Hair, Makeup and Styling Blog


There will be a huge sigh of relief from the film, TV and media industries when Hair and Makeup Artists are back on set from 4th July (assuming Boris doesn't change his mind again). Models will no longer have to contour their own cheekbones, politicians won't need to wipe their own brows and the celebs on Strictly Come Dancing won't be left all alone with the tanning mitt. However, this is the start of a new normal. So what will change apart from even more distanced air kissing? JOY GOODMAN, who has been one of the top London Hair and Makeup Artists agents for decades, takes us behind the new squeaky clean scenes.


Image: Hair & Makeup by Amanda Clarke

How have the coronavirus health restrictions affected Hair and Makeup Artists?

Our artists have been totally unable to work, the same as hairdressers, beauty therapist and nail technicians. They are all self-employed and have, so far, only had one payout from the government in three months of no income. 

How prepared are they for new health guidelines when they start working again?

All their kit, whether makeup or hair, will be totally sanitised. They will have to be prepared to throw away or totally disinfect brushes and sponges after each makeup session. They have visors, masks and gloves. And also Barbicide certificates.

What is a Barbicide certificate?

Barbicide was launched in 1947 in New York and has represented the industry standard for safe services in salons and barbershops for more than half a century, committed to educating beauty industry professionals to ensure they are providing a safe service. They have created a course on line designed to present the most current information that is pertinent to the Professional Beauty Professional with a certificate to show the artists' dedication to infection control in their working environment.

What sort of changes will there be for Hair and Makeup Artists in studios?

Everyone will have to sign health declarations, drive themselves to locations (or not share cars) and have temperature checks at the studio, TPS Today Photo Studios, one of the first production companies to re-open in the UK, has these new operating guidelines for Hair and Makeup Artists:

  • All those present need to wear mask and gloves.
  • Hair and make-up stations to be placed at least two metres apart.
  • Use of clear plastic screens between work stations whenever possible.
  • Increased sanitiser use and monitoring. 
  • Artists must confirm that all their EQ has been sanitised prior to shoot.
  • Try to limit and restrict chair time (shave at home etc).
  • No food or drink at the stations.
  • When possible, reduce number of hair/make-up changes.
  • Hair, make-up and styling to stand off set in designated areas two metres away from any other crew members (changing to one metre after 4th July). 

Also, from STV Productions there are these extra precautionary guidelines:

  • HMU to use disposable kit where possible.
  • Kit to remain unique to each artist.
  • Talent to do their own touch ups where possible.
  • Enhanced PPE to include visor and covering suit eg for wardrobe or HMU needing to attend to talent.

And what about wardrobe as in Fashion stylists?

Our Fashion Stylists have been able to work remotely by sending their selected wardrobe to the 'talent' for them to try on at home and send back photos. The new normal will be for models/celebs/presenters to dress and accessorise themselves on location or in the studio as instructed by the stylist, who will wear a mask and gloves during fittings and stay the required distance away unless styling adjustments are essential on set.

Could the world survive without Makeup and Hair Artists and Stylists?

While our Makeup Artists draw the most precise eye-liner flick on a model for a cover and our Fashion Stylists dress a celeb in the perfect camera-worthy gown for the red carpet, they are also promoting the global beauty and fashion industries, which many in the world depend on for work, be it farming the coconuts for lip balm or selling handbags on Fifth Avenue. So, yes our Hair and Makeup Artists and Stylists are essential to support and promote these industries.  

How do you see the future?

In the short term it might be about sanitising makeup brushes but the more significant future is embracing more natural and ethically-sourced ingredients and environmentally-friendly products. The current role of the beauty industry is not only to protect each other from Covid-19 but, essentialy, to protect the beauty of the planet.