How to Pack a Makeup Survival Kit when On-set

makeup survival kit

When working in film, the day often starts early and the makeup department is a well-oiled machine that has been functioning before much of the crew has even arrived. The actors required for the first scenes are made up and sent off to set. A select few artists from the makeup department will then pack a small standby bag and head to set as well, to ensure the makeup stays perfect for the shots. They need to carry a kit small enough to carry around but prepared enough that they can take care of any issues throughout filming. Most of the time, the contents of your standby kit will vary depending on what the makeup is, however, we like to keep a certain list of items in our set bags as a makeup survival kit.

For the actors

+ Blotting Powder or Anti-Shine products to keep the actors from looking oily
+ Tissues. Tissues. Tissues. On a hot day it can also be worth carrying some ‘Sweat Stop’
+ Small nail/tweezer kit – nail clippers, emery board and a small pair of scissors
+ Individually wrapped cotton tips – these are more hygienic to carry around on location
+ A folding fan to use on actors in between takes when hot
+ Mini Hairspray and a Kabuki Brush – spray and use to smooth flyaways and strands
+ Small comb and brush for hair touchups
+ A mini kit of hair pins and elastics

For yourself

+ Breathmints or chewing gum – don’t be a victim of the last thing you ate at the craft service table
+ Mini torch in case of power failures or night shooting
+ Travel sized Hand sanitiser keyring that clips to your bag and is easy to access
+ Small spray bottle of isopropyl alcohol for sanitising or using with alcohol inks
+ Small stash of painkillers – for headaches and pains
+ Mini clip-on sunscreen and insect repellant

#1 MOST SUGGESTED TIP FOR STANDBY KITS: Save room and look for travel sized versions of all your most-used items. If these aren’t available, decanter your creams into airtight palettes to save carrying around your full-sized products.