BY STAFF REPORTER
AND , CONTRIBUTING REPORTER
As a result of COVID-19, makeup stores like MAC Cosmetics, Sephora, Ulta Beauty and Macy’s have had to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of their customers.
Delaware entered Phase 1 of reopening on June 1, which lasted for two weeks. Will Mel, a manager at the MAC Cosmetics store at the Christiana Mall, said that during this phase, employees were not allowed to do makeovers on customers. Further, they were disallowed from swatching makeup products on themselves or their customers.
“Phase 2,” characterized by an alleviation of some of the Phase 1 restrictions, began June 15. The state currently remains in this phase.
“Now that we are on Phase 2, we are allowed to swatch [products] only in the back of your hand,” Mel said. “We still can’t do makeovers, which sucks because we’re makeup artists.”
The store’s website features the slogan, “As we welcome you back to MAC, your health and safety are our #1 commitment.” On the landing page, graphics show how MAC will be keeping its customers safe: Social distancing will be maintained, hand sanitizer will be available and the store will be cleaned and sanitized every day.
Self-sampling, where customers can swatch a sample eyeshadow and apply it themselves, is currently suspended. According to Mel, the products must now be sanitized by an employee and put in a sanitized sample container before they are given to customers.
These new rules have had an affect on business.
“Before we were busy, especially on weekends, because we do a lot of makeovers for any special events [like] birthdays, prom,” Mel said. “Any special events, we always do makeovers. So business [has] definitely changed since we can’t do any makeovers at all.”
Regarding the possibility of a second lockdown, Mel expressed concern about the effects it would have on business.
“We still have part-timers in the store that still haven’t come back,” Mel said. “So, if we were to have another shut-down, it would take longer for other part-timers to come back to our store. So it definitely affects us a lot.”
Other makeup businesses are also taking new safety measures with COVID-19. Ulta Beauty is not allowing customers to touch and try out makeup testers. However, they are still offering their salon services with the requirement that customers keep a face mask on. Macy’s has chosen to close their makeup and beauty-related services and has said they will increase their cleaning in “highly touched areas.”
Like Ulta, Sephora’s makeup testers are for display only as well, but they have chosen to go for a more virtual approach. Customers are able to book 30 minute and $30 appointments for a makeup tutorial or skin care consultation on Zoom.