Hygiene is the most important thing when it comes to makeup, and is definitely one thing everyone should look for in a makeup artist.
I can't begin to tell you the amount of horror stories I hear from client's and colleagues relating to "makeup artists" who don't use disposables and who double dip things like mascara and gel eyeliner! Not to mention applying lip glosses straight from the tube! YUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Disposables are SO important, especially when it comes to mascara. Mascara is a haven for bacteria, which is why you should NEVER double dip mascara or share your mascara with anyone. I only use disposable mascara wands – one dip and once the product is used the wand is thrown into the bin. The last thing I want is to potentially spread an eye infection from one client to another.
All brushes and beauty blender sponges should be cleaned and sterilised between clients as well. I always factor in 5 or 10 minutes of time between my clients so that I can clean all my brushes with an alcohol-based cleaner which kills any bacteria and makes the brush sterile for the next person.
Makeup artists should also use a medium like a tile or palette for decanting products before application. If the back of the hand is used, the hand must be cleaned and sterilised with a product like Aqium. I personally use a tile, so some product is decanted onto the tile using a spatula, and then the product is applied to the face using the necessary brushes and sponges. Once that client's makeup is finished, the tile is washed and sterilised using medical-grade steri-strips ready for the next client.
Fingers should never be placed into a makeup product, like a cream foundation or blush. Your fingers contain bacteria that will then contaminate the product. Always use a spatula to decant, even when you are just "testing colours". I use beautician sticks which look like paddle-pop sticks, as it's easy to just throw them in the bin once the product is decanted.
As far as personal makeup goes, of course you can be less stringent, but brushes should still be cleaned and sterilised often to prevent the growth of bacteria.
Makeup Artistry by Rebekah