Forums > Hair, Makeup & Styling > Preventing Theft

Makeup Artist

Tegan Lynn MUA

Posts: 511

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

So, it finally happened to me. I strongly suspect that a photography assistant walked off with my two favourite lipliners. I can't prove any of this, so I'm not going to press the issue, but it's made me think.

Lots of times make-up application is done in a room separate from where the shoot is taking place, and I'm expected to leave my kit unattended while shooting is going on if I'm observing for touch up purposes. Short of packing everything back up in my kit again, which isn't really practical if I need to do another look, I'm not sure how to stop theft from occurring.

One thing I am going to do from now on is make sure that all my smaller products that would be more prone to theft (lipliners, eyeliners, mascara, etc) are organized in a way that I can use them right out of my kit and put them back after. That way I can lock up those pocket sized items easily, without having to take any extra time to put them away.

I'm wondering, what steps do you guys take to prevent theft from your kits?

Nov 13 12 07:59 am Link

Makeup Artist

makeuplacoquette

Posts: 196

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

I've marked everything, and I never bring what I don't need.
I ALWAYS keep an eye on my stuff, even with that I got stolen 2 or 3 items while working in a photo studio a year ago...

When they have in mind they wanna steal you something, they will sad

Mean people

Nov 13 12 08:10 am Link

Makeup Artist

Simire MUA

Posts: 91

London, England, United Kingdom

Oooo! This makes me steam up so much!! I had 4 items nicked from my kit at a show a few months back. I have a lockable kit, however i had to run after a model to complete a look which probably took 5-10minutes and returned to find 4stick foundations missing. It was a fashion show so i had to bring in my full kit to manage different ethnicities and looks. Not a huge loss as these were my cheapo foundations i had bought a while back. Nevertheless stealing is so repulsive. I have my suspicions....I would have flipped if it had been my RCMA or MUFE foundations.

If a makeup artist on this forum can come up with a handy tip on minimising theft, then i'll be eternally grateful.

Nov 13 12 08:50 am Link

Makeup Artist

Elizabethmakeup

Posts: 338

Hereford, England, United Kingdom

I also mark everything in my kit and all of my brushes and I lock my kit. If I have a room with a lock, then I insist on the key and lock it on my way out.

Nov 13 12 08:59 am Link

Model

Tegan Lynn

Posts: 993

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

Simire MUA wrote:
Oooo! This makes me steam up so much!! I had 3 items nicked from my kit at a show a few months back. I have a lockable kit, however i had to run after a model to complete a look which probably took 5-10minutes and returned to find 4stick foundations missing. It was a fashion show so i had to bring in my full kit to manage different ethnicities and looks. Not a huge loss as these were my cheapo foundations i had bought a while back. Nevertheless stealing is so repulsive. I have my suspicions....I would have flipped if it had been my RCMA or MUFE foundations.

If a makeup artist on this forum can come up with a handy tip on minimising theft, then i'll be eternally grateful.

Ooo, glad it was your cheap ones, even so, the whole concept is just icky. I'm pissed because it was my nice smashbox nude liners that went missing, and I pretty much use those on every face I do. I try to stay by my kit too, but it's just not always possible.

Nov 13 12 09:00 am Link

Model

Tegan Lynn

Posts: 993

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

Elizabethmakeup wrote:
I also mark everything in my kit and all of my brushes and I lock my kit. If I have a room with a lock, then I insist on the key and lock it on my way out.

Yeah, having a locked room is probably the ideal situation. I was thinking about this last night. Location probably plays into this issue quite a bit. I suspect the more traffic going by the more likely it is that things go missing. Maybe trying to station ourselves in places with less traffic when possible could help to minimize theft. It would make it more obvious since people would have to go out of their way.

Nov 13 12 09:04 am Link

Makeup Artist

Elizabethmakeup

Posts: 338

Hereford, England, United Kingdom

Someone needs to invent a booby-trap that goes off when someone unauthorised opens the case: It will let off a loud BANG, cover the person in paint and shout 'thief, thief, thief' over and over.

Nov 13 12 10:25 am Link

Photographer

Top Gun Digital

Posts: 1273

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Elizabethmakeup wrote:
Someone needs to invent a booby-trap that goes off when someone unauthorised opens the case: It will let off a loud BANG, cover the person in paint and shout 'thief, thief, thief' over and over.

It's already been invented.  Banks have special packets of money to give to thieves.  It looks like a bundle of bills but there is a packet of dye on the inside.  When the bank robber leaves the bank the bundle explodes covering all the stolen money with the dye and possibly the robber as well.

Nov 13 12 10:34 am Link

Makeup Artist

Elizabethmakeup

Posts: 338

Hereford, England, United Kingdom

But it hasn't been invented for makeup cases which is what I was suggesting.

Nov 13 12 10:51 am Link

Photographer

Loki Studio

Posts: 3024

Royal Oak, Michigan, US

All working professionals needs to expect that there will be damage or theft to their equipment at various times-makeup, wardrobe, camera gear etc.  Insurance is critical for major losses.  Good security practices such as keeping your equipment safe in cases, having an assistant watch your stuff, and using labels.

