My Professional Hair & Makeup Kit – What’s In It?

hair salon seattle | glam squad seattle | beauty on-demand

As a mobile professional – be it a  hair stylist or makeup artist – going on-site to do hair or makeup can be an adventure. Many beauty professionals love the freedom that comes with freelancing – every day takes you somewhere new! Unlike the hair salon though, you have no control over the environment or conditions you’ll be working in.  You’ll need to be prepared for whatever is thrown at you; no longer do you have the luxury of being in arms reach of the hair salon’s products or hair tools, in case you need to course correct.  To ensure success (and a happy customer) you’ll need to bring everything you need, including the crucial hair tools and products; and the full assortment of makeup products including eye, cheek, lip and skin products if you are doing professional makeup.

Whether you are traveling on-site to do wedding hair and makeup or an editorial shoot with a production company, the key is preparation. And it all starts with your mobile hair or makeup kit. Obviously you can’t fit an entire Seattle hair salon into your back pocket, but there is plenty you can do to ensure that the client’s experience is every bit as professional and the service just as  exceptional whether you are on-site at a wedding venue, a photoshoot or in the comfort of their home.

What’s an easy way to remember what all to bring? Well no stress, we’ve created a handy-dandy checklist of hair/makeup tools, hair/makeup products, and essentials you’ll need while doing at-home beauty. If you are serious about becoming a professional mobile stylist we highly recommend investing in a standup mobile kit.

To help our mobile glam squad at Tousled, we share this checklist and more helpful tips the night before each booking.

The Essentials

Pro Tools

  • Light source*
  • Foldable Highchair
  • Handheld vaccuum
  • Apron & Toolbelt
  • Tarp/sheet to lay on floor – stock up on $1 disposable sheets
  • Hot towel warmer
  • Photo of Cosmo or Barber License
  • Available at, a rolling kit will meet all of your needs in regards to storage, lighting, and ease of mobility.

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    Rolling Studio Makeup Artist Cosmetic Case w/ 6x 40W Light Bulb Adjustable Leg Mirror Cosmetic Black Train Table from AW – $345

* When arriving at a clients location, you don’t know what kind of lighting situation you will be dealing with. You might want to work near a window with natural light, but there might be no outlets near that area. It is important to learn to handle everything a venue might throw at you. This could mean bringing an extension cord so that your appliances can reach an area with natural light, or purchasing a small stand up light to use instead.

The Delighters

  • Create a relaxing ‘spa playlist’
  • Aux cable
  • iPod dock or speakers
  • Camera
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Head Massage
  • Headphones

Hair Stylist Product & Tools

  • Hair dryer/Blow dryer
  • Curling iron/flat iron*
  • Rollers, be it velcro rollers for hair or rollers for a perm set
  • Round hair brush
  • Natural bristle hair brush
  • Synthetic bristle hair brush
  • Teasing hair brush
  • Rattail comb
  • Wide tooth comb
  • Favorite styling products**
    • Shine spray for hair
    • Hairspray
    • Texture spray for hair
    • Dry shampoo for hair
    • Heat protectant hair spray
    • Hair detangler
    • Mousse for hair
    • Hair gel
  • Hair shears
  • Hair clippers
  • Hair clips
  • Hair pins, Bobby pins
  • Hair bands
  • Elastic bands
  • Headbands
  • Shower cap
  • Cape
  • Tarp/sheet to lay on floor – stock up on $1 disposable sheets
  • Broom and dustpan

*  Depending on the nature of the job, you will have to decide what hot tools to bring, or if you should bring any at all. If your client has an envisioned look it will be easier to decide what size of barrel will be needed to achieve the desired outcome whether it be a blowout or an updo. For traveling purposes if you are doing a blowout, you may only need a round hair brush that can be used to curl the hair into lovely tousled locks. For a more complex updo on the other hand, you may need a smaller curling appliance to do the trick. Being able to narrow down what tools you need versus the ones you can live without will make being mobile that much easier.

