Thursday, October 5, 2023

COVID-19 Wedding Hair and Makeup

This article is part of our Planning a Wedding in a Pandemic: Covid-19 series.

We know it can be a scary time to undertake big projects now, what more with megaevents like your own wedding?!

Yet, there are still many who have chosen not to abandon their big plans. As the outlook of the pandemic continues to evolve, couples and vendors alike have learnt to take it in their stride and modify their ways of doing around the circumstances.

In this series, we attempt to give you a glimpse of what is in store for you. We break down what you can expect as you go about sourcing for your wedding vendors in a safe and (still) exciting manner. You will find out what has remained the same since pre-COVID-19, what has changed and what to anticipate as we begin a new form of normalcy.


We began this series with wedding gown shopping (which you can read more about here and here) and continuing with the flow of wedding looks, we spoke to veteran hair and makeup artist team, The Make Up Room.

Featured Professionals:

The Make Up Room is founded by two very good friends Bobbie and Jyue Huey. For more than a decade, they have helped countless brides walk down the aisle as their best selves. Their approach to hair and makeup speaks to many who want an effortless and au naturel look. Not only do they win these brides over with their professional skills, but they also touched each of them with their dedication and commitment to their craft and client. Brides feel safe in their capable hands so it is not a surprise that they are the ones people in the wedding industry themselves will go to for their own wedding!

So, who better to consult during these strange times than the ones who have always put their client’s best interest at heart?

For easy navigation, click through here:

What Has Remained the Same?

Makeup looks and hygiene standards.

For one, even though weddings are scaled-down and brides are going for simpler gowns, makeup looks have stayed the same.

Even though brides are required to wear a mask, we have not had any brides requesting for more elaborate eye makeup because of that. Brides are still going for a more coherent look because they can remove their mask during photo-taking.

Jyue Huey, The Make Up Room

The Make Up Room has always upheld a very high standard of hygiene. For the most part, hygiene practices have remained the same with the addition of other measures to further heighten the level of sanitation in their studio.

All along, our brushes are always clean and during each use, our tools are never in direct contact with our products. We transfer the product onto a palette before picking it up with a brush or tool to apply onto the client. After each use, we ensure that all products and tools are cleaned and/or sterilized.

Bobbie, The Make Up Room

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What Has the Make Up Room Done to Cope With the Regulations?

Heightened sanitation standard and special masks for brides on wedding day.

Wedding hair and makeup
Photo courtesy of The Make Up Room

With a biomedical background, Jyue Huey, more than most of us, recognizes how germs and viruses spread through cross-contamination. This understanding serves as key guiding principles when additional measures are being implemented at The Make Up Room.

We got a UV Tower before the pandemic and finally got to using it now. We use it to sterilize the whole studio after each session. For our products, especially the powdered ones, we put them into a UV sterilizer to ensure the surface is clean. Tools and brushes are cleaned, sterilized and sealed to ensure they remain clean before the next use.

Jyue Huey, The Make Up Room

Besides ensuring hygiene standards, The Make Up room also provides special face masks for their brides on the wedding day. To minimise makeup disturbance, The Make Up Room put on disposable face masks without a nose wire and has a convex shape to allow some space between the face and mask surface. Brides will wear this in between travelling or any idle time before the start of their celebration.

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What Are Hair and Makeup Studios Doing Now?

Adhering to prevailing regulation and switching to disposable tools albeit at the expense of sustainability. Due to the nature of the job, safety is still paramount.

At The Make Up Room studio, the list of safety precaution seen everywhere else can also be expected. For instance:

  • Clients and accompanying guests must check in via SafeEntry
  • TraceTogether has to be activated
  • Temperature will be taken
  • A limit on the number of persons allowed for each session – each bride can only be accompanied by up to 2 persons

In The Make Up Room’s case, they also practice the following for extra precautions:

  • An interval of 1-hour is put in place between sessions to ensure enough time for the room to be sanitized and sterilized
  • Only a maximum of 2 trial sessions can take place at any one time because of the studio’s size.
  • Switching to disposable options for tools that are non-washable e.g. mascara wands, and disposables are individually packed.

We try not to do this as far as possible but in view of safety, we have to switch to disposable options for certain tools that can’t be properly sanitized. For example, mascara wands. Our Q-tips are also all sealed in little plastic sleeves to ensure utmost cleanliness. Because the nature of our work revolves around the face, we’re very aware of how a single misstep could lead to undesirable consequences so we have to be extra careful. There is always a trade-off between staying safe and being environmentally conscious and we hope things get better as we move along.

