Self-isolation for make-up artists

Self-isolation for make-up artists

The current global situation with coronavirus is unlike any challenge faced by the industry before. Here at the Academy, we are keeping spirits up and supporting each other as best as possible.

During this time of isolation, many make-up artists and freelancers might feel particularly alone. Job and money uncertainty will create anxiety. Please know we stand with you and will see this storm through together! We have great faith that this time will pass and once it has, the industry will come back fighting, stronger and more robust than ever. Following the 2008 recession, the creative industry bounced back stronger than ever. Our hope is compounded by the number of Netflix, BBC, Amazon Prime, HBO and other networks who have been busy creating huge productions up until very recently.

So, what to do in the meantime?

We have tried to come up with a (lighthearted and helpful) list of activates, that freelancers can do while self-isolating…

1. Relax. Have a bath. Try meditation. Enjoy the time to unwind. We particularly like apps such as ‘Mind Valley’ and ‘Waking Up’.

2. Take a break from social media (where you can). We know just how easy it is to get swept up in the pandemonium of the news (real and fake!) – and it’s not helping our mental health! Switch your phone off for a few hours and go for a walk.

3. Figure out a budget. Open an excel spreadsheet, get down what you have in your account and make a long-term plan. Websites such as have good resources available to help with budgeting at this uncertain time.

4. Stay away from non-essential online shopping – you do not need a novelty onesie or more Revitalash (even if their offers are crazy enticing!). You just need to focus on the basics and communicate with your bank or landlord if you are unable to pay bills. Keep an eye on the government websites detailing various support to people affected. The Chancellor’s recent speech would suggest that the UK government will not allow people to be penalised who are affected by this Pandemic.

5. Practice a lot. Still know how to create that perfect 1940’s victory roll or get hair set in hot rollers in 10 minutes sharp! You probably remember a lot of the theory really well but if it has been 3 months since you last applied a liner or set hair in rollers, its been too long! Your next job may come in to work on a period crowd room and you need to knock out 10 supporting artists before 8.00am, designers will expect you to be up to speed with all techniques.

6. As well as keeping up with your training, look up online tutorials. Lisa Eldridge gives amazing fashion focused tutorials via YouTube and Stuart Bray has some incredible special effects ‘ecourses’.

7. Stay connected with your community. We don’t know how long the self-isolation measures might be in place. Feeling connected is so important for mental health. Send a text to your make-up friends; it could be someone you met on a job or an old friend from college. Simply keep yourself in the loop, it will help when work picks up again. Schedule in Skype calls and Face Time sessions.

8. Work on your CV. When was the last time you updated your CV? It’s not going to be a case of IF the industry picks up again, it will be WHEN! – Designers are going to be crewing up fast and you never know when a CV request might come.

9. Clean your kit! You know exactly how runny gloopy blood will spread.  Shampoo your brushes, polish every product, compact, brush handle and powder puff. Put on some Netflix, set yourself up with some soap water and towels and get to work – we find this task particularly mindful and relaxing.

10. Talking of Netflix – this is a great time for GUILT FREE binge watching on all the platforms we know you have subscriptions to! We suggest the following programs if you’re interested in brushing up on your make-up reference and appreciation – Mad Men, Downton Abbey, Game Of Thrones and the rest!

11. Life admin – This is what my freelancer friends refer to as all personal jobs; odd jobs and bits that get put off because work and finding work is taking priority. Life admin might involve organising your receipts, sorting through a junk draw, completing your monthly budget, chasing an invoice, filling out a tax return. Sort out ALL your paper work. Set aside a couple of hours in your down time to organise, regroup and detox your personal admin.


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