makeup sanitation and disinfection 101

So why is sanitation such a big deal? Well let me ask if you would sleep in a hotel room that wasn't cleaned prior to you using it? Think about it... a professional's kit comes into contact with up to hundreds of faces yearly. Furthermore, each makeup application comes into contact with the tear ducts, dead lip skin, saliva, tears, dead skin cells, acne infections, open skin acne, etc. Improper sanitation causes anything from acne, pink eye, the common cold, flu, cold sores, hepatitis and so on.

What should I see during my makeup application for proper sanitization?

70% Isopropyl Alcohol is used to sanitize products, tools, the work surface, and the entire kit including every product after the service is complete. For lipsticks in tubes or any cream stick makeup the product should be sprayed with 70% alcohol then wiped down with tissue before being scooped with a sanitary spatula onto a palette. Brush handles should also be wiped down with this or a Clorox Wipe before being deep cleaned. 70% is more effective than 90% since the latter evaporates too quickly to be as efficient at killing bacteria.

Proper sanitation requires scooping with a clean spatula or disposable then applying to a palette. Spatulas can be stainless steel, sprayed with alcohol then wiped down between each color. Palettes can be stainless steel. You may also see palette paper or disposable spatulas being used between clients to save time from cleaning a metal palette, these used items should be tossed after individual use. If used stainless steel palettes, spatulas, lash curlers, etc. are not being re-used between clients, they need to be discarded in a 'soils' bag to be deep cleaned at a later time.

Does EVERY product need to be sanitized after use?

Cream and liquid products such as foundations, lipsticks, cream blushes, lip pencils, eye pencils, mascaras, etc. are a breeding ground for bacteria due to their dark, warm moist atmospheres. One finger dipped in a concealer palette or one double dip renders the entire palette contaminated and must be thrown away. Never dip a brush directly into cream makeup then re-dip! Powders do not harbor bacteria and have the longest shelf life of all cosmetics. All they require is either a mist of 70% isopropyl alcohol or removing a top layer by gently rubbing the top layer with tissue. Some artists like to scrape their eyeshadows onto a clean tissue before applying so their brushes don't directly contact the pan or when wetting a shadow.

What about the makeup brushes?

You should never see clean brushes mixed with dirty brushes! Brushes should be deep-cleaned prior to your event/appointmen. Never allow any artist to use a dirty brush on you. Never. Ever. Please be on the lookout for this when you sit in their chair. If brushes are being reused between clients, they should be properly sanitized by using a proper brush cleaner with anit-bacterial properties to douse the bristles, remove excess product and douse the bristles again. The handles of these brushes should be wiped with Clorox 99.9% disinfecting wipes or similar prior to being used on the next client. If brushes are not being re-used between clients, they need to be discarded in a 'soils' bag to be deep-cleaned at a later time. Disposables such as lip wands, mascara spoolies, qtips, and wedge sponges are very important and necessary. Just remember disposables are like any other instrument, never double dip. If a wand comes into contact with lips or lashes then back into the tube/ palette the entire tube is contaminated and must be discarded. If an artist does not have any disposables- walk away. This is a serious error and your health is at risk from being in contact with mucous membranes. Beauty Blenders are not reusable between clients! There is no proper way to sanitize and disinfect any kind of sponge and if an artist uses this sponge on you, it should be brand new and thrown away after your makeup service or gifted to you!

How do I know my makeup artist does all these things before I book them?

Do not be afraid to ask about their methods- Ask your prospective artist for a picture of their standard workstation. Ask them what they use for sanitation & their process. If their station before appears haphazard and you don't see the sanitation tools, choose someone else. Professionals take pride in their presentation where budget artists and hobbyists tend to cut corners in several areas, especially sanitation since replenishing is a frequent expense. Any makeup artist will be able to state without hesitation the details of their sanitation process which I described above.

What if I'm in the chair when I notice things are not right?

See something funky during your service? Do whatever it takes to have that person NOT touch your face with their kit. Walk away, pretend you feel a cold sore a-coming, say your dog ate your credit card... Your health comes first and foremost.