Going back to work feels like a bold statement right now, and I guess it goes without saying going ‘back to work’ is going to look different for most of us, but for this post I wanted to talk about my perspective and what changes I’m making to my kit. It’s worth noting every country will have different rules and regulation in place regarding Covid 19, and I also fully appreciate some people may not be in a position to work even if they can, because of their or a loved ones health being compromised.
Since returning to work, the general changes I’m seeing from a production point of view, is less people on set, working outside when possible and lots of PPE. My first observation is it does take longer now, and i’m grateful a lot of clients are allocating more time in hair and makeup because safety cannot be rushed. As an artist it’s always super important to communicate with your clients how long the job will take, but with the new safety measures in place it’s important to make that clear to your clients that you are likely to need some extra time.
When it comes to my kit, there are a lot of additions and changes I’ve had to make, I think the most obvious one has been the introduction of a lot of PPE. For me that looks like a mask, face shield and lots of sanitizing sprays as a bare minimum but I also have gloves should a client request I wear them.
One of my biggest challenges has been to not put product on the back of my hand. I tried wearing a palette with a strap that attached to my hand from Paw Palette but it felt too clunky for me. So instead, I’ve purchased clear plastic tattoo bandage wraps to go over my hands so I can put product on top and just remove in-between products so the product doesn’t come into contact with my hands. It’s great because it feels like you have a second skin, no bulk and very easy to throw away and reapply a fresh one whenever you need to. You can buy these in multiple sizes so you can literally get one that just covers the area of your hand you apply makeup on.
Another change has been storing my products in my kit in non porous bags. I do miss my travel malls I have to say. I did however manage to find some small ones that have a PU covering so easier to sanitize the outside, and i’ve been using these for individual celebrity client kit bags. The majority of my kit is now stored in My Kit Co clear plastic bags and the Proma Kit bags.
You guys know I love a Vueset palette, one of the main reasons is that for creams I’ve always been able to easily remove what I need with a spatula and keep the palette fresh and clean with no double dipping. I’m continuing to use my beloved Vueset palettes, but I’ve also discovered another wonderful palette system from Artist Kit Company. Artist kit company 1.0 is super slim and has magnetic pans, something I’ve found myself reaching for more now because I can change things up easily, whereas with a Vueset you are committing to that product staying there. I also love the M.Y.O cosmetic cases and because they’re magnetic too, it’s easy to add pans out of my Artist Kit Company palette into those also.
One of the biggest changes has also been how we as artists use powder products. I have heard multiple suggestions for how to safely use pressed powders (eyeshadows, face powders, bronzers, etc) without double dipping. The first one was to scrape the powder with a spatula onto a palette, which I tried once, and never again! It was really messy, made my makeup look like a 5 year old had attacked it with a stick, nope that’s not for me. The technique I’m happy to report works best is to swipe the powder with a cotton round and then work off of the cotton pad, that actually works exceptionally well.
I have purchased more disposables for jobs with multiple talent, but I also feel I have enough brushes to be able to have separate sets should I need extras. I find the best place to buy disposables is Qosmedix, especially if you want lots of choice as opposed to one generic mascara wand. I like options.
In terms of sanitizing products, I’ve always used a 70% alcohol bought from professional Makeup stores, which I put into spray bottles to spot clean and sanitize while working. The other product I’ve received a lot of questions on is the UV sterilizing lights, another product with mixed views. I have to say I’m still undecided on my verdict. I decided to buy one very small one by 59S. I felt more than anything it would be great for putting my phone in as I can only imagine how many surfaces that comes into contact with, but I also thought for things like tweezers and eyelash curlers it would be good. I’m no expert on UV lights though and I’m still not 100% sure if I believe it can truly sanitize brushes because the light cannot get to the middle or in-between the hairs, so I don’t know that I’ll be using it for my brushes. I’ll keep you posted though and would love to know if anyone can point me in the direction of some science that proves otherwise.
I think the general take away is to be as safe as possible. To be 100% sterile is just not possible because we cannot control our entire surroundings, locations, sets, especially other people and what or who they may have come into contact with. The important thing is to do your part. Be as clean and hygienic as is within your means to do so. Up your hygiene game, make sure your inventory is fully stocked with PPE and look at what changes you can make to your kit that help increase the safety of you and your clients.
If you’re looking for more information on hygiene for makeup artists Angie Di Battista has an amazing course, and I recommend following Create Safely on instagram for some great tips and recommendations. For more great MUA tools don’t forget to click the button to access our VIP Vault full of helpful resources.