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How The Coronavirus Is Affecting Pro Makeup Artists and What You Should Do

Major cities are shutting down. Weddings and large events are cancelled. Businesses and corporations are adopting work-from-home policies. The worldwide outbreak of the Coronavirus has a majority of our population “self-quarantined,” meaning people are voluntarily avoiding crowds and staying home.

But as a self-employed makeup artist, there is no such thing as working from home. And if you are still working, it’s impossible to distance yourself from a client. The job of a pro makeup artist requires you to stand in very close proximity to clients for long periods of time.

Should you be doing this kind of work right now? Unfortunately, these circumstances are out of your control. Clients will inevitably choose to cancel events, weddings and productions. As an independent contractor, how do you offset the reality of cancelled engagements and no income?

How The Coronavirus Outbreak Affects You

Camera Ready Cosmetics founder and professional makeup artist, Mary Erickson, believes there are precautions and formalities all makeup artists should be following during these unprecedented times. “If a bride postpones her wedding because of the Coronavirus, I would allow a date change without penalty,” Mary said. “If I couldn’t accommodate the client’s new wedding date, I would refund her in full.” In these extreme circumstances, every makeup artist will have to make their own decisions about what is “the right thing to do.” In the wedding example, it’s important to remember the couple is also losing a lot of money. In most cases, they will need to order updated invitations, make changes (if possible) with every vendor - the wedding venue, bakery, florist, clergy, etc. “My suggestion is to exercise compassion and be flexible,” Mary said.

What about the commercial client who has shut down a campaign shoot? This is temporary. Don’t panic. In 90 days, most shoots will be back on. “Almost everyone is losing money right now, and we’re all stressed over the uncertainty of where this situation is headed,” Mary said. “In reality these are postponements, not cancellations.” It’s also important to note this will not last forever, but your business reputation will. Remember to be flexible, accommodating and kind to each of your clients. They’ll remember the way you handled yourself professionally during these uncertain times.

What to do with all this time spent at home?

Prepare yourself to be very busy a month from now. Everything that has been canceled or postponed in the last few weeks will be back on. Mary suggests using this time for updating and creating new marketing materials and to spruce up your professional website. You can also use this time to organize your home office and/or continue your makeup artistry education by watching tutorials to master a new technique. But most importantly, use this time to sanitize your makeup kit.

In general, sanitation practices should not be something you’re just starting now; you should always follow the basic rules of sanitization with every client. Keep in mind that with many viruses, people are contagious before they show symptoms. The only safe way to work, now and always, is to assume everyone has a contagious virus.

A Few Top Sanitation Practices

  1. NEVER put lashes on a client if they have been worn by another person. You cannot sanitize eyelashes.
  2. Never double dip.
  3. Always use disposable sponges and mascara wands.
  4. Sanitize everything with 70% Isopropyl Alcohol.
  5. If you have EVER double dipped into a product, throw it away now to play it safe.
  6. Use disposable brushes if you can’t properly sanitize between clients.
  7. Carry hand sanitizer in your kit. Wash your hands with soap and water between clients. This is more effective than using hand sanitizer only.
  8. Never use lipstick from the tube on clients. Scrape a bit with your spatula onto a palette and use a brush or disposable lip brushes.

For more in-depth cleaning tips, give these articles a read:

Basic Rules of Sanitation for Every Makeup Artist

Makeup Artist Sanitation

Parian Spirit

A powerful brush cleaner that doubles as a hand sanitizer. Mix with citrus oil for scent!

Cinema Secrets

A makeup sanitizing spray that kills germs and bacteria on powders and creams.

Rebels & Outlaws

A quick-dry, spray-on brush sanitizer for cleaning brushes between clients.

About Camera Ready Cosmetics

Camera Ready Cosmetics was founded in 2003 by Makeup Artist Mary Erickson. She dreamed of having a pro makeup showroom where artists could play with professional products without the typical makeup store attitude.

Today, our team of beauty industry veterans work together to curate the best quality products on the market. We partner with brands who respect the industry and formulate products for true working artists.

You won’t find CRC in high-end malls, and we don't wear matching brush belts. If you want to play with products for a few hours and buy nothing, that's okay...come in and play! Our store is your playground.


Mary Erickson
Founder of Camera Ready Cosmetics & Professional Makeup Artist