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May 3, 2020

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Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in Jamaica, the importance of practising good personal hygiene has been stressed, but what has been said about make-up?

I bet you’re wondering, is this even a good time for women to adorn themselves with widely appreciated cosmetic products?

Absolutely! That’s according to Gabrielle Waite, managing director of Gabby Glam Co, Carnival GLAM Hub, and GLAMCON. As a matter of fact, she said that getting glammed up while stuck at home buys you some “you time and will definitely lift your spirits”. And, truth be told, it can ease some of the mental stress, too. You just have to wash your hands first and sanitise your tools when you’re through.

“It’s very important to clean your hands with soap and water before touching your face and handling any beauty product or tool,” the beauty expert told Flair.

Things are different now. That means fingertip application, especially around your eyes, nose, and mouth, is a no-no. You don’t want to increase your chances of getting sick. Instead, she wants you to use disposable tools such as make-up sponges, eyeshadow applicators, and lip and mascara wands.

“Plus, you should avoid double-dipping to reduce the chances of products being contaminated,” she cautioned.

Right now, product contamination is one of the expert’s biggest fears, and she acknowledges how vulnerable her clients and herself are. But she remains optimistic, and you can, too, by simply following the guidelines: washing your hands before applying make-up, avoiding double-dipping, and using disposable applicators.

Sharpening eyeliner pencils and lip crayons before each use to remove the external layer that could have been exposed to the virus is a ritual you could adopt.

“It’s a great idea; however, you also want to ensure you sanitise the sharpener with 99.9 per cent alcohol before using,” Waite said.


First of all, you’ll need antibacterial hand or dish soap, coconut oil, a paper towel, and 99.9 per cent alcohol or rubbing alcohol.

For a quick clean, you could use rubbing alcohol (or 99.9 per cent alcohol). Spray the alcohol on the brush or hand towel, and move the bristles of the brush back and forth until there is no product on the brush and none being transferred to the paper towel.

For a weekly clean, mix your antibacterial soap with a small amount of coconut oil. The oil will condition the brush as the alcohol and bacterial soap can dry and damage the bristles.

Dip the damp dirty brush into the mixture, and swirl the bristles of the brush on a textured brush mat or on the palm of your hand. Then rinse it in lukewarm water.

When rinsing the brush, ensure that you hold it vertically with the bristles facing down. It’s important not to get the base of the brush wet because water will loosen the adhesive that holds the brush together.

Cleaning the handle of the brush is just as important. You can do this by damping the paper towel with alcohol and lightly grazing the handle of your brush against the towel.

Squeeze out the excess water, and lay it flat on a clean paper towel.

If you are unable to purchase disposable applicators, Waite recommends properly storing your brushes and avoiding leaving them out in the open. This is to prevent them from collecting dust or germs.

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