It seems like everywhere we turn these days, there’s talk of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. While, of course, it is a very serious matter, there are some positives as of late. For starters, it’s been confirmed that over half of those diagnosed globally have since recovered. This is great news!
Moreover, while the coronavirus is still running rampant, it doesn’t have to be the end of service industry professions, such as that of a makeup artist. “But wait,” you might be thinking, “doesn’t my whole job involve having to touch someone else’s face? In a time where people are being warned not to even touch their own faces, how can that NOT hurt my business?”
Yes, there’s a heightened risk factor that comes with your particular career. A big part of your job is to touch your client’s face. That can’t exactly be avoided. Nor is it realistic for her to wear a face mask while you’re trying to do your job.
But you still CAN do your job! The important thing to understand is that there are still lots of safety precautions that can be taken. These precautions will not only allow you to keep doing your job, but also help keep both yourself and your clients safe from catching any unwanted germs!
So what are these safety measures? Let’s take a look!
1. Wash your hands.
As a professional MUA (and even just a regular, clean person), we hope this is something you’ve already been doing up until this point! But in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, it’s more important than ever. In general, you should make a point to wash your hands at any of the following times:
- Before and after you eat, or simply handle food
- After using the bathroom
- After handling an animal
- After holding or shaking someone’s hand
- After touching any heavily used surface like doorknobs, railings, elevator buttons, etc.
There are plenty more instances where you should ensure to wash your hands, and a more complete list can be found here. But you’re a makeup artist, so there are also specific times when washing your hands is also critical. Some examples would be:
- Before and after setting up your equipment at a given job (especially if you’re working on location)
- Before and after handling makeup products
- Before and after working with a client and touching her face
When washing your hands, ensure to use soap and warm water. If you’re unsure how long you should be washing your hands, an easy trick is to hum (or sing, if you’d prefer) the Happy Birthday song from start to finish, twice. If you want some catchier tunes to help time you, here are some other suggestions!
If you’re in a place that doesn’t have easy access to soap and water, try to always keep some hand sanitizer on you. That can at least help sterilize things until you are able to wash them properly.
Lastly, but just as importantly: make sure that as much as possible, you don’t touch your own face!
2. Always keep your makeup products clean.
This is a big one, and again, something you should already make a habit of doing. Dirty makeup products are a big carrier of germs and other unwanted bacteria. Using contaminated products on a client would make it only too easy for them to catch some nasty bug and wind up sick.
If you want to know the horrifying truth about how easily makeup products can be bathing in bacteria, check out this previous article on the topic. (Just be warned: while informative, it’s also a bit graphic.)
Plus, you’re the professional! Your clients are counting on you to always use sanitized products on their skin. You always need to ensure that you properly and regularly clean your products. Never let anyone else use your makeup products, and when working on a client, never double dip any disposable applicators.
3. Reschedule if you’re sick.
Even if you just have a small cough or slightly runny nose, contact your client and ask to postpone the appointment to another date. It’s not worth the risk! While it very well may be nothing, you also can’t guarantee that. The coronavirus is extremely contagious even if you have very mild symptoms.
The last thing you want to do is show up anyways, put your hands all over your client’s face, and then pass along a potentially serious disease. From a business perspective, that’s a bad move. From a human perspective, that’s just inconsiderate.
Chances are, your clients will be more than understanding, given the circumstances. Yes, there may be cases where rescheduling isn’t possible, and the only option may be the cancel altogether. We know you and your client don’t want that. But at the end of the day, your health and the safety of your client comes first!
4. Encourage your clients to reschedule if they’re sick.
Granted, they’re not the ones touching your face or makeup products. But you can catch a lot of nasty bugs just by being within 6 feet of infected individuals. If you catch something from a client, you could then become potentially contagious yourself before you even show symptoms, and wind up getting other clients sick. Not to mention that your own health would be at risk!
Check your availability and offer sick clients a couple slots where you’d be free to reschedule. Chances are, she’ll be willing to do so.
That being said, some clients may not be able to reschedule. They may push to keep the appointment. Know that you do have the right to refuse service. You’re not obligated to work with a sick client. But should you choose to keep the appointment, make sure you take the proper precautions for your OWN health.
For starters, wear a face mask. While it can’t completely protect you from catching someone else’s germs, it could at least help your chances. Also, like we discussed above, wash your hands frequently. If the client came to you, make sure to disinfect the studio once she’s left.
Want to read a working MUA’s experience with how the coronavirus has affected her business? Check that out here!
What else can you do if business slows down?
Realistically, there is a chance that while the coronavirus is a hot topic, many people may not want to book makeup appointments for the time being. So what other things can you do with your business, or even just the down time, to keep yourself afloat?
There are a lot more options than you may realize! If you offer other types of beauty services as part of your business, you can use this time to focus more on those.
Consulting services, such as for skincare, fashion, and even hair styling, won’t necessarily require you to touch your client’s face. Makeup lessons would also be a great alternative for those wanting to hone their own skills, at the guidance of a professional.
For clients wanting to avoid contact with others, these are all services they could still be open to.
Start your own beauty blog!
If you have extra time on your hands, why not build on your online presence? Many MUAs also run their own beauty blogs (or vlogs), to get their name out to a wider, global audience. This could be a perfect project for you to take on!
If you’re unsure how to go about starting your own beauty blog, we’ve got an excellent How-To article for you to check out here!
If business is a little slow, another excellent idea is to use this time to get some additional training and build on your current certifications! As a makeup artist, you can never be too educated. There’s always more for you to learn! So research into different makeup schools and sign up for a class or two.
Sign up for free webinars online, and watch tutorials to keep your skills up. You can expand on the skill set you already have, and even branch out into new areas you don’t know already.
When your business starts picking back up, you’ll be armed with an even better resume to impress clients and get even more bookings!
Just because the coronavirus is a thing, doesn’t mean your makeup business or livelihood needs to suffer. Just make sure you take all the necessary safety measures, and you AND your clients will have the best chances possible at staying safe!
And should your bookings take a bit of a temporary hit, there are plenty of other ways for you to still advance your talents and your business. You’ve got this!