Ellen Hancock – A Not So Model Life
Instagram: @gypsy_revival

As a professional model there are several items that you are either expected to have in your tool kit, or I just don’t think you can survive without. Sure, the makeup artist or stylist may have some of these items for you on a job, but you should never expect them to. These items are a necessity, and should always be available, even if just in case. If you are a new model, these are the items you should invest in immediately.


You should always carry a makeup bag of essentials with you. You’ll have to do your own minimal makeup for castings, and you should always touch up right before you go inside. Also, every once in a while a makeup artists will bring a brand of makeup that I know will cause my skin to break out or get irritated, in which case I always nicely inform them of my allergy and ask them if they could please use my own foundation instead. I’m not going to recommend any specific brands here, because we all have different skin types. Just make sure you have some trusty quality products that you know work for you. Also be prepared with a non-greasy sunscreen if you are shooting outdoors, and apply before sitting in the makeup chair.

– Foundation
– Concealer
– Blush
– Mascara
– Powder (preferably translucent)
– Lip Balm
– Sunscreen


Stylists always make the most of a model’s shoe collection, as it is difficult to buy/return shoes due to the wear and tear that is inevitable on the soles. If you can invest in some nice shoes definitely do so. I always keep my modeling shoes in their boxes while in storage at home, and I try not to wear them except for castings and photoshoots so they stay as nice looking as possible. Also nice flats you can wear while walking to your castings and then shove in your bag are always a great idea to save your little tootsies from unnecessary fatigue. I basically don’t put my heels on until I’m about to walk into the building. You don’t have to buy super expensive shoes, but make sure they look like good quality pieces. Stores like DSW and TJ Maxx are great places to stock up so you aren’t paying full price.

– Black Pumps
– Nude Pumps
– Black Strappy Heels
– Nude Strappy Heels
– Nice Flats


Having your own jeans is a must. A dark wash skinny jean is the most flattering, and will show your figure at castings. To lug all your stuff around you should always invest in a big nice-looking bag with both short handles and a long shoulder strap. You’ll need a bag that looks stylish, but can also carry an extra pair of shoes and your portfolio. The added shoulder strap saves your arms when you have to trek long distances. Also, undergarments! You should have a variety!

– Dark wash skinny jeans
– Nude Strapless Bra
– Black Strapless Bra
– Nude Bra
– Black Bra
– Gel Petals (I always go for the gel instead of the fabric ones because you can wash and reuse)
– Large Chic Purse


You should basically have your portfolio with you at all times when you’re working. Even if you’ve already booked the job. Sometimes the makeup artist will want to look at your past work to get ideas of what looks best on you. I keep my portfolio on an iPad so I can have different galleries geared towards specific clients – i.e. Fashion, Beauty, Lifestyle. It’s also a lot faster and cheaper to update than trying to get prints made. When you are running all over the place you will get hungry, and sometimes finding a healthy and affordable snack is hard to do. I always keep some nuts or a healthy snack bar in my bag! Finally, if you are a human being your feet will probably get tore up from the uncomfortable shoes you are shoved into on a regular basis. I always keep little pieces of moleskin adhesive cloth in my kit so I can wrap up my toes before putting tight heels on. It’s a life-saver, especially if you are working long events!

– Portfolio
– Healthy Snack
– Water
– Moleskin Adhesive Clothmodel tool kit