Pro makeup artist Jordan Liberty is calling out popular Instagram MUAs for poor hygiene practices, saying they could be contributing to the spread of COVID-19.
In a YouTube live stream early this morning, Jordan starts by saying that he’s not making this video to feed into the Coronavirus hysteria, but simply to educate his audience on the importance of proper sanitation in the makeup industry.
“It’s pretty disgusting what happens on Instagram,” he says. “So I want to go through some of the biggest issues with hygiene that we see on Instagram…and share some of the ways that you can prevent spreading Coronavirus and things that you can do just with your makeup regime to be cleaner.”
Jordan says the main issues he sees are Instagram makeup artists using applicators that come with the product, like mascara or concealer wands. He also notes how unhygienic long acrylic nails can be for working MUAs when using their fingers on someone’s face.
Though it obviously looks better for the ‘gram, Jordan explains that by using a wand that comes with the product rather than a single-use applicator, MUAs are putting clients and models at risk.
“The second you do that, if there is contact skin dermatitis, herpes, Coronavirus on the skin, which as we now know, we all agree that’s where it lives— you’re putting that right back in the tube so the next 20 people you do that on, are now exposed to the same bacteria.”
Instead, he suggests taking the wand, rolling it on the back of a metal palette and then pick up the product with a clean brush.
For palette products and lipsticks, Jordan recommends taking a bit of product out with a cosmetic spatula and placing it on the back of a metal palette. He says some MUAs use the back of their hand, which is fine so long as your hands are sanitized. However with Coronavirus spreading rapidly right now, Jordan stresses the importance of being extra diligent.
In terms of brushes, Jordan says he recommends synthetic brushes over animal hair, as they are generally the more hygienic option. “Just make sure if you’re purchasing any brushes or you have any brushes at home, Google them, and find out if they’re antimicrobial coated,” he says, as this will also help prevent the spread of bacteria.
And while using brush cleaner between clients or models can be great, cleaning your brushes with 70% alcohol is even better.
Throughout the stream, viewers were guessing which big Instagram MUAs Jordan was referring to. According to Reddit, Jordan confirmed that fans guessed correctly when they named Patrick Ta and other makeup artists who feature across Charlotte Tilbury and Huda Beauty’s Instagram pages.
The response to Jordan’s cautionary message has been overwhelmingly positive, with many praising the highly-respected MUA for addressing a very important issue in the beauty industry.
In a study by digital app Perfect 365 as reported by Beauty Directory, 63% of consumers claimed to no longer use makeup testers out of hygiene concerns. A study by skincare brand Aromatic also found that at least 36% of people did not know how to, or had never, cleaned their makeup brushes.
Similarly, a 2004 study by Elizabeth Brooks found that between 67-100% of makeup testers over a 2-year period contained bacteria.
Moral of the story? Wash your hands and clean your brushes.