** The brand of styling products you bring to your customers is all up to you! The type of product used can dictate pricing and what you need depends upon what type of hair your client has and the look they want to achieve. As a stylist on Tousled, you can set up your own ‘Mobile Kit’ on your profile so that clients can view what products you use before booking.

Makeup Products & Tools

  • Skin toner
  • Makeup primer
  • Full range of coverup and skin foundation*
  • Eye shadow palettes
  • Blush palettes
  • Strip lashes or faux lashes
  • Mascara, and volumizing lash serum
  • Eye liner, in multiple shades
  • Bronzer
  • Highlighter
  • Contouring palettes
  • Lip stick swatches
  • Lip gloss swatches
  • Lip liner, in multiple shades
  • Eyebrow pencil, in multiple shades
  • Makeup brushes
    • Blush brush
    • Bronzer blending brush
    • Fan brush for highlighter
    • Powder foundation brush
    • Concealer brush
    • Foundation brush
    • Makeup sponge for application
    • Contour brush
    • Brow brush
    • Eye shadow crease brush
    • Eye shadow blending brush
    • Eye liner brush
  • Mascara wand
  • Disposable lip and eye shadow wands
  • Mirror palette for mixing colors**
  • Makeup remover
  • Facial cleanser
  • Facial moisturizer
  • Esthetic wipes
  • Lip balm
  • Makeup brush cleaner

*When it comes to both concealer and skin foundation, it is important to bring a wide variety of shades; this enables you to match the best color to your clients skin tone which will leave them looking and feeling flawless.

**Having a mirror palette comes in handy when you need to mix different shades of colors to match your clients skin or lip color – having one on hand helps ensure the best quality coverage for your client.

Checklist complete! Now let’s take some time to think about how to use all of this useful information when compiling your own kit. When taking care of an on-site beauty service – which could be anything from a blowout at a hotel to haircuts for a family – it is useful to prepare by thinking through how you would handle the beauty service in a hair salon.  If the client has provided a photo of the envisioned hair style or beauty look you’re golden, but sometimes you’ll be walking in blind.  But don’t worry, this is an opportunity to turn lemons into lemonade. =) As long as your mobile kit is complete, you’ll be prepared for the job. That being said, let’s walk through an example, from start to finish…

For a hair style, you’ll need the right hair tools or equipment to bring the look to life. Is there a particular hair styling technique that will nail the look? Will it require special hair equipment? Make sure it is in your mobile hair stylist kit! Another huge factor will be time; when working under a deadline, you might need to adjust the hair styling technique for the sake of efficiency. Always ask the client (and even yourself!) what time you need to be finished.  Then, you can plan backwards from that, taking into account travel time and traffic, parking, introductions and setting up your work space and your tools and finally, how long it will take to style hair.

Now that you have given yourself ample time and your kit is complete with hair supplies, think about how will you setup/take down your hair tools and styling products? Will you need access to an outlet or good lighting?  Set up your popup hair salon in a space that has what you need. If you’re working with color, lots of hair product or hot tools, bring a towel or mat to protect surfaces. Part of superior service is showing that you respect the client and her or his property.  The best policy is leave no trace.

While you are focused on your client looking great don’t forget another important person – YOU!  To convey confidence from the start, have a professional hair/makeup kit, provide a professional service and LOOK like a professional.  Having worked with hundreds of clients for on-demand beauty services, we’ve found that most are expecting a level of professionalism and quality that could not be achieved themselves.  Black is a popular color for clothes in the hair salon, not only because it looks professional but also because it’s very forgiving to stains.

So we have setup, tools, take down accounted for; what’s left? Well, most importantly – you.  How will YOU stand out in the client’s memory? At Tousled, we believe that creative craft is unique which is why we encourage our professionals to find a signature move that encourages to re-book them, leave a tip or simply spread the love for beauty on-demand in Seattle.

If you’re just starting out as a mobile beauty professional or freelancer, then this might be a bit overwhelming; but fear not, because practice makes perfect. The more you get out there to do at-home haircuts or beauty on-demand, the better prepared you’ll be. There is no substitute to knowledge gained through experience.

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