Hi! I can't believe my last article here was pre-pandemic. How much has life changed! A lot of things have happened so I wasn't able to write as much and I've been tied up with a lot of stuff.
The pandemic also gave me an automatic makeup hiatus. However, even if it may take a while for life to come back to how it used to be, life still needs to go on. People need to go to work and the world has to run while staying safe and following the necessary protocols. I'm glad that after a drastic halt, those in the creative field whose source of livelihood was severly affected could start working again. Yesterday, I've done my first-ever makeup gig during the pandemic and I must say it felt surreal that it's back but different because there's some distance in a very tactile-dependent skill.
I want to write about how I prepared myself for the gig as well as the safety measures I took in order to give other artists who are slowly going back to work an idea on how they can protect themselves and their clients. Take note that I'm not a medical professional or an infectious disease specialist and I'm only using knowledge I've gathered from reliable articles, vlogs, and advices of fellow makeup artists who have been going to work regularly in the new normal before I did.
|Makeup artist in the new normal.|
The choice to do makeup full time or go back only part-time is up to you. Since I'm currently working in a regular job and still have my crafts on the side, I chose to do makeup at a minimum. I chose to only do makeup for people I know or close friend referrals (I worked at the wedding of my friend, who happens to be my neighbor too so we belong in the same community), and I only accept 1 head for 1 booking day. I would only do makeup for a maximum of 2-3 times a month. The choice to accept fewer bookings is my own personal choice. I will not judge another makeup artist if he or she goes back to work full time as long as they follow safety protocols required by the community.
Whether the booking requires and/or provides a swab test or not, we must always protect and sanitize because everyone's lives depend on it.
So here 's what I did for my new normal makeup:
Condense the makeup kit.
More makeup gear means more things to disinfect. I kept all my equipment in one bag - and that includes stuff for hair and makeup. I kept my equipment count small. I didn't want to buy more makeup brushes than I already have - that's why I only accept 1 client per day. Some of my friends who do more than 1 head have different brush sets per person in individual zip lock bags and do a thorough disinfection before working with the next client.
I only pack what's needed. My client beforehand showed a photo of her mom (the person I would do makeup on), her dress etc. I was also provided a makeup peg and information on skin and hair type. This helped me plan what to bring.
As the number of people working on events are severely limited, I went by myself to not crowd the venue and did both makeup and hair. Should I need help with hair, that's when I hire a hairstylist.
OOTD For Safety
Pre-pandemic, I was the resident hubadera. However, times are different. I didn't buy PPE gear since it wasn't a requirement and this is my only makeup job in while (I don't know when the next would be or the frequeency of the demand for makeup artists would be in the coming months). However, I had to also protect both of us (and hide my quarantine fats :P). I also had to be extra-extra safe since the person I did makeup to is the mother of the bride who is a senior citizen.
|this assymetric overcoat protects my leggings from surfaces|
I've had a nice overcoat-like piece that only come out of my closet during my travels I bought it from a friend in a bazaar many years back. When worn, it becomes an outer garment that covers my top and leggings when I sit on chairs or touch surfaces. All I had to do before I go home was remove that outer coat before I step into the car (but I was OC so I changed clothes as well). By doing this costume change, I also protect the community I belong to and my household.
I also don't forget the required new normal OOTD must-haves - mask and full face shield. I doubled up my mask (surgical mask + kn95, still a breathable combo) since I'll be in a closer proximity to another person and wore gloves during makeup application.
For bookings that require PPE though, local brands and designers manufacture trendy and comfy protective wear that's OOTD-worthy.
SANITIZE BECAUSE YOUR LIFE, AND OTHER PEOPLE'S LIVES DEPEND ON IT
|Sanitized all my personal things and makeup equipment in this UV Box from |
(sleeping photobombing kitten not included)
Pre-pandemic, we were taught hygiene and sanitation tips that were almost operating room level. Now, even a normal errand run has us treating our home like an operating room. I sanitized all my equipment the night before my gig - from the tiniest eyeliner brush to the hairstyling equipment to the big maleta was disinfected. I ran all my makeup and brushes for 20 minutes in my UV-C box (I got mine from Ultrasilver for Php 1800. This is not a paid ad). before packing them. For bigger items such as carrying case, blow dryer, curling iron, ring light and ring light stand, I placed them inside the bathroom and turned on a UV lamp set to timer for 30 minutes. UV rays may not be our skin's best friend but they are what we need to blast the nasties away.
Setting up also means disinfecting my makeup surface at the venue (that's where alcohol/Lysol/disinfecting wipes come in handy). Since setting up requires an extra thorough disinfection, I arrived earlier than the designated call time so nothing is rushed.
I'm also careful in protecting my client while doing makeup since they're not wearing a mask. I talk less and use gloves. I used a clean stainless steel spatula when picking up concealer, lip stick, gel liner, or anything that comes from a pot. I also do not use makeup that comes with self-applicators difficult to sanitize (eyebrow and eyeliner pens with a felt-tip). Double dipping is an ultimate no-no!
After makeup has been completed, I dispose all tissues, cotton pads, Q-Tips, and disposable items. I then disinfect all my items quickly giving powder products a good wipedown with tissue before spraying with alcohol and running a UV wand on all my items. I place my velour puff, spatula, and brushes in a separate ziplock bag and pack up and give my suitcase a good wipedown of disinfectant. I do the same with my work surface for courtesy.
Disinfect everything upon getting home right away.
Remember back then when after a gig we just park our makeup gear and then wash our brushes the following day? This time, we cannot wait for the next day. Everything that has been in the outside world must be disinfected. I do disinfect again all my makeup and equipment even if I pre-cleaned them before packing up.
All garments immediately go in the wash and a hot shower with a thorough scrubbing is done. Bigger items like malette and ring light, which cannot be washed down were UV disinfected in the bathroom with a UV lamp. It's a bit OC to disinfect twice after a gig, from packing up and when getting home but we have to be super sure as we don't know what our gear has picked up along the way, especially if you commute. The whole ordeal took me 2 hours, but that's because I had to UV-C in batches.
Makeup jobs have drastically changed because of the pandemic. Although makeup jobs are allowed with very strict protocols, remember to prioritize your health and safety to help the community stay safe. And should you decide to go back, remember to not only follow safety protocols but have a very detailed disinfecting routine. This protects not just yourself and the people around you that day but also your household and community.
For all makeup artists, stay safe and healthy in this new normal. We will get through this.