Eye on Fashion|Makeup Tips: Set Bag Series Part I

I am so excited to have Joy of StudioFBJ back this month to begin a three part series on creating a set bag for our on location shoots! I know that makeup is not always something us photographers are comfortable with, so haveing Joy teach us a bit about the key elements and what we need on location is an awesome opportunity. Make sure you keep up with us during this series. Each month Joy will introduce a new item needed in your set bag! Today she is talking all about powder!  – KRISTIE


(A Three Part “interactive” Series)

As a photographer that also owns a full makeup studio, I have at my disposal, multiple makeup goodies at any given time. When busy Senior season comes I don’t have time to scoop items out of the makeup room to take on location each session. So, every year around this time, I start to put together a “set” or location bag that I pack in my camera bag. I love my set bag! I decided to make this a three part series so that that after each article you will have time to purchase your item(s) for your set bag and we will get prepared together!
Ready, Set, Go….

SetBagPartIImage copy

The first items needed in your set bag are powder and a brush. You will need both of these items and you may as well buy them together since they go hand in hand. Let’s talk powder. There are multiple different powders on the market. Companies are going crazy these days putting illuminating particles in everything. Illumination to a photographer=shine. Make sure to check your powder on your hand before you purchase if possible, or look to see how much shine or shiny particles it appears to have. You want to choose something with a Matte finish. Mineral powders are often times heavy in shine particles, just be sure to check them before you buy or read the description on the web if buying online. Note: Do not buy anything that says illuminating.


Loose Powder: comes in a variety of colors and brands. With a finely milled or flour like consistency, loose powder can be messy to have in your set bag. I would not recommend a loose powder for traveling to locations.

Pressed Powder: This is your MUST have WINNER! Pressed powder is EASY! It comes in a pressed compact form, and is easy to get out and put away with no mess. Pressed powder comes in multiple colors and white. This can be a little confusing. I suggest carrying two powders- if you can. A white (or translucent) powder is important to have. The white powder will not add color to your clients face and is designed to just dull shine and re-set the makeup. Translucent powder can be used on any skin tone.
The second powder is a colored powder. The colored powders are designed to do the same as the white powder, except the color in the powder will add a little color on top of the makeup. It is not a lot, but it will build over time of use. So you have to be a little careful.

I use, Mac Blotting Powder: http://www.maccosmetics.com/product/shaded/159/301/Products/Face/Powder/BlotPowderPressed/index.tmpl Mac Translucent powder http://www.maccosmetics.com/product/159/17325/Products/Face/Powder/Prep-Prime-TransparentFinishing-PowderPressed/index.tmpl

In my set bag I carry a mini white translucent pressed powder and a medium color pressed powder. After my clients get airbrushing, the makeup is set at the studio. On location, airbrush makeup holds up wonderfully. I have tested it in over 100 degree weather. But when clients sweat, they start to wipe at their face and therefore, can rub the makeup off in places- this usually happens in mid- august when it’s super hot and they can’t help it. I find the color powder helps restore color in the area that is now bare and works like a champion. I cannot tell you how many times, colored powder has pulled me out of skin trouble. As a client rubs her face and creates a line between makeup and skin a little colored powder blends away the difference.


There are an endless array of brushes on the market, all designed for different purposes. The first choice you will need is a Kabuki brush or “Powder” Brush. These are typically made with soft hair bristles. This is a perfect brush to get the powder onto a dry face. You will swirl your brush into the pressed powder, tap a little off on the back of your hand and then blot it on the skin. Do not rub or pull across the skin as it may adjust your foundation underneath.

The other choice is a foundation brush. A foundation brush is made with synthetic bristles that can get wet – basically. I find in the Virginia heat, I often need to use a foundation brush, as I am trying to put powder onto a wet face. It works well with sweat because the bristles can take moisture. Yes, the struggle is real. Sweat will stick to the “powder brush” and make it a little more difficult to get the powder onto the face as the hair bristles are getting wet and it’s not made for wet use. http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=xlsImpprod3220071

In my set bag I carry a Kabuki brush and a foundation brush. I use the Kabuki if I need to reduce shine or refresh a dry face, and on a sweaty face I will choose the foundation brush to apply the powder.(remember to press the powder into the skin and do not rub or pull it around. Press in small sections.-especially if you’re dealing with sweating skin). The last thing you will need to have upon your return is a small spray bottle of 91% alcohol. This alcohol can clean anything and it dries really fast due to high content of alcohol. Mist over your makeup to disinfect if using a pressed powder, and you can use the alcohol to clean brushes after each use. I like to wash my brushes with dish soap and water at least 1x per week. I use the alcohol after each client.

Part I Purchase List:

http://www.maccosmetics.com/product/shaded/159/301/Products/Face/Powder/BlotPowderPressed/index.tmpl Mac Translucent powder http://www.maccosmetics.com/product/159/17325/Products/Face/Powder/Prep-Prime-TransparentFinishing-PowderPressed/index.tmpl


91% Cleaning Alcohol

Joy Pfister Owner and Photographer and Makeup Artist Studio FBJ
Voted Best Makeup Artist by Richmond Magazine