Bobbie & Jyue Huey, The Make Up Room

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How Has the Hair and Makeup Industry Reacted to the Pandemic?

Guidelines are provided by industry associations, but no accreditation program is implemented yet.

Wedding hair and makeup
Photo courtesy of The Make Up Room

The Hair and Cosmetology Association (HACOS) has set out a list of guidelines that practising makeup artists and hairstylists are recommended to follow. We do reference it to make sure we have the safety measures in place.

Bobbie, The Make Up Room

It is heartening to see that industry associations have also stepped up to provide guidance during this period of uncertainty. For the beauty industry that is largely made up of freelancers and small businesses, these guidelines are very much needed to help industry players navigate the current landscape. No accreditation program or a common Code of Ethics per se has been implemented at this point, however. Brides-to-be will have to exercise more diligence when sourcing for a makeup artist and to ask about safety guidelines the artists have put in place.

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What Should Brides Take Note of When Sourcing for Hair and Makeup Artist? How Should They Prepare for Their Hair and Makeup Trial?

Find someone you trust and is comfortable with and do some research on your preferred looks and style to share with the artist.

The Make Up Room believes strongly in individuality and personal style. In Jyue Huey’s words, “for someone who does their own makeup every day versus someone who rarely puts on makeup, what is considered a natural look can be very very different.”

Therefore, for something as personal as this, how should brides-to-be begin the process of looking for a makeup artist? Here are some simple tips from Bobbie and Jyue Huey:

  1. Ask the people you trust
    Chances are the people you hang out with have similar taste and preferences. So, ask your best girlfriends who they got as their bridal makeup artist and if they’ve got any recommendations and reviews they could share. Hearing their first-hand experience will save you a lot of time searching from scratch.
  2. If needed, arrange for a trial session
    Once you’ve shortlisted your preferred artist, arrange for a trial session if you’d prefer for that. We got to agree that social media portfolio may not always be 100% accurate so for a safer bet, schedule for a trial session with your artist to talk through the looks you want and see if you fit with his/her style.

    Prepare for the trial in advance by saving and sharing some of the bridal looks you like so it gives your artist a better idea.

    Take photos after the trial to confirm the look. This helps you and helps the artist to remember and ensure expectations are aligned.

We try our best to talk to brides and to truly get to know them and understand their style and everyday life so that we can design the most suitable look for them.

Bobbie, The Make Up Room

The Wed Mag Tip:
If you have confirmed your makeup artist without a trial, that is fine as well. To feel more assured, arrange for one with your artist when you’ve confirmed your wedding gown and bring a picture of it along so your artist can recommend the most suitable look that complements the gown. The same goes for any bridal accessories you would like to wear for the special day!

It is important that you find someone you can comfortably converse with and whom you trust. It comes down to being able to communicate and align both of your expectations😉

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How Should Brides Prepare for the Big Day?

Ask your artist! Different artists has different ways to deal with this art form.

Wedding hair and makeup
Photo by 39 East Photography, Eng Hong, courtesy of The Make Up Room

Speak to your artist! Hair styling and makeup is after all a form of artistry so each artist will have their own approach to this. For instance, some artists prefer for their client to wash their hair a day prior while others prefer for them to do it the morning of the wedding, sometimes without a hair conditioner. So always check in advance!

Brides should also always convey their intention to dye their hair in advance. Likewise, for any treatments such as eyebrow trimming, tinting or eyelash extensions. Different artists have different preferred ways of dealing with these and will be able to provide better advice based on individual cases. Some of them may even offer these as add-on or complimentary services to their package.

For instance, The Makeup Room will schedule brides for eyebrow trimming a day or two before the wedding day.

Days leading up to the wedding can also be the most stressful and it is not uncommon for brides to start breaking out.

The thoughtful ladies at The Make Up Room has paired up with DrGL to include two sessions of facial treatment in their package for whenever the bride and groom need a break. If neither of you are facial people, the sessions can be gifted to your mums or bridesmaids or whomever you like.

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This has truly been an eye-opening interview for us here at TWM. The amount of work that goes behind the scenes to ensure safety standards are in place is definitely new to us. Yet we don’t deny that this is something necessary as the artist’s canvas is literally an individual’s face – the entryway for nasties to enter one’s system. At this point, the wedding beauty industry is still very much unregulated so we do hope this article provides some guidance on the kind of questions brides-to-be can ask their artist. And we hope it wouldn’t be too distant in the future that an accreditation program can be put into place to aid brides-to-be in sourcing artists with a peace of mind.

Feature image – Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

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