Today I am going to talk at length about sanitation practices as a makeup artist. The absolute most important factor when having your makeup done by a professional, is cleanliness. If you believe otherwise then that makes me very sad and perhaps you are not a client for me.
I am a licensed professional makeup artist and have been for 23 years. Now because I am an Esthetician I was taught proper sanitation processes in school and with also having studied and worked as a certified level 2 dental assistant I am perhaps more well versed on the subject than most. That being said, in today's world of instant information, there is absolutely no excuse and I mean NO EXCUSE for having an unclean, unsanitary hub of germs and bacteria as a kit. If you do, you are not a professional. A true professional cares for their clients, their profession, and their reputation. If someone is so ignorant they cannot be bothered to take the time to do a basic google search on proper sanitation practices, should you really be praising their behaviour and encouraging it?
Now I don't expect the general public to know all of the rules of sanitation but what this is starting to boil down to is common sense. I have clients sit in my chair and tell me the horror stories about appointments they have had with specific makeup artists and to say that they are appalling, is an understatement.
Believe it or not, there are actually people out there who believe cold-sores (herpes simplex) won't transfer via makeup brushes. If you don't think an oozing herpetic lesion will transfer onto an unwashed brush and subsequently another person's face via fingers being used to apply makeup then please wake up. Direct contact is most common, skin to skin (fingers on eyes or mouth to apply) but indirect contact is absolutely a way to contract communicable disease. Saliva can spread onto objects you use on or near your mouth and anyone else can come down with the virus. This includes unwashed silverware, cups, lipsticks and balms. People always instinctively lick their lips when I am coming at them with a lip brush. Whoomp there it is.
So why is sanitation such a big deal? Well let me ask you if you would want to sleep in a hotel room where the sheets haven't been cleaned prior to you using it. Think about it. A makeup artists kit comes into contact with hundreds of faces per year. Furthermore, said kit, brushes etc comes into contact with tear ducts, dead lip skin. saliva, tears, dead skin cells etc. Improper sanitation can cause acne flare ups, pink eye, the common cold, even hepatitis.
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye): Can easily be spread via improper sanitation practices. Double dipping mascara wands, contaminated brushes.
Herpes Simplex (Cold Sores): Will easily transfer outside the mouth, on the lips, nostrils and even the eyeball. Yes the eyeball. The herpes simplex virus enters through the nose or mouth and travels to the nerves where it may be inactive. The virus can remain dormant and never wake up. But if it does or you're susceptible, hot damn, good luck with that.
Staphylococcus : Staphylococcus live all over our skin, it usually isn't harmful unless your immune system is compromised. Which in today's population is very common with disease and cancers being as rampant as they are.
Any, and all, of these aforementioned viruses can enter your skin via a pimple, tiny cut or the mucous membranes of the eyes, mouth and nose. Triggered yet?
Demodicids : These are also called 'eyelash mites' or 'face mites'. they live in several areas of your face but are often found in the base of your eyelashes. The mites live on dead skin cells and skin secretions.
Here are some rules to watch for in regards to proper sanitation. If you are paying a professional to do your makeup it is 100% your absolute RIGHT to speak up and demand proper practices. It is your money and your face and in the worst case could actually cost your life. Dana, chill, its just makeup. No, it absolutely isn't.
- I always start by washing my hands, in fact, sometimes I do it multiple times with the same client. If this isn't possible, applying hand sanitizer in front of them is a must.
- I always have a clean surface to work. I always have a clean paper towel as well. Disposable, no fuss.
- I work from a clean kit. It is not littered with garbage, dirty brushes, powders and makeup residue. Clorox wipes are not expensive. It takes me at most a half hour or so to wipe down all bottles, lipstick tubes, palettes and my kit itself. I take the time. It is absolutely imperative.
- I do not use my personal makeup kit. I have a pro kit designated for clients. My makeup is my makeup and of course I am not using disposables for my own face. It only touches my face and is mine. But on clients, DISPOSABLES or heavily saturated alcohol disinfecting.
- Makeup is kind of like chips and dip, there is etiquette at a party with the dipping rules so why allow it on your face?
- I do not blow on brushes, or palettes. That is disgusting. My mouth bacteria and airborne pathogens do not belong on your face. I may as well sneeze directly in your face and call it a day. Samesies.
- I use 70% alcohol and am constantly spraying surfaces, brushes, products and my hands with it. Why 70%? it is the percentage that allows penetration into the cell wall to destroy bacteria. Anything over 70% such as 99% will actually freeze the outside of the cell wall and allow bacteria to lay dormant an revive. It also evaporates quicker and doesn't have time to penetrate surfaces like the 70%. If you do not see hand sanitizer, washed hands or alcohol in or around your appointment please care for your health in the future.
Picture this: A makeup artist gets too much powder on her brush. She blows on it to remove some rather than tapping the brush to remove excess. Mmmmmm airborne and water droplet bacteria from her saliva is now transferring onto your face for the low low price of just 50 dollars per face.
Picture this: The makeup artist goes from one appointment to another. She doesn't wipe her brushes with alcohol, a brush cleanser, hell, not even a towel. She has a total of maybe five brushes in her kit. You're her 11th face of the day. You do the math. Such disregard is evident, alarming and just plain mind boggling. This is real life. It happens. Run.
Picture this: The makeup artist runs out of eyelashes in her kit and peels her own used ones off her eyes to apply to your face. This is real life. It happens. Run.
Picture this: The makeup artist is too ignorant or too cheap to buy some makeup remover or wipes so she puts the q-tip into her mouth to collect saliva and clean up the messy eyeshadow she has applied. This is real life. It happens. Run. Having you spit on the qtip is also a thing and is just as nasty coming from a 'professional'. You know better, this is straight up piggery. Run.
Picture this: The makeup artist isn't available for the date of your event. They offer to do your makeup the night before and for you to sleep on it. Literally. This is real life. It happens. Run.
The entire point of this post is not cattiness, it isn't jealousy. It isn't about trying to drive people out of business or attack another woman/man in the industry. Everytime I speak up with a truth bomb there are people who try to turn it into something it is not. I support women, I support women in business. I teach makeup artists. I teach at the personal and college level. I want everyone to succeed. What I do not support is ignorance. Ignorance and straight up disregard for clients, the people of Sudbury, The women who are just trying to fit into an overly saturated world of online perfection. Women having their makeup done by people, who essentially do not give a fuck about them or this industry I've worked so hard in, and for. They are making a mockery of it with the hyper editing of the client photos they post. The complete disregard for client health. The thinning of their faces, the erasing of their texture, the addition of lashes and eyebrows via iphone app. A brilliant makeup artist, Mr. Billy B once said. "A great makeup artist doesn't use filters and photoshop...they ARE the filters and photoshop'
I hope you have learned something from this post, both the public and the 'artists' it may speak to. #sorrynotsorry
(MUA and teller of unpopular truths)