Student Esthetician Kit: What Every Esthetics Student Needs to Get Started

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Be prepared to have a long and evolving relationship with the supplies in your esthetician kit. Like any serious relationship you will go through phases, starting with the excitement that comes with a new special someone – ahem, something – in your life.

You will no doubt want to start by trying out every brush, tweezers, wax product and cream in your new kit. By all means go for it. Self-test your kit contents and give your friends facials before you hit the town on a Saturday. The more experience you gain with the tools of your trade the better.

As the honeymoon phase wears off you also need to get to know the more mundane – but equally important – tools in your kit: the basic supplies. This includes things like your blood spill kit, hand sanitizer, gloves, body drape cape, and eye protection. While they might not seem so dazzling, think of them as the every-day common things about your partner that you fall in love with over time.

The first big milestone in your relationship with your esthetician kit will come when you pass the practical exam and earn your license. From there you can look forward to a long and rewarding partnership that can potentially last a lifetime.

What’s Inside the Bag?

To get an idea of the minimum content your kit must contain, take a look at your state’s esthetician practical exam. Many states use the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology’s (NIC) National Esthetics Practical Examination as their official practical exam, or model their practical exam after the NIC exam.

Enter Zip:

The NIC’s exam requires you to bring a kit that includes these essentials, which can be divided into two categories– general supplies and specific esthetic supplies:

General Supplies

  • Dry storage container
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Antiseptic
  • Body drape
  • Hair drape/cover
  • EPA-grade disinfectant that kills bacteria, fungi, and viruses
  • Cloth and paper towels
  • Tissues and cotton
  • Disposable applicators
  • Tape
  • Eye protection
  • Gloves
  • First aid kit – check with your state for the specific requirements for this, usually band aids, antiseptic, latex gloves, and first aid tape
  • Blood spill kit

You will notice that your basic supplies include a lot of materials that relate to sanitation and hygiene. You absolutely must develop good infection control practices from the beginning. This is especially important if you’ve been giving your friends facials for years and neglecting things like wearing gloves. Ingrain these types of hygiene habits now or you will pay for them later in your career – during your practical exam, if one of your clients files a complaint with the public health department, or in the worst case, if one of your clients gets sick after coming to see you.

Esthetician Supplies

It’s likely that your esthetician school will want you to have more supplies in your kit than just the essentials required for your state’s practical examination. You will find that many schools provide you with a student esthetician kit as part of your program, including the cost as part of your tuition and fees.

Beauty companies also compile their own esthetician kits that you can buy as a complete package:

  • Mannequin hand and a table clamp – depending on your state you may be required to use a live model
  • Cleansing face cream
  • Spatulas
  • Astringent or toner
  • Thermos or container for water
  • Massage cream
  • Tweezers
  • Fabric strips
  • Soft wax product
  • Hard wax product
  • Wax heater
  • Facial mask product
  • Moisturizer
  • Foundation, blush, and powder
  • Mascara, eye shadow, and eye liner
  • Lip color and lip liner
  • Eyebrow brush

What Kind of Supplies You Should Invest In

As you shop around for your kit’s supplies and tools, you will find that prices can vary significantly. When thinking about what products to get, keep in mind these two somewhat contrasting considerations:

  • You will gain much more experience going forward and probably develop a better idea of what products you like later on, plus while you are a student you are likely to put some significant wear and tear on the supplies you will be using
  • Your plans to become an esthetician are part of your long-term career goals, and therefore the supplies you invest in now can potentially be used for years to come

In other words, you could pay more now and invest in higher-end products that will last a long time, especially if you have a lot of experience in this field. Or you could buy cheaper products that will get you through school and invest in more quality tools once you have a better idea of what you need and what’s out there.

When deciding on what tools and products to get you can gain useful information by asking the opinion of more experienced estheticians. They will give you helpful advice that you can weigh alongside your own preferences and observations.