Nov 13 12 10:54 am Link

Makeup Artist

MP Make-up Artistry

Posts: 5105

Prince George, British Columbia, Canada

I once had $1200 in hot tools and hair products  ( curling irons and such) "walk away" at a fashion show, i brought them with the intention of doing hair too but they didnt need me to do hair, so i put it to the side..  at the time i was a student, and didnt have a clue what to do other than cry..
i now NEVER leave my stuff out of eye line, ive still had the odd thing taken, but not something that im super upset over..
its all about trusting those your working with and if your not sure.. bring an assistant , this could simply be a friend who is there to keep an eye on your stuff

Nov 13 12 12:26 pm Link

Makeup Artist

MP Make-up Artistry

Posts: 5105

Prince George, British Columbia, Canada

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Nov 13 12 12:26 pm Link

Makeup Artist

kat makeup artist

Posts: 182

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

best way to avoid theft is to be vigilent. Have a neat set up area where you know where everything is and is neatly displayed. Easy to pack away and have a set bag or a little set carry case to put what you need to do touch ups and then pack everything else away. My kit is lockable and i lock it. It rolls and i use it as a seat so my stuff never leaves my sight! the set bag i keep on me and have whatever i need from that point on in there.

being organised and vigilant with your eyes always on your stuff. if i need to go toilet i pack everything away and roll it with me, keeping in mind i always go before i start working and i have amazing bladder control lol.

For bridal, i do have a theft clause in my contracts and i keep an up to date inventory list (for insurance purposes) as deterrents. I also never allow "floaters" near me when doing bridal i tell them nicely to buzz off they are always the main culprits. Also my assistants are amazing and always keep an eye out for me. (thankyou my lovely ladies)

Nov 13 12 12:27 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Simire MUA

Posts: 91

London, England, United Kingdom

kat makeup artist  wrote:
if i need to go toilet i pack everything away and roll it with me, keeping in mind i always go before i start working and i have amazing bladder control lol.........

Hee hee! I'm having a schoolgirl giggle about this. Job advert for Mua.....must also possess a robust sphincter...

Seriuosly though, it is quite sad how we have to keep eyes locked onto our kit the whole time. I did make up for one of the acts at an event recently and was still habouring bitterness over the loss of my cheap but equally loved foundation sticks. The dressing room was on a different floor with no lifts and the show on the ground floor. I missed practically the entire event as i had a large case i could not be bothered to drag all the way downstairs in case they needed to come back up for touch ups or change of looks. Very sad indeed.

Nov 13 12 01:09 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Alyson Makeup Pinheiro

Posts: 16

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

This has happend to me as well at a Bridal fashion show,I had also brought all my kit.I had just taken out my stuff and placed it on the table when a few minuts later I noticed my lip gloss and fan brush was missing ohh man did that ever set me off...

Nov 13 12 02:38 pm Link

Makeup Artist

MA YE

Posts: 39

New York, New York, US

I have EVERYTHING in palettes. In your case, it was lipliner so that can't go in a palette-- but honestly, I don't ever use lipliner because I never do any make up that stays on for longer than 15 minutes or so.

Nov 14 12 12:54 pm Link

Makeup Artist

BMR-MUA

Posts: 548

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Tegan Lynn MUA wrote:
So, it finally happened to me. I strongly suspect that a photography assistant walked off with my two favourite lipliners. I can't prove any of this, so I'm not going to press the issue, but it's made me think.

Lots of times make-up application is done in a room separate from where the shoot is taking place, and I'm expected to leave my kit unattended while shooting is going on if I'm observing for touch up purposes. Short of packing everything back up in my kit again, which isn't really practical if I need to do another look, I'm not sure how to stop theft from occurring.

One thing I am going to do from now on is make sure that all my smaller products that would be more prone to theft (lipliners, eyeliners, mascara, etc) are organized in a way that I can use them right out of my kit and put them back after. That way I can lock up those pocket sized items easily, without having to take any extra time to put them away.

I'm wondering, what steps do you guys take to prevent theft from your kits?

1. Identify each piece of your kit. Put your initials in permanent ink on the back of each container as soon as you get home from the store. I have small foil stickers with my initials that I put on each container I have.

2. Keep a current inventory (use a spreadsheet) of your makeup. Know what you have.

3. Have locks for all of your makeup cases. If you must leave your cases, lock the case and lock it to a solid object.

4. Ask the photographer about security ahead of time. Don't leave your kit unattended even for a minute. Others don't know how much your kit is worth and most don't care.

5. Set up security policies. Set your makeup table against a wall, or in a corner to limit access. Define your area with a makeup chair, light stands and keep everyone except the person you're working on out. People shouldn't be browsing or handling your makeup, for both security and sanitation reasons.

6. If your kit is stored in your car, cover it up and lock the doors even if you're going away for just a minute. Take your kit out of the car as soon as you arrive home.


If something does go missing points #1 and #2 may help you to recover it. You can show exactly what is missing and can identify it.

Nov 14 12 05:31 pm Link