1. Disposable applicators
In general, and especially during COVID-19, cross-contamination is a huge concern. Cleaning out your brushes and tools between every client is critical and necessary. And the more clients and equipment you have, the greater that cleanup task becomes. Enter disposable applicators. These come in all shapes and sizes--from disposable foundation sponges to eye shadow applicators, to mascara wands--and they are specifically made for one use only. Once you have used them for a client, you don’t have to worry about adding them to your pile of work at the end of the day, and can dispose of them in the trash. Bear in mind that most applicators are made of plastic, so keep the environment in mind when you make this choice, and try to use them sparingly.
2. Makeup remover wipes
This one might seem like a really obvious one, but it's worth emphasizing. It might be self understood that you would want makeup remover wipes on hand, but you might not realize just how many you need. You will be shocked to learn how many clients show up for a makeup appointment or an eyebrow wax or any other facial skin care appointment already wearing makeup. And now you’ve got to do cleanup before you can get started, and that means wipes. Lots and lots of makeup remover wipes for all of that recently applied foundation, concealer, and waterproof mascara. In addition, makeup remover wipes are useful for any makeup spills, removing product from your brushes and tools, and for cleaning up large mistakes that you can’t fix with a bit of powder. Buy in bulk and keep on hand at all times.
3. Hand Mirror
This one is not critical, but it can make a huge difference if you are dealing with clients that get anxious or want to be able to watch your progress the entire time. When you are outside your salon, you can still see what you are working on, but your client no longer has the handy salon mirror to check themselves out in. Giving them a hand mirror allows them to mark your progress and weigh in while you are working if there’s a change they want. Anxious clients never feel like they are out of control, waiting for a huge reveal, and you can focus on your work instead of extra questions on how they currently look.
4. A Good Light
You could be working at night, during intense cloud cover, a rainstorm, or even indoors with bad lighting. No matter the place or circumstance, you want to be able to deliver. And that means bringing your own light. In our modern world of LEDs this is simple and cheap, and you can buy one that you wear as a headset, or you can clip to your own shirt or a table or chair. It will afford you more than enough light to see colors clearly and make out your client’s features so you can continue to work confidently and deliver the quality no matter the setting, time of day, or weather.
5. Disposal Bags/Containers
A key part of being able to work quickly and efficiently no matter the location is keeping your station clean and organized. And that can’t be done if your workstation is piled high with used tissues and other trash and you can’t tell your used brushes from your disinfected ones--or worse, you’ve put them all the same place and now you can’t use any of them. To each job, make sure to bring with you two clearly marked and distinguishable disposal bags: One for trash and one for used equipment. This way you can keep your station clean and never worry about re-using a brush or tool by accident until it’s gotten the cleansing it needs.
6. Your Phone
Now bear with us on this one. We absolutely DO NOT recommend bringing your phone to browse social media while on the job. However, if you’ve gotta call the bride who’s running late, or one of the bridesmaids didn’t put together a moodboard and you need to research some looks for her to choose from, or the production assistant or wardrobe is sending someone your way for touch-ups, you need to able to roll with the punches and that means having access to the internet and phone at all times. You can also use it to take photos of your work for your portfolio (with your client’s permission of course.) We also recommend getting an app for your phone where you can store notes on the client and their specific needs to avoid any mixups or misinformation.