A very important part of being a professional artist that is often overlooked is working in a clean and sanitary manner. This relates to how you interact with your clients, how you work with your products, and how you keep your kit.
While I am not an expert, I have learned quite a bit about sanitation and always try to be on the ball to keep myself and my clients safe. Because let's be honest, when you apply makeup you are coming in very close contact with not just skin, but mucus membranes, and body fluids. Using disposable applicators for some items and always having both clean tools and clean products is key! My favorite site for buying disposable products in bulk is Qosmedix because they have a large selection and the cheapest prices I've found.
So how do we make sure we are keeping everything sanitary? Here are my top tips for keeping it clean.
- The first thing you should do when beginning a job is wash your hands! I also like to follow up with hand sanitizer in front of the client. Be sure to avoid the very fragrant kinds as they can be quite irritating to some people. Additionally I clean my hands between each client.
- Keep all your products clean! You should arrive to every job with a clean kit. This means your bottles, eyeliners, palettes, and even your zip bags and containers are as clean as possible inside and out. They shouldn't be caked in powder, splattered with liquids, or have loose pencil shavings hanging out. It doesn't send a good impression and clients will wonder if they should trust the product you're applying to their eyes if it comes out of a dirty bag.
- Clean your brushes! It's sad how common it is to see artists show up with brushes encrusted in old products and then just start using them on their new client. *Shudder* Between every job used brushes should be given a deep clean. There are tons of brush cleaners on the market at every price point so there is no excuse for this! Personally I like Dr. Bronner's Bar Soap for deep cleaning. I like the lavender scent but they have plenty to choose from. I then follow up with spritzes of 70% alcohol. Additionally, while on a job you should either have multiple sets of brushes or use a quick drying cleaner between individual clients. I like Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner because of its vanilla scent, but again there are plenty to choose from depending on your preferences.
- Scoop out or dispense cream and liquid products! You should never be going back and forth with your brush into a cream or liquid product. Once you do, you've forever contaminated that product as bacteria will start to grow. This goes for everything from cream highlights and blushes, to concealers and foundations, to gel and liquid liners, to lipsticks and glosses. Using a spatula, whether stainless steel or disposable, scoop out a small amount of the product onto a palette or the back of a clean hand and work from that. Liquids can be pumped or squeezed in the same manner. Paw Palettes are great because they fit on your wrist or fingers and it's one less thing for you to hold!
- For foundation you can use clean tools or disposable sponges. I always purchase the latex free sponges since the allergy is fairly common. There are also disposable lip brushes and lip gloss wands if you haven't depotted your lipsticks and have non-squeeze tube glosses.
- Use mascara wands! If an artist tries to use mascara straight out of the tube using the brush it comes with, back away quickly unless it is new and they plan to give you the whole tube! You should always use disposable wands for mascara on clients. If you need to get more mascara after the fist coat, you need to use a new wand each time you dip into the tube. There are too many things, from infections to eyelash mites, that could be transferred from person to person and you would never want to risk someone's eyesight! There are all types of wands on the market now. From traditional, to silicone, to unique shapes and even lower lash wands. They only cost pennies each when buying in bulk.
- Eye, Lip, Brow and any other pencils should be cleaned and sharpened between clients. Spray the pencil with 70% alcohol, spray your sharpener with the same alcohol, and then give it a few twists to remove that top layer of product.
- Powder products generally do not need to be dispensed as you would creams because there is no liquid for bacteria to grow in. However giving them a wipe down with a tissue once in a while, or if you prefer a spritz of something like Beauty So Clean, isn't a bad idea.
Those are my basic tips for keeping a sanitary kit. Hopefully these will help newer artists set themselves on the right path and help clients identify potential artists from which they should steer clear. Your clients and your products will thank you for maintaining a clean kit and it will set you apart from other less hygienic artists.
Until next time,
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