News & Notes

COVID-19 Makeup Protocols

By Carolyn Marie


Makeup artists are usually the first point of contact for talent entering the set. While in the makeup chair, the client cannot wear a mask or other protective face gear to ensure that droplets do not come in contact with the makeup artist, nor can social distancing be adhered to. Therefore, the artist is in an extremely vulnerable position. Ideally, makeup should be done in a separate room or closed off and well ventilated area. If not possible, then a low-traffic area should be used.


Covid-19 Certification is a must. The training includes understanding of proper sanitation and disinfection practices and procedures consistent with current highest industry standards. These standards require that makeup brushes and other tools are not used on more than one client before cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection. Therefore, individually packaged kits for each client to include some disposable tools is best. The use of airbrush makeup when possible, will promote less hands-on contact with the client. Additionally, the use a UVC & ozone sterilizing wand may be an added safety precaution. The wand delivers UVC and UVA to makeup and tools in seconds. UVC is CDC approved and recognized to kill viruses including Covid-19. UVA kills bacteria and fungus. It is also a best practice during Covid-19 to have a master list of all members of the production team, to include contact information, in the event it is needed for contact tracing purposes.

Suggested additions to your Makeup Kit:

• Face Shield
• Face Masks
• Disposable Smocks
• Individual pallet for each client for powders, creams, liquids and other makeup to be applied to avoid cross contamination
• Airbrush kit
• Hand sanitizer
• Surface disinfectant
• Alcohol
• *UVC and Ozone Sterilizing Wand
• Individual sanitized makeup kits containing brushes and tools for each client
• Hand soap
• Disposable gloves
Note: Hair dryers should only be used when absolutely necessary on the set to limit the spread of droplets. Outside is a better option if necessary.

Need from the Producer/Client

• Availability of a non-porous chair or stool. Cloth director’s chairs should not be used because they cannot be sprayed down and sanitized.
• Safety protocols in place to include any necessary testing.
• Minimum of 10 to 15 minutes between clients to clean up, disinfect, and sanitize the chair and work area.
• Number of clients and sex when possible
• Access to hand washing
• Timely notification of shoot date(s) if possible, as well as the number and sex of clients. This will allow time to prepare individual kits for each client. However, have extras for emergencies.

Suggestions to Ensure a Smooth Process

Full production doesn’t start until makeup, hair, and wardrobe is complete. Therefore, here are some suggestions to help get us there smoothly and efficiently.
• Include the makeup artist in part of the production planning process. They can provide scheduling assistance based on what is required to get the talent on the set in a timely manner (hair/makeup/wardrobe). The makeup artist can also determine the amount of time necessary, if they are advised whether the talent is male/female or require any other special considerations.
• Stagger the arrival time of actors based on the shoot schedule. This will also avoid the possibility of personnel lingering around the set or a bottleneck waiting for makeup.
• Have background actors arrive on location with makeup. They can be touched up if necessary.
• If actors have to go to wardrobe, or bring their wardrobe with them, utilize Zoom or some other type of video conferencing to make wardrobe decisions prior to the day of the shoot.
• Allow sufficient time to follow safety protocols.
*The use of sterilization or ultraviolet germicidal irradiation has been found to be extremely effective. UV sterilization can kill over 99% of viruses, bacteria, and fungi in an extremely short amount of time. New experiments suggest that UVC can kill Covid-19. According to the FDA, UV disinfecting devices are devices that use UVA or UVC light to produce a germicidal effect. Currently, there are several portable UVC and UVA sterilizing devices on the market that deliver UVC and ozone to cosmetics and tools. Devices purchased for this purpose should have a sensor to protect the user. It should be one that, if turned sideways or upward, shuts off automatically to protect eyes and skin. Additional information can be obtained on the FDA website.

Protocols provided by:
Carolyn Marie, Makeup Artist –;
COVID-19 Certification from Barbicide; COVID-19 Certification from Safe Sets International

August 24, 2020

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