Sunday, 3 November 2013

Latest Kit Acquisitions: Professional Makeup Products & Retailers

It is impossible to count how many cosmetic brands there are out there. As a working makeup artist I come across brands and new products on a daily basis and it is easy to forget about brands that have served you faithfully and loyally over your career. So today I wanted to write about a couple of them and also their retailers. 

I'm not talking about brands that you can get in the beauty halls of department stores, we all know about MAC, Estee Lauder, Clinique, Illamasqua, Givenchy and the list goes on. I'm talking about brands that were introduced to you while you were studying makeup in college. Any makeup artist who's been to makeup school or even if they haven't will know of these brands and I bet will have some form of the products lurking in their kit.

To make it really simple, let's start with the places that sell the products. Many of these places focus on the TV/Film side of makeup artistry but don't let that put you off, if it's good enough for the actresses and actors of our silver screen, it's good enough for everyday use. Within reason of course! 

I'm often in dilemma as to whether I blog for the general public or whether I blog for the MUAs. Then I remember that my blog is about my life and experience as a working MUA, and many of the things I do and use can easily be applied to everyday use for the everyday woman so here goes!

Charles H Fox Ltd
Situated in Covent Garden in London, this stalwart of the makeup industry houses a brand that most of us (MUAs) will remember fondly. German brand Kryolan is still being made and sold till this day. I remember buying my first few pieces of my kit almost 20 years ago, saving up to buy my first SupraColour palette! I went in recently to meet the head of makeup there and to re familiarise myself with the new and improved formulations of the brand and came out with all my favs, all reformulated and performing to today's high standards! 
My fresh new SupraColour palettes. I've had my old ones for more than 15 years and was in need for new ones! I was really pleased to see that the high impact pigments were still there and they even had slightly less dense ones for a people who didn't want that heavy/strong a finish. These grease-based colours are amazing for creating looks where I want really strong and bright results. They also make a great base for shadows to go on top off for even stronger results!

You can look at the whole Kryolan selection here. Good brands to also look at if you visit the shop are Ben Nye and Fardel.

Charles H Fox is located at 22 Tavistock St, London WC2E 7PY.

Guru Makeup Emporium
Run by the fantastic Niki and Aine, who will offer you a cup of tea when you come in, this little gem if located in Fulham and sells a brand that I also adore, Make Up For Ever. I go in whenever I am in need of something from this little french brand, especially their Flash Colour Palettes and their Aqua Colours.
Guru's online website is here and while in there I also check out amazing brands like Stilazzi, Numeric Proof, Paris Berlin and Kett to get stashes of my kit secret weapons!

They are located at Studio 4 Filmer Mews, 75 Filmer Road, Fulham, London SW6 7JF.

PAM (Precious About Makeup)
Founded by makeup artists Kate and Jan, another treasure trove for the working makeup artists. Again I recently popped in as I haven't been for years and left with some new toys that I can hand to heart say are now firmly in my everyday kit! I'm a huge fan of a little brand called Le Maquillage Professional, their Makeup Mixer is amazing and also their foundation palettes are a delight to use. 
Pam's website is here. They also retail Make Up Forever, AirBase, MUD and Tweezerman to name a few other brands. Once again many of my secret weapons are from here too! The girls working there are also great for a chat and gossip!

They are situated at 6-7 Goldhawk Mews, Shepherds Bush, London W12 8PA.

Cocktail Cosmetics
Someone I met through Twitter and can now call a friend is Julie Burford who runs this amazing little site. I meet up or chat to Julie regularly to catch up on what new brands she is carrying and she keeps me well informed! I admit I am not the most on the ball when it comes to finding out what the new brand is so Julie is someone I go to. My most recent purchase are Z Palettes. It's been on my mind for ages to redo all my palettes and eventually I have. I still have 6 more to do but so far my 3 are serving me superbly well!
You can browse through all of Julie's latest and best selections here. Amazing brands to also consider are OCC and their Lip Tars, Lime Crime, Stilazzi and Sugar Pill Cosmetics.

There are many other brands and also retailers so these are only a few that I have a personal contact with. If you're after a professional finish, maybe it's a good idea to visit these shops and check out their wares. All of the people working in them are great resources of information and might help you achieve that desired finish or look that's always eluded you. Go on, check them out and here's a big cheers to all the independent PRO makeup retailers for supporting us MUAS! X



  1. Hi ken,

    You said kryolan reformulated their supracolors, I tried them ages ago and was put off by their greasiness and preferred Ben Nye. Is the reformulation less greasy?

    1. Hi Olivia, I will be frank and remind you that it's a greas based product and unfortunately it will be slightly greasy. For me that is the beauty of the product, I like the "slip" and if I wanted something matte, then I would use an aquacolour. I'm sorry but there really isn't any other way out of it. The only thing I can think of is maybe blotting after application and then applying a pigment over to "set" the product. I hope that helps.

  2. I love this post! Your work and kit are such an inspiration to me. I am definitely going to look into some of the items you mentioned. What colors did you purchase in the SupraColour palettes? And if you could only choose one, do you prefer the makeupforever palette or kryolan? Thank you!

    1. Hi Zoe, thanks for the kind comments. I have a whole section of my kit that is devoted to colour and strong pigments. I call it the special effects kit. In it I have products that are water, grease, silicon, oil, acrylic based products and I choose what I find useful for their purpose. The colours I chose for my supracolour palette are ones that I don't already have in my kit so I can't really name them. There are so many of the range and you can choose whatever you want tbh. Hmm it's far too hard to decide which one I want. They are both great and I use them for various things and effects. Sometimes I find that MUFE works better than my SupraColour. I'm sorry I can't give you a more decisive answer.

  3. Love this post! As a makeup artist who has recently moved to London, this is so helpful!! Let's go shopping ....

    1. Thanks and welcome to London Pascale. I hope it's as exciting for you as it is for me!

  4. Fiachra Dubh Makeup Artistry6 November 2013 at 13:52

    Love Kryolan always does the job it says it will do recently used their UV pallet results amazing.

    1. It is a great brand and I'm very fond of it too!