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Updated: Jun 19, 2023

While there is an abundance of information on what to have in your professional MUA kit, there is very little on what to have in your set bag. Today, we’re going over what to always have and what is nice to have because the majority is not what you may think.

First up, you need a set bag! If you show up to set - to assist or otherwise - without one, you will be excused. Now that we’ve addressed that, you need a quality set bag with plenty of pockets for organization.

First, is the Vivian Set Bag which is great for smaller photo shoots where you're only touching up one individual. This can even be worn as a fanny pack, and the pockets cannot be beat. Second, is the My Kit Co Backstage Buddy which is pretty standard in the industry. This is my favored bag for film, especially if you’re in charge of touching up more than one person.

How To Pack A MUA Set Bag

I suggest labeling your kit (i.e. Hawtin’s Kit) as well as adding anything to it to make it your own since all set bags can look alike.

Next up, keep your most “touched” items in the front pockets. For me, this is usually translucent powder, oil blotting sheets, lip balm, eye drops, peppermint oil and scissors. These bottles are a game changer for using translucent powder and keeping it sanitary and usable for more than one individual. It's also essential to have something to separate out your brushes whether that’s a brush belt or labeled baggies for each actor.

On the outside of my bag I always have hand sanitizer, doggy bags and clamps to build my own “trash can” since you will always need to have a sanitary place to put used items such as oil blotting sheets, floss picks, tissues…you get the idea.

In the larger compartment I keep my Hair supplies and oddities. My hair accessory kit is essential for keeping and organizing all of my loose hair items. My paw palette is another oddity but essential as it allows me to mix products and then easily sanitize it in between actors. I also always have some texture spray, a large hair spray (don’t bother with the travel sizes; they won’t last), facial mist, floss picks, mints and a brush organizer to separate out brushes I use on different actors.

makeup artist set bag
From left to right: hair accessory kit, face charts, paw palette

The back pocket is for all kinds of wipes: Clorox wipes, Wet Ones, and tissues. I also keep a notepad with a pen and extra face charts in case things change, and I need to take notes or mock up a different face chart from whatever was previously designed.

To see a full tour of everything I carry, check out my Instagram. Remember, in a world of potatoes, be a fry with extra sauce!


Depending on the project, it's always a good idea to bring a collapsible stool/chair, an extension cord with multiple outlets, and a ring light. All three have been life savers!

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