Examples of Esthetician Kit Supplies from Different Schools

Here are some examples of kits available through esthetician schools and those available to purchase separately:

The Belle Academy of Cosmetology in Waterbury, Connecticut charges $650 for its esthetician kit, which includes the following supplies in addition to the Milady esthetics textbook and workbook:

  • Large tote bag
  • Large and small face masks
  • Tweezers
  • Facial sponges
  • Drape
  • Esthetic wipes
  • Wooden applicators
  • Eye mask brush
  • Eye pads
  • Disposable head bands
  • Wedges
  • Plastic applicators
  • Disposable lip brushes
  • Disposable shadow applicators
  • Small makeup kit
  • Disposable mascara

The Keene Beauty Academy in its eponymous New Hampshire city costs $1,000 and includes the following in addition to the Milady esthetics textbook and workbook, a state board exam review book, a face masking brochure, and a rules and regulations book:

  • Mannequin
  • Body and mask brushes
  • Headband and tweezers
  • Facial sponges
  • Carry bag
  • Microfoliant
  • UltraCalming Cleanser
  • Active moisturizer
  • Colloidal mask base
  • Massage cream
  • Botanical mixture
  • Solar defense cream
  • Toner
  • Multivitamin mask
  • Cleanser gel
  • Pre-cleanse cleanser
  • Spot concealer
  • Scaling fluid
  • Post-extraction solution
  • Mask brush
  • Facial sponges

The Capilo Institute in Augusta, Maine offers its student kit for $1,000, which includes:

  • Terry cloth spa wrap
  • Spa headband
  • Double-sided applicators
  • Mixing bowl
  • 10-piece makeup brush set
  • Disposable mascara brushes
  • Disposable lip brushes
  • 7-piece body brush kit
  • Assortment of cotton products
  • Steri-dry fumigant
  • 6-piece esthetics kit
  • 3-piece exfoliating kit
  • Waxing kit
  • Massage mannequin face
  • Mannequin holder
  • Two-way pencil sharpener
  • Foam wedges
  • Tote roller bag

The following are examples of esthetician kits offered by private companies:

Beauty Kit Solutions based out of Houston, Texas offers esthetician kits that are tailored for each state’s practical exam, ranging in price from $110 to $160 depending on the state. Its general esthetician practical exam kit includes:

  • Blood spill kit
  • Cotton towels
  • Duffel bag
  • Sanitizing wipes
  • Trash bags
  • Pump spray bottles
  • Scotch tape
  • Paper towels
  • First aid kit – band aids, antiseptic, antibiotic
  • Cotton balls
  • Facial tissues
  • Butterfly clips
  • Cotton gauze pads
  • Bottles
  • Head wrap bands
  • Foam eye pads
  • Plastic spatulas
  • Wooden spatulas
  • Processing cap
  • Disposable gloves
  • Tweezers
  • Simulated wax product
  • Waxing strips
  • Baby powder
  • Cotton swabs
  • Applicator brush
  • Facial gauze
  • Foam applicator sponges
  • Lip color pencil
  • Foundation
  • Eyebrow pencil
  • Mascara
  • Eye shadow
  • Blush
  • Concealer
  • Disposable mascara brush
  • Wedge sponge
  • Eye shadow applicator
  • Lipstick applicator brush
  • Make up palette

Cosmetology Test Kits based out of Austin, Texas also offers custom esthetician kits designed for each state’s practical exam. These retail for around $70 and include:

  • Cotton salon towels
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Band aids
  • Blood spill kit
  • Mock hand sanitizer
  • Mock toner
  • Sponges
  • Cotton rounds
  • Disposable eye shadow applicators
  • Disposable lip brushes
  • Disposable mascara brushes
  • EPA disinfectant
  • Esti wipes
  • Facial brush
  • Facial cap
  • First aid tape
  • Gloves
  • Head band
  • Mock massage cream
  • Makeup pencil sharpener
  • Paper towels
  • Small wooden spatulas
  • Regular spatulas
  • Trash bags
  • Triangle wedge sponges
  • Tweezers
  • Wax strips

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