subscribe to your channel, and will then become the first to see your new videos. Once you create this sense of engagement and following, you will see that your audience will look forward to your content and ask for your new videos, and maybe even make specific video requests! 

Things to think about before creating your YouTube channel: 

1)    You already are creating your channel with an advantage – you know the dedicated theme: makeup and/or hair (or both)!  You will have to be consistent with the content as people who are looking for makeup related videos won’t like, for example, a vlog from your trip to the mountains, or anything else not connected with makeup. You can choose any aspect of the beauty industry that you want, including makeup, hair, and more; from describing how you created a certain look to reviewing makeup products and providing your thoughts, or creating unique hairstyles. In fact, reviewing makeup and/or hair products is a great idea especially if you know that people are interested in purchasing a particular product (for example: if it’s a hard to find new release!) and will be specifically looking for a review. You can also upload makeup tutorials. Creating the content that is most effective will be a bit of an experimentation to see what works best for you and your channel, and will take time.

2)    Very importantly, you will have to carefully think about the name of your channel, as it will be impossible to rename later. The name should be catchy and an identity that you like from the beginning, you can also use your name from a platform people already know you from (for example: if you’ve created your Instagram following and want to be sure your followers can easily find you on your new YouTube channel!). Prior to creating a name, be sure to check if there is a channel with the same name or very similar to yours, as you don’t want people to get confused and head to the wrong channel.

3)    Another important tip: The maximum video size cannot be more than 128 GB and is not to exceed 15 minutes in length; although if you verify your YouTube account they will let you upload longer videos (up to 11 hours – but keep in mind that it is important to keep your videos as concise as possible, as you want to keep the interest up from your viewers!).

Your first steps to create your YouTube channel:

1.    A google account is a requirement at YouTube; go and register there if you don’t have one already, and then you can proceed with creating the YouTube channel.

2.    Choose a picture that will represent you and your work. The channel icon is usually taken from your google account while the channel art can be created by yourself. This option can be a favorite picture of your work, or the logo of your business, etc. 

3.    Write a description for your channel. In this space, it is important to share who you are, how you got into makeup, what you like, or it can be any details that represents you! Don’t forget to add direct contact details as this will make it easier for people to reach out to you to offer a business partnership or collaboration!

4.    You will have to make your account public otherwise it makes no sense as other people will not see your videos.

5.    Choose a category where your videos will best apply to the topic of creation, likely this will I be in the “HowTo & Style” category since YouTube doesn’t have a specific category called Makeup or Beauty.

6.    You may also be able to eventually earn money from YouTube if you let them monetize your videos. This can be allowed in the settings of your channel. Monetizing your videos means you let YouTube add ads to your videos and they will pay you accordingly based upon the quantity of views. Keep in mind, this is something to aspire to grow to - since April 2017 it doesn’t work for videos with number of views less than 10k. It’s frustrating, but should encourage you to build and grow your channel as best as possible! 

You will definitely need to create videos that will make people interested in watching them to gain more views – engaging your audience from the first few seconds is very important! This also means that you should create an introduction that will interest people to stay on your page and watch the video for the longest amount of time, and maybe even they will decide to watch your other videos and/or subscribe to your channel! YouTube will rank your video higher on search results if people watch your videos longer!

In order to make your followers interested in your channel you have to constantly and consistently film new videos. Film as much as you can, creating new content for your viewers. Try to make them interested in what you do, you can see what interests your audience by the number of views you receive on every video you upload, as well as the comments! Engage your viewers and try to figure out what your audience likes best – ask questions! Ask for feedback! 

As you begin to film videos on a consistent basis, your techniques will also improve and you will learn to find your own style, which new viewers will appreciate.

Additional tips, tricks, and thoughts on creating the best possible video content for YouTube:

1.    Make sure you are speaking loud enough during the video, or your voiceover can be heard well, as no one will continue watching your video if they hear nothing. You have to be in the center of the shot while you are filming, talk directly to the camera so people will feel that you are talking to them! 

2.    Use music for your videos, it can be softly on in the background, in between cuts, and while you are showcasing the makeup application. This makes the “waiting time” a bit more pleasant while you are blending your eye shadow (for example). It’s important to only use non-copyright music as otherwise YouTube will block your videos. YouTube even has a great selection of non-copyright music available to you – you can search for your favorite here:  

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3.    Protect your videos from other people stealing them and using as theirs by adding a watermark or light text (not taking away from the video itself!) throughout the whole video. It’s also very important that this watermark is placed somewhere where it does not block your face or hands while you are trying to explain a technique. You can add this watermark in any of your video editing software. 

4.    Of course you have to edit your videos by cutting unnecessary parts, leave only what matters! You can also speed up some parts of the videos to make a same step pass by faster. Free video editors can be downloaded from the internet or can be found in your phone applications. We highly recommend the free applications that come already installed in your desktop computers; Windows Movie Maker or iMovie (

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5.    Every video has to have a name! Think of a name that will draw people’s attention so that they will want to click on it and watch it and maybe even subscribe to your channel!

6.    To help people search for your videos on YouTube you can add hashtags like you do in your Instagram channel. Make sure that these tags will apply to your video content. Type less used tags as otherwise your video will be lost in abundance of other people’s videos. By this we mean you can narrow your tags from #makeup to #eyemakeup or #cutcreasemakeup. for example, or you can even create your own tags (your name or business name!) and this way keep your videos together and very searchable!

