February 16, 2015
Women are constantly in need of professional make-up services as we keep up with the shaadi season (that seems to stretch year round), balls, galas, brunches, committees, teas etc. We have a booming make-up industry with new salons and spas opening up on what seems to be every other block. But I often find myself questioning the level of sanitation and hygiene that is practised here, which was, in fact,  the  first lesson that was taught to me as a make-up artist.
Having studied make-up artistry in Toronto, Canada,  and having worked there for two years, I can see a visible difference in the way the art is practised there and here in Pakistan. Our duty as make-up artists is to provide the best of our services in accordance to what we have been taught and through what common sense dictates. As a client, I would be rather upset (to put it politely) to see how carelessly some make-up artists use their talents; which in turn could have adverse effects for a client.
 It has not been long since I have moved to Pakistan and  worked alongside other make-up artistsFortunately, I have had the opportunity to ply my trade on some of our A list local celebrities. Much to my surprise, the majority of them have not been used to proper, hygienic standards,  and these are people who wear heavy make-up on an almost daily basis. Yes, guaranteed it would add on minutes to application time but is it not more than satisfying to know that you aren’t going to wake up to some eye infection from an unclean eye pencil, acne from an unwashed make-up brush or smell some achaar on your makeup artist’s hand? (yes, this has happened in front of me!)
Here are some pointers for  clients to look out for when having make-up applied professionally. These simple tips will  guarantee that you leave the salon  looking glamorous but without any unwelcome repercussions.
  • Make sure the make-up artist either washes his/her hands or uses hand sanitiser before touching your face — the skin on our faces is the most sensitive. I, for one, do not like it when people touch my face because you never know how clean their hands are and what oils/dirt they are bringing to your face.PicsArt_1424011239247-300x228
  • Always take a look at the hair/bristles of the    make-up brush —  as a professional, it is our duty not to use one make-up brush on two faces without sanitising it! Are there remains of make-up on the brush  before it has even touched your skin once? If so, then ask your make-up artist how and when was the brush last cleaned. If they say yes but you are unconvinced, a good way to test is to ask them to rub it on a plain tissue and see if any product comes off onto the tissue. (However, there are times when there is a permanent colour on the brush from makeup that does not come off even when washed!)
  • How are eye pencils and mascaras sanitised before being used on different clients? The only way that we can sanitise any eye liner/pencil (also lip liner) is to have it sharpened and then cleaned with at least 70%+ alcohol. This is done usually by dabbing some of the alcohol on to a tissue and then wiping the product with it. This sanitises the product and makes it brand new for the next client. However, for mascaras, the first time a make-up artist double dips the wand into the product, the whole product is unsanitised! The only way to keep a mascara clean is to use disposable wands. From my browsing through makeup stores here, I have unfortunately found no place that sell these. A viable solution to this would just simply be to carry your own mascara.
  • PicsArt_1424022552487-300x168How do we use lipsticks/stains on various clients?  The most hygienic way to keep lipsticks and lip stains sanitised is to use a palette knife to scrape off some of the colour and use a brush to apply it. This would mean that there would be no contact from a clients mouth to a make-up product that has been used by numerous other clients as well!
  • How are powder products sanitised?  With any form of a powder-based product (eye shadow, blush, finishing powder etc.) the top layer of it is wiped with either a paper towel or a tissue. This helps to remove any excess oils that have been left there through use and sanitises it for the next person.
  • Is the work area clean and are the products stored properly? This is usually a great indicator in seeing how much importance a make-up artist gives to sanitation and hygiene.

Of course, working with make-up gets messy  but at the start of an appointment do take a look at how clean the work area is. Make-up artists are all about improving appearances and should set an example with their own!

Alezeh Adil is a graduate from the Yorkville School of Makeup and Aesthetics. Toronto, Canada. She has worked as a make-up artist in the local film and fashion industry.