As a mobile professional – be it a massage therapist or an esthetician – going on-site to do massage therapy or skin car can be an adventure. Many beauty professionals love the freedom that comes with freelancing – every day takes you somewhere new! Unlike the spa 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 spas products or skin care tools, in case you need to course correct. To ensure success (and a happy customer) you’ll need to bring everything you need in one mobile kit.
Whether you are traveling on-site to do a hot stone massage or a thirty minute facial, the key is preparation. And it all starts with your mobile massage therapy or esthetics kit. Obviously you can’t fit an entire Seattle spa 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 hotel, a workplace or in the comfort of their home.
What’s an easy way to remember this all? Well no stress, we’ve created a handy-dandy checklist of massage/esthetic tools, products, and essentials you’ll need while doing at-home beauty. If you are serious about becoming a professional mobile massage therapist or esthetician we highly recommend investing in a portable massage/esthetics table such as the one featured below which is available at Amazon.com.
Mobile Massage/Esthetics Table. Portable, Ultralight & Professional – $499
To help our mobile glam squad at Tousled, we share this checklist and more helpful tips the night before each booking.
- Phone charger
- Power strip
- Towels & Linens
- Paddle mirror/Self-standing mirror – $13
- Light source*
- Massage Table
* 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.
Massage Therapy Kit
- Essential oils
- Essential oils travel case
- Aromatherapy/oil diffuser
- Portable table, mat, or massage chair
- Covers, sheets, and blankets
- Electric heating blanket is recommended
- Hot stones/marbles
- Portable electric hot stone heater
- Hot/cold compresses
- Towels and paper towels
- Portable electric towel steamer/warmer
- Hand sanitizer
- Leg and back pillows – for support
- Massage oils
- Massage creams
- Massage lotions
- Massage gels
- Salt and sugar scrubs
- Extra storage bottles and pumps
- Cotton balls
- Cotton swabs
- Spatula(s) for product application
- Face mask brush
- Synthetic fan brush for chemical peels
- Sonic cleansing brush
- Eye mask
- Portable table or esthetics chair
- Magnifying lamp
- Handheld mirror
- Stainless steel extracting tool(s)
- Stainless steel tweezers
- Facial steamer
- Nitrile gloves – (some clients are allergic to latex)
- Aesthetic wipes
- Wooden waxing applicators
- Wax strips
- Table paper
- Wax heater
- Rubber bowls for products
- Face towels
- Body towels
- Paper towels
- Portable hot towel cabin
- Products – Be mindful of allergies! Ask clients beforehand what their skin type is, if they have sensitive skin, or if they’re allergic to any type of products or chemicals.
- Cleansing product
- Toning product
- Exfoliating product
- Moisturizing product
- Create a relaxing ‘spa playlist’
- Aux cable
- iPod dock or speakers
- Rechargeable batteries
When taking care of an on-site beauty service – which could be anything from a hot stone to a deep tissue massage – it is useful to prepare by thinking through how you would handle the massage or skin service in a spa setting. If the client has requested a specific service then you’re golden, but sometimes you’ll be walking in blind as to what the client desires out of a massage or facial. 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. Let’s walk through an example, from start to finish…
For a massage, at the bare minimum you’ll need some form of massage table, massage oils/lotions, covers/sheets, and of course, you! Depending on the type of massage – be it a Swedish massage or a hot stone massage – you will have to pack various different items outlined in the checklist above. Make sure to pack the day before the service, then double, triple, even quadruple check that everything is in your professional kit! Another huge factor will be time; when working under a deadline, you might need to adjust the massage technique for the sake of efficiency while still making the service rewarding and relaxing for the client. 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 perform the service.
Now that you have given yourself ample time and your kit is complete with spa supplies, think about how will you setup/take down your massage/esthetic tools and products? Will you need access to an outlet or good lighting? Set up your popup massage or skincare table 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 feeling relaxed don’t forget another important person – YOU! To convey confidence from the start, have a professional massage/esthetics 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 salon and spa settings, 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 massages or beauty on-demand skincare, the better prepared you’ll be. There is no substitute to knowledge gained through experience.