What’s In Your Kit? With Kevin James Bennett

This week’s “What’s in Your Kit?” features Emmy award winning makeup artist Kevin James Bennett. He is known across the industry as an educator and product expert. His IN MY KIT group is highly regarded as a destination for professional makeup artists to share product knowledge, application techniques, education, industry news, and interesting cosmetic facts.

Kevin has selected the following products from his kit:


Dermalogica – Pre- Cleanse Wipes
The best way to deep cleanse skin during prep. I follow Pre-Cleanse Wipes with a no rinse cleansing water and skin is pristinely clean and ready for my next prep step. Available in-store.

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Cleansing Water
It’s really important to have a no-rinse cleanser and makeup remover that leaves no residue. This particular cleansing water removes even waterproof makeup, but is gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin. Available in-store.

Embryolisse Lait-Crème’ Concentrate
This is the Holy Grail of pro moisturizers. If you’re a makeup artist and don’t know about it …shame on you. What’s so special about it? It addresses skin challenges like dehydration, flakiness, and irritation on an immediate basis so the makeup you apply over it will look the way it should …right now.

Dermalogica SkinPerfect Primer SPF 30
Sometimes you’re shooting outdoors and talent needs UVA/UVB protection. Unlike regular sun protection (which can compromise the stability of the makeup applied over it), this primer is designed to protect against UVA/UVB exposure and keep makeup where it belongs. Available in-store.


I carry full coverage complexion products in my kit. I sheer them out to the desired consistency for each job.
I fully utilize my color theory education and have created custom palettes for myself because I like a tight kit and would rather work with a group of carefully chosen colors instead of carrying a bunch I won’t use.

Temptu S/B Pro Foundation
I use this very versatile airbrush makeup as hand applied liquid foundation also. It’s silicone based and works brilliantly with all my cream foundations.

MAQ Pro (Le Maquillage Professionnel) and RCMA Color Process Foundations
These wax based cream foundations NEVER let me down. They build beautifully and offer truly versatile coverage. The foundations and corrector colors produce a skin-like finish (which is HD compliant) and the formulas are naturally water/perspiration resistant.

Kryolan Dermacolor Concealer Circle
Dermacolor’s intense coverage is legendary and the “USA” 6 color circle has the perfect selection of colors so you can match ANY global skin-tone. Can I tell you how nice it is to find a tightly edited ready-made palette with only the colors you need.

Make Up For Ever Chromatic Mix – Oil Base
These silicone based single pigment colors mix very easily with wax, oil or silicone based foundations. I use them to customize exact skin-tones and create corrective colors.

Kryolan Makeup Blend
I use this silicone based liquid to break down and sheer out all of my full coverage foundations and color creams. It’s also great for mixing with loose pigments to create custom color products that can be hand applied or run through an airbrush.


Powder/Oil Control

RCMA No-Color Loose Powder
A totally color-free loose powder (love that). Typically, my makeup applications need to stay stable for a long shoot schedule. This very effective loose powder lets me set complexion makeup without adding a dry powdery look and gives me the reassurance that it will remain intact, requiring only minimal touch-ups through the day.

Kett Sett No-Color Powder (Pressed)
I like that this pressed powder controls oil shine and matifies the skin immediately without caking up like most pressed powders do. It’s great for touch-ups when you’re working in an HD format.


Highlight / Contour / Bronzer

Make Up For Ever Mat Bronze Powders
They apply smoothly, with no streaking, and blend easily. The colors are well calibrated to accommodate all skin-tones and they look very natural …even on guys.

NOTE: I create my own highlight products by adding liquid or cream color in white to foundation. True highlights are skin-tone with added “light”, so this is the logical process.


Pressed/Loose Color

I don’t carry specific products defined as eyeshadow, blush, etc. I use highly pigmented pressed and loose colors that can be used anywhere on the face and body.
In my kit right now are:


Eyeliner/Lipliner/Mascara/ Brows

Make Up For Ever and OCC Makeup are my go-tos for all pencils. I like the Kryolan cream liner because it dries slowly, giving me extra play-time and the Inglot Gel Liners when I need a quick drying, extremely durable hardline. I LOVE the Kryolan silicone tipped HD Skinliner for precise lining. I use drugstore mascara (my bad).


Cream Color & SFX

I use cream color all over the face and body …I even create lipsticks out of them. Skin Illustrator alcohol activated colors are a must in the kit for quick, stable and very realistic looking SFX. They also have a number of beauty makeup uses once you get familiar with what they can do.


Lipstick / Lipgloss

I don’t carry many traditional “lipsticks” unless I’m following continuity. 

  • OCC Lip Tars – Insanely pigmented matte lip creams.
    • I carry Primary & Secondary Colors plus Tarred & Feathered (Black & White)
  • MAQ Pro (Le Maquillage Professional) – 10 Color Lip Palettes
    • Everything you need to create or adjust any lip color in tiny, kit friendly palettes.
  • Face Atelier Lip Glaze – Long lasting, non-sticky, wet looking shine.
    • I carry only 3 – Clear, Ice(Silver) and Arctic Gold. That’s all you really need.
  • Kiehl’s – Facial Fuel No Shine Lip Balm
    • Exactly what it sounds like – a lip balm with absolutely no shine (great for guys).


Makeup Brushes

I partnered with Royal & Langnickel Brush Company to create a collection of over 3 dozen brushes that are high performance; cruelty free AND extra durable to stand up to the daily abuse makeup artists put their brushes through.


The collection is named [R]evolution and it is truly the evolution of makeup brush design and technology.
I am extremely proud of these brushes.

I wash my brushes with Clean Apothecary Goat’s Milk Brush Soap. It has a ton of conditioners to care for your tools, but it cleans even heavily soiled brushes quickly. I carry my brushes in Monda Studio Cosmetic Pouches (canisters).

About Kevin James Bennett

kjbKevin’s makeup artistry and special effects skills are based on 30 years of retail, runway, print, video, stage and film experience. He has been an IATSE Local 798 union makeup artist for 20 years and a vested Journeyman for 18 years.

Kevin James Bennett has been nominated 5 times and won 2 Emmy® Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup. Learn more about him on his website, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Career Highlights

2005: Launched IN MY KIT® (inmykit.com), the first online cosmetic review and buying guide dedicated to professional makeup artists. It features pro quality products that perform above standards in all media formats. It has become the pro’s product bible and gained international recognition as a beauty insider’s best kept secret.

2007: First appearance as an on-air beauty expert for HSN (Home Shopping Network)

2009: Hired as a consultant to transition HSN to full HD Digital Format, working with all departments (hair/makeup, wardrobe, lighting, video) on the conversion.

2010: Launched Makeup Art + Design Enterprises, a cosmetics industry consulting firm.
Introduced Cosmetics Junkie™, a blog dedicated to industry news, product reviews, tutorials and beauty advice.

2012: Became the first American recipient of the International Goldene Maske für Visagistik Award for excellence in artistry, industry support, education and mentorship. Other recipients include legendary Hollywood makeup artist, Michael Westmore.

2013: Launched the IN MY KIT® Facebook Group, to create a real-time conversation between consumers and professional artists. The group’s topics focus on cosmetic products, industry news and innovative application techniques.
(IMK Group membership exceeded 20,000 fellow cosmetics junkies in its first year.)

2014: Keynote Speaker at the International Makeup Artist Trade Show (IMATS).

2015: Launched WORKINGARTISTPRODUCTIONS, offering premiere beauty events and education, featuring recognized top industry experts.


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