Also, what are your favorite brushes? Personally, I love my Ecotools set, for both their affordability and their quality. However, I'm extremely eager (read as: chomping at the bits to receive them in the mail!) to try out the brush set that comes with the school provided kit!
Another idea is to invest in some Z palettes. If you have a lot of single eye shadows for instance, you can depot them and put them into the Z palette to save space. Find a brand that you like and is in your budget that sells single products like powders, blushes, etc and put them in a Z palette. I'm looking into Makeup Geek eye shadows and blushes. They have been said to be the same, if not better than MAC's stuff and for much much cheaper. You can stock up on some basic colors and some fun ones for just about the same amount you might spend on one premade palette somewhere else. When it comes down to it, there will be products that we will have to splurge on for our clients...but hopefully by using the best quality products we can afford of they will be repeat customers and refer others to you.
Also, I love love LOVED the brushes that the school sent...they are so soft and have held up through several washes since I've started using them. Besides those, I use a lot of Sigma brushes.
Hoped this helped and good luck!
I have been looking in to my first kit too. I have read stuff from several different people to give me an idea of what is standard in a kit. One of the people I have been following is Marlena from Makeupgeeks and she has this wonderful video discussing train kits and must haves. Have a look at her video.
http://www.makeupgeek.com/organization/ ... idal-work/
Since watching her video, I've been searching different wholesale sites for quality makeup and I stumble across Camera Ready cosmetics.
My tutor has said she buys from here and she LOVES their products. That's good enough for me! I'm looking at getting their Graftobian HD crème foundation palettes. They are a fabulous price for 18 different colours in 3 palettes for cool, warm and neutral. The reviews are very encouraging. I am getting the majority of my kit from here.
Have a browse. They have lots of great brands including Ben Nye.