A Handy Guide to Set Bag Essentials
Never get caught short on set with our guide Handy Guide to Set Bag Essentials, below we list all of your essential set bag products and the best way to utilise your space!
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Makeup can be a dirty job, constantly applying and correcting makeups. Its essential to keep your personal hygiene in check. I wouldn't want dirty hands touching my face, so why would actors or models? Make sure to keep your hands visibly clean when possible and germ free.
Jao is our favourite hand sanitiser, it doesn't have that offensive alcohol scent that most hand sans have, in fact, quite the opposite! Jao is a botanical cleanser with antiseptic essential oils including Lavender, Tea Tree, Sage and Geranium so the smell is natural and magnificent. Even the alcohol is naturally derived from grapes!
Moisturiser - A truly versatile face cream that is paraben-free too, Embrylisse Lait Crème Concentré Nourishing Moisturiser can be used as a primer, moisturiser and makeup remover and is a real beauty secret favoured by professional dermatologists for decades. Blended with natural ingredients, essential Fatty Acids and Vitamins, Lait Crème Concentré Nourishing Moisturiser provides the skin with all the nutrients and moisture it needs for a healthy balance and helps to accelerate cellular renewal for a more youthful complexion.
Mattfiter - My go to is the alcohol based mattifier by Kryolan, called Perfect Matt. I find the Kryolan mattifier is effective enough on most skin types and isn't strong enough to dry out the skin (it even works on prosthetics). If you prefer a tinted anti shine, the Make-Up International Face to Face Anti- Shine is avaible in 3 colours, Light, Medium and Dark. The Dark Face to Face Anti-Shine is a must when working with darker skin tones, as some anti shine products which contains high amounts of alcohol can have an ashy tone when used on darker skin.
Cotton buds - Something we all use in abundance! Perfect for inevitable corrections. Our favourite on set cotton buds include the Dual Ended Cotton Buds, which have the option of both rounded and pointed tip and are extremely precise. The DHC cotton buds, which are individual wrapped and infused with olive virgin oil and pre-moistened, perfect for cleaning up eyeliner and even hydrate cuticles pre-manicure. And lastly the Individually wrapped (for purity and convenience) Alcohol Cotton Buds, which can be used for anything from removing unwanted glue shine, tidying alcohol paints and so much more.
Small makeup remover - Mini bio derma or any micellar water is suitable, get a smaller bottle for your bag or decant some from your station into a bottle, remember that the smaller your products the more you can fit and the lighter your set bag will be! (which is important as so many of us suffer from back problems from bending over all day and carrying heavy bags!)
Powder - As to which powder you prefer will differ from artist to artist, and job to job. Personally my go to powder is MUFE Ultra HD Loose Powder, which is extremely finely milled, does not produce any flash back and is suitable for both prosthetics and face. If you prefer a compact powder, MUFE Ultra as comes in a pressed compact - MUFE HD Translucent pressed powder and even a mini compact.
Pin box - The Makeup Armoury Pin Box makes organising a DREAM. With integrated compartments and even movable dividers allows for complete personalisation. 12 different compartments allows you to easily carry 8 different pins, the other 4 smaller compartments are perfect for small hair elastics and dental bands (used as hair bands for small braids and come in a range of sizes).
My top 8 essential pin box products are listed below!
Vueset Palettes - Vueset is a transparent packaging line inspired by the needs of hair/makeup artists, designed to consolidate and increase efficiency on the job! From The Taxi Palette with 5 sections (perfect for storing disposables such as mascara wands, lip brushes and cotton buds) to The Tahiti Palette with 24 sections these palettes are extremely for decanting concealers or lip colours into more manageable set bag sizes.
Handcream - Any hand cream will do, try not to use something with a strong smell.
Papaw - Any lip balm that can be decanted and does not need to be applied directly will do. E.g. not a chapstick or an Eso. We love the original Papaw balm, not only is it the perfect lip balm but it is also a general all round ointment. Papaw has both antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and can be used as a local topical application on the following: minor burns & scalds, sunburn, gravel rash, cuts & minor open wounds, nappy rash & chafing, insect bites, splinters & thorns, making it an incredibly versatile and useful product.
Brushes - Our most popular set bags, The Judy, Bette and Marlene are all designed with inner dividers to help keep you organised. These dividers fit acrylic pen pots to ensure your brushes stay safely upright and therefore very easy to access. ( Muji round and square pots fit like a glove!)
The brushes you should take to set should be brushes you have already allocated to your actor/model. If you know you are looking after a makeup that might take a lot of up keep make sure you have every brush/product you need to preform upkeep on your actor/model. E.g. foundation brush, eyeliner brush, lip brush. (if its prosthetics, glue brushes, paint brushes etc)
If you are looking after several actors our Bette bag has enough room to have multiple brush pots, if you are overly organised you can even label the pots in your bag! Dymo labels work great, a colour code will work just as well. If your station isn't on set then its always easier to keep everything you need right by your side. If this is you, the Marlene is your best bud. Big enough to keep everything you need right in reach, and with its flat, sturdy bottom it can be used on your station and then simply carried to set! All of our bags are available in a range of colours, from classic black, grey, red and the new, stylish Khaki!
Straws - Straws can be your best friend, if your actor/model is either wearing a lipstick or is in a prosthetic this will minimise the need for touch ups.
Eye drops - Working long hours under bright lights will most likely give your actors irritated eyes. Keeping some eye drops with you will help prevent red dry eyes. Remember to replace your eye drops regularly.
Mints - You're up in the grills of others all day, its only fair.
Call sheet - Our bags all have back personal pockets, perfect for your call sheet and other personal items) Even when assisting it's always good to have a call sheet handy, especially if you aren't great with remembering names.
Tissues and Baby Wipes - Which I attach to my set bag with a crocodile clip or carabiner, which allow them to be accessed easily and also save space. If you have a Marlene then you already have a tissue pouch ready to decant your tissues into. If you have any other set bag and suffer from severe jealousy you can purchase your own tissue pouch here!
Essentials/disposables pouch -
Small scissors (Pop those in a pouch or point down in with your brushes. Its easy to catch yourself when rummaging in your bag!)
Powder Puffs (useful for protecting the makeup whilst doing touch ups)
Stipple sponges (great for touching up paint jobs)
Medical supplies - Pain killers, Plasters (Keeping your actors happy will make your job much easier, so try and look after then to the best of your ability)
Hair products - ( These will vary in regards to the hair you are maintaining, but a general rule of thumb is that hairspray and hair gel are always very handy to have around)
Brush and comb
Tail comb for tidying hair
Hopefully it goes without saying that you also need to make room for any products that you'll need for touch ups! Remember you need to keep the makeup looking as good as it did when you left the chair!
Whether that be the lipsticks and concealers that you applied, or the glue that you used to apply your piece. Did you know that your favourite glues come in handy applicator pens. Including the PPI spirits, Telesis 8 and Bluebird X. If your glue doesn't come in a handy pen, you can always decant your glue into an Aqua Flo Pen!
We know that every makeup artist has their own go to products. These are just some of our personal faves! Tell us what's in your set bag, share tips and tricks with other makeup artist via our forum today. Need advice? Ask your fellow artists and help us create a more supportive and amazing place for the makeup community to blossom. Student to designer, amateur and aficionado, EVERYONE IS WELCOME.