Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Beauty Feature: A Makeup Artist and Her Zuca

I love being a makeup artist, but lugging around a heavy kit full of makeup is the bane of my existence! When I started out, I carried my makeup in the traditional aluminum case you get in makeup school. As my makeup stash grew, I graduated to a cheap carry-on luggage. Sure, it fit everything I needed but my makeup was loosely packed in there causing shadows and blushes to break from being dragged around the city. Eventually, I learned to cut down my kit and only take what I really used versus packing everything I owned. I was able to fit everything into a big shoulder gym bag. It was compact, but totally killed my shoulder. 

Enter the Zuca! The buzz about the Zuca Pro Sport bag has been going on for a while and I know of many makeup artists that swear by it. For my birthday my husband, the sweetie that he is, wanted to buy me a Zuca that I had been lusting after for a while (but really I think he was tired of me complaining). Now, if it were in the budget the Zuca Pro Sport bag would have been my choice, but at $295 USD it just wasn't going to happen.

I ended up getting the Zuca Sport which is $130 USD without the utility pouches (on ebay it's $10 cheaper and I wasn't charged a custom's fee). The utility pouches, although really functional, were not a huge priority as I use clear packs already so to save on costs opted out. I figure when my clear bags give way, I can buy later on. It's 1 inch smaller in length compared to the Zuca Pro Sport which is not much. I was almost going to buy the soft kit with wheels on Yazmo but the double wheels are what sold me. Going up stairs, especially subway stairs, is a workout. The double wheels also make it easier on the kit and prevents getting banged up.

Here is where I store the majority of my makeup and tools. 

Doesn't seem like much right? If I kept everything I've accumulated over the years as a makeup artist and a blogger, I would need a whole room dedicated to just beauty products! I even know when enough is enough! If you know me, then I've probably given you a bag of beauty products at some point. Every month or so I go through my stash and weed out the ones I'll never use. My friends love coming over because they know they'll be leaving with some sweet swag.

This is where I store products I still need to test and review (this is not including products laying around in the living room!). Some will make the kit and some will not. In the words of Heidi Klum, "You are out"!

And after all that, this is what I take on a typical bridal job (hot wheel car not included). Like I said, I've learned to cut down - am I really going to use a bright blue shadow on a bride? Probably not. Don't let those clear bags fool you (3 Clear Bags from The Powder Group and the flap velcro pouch from Make Up For Ever) - they are stocked up with loads of product and carry all the essentials I need. However, for a fashion or beauty shoot I'd have to stick my hair stuff in a separate bag that can sit right on top.

This is what the inside of the Zuca looks like after it's all packed up. I pack any miscellaneous items in the extra pouches and compartments - so handy for lashes, sponges, mascara wands etc. I love the mesh compartment inside the top of the bag for extra palettes and pigment powders. My clear bags fit really well in there, but I'm thinking the utility pouches probably carry more. I'll probably buy a few later on (on back order on the Zuca site until June!). 

All packed up and ready to go! I've taken it out a few times now on a couple of jobs and so far I'm extremely happy with the purchase! Did I mention that the top of the bag can be used as a seat that can support up to 250 lbs? I was hesitant to sit on it but it came in handy waiting for a couple of buses. Yup, the aluminum frame is pretty solid. 

The wheels move around really smooth and the bag is easy to maneuver. Mind you, I have to get used to lugging around something with wheels again! My first time taking it on the subway, I had stuck a large book in the side mesh compartments - bad idea. Two times I turned too sharp and the book got wedged between which almost caused me to fall back (have you ever tried running down an escalator going up??)! Thanks to some nice people, they helped move my bag and saved my life Zuca. Going up stairs is much easier with the double wheels as compared to a normal luggage, but definitely still requires some muscle-power.

I highly recommend the Zuca bag if you are a makeup artist especially if you are footing it all around the city. Even if you aren't a makeup artist and just have a ton of makeup, it's great for storing all your items especially with the utility pouches. My Zuca has got to be one of my all-time favourite beauty buys! My makeup finally has a home!

Not convinced? Check out some of my favourite Zuca reviews from makeup artists Rhia at artistrhi and Andrea Claire at Beauty & The Blog! How do you pack your kit or makeup stash? Leave a comment with your link so I can check it out! 

What do you think of the highly coveted Zuca bags? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Too much hype?


Mariana said...

I want one of those now!! I've been looking at the yazmo ones too but they are a bit pricey, I want to start doing some freelance so I need a nice case to carry all the stuff, thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

i am not a makeup artist and i don't have a collection (yet ;p) but i think this is an awesome bag! might as well make life easier for you, no?


lelo said...

I use my suitcase lol. Which you probably saw at the brunch. I really want to get this but I'm hesitant. I hate buying myself things. Will probably hint it to the mister :)

Monica @ Beauty Parler said...

That Zuca bag looks pretty cool! I'm not a pro makeup artist but after looking at your stash I'm embarrassed to say mine is almost the same size. I started handing out "extras" to womens shelters because I won't use all of it.

Make-up Junkie said...

@Mariana - Thanks! I was looking at the Yazmoo one too the soft kit. It's about $20 more I think. I chose the zuca because of the double wheels. Plus, it's hard to ignore all the awesome reviews!

@Lelo - oh yah! Your suitcase is cute though. I used an old shabby one. How do you pack it so product doesn't move around. Yah, hint to the BF - I'm sure he'll buy it!

@Monica - LOL I'm NOT suprised you have as much or more than I do! I remember all the stuff you bought at IMATS plus I'm sure you get tons of product to review. Handing out to women's shelters is great! I did that for Christmas one time.

Naomi said...

I've been back and forth on this for a while. I really like the look of the Zuca bags and that they have double wheels. Is the warranty good?

Lipstick Rules said...

Great post! Your area of 'waiting to be reviewed' looks like my room. LOL. I also have stuff in the living room in bags. So bad. This Zuca looks amazing.

Make-up Junkie said...

@Naomi - yah I thought about it for a while too especially since it's a lot of money. If you purchase directly from the site or an authorized dealer I believe it is a lifetime warranty. :)

@Lipstick Rules - I'm not surprised you have products laying around everywhere to be reviewed! lol I love my Zuca - it's my new beauty baby!