The first cardinal rule when it comes to working in Makeup is always hygiene. I have seen some pretty disturbing habits that have literally made my skin crawl. Personal hygiene can be quite a sensitive subject, however, when it comes to myself and my work, I live by the rule "if I wouldn't put it on my face, then it's not good enough to put on my clients".
e like to live in a world where we think everyone practices the same hygiene standards we do, but unfortunately it is simply not the case.
Whether you are new to the world of makeup, are about to employ an MUA and would like to know what they should be doing or simply want to refresh yourself on some hygiene practices I have listed mine below:
1) Hands are the artists basic tools
I make sure my nails are a shorter length and clean. One, because I do use my hands on a client's face (with their permission of course) and two - I hate getting products stuck under my fingernails. I prefer to wash my hands with soap and water if there is an opportunity to do so, if not I will use a hand sanitizer, baby wipes are always great to have on hand too if you get any products on your hands during the application and need a quick clean.
2) Brushes are your babies
I have never cared for something so delicately before (apart from my skin!). My brushes get washed two-three times per week with shampoo and conditioner, yes I condition them, too as this gets rid of any product build up and keeps them smelling fresh and soft. I have had my brushes for ages and they are still in perfect condition and that is because I look after them!
Between clients I sterilize them using IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol) l The reason I choose IPA is because of its highly effective anti-bacterial qualities. I use this on brushes such as lip brushes, and foundation / concealer brushes as bacterial carries easily on moist environments so this ensures it's killed. IPA also dries within minutes and leaves no residue on your brush, just be aware that it is strong in smell and highly flammable so always exercise caution with this type of chemical.
3) Never double dip
Double dipping into products causes cross contamination (causing bacteria from one product to spread to another). Always use a spatula and a mixing palette. Most of my lipsticks are decanted into palettes, therefore I use a spatula to remove the lipstick and then use a clean lip brush to apply it to the lip direct from the spatula. Same goes for my cream foundations, concealers, blushers and eye shadows. Make sure all spatulas and mixing palettes are also sanitized first. Spray with IPA and clean with a tissue.
4) No direct application
Lip glosses, concealers or anything with it's own applicator should never be applied directly to any clients face. For Mascara use disposable mascara wands (and never double dip back into the tube after the first application, always use a new one).
Lip glosses, cream/gel/liquid liners and concealers decant onto a mixing palette or use a spatula to put on the back of your very clean hand.
Never use a brush or sponge directly on a foundation bottle either (this will spread bacteria), always decant foundations onto a mixing palette, or the back of your hand.
Loose powders., eye shadows and blushers etc. can be sprayed with IPA between each client - it evaporates really quickly killing the bacteria and leaving a perfect dry powder to use.
Pencils should be sprayed or wiped with IPA and then sharpened before application.
5) Always clean brushes between faces
Not only is it to stop spreading bacteria between faces, but you will also get a fresh colour pay off with your products for each new application. It's better to take 5 minutes cleaning and disinfecting your brushes than to have client call you back to say they havea rash, breakout or cold sore from your unsanitary practices - I would like to point out this has never happened to me!
A contraindication is when a client has a pre-existing condition that could be harmful to them as well as the hygiene of your products, should you continue with the application such as:
Cold sores, contagious/infections diseases, cuts/abrasions, conjunctivitis/sty's, allergies (skin & products), recent facial treatment (laser, chemical peels), sunburn, eczema etc.
If any of these arise you must check with the client FIRST before going ahead with any application. This can be hard because you don't want them to blame you for any further irritation. Ensure you have public liability cover and that you have explained relevant information as to the risks involved and if you do continue, that the client is doing so at his/her own risk. I have never had this happen to me before, but if it is something you are concerned about carry a few copies of an agreement that covers you for this and have both you and your client sign it. Use DISPOSABLE wands, cotton pads, cotton tips and when applying makeup if you proceed SANITIZE everything afterwards - this includes all makeup used.
7) Cleaning your products
Assuming you have exercised proper hygiene practices your products should be clean and sanitary. However, it is always imperative that you keep your products clean (especially creams). It is important to keep your actual kit clean too. I use IPA to clean out my bags (they are all plastic) as well as my palettes and products. It is a big task, but you will feel so good afterwards and I know my clients always appreciate a presentable looking kit.
Cleaning Creams (eye shadows, lipsticks, foundations, concealers, blushers etc)
Spray them with IPA and clean over with a tissue / cotton bud
Cleaning Powders (eye shadows, face powders, brow powders etc)
Wipe over with a tissue and if necessary I will use a light spray of IPA
Cleaning Tools (tweezers, sharpeners, spatulas, mixing palettes, eye lash curlers)
Spray these with IPA and use a tissue to clean, sharpeners are a bit tricky so I soak them really quickly in hot water and then spray them with some IPA and dry them with a tissue. Sharpenings love to get stuck in there so I use a cotton bud to clean them out.
Clean with some IPA and sharpen with your clean sharpener
Wipe all other products, cases and palettes with IPA, it will ensure they are kept clean and looking sparkling!
Got any more tips? Let me know!
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Welcome to your guide to beautiful skin. I'm a cruelty free hair and makeup artist, skin expert, and advocate for gorgeous glowing skin !