7.    You can also add links to the products you used in your video in the description bar below in order to help your followers find them more easily (and if you work as an affiliate for a brand, be sure to add your direct link!). Exclusive coupon codes and partnering with brands is also a great way to promote your videos and receive more engagement – everyone loves a good incentive!

8.    Always interact with your followers, it is very important on any social platform! If you receive a comment, you should always like and/or reply to it. Followers that feel appreciated will be more likely return to your channel and continue to watch your content! You can even ask your followers some questions, for example, if they liked your video and see what will they comment below. This way you can also improve/grow with the help of your audience!

9.    Don’t be discouraged if you receive negative comments from time to time– just ignore the comment, delete it (if applicable) and move on, it means nothing to you! As these comments may distract your followers from the channel content you can remove them. However, some comments may contain constructive criticism so think them all over and make your next video even better!

10.  Some people prefer a schedule for video uploading, while other vloggers will upload randomly, you can choose what works best for you by experimenting with uploading time.

11.  You can also add links to your Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter accounts or any other social media account to your YouTube channel in the bottom right corner of your Channel Art to promote your entire social media network.

12.  After you have created the YouTube channel and started uploading videos you will need to constantly and consistently promote your channel and videos on your other social platforms so that people know that you have your channel! You can add a link to your channel in the bio or write under your teaser Instagram video that people can see a full version with all the steps and details on your YouTube channel and providing the link. This is very important as people will not know it if you don’t tell them.

YouTube, like any other social media platform requires a lot of dedication and time to grow, you already have the talent and education – so just be patient, and with practice, continued experience, and time your social media presence will continue to grow and the investment that you have made in establishing your business and brand through a social media platform will be well worth it!


Professional Makeup Products For High-End Taste On A Budget

We would all love to afford the most expensive and lavish makeup brands, but let's be serious! Even for the Makeup Artists that have amazing incomes: it is not practical in the long run to have a kit filled with only high-end products (especially since you can find some equally comparable products that are easily affordable!). Makeup goes fast when you are working a lot, doing multiple looks and people on a job. Also, if you are a beginning Makeup Artist and are already struggling with getting your business off the ground, finances may be slim, and discovering those amazingly efficient beauty brands that don't break the bank will be your saving grace.

In our professional experience, these are the best affordable beauty brands that never cease to amaze us. Of course, keep in mind, it is always about trial and error. Whatever does wonders in the hands of one artist, might not work for you. It's whatever fits with your style and technique - so play around with these options, and find what works best for you and your individual artistry!

1. NYX

This one is a wide range Makeup Artist favorite. It's diverse, with an amazing range of colors and options and it's more than affordable. Somehow, it flies under the radar because (please don't gasp) it’s a brand that can be found in your local drugstores! However, don't be fooled by appearances, NYX always delivers and you'll hear Makeup Artists raving about it. It’s easily accessible for those last minute on the job necessities. May I also mention? The lip glosses galore and lipsticks ($4.55-$9)! They are a must try, definitely don't miss this one.

Try: Their liquid illuminators ($5.25-$7.50)! They give such a natural subtle glow-from-within type of finish. Absolutely gorgeous!


2. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics or OCC

What we love about this brand (besides it's catchy name) is that it is vegan, cruelty free and it comes with a very affordable price tag. Founded in New York City in 2004 by makeup artist David Klasfeld, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics started with one singular product (a lip balm duo) and has grown into an extremely popular brand. Best known for offering up colors and textures you didn’t even know you wanted, the line today includes everything from the beloved Lip Tar liquid lipstick ($17) in 60+ shades to OCC Skin ($23), one of the first collections to cater to HD beauty needs.


3. Catrice

Another cruelty-free beauty brand which is also affordable! If you're not familiar with the brand you for sure have been missing out! Catrice Cosmetics is a budget friendly, drugstore makeup brand that has amazing makeup products of the best quality. Also, they have a new 2017 collection that we are all currently obsessed with. They are also well known for their super pigmented and high-end eyeshadows ($2.99+).

Try: Their matte baked eye shadows ($4.99+) are an absolute must!


4. W7

W7 Make Up, the inspiration of two entrepreneurial young men from West London was created in 2002. Their aim – that every woman should have access to an extensive range of high quality cosmetics at an affordable price – is now definitely a reality, thanks to them! The company has grown exponentially within the past few years and now W7 boasts a collection of over 500 products including: nail polish ($5.95), lipsticks ($4.95-$9.50) and glosses ($5.95-$7.95), eyeshadows ($4.95-$19.50) and more mascaras ($5.95-$10.50) than you could dream of. In other words, W7 Cosmetics offers affordable makeup products with great quality and fun fancy packaging. 

Try: Their matte bronzer ($7.95) or nude palette ($7.95)!


5. Coastal Scents

In addition to being easy on your bank account, Coastal Scents is also cruelty-free. If you’re looking for affordable makeup palettes perfect for professionals, Coastal Scents should be your go-to brand. This brand provides the variety you need in your kit—at a fraction of the cost. What’s cool is that they also have individual color selections that let you build your own palette. In our opinion, the Coastal Scents ‘Revealed Palette’ ($19.95) is actually the best beauty budget pick up for those really strapped for cash because it combines the greatness of color options that you would find, for example, in the Urban Decay Naked 1 and Naked 2 into one great palette. It’s packed with 20 natural eyeshadow shades in a range of matte, metallic, frost, shimmer, and satin finish, shades that range in color from the most basic of beige to the most rocking of taupes. This is a no fail destination palette that will be sure to provide you with that highly coveted natural nude glam look!

Try: Any of their 88 Palettes ($11.95-$14.95) - with a variety of colors in cute packaging!