How to Stay Healthy While Working with Your Wedding Hair and Makeup Artist

Follow these wellness tactics, according to the pros, to practice safety during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

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Photo: O'Malley King

The spread of COVID-19 has impacted so many wedding elements—big or small—from the guest list to the table settings. And while vaccines have made gatherings safer, there are still some practices to continue as you prepare for your celebration. Safely interacting with your vendors, for example, should still be a top priority, and that's particularly true when it comes to your makeup artist and hairstylist. You and your bridal party will inevitably be in close proximity to these professionals as they work their magic. Ahead, bridal makeup and hair experts explain how to keep yourself, your attendants, and your wonderful vendors safe during this part of your big day.

Vet your vendors.

Safety should be a priority for everyone: your guests, your vendors, and your bridal party. To ensure your hair and makeup experts—who arguably get the closest to you on the big day—are properly prepared, Shani Gailbreath, a professional makeup artist, hairstylist, and the owner of Canvas + Coif, suggests asking these types of questions to their artists: How do you clean your brushes and items in your kit? Do you use a spatula and pallet for applying liquid and cream makeup products? Do you carry enough makeup brushes so that each client will have a fresh new set? Do you use disposable items, such as mascara wands and sponge wedges? Will your team wear a mask if there is an immune-compromised person in the room? Do you clean hair tools between events?

Ensure safety practices are in place.

Both Marvin Alexander—a professional makeup artist, hairstylist, and the founder of Marvin Alexander Bridal—and Gailbreath's teams keep freshly washed and sanitized hair and makeup kits in addition to maintaining other safety practices (that were in place long before the pandemic hit). Alexander says he cleans his work station with disinfectant wipes before getting ready to work with a client and only works with one client at a time in a shared space. Both makeup and hair professionals note that they wash their hands in-between working with each guest, spray products with alcohol-based cleansers before and after each use, use disposable products, don't double dip, and have a clean set of brushes for each guest.

But it's a two-way street: The bride and her 'maids need to ensure their own wellness, too. "Wedding parties can help keep everyone safe by knowing their COVID status and not attending or canceling services if they aren't feeling well," Alexander suggests. Plus, respecting the space of the working artists is necessary, so touching and browsing their belongings is off limits. Alexander and Gailbreath also let their clients know of their vaccination statuses, get tested for COVID-19 regularly, and wear masks when requested.

Do your part.

"We understand it is an exciting time for folks finally able to get married after the delays of 2020 and even 2021; we are just as excited to be working," Alexander says. "With all the excitement, it is important to remember do to your part, including getting COVID tests prior to the wedding, requesting vaccination from vendors, and booking a space that has enough room to accommodate your bridal party and the glam team when getting ready." Gailbreath adds that practicing sanitary habits are always necessary outside of the context of coronavirus. "Makeup artists can pass seasonal flu, pink eye, oral sores, bacteria that cause acne, and other skin infections," she says. "Hairstylists can also pass lice from client to client if they are not properly cleaning tools." She suggests that clients ask about these experts' safety practices and research potential artists for their wedding even after emerging from the pandemic.

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