Open Forum

keeping make up sanitized

  • 1.  keeping make up sanitized

    Posted 3 days ago
    I sent make up kits home with acting students for our upcoming unit on stage make up. The Mehron make up kits will be returned to the school for use with the theater shows. I know how to sanitize the brushes and sponges, but do you worry about germs passing onto the make up as they use it? Like, do they not "double dip" with a sponge or brush? How do you instruct your actors to keep the make up clean? I've never worried about this before but now I'm super germ conscious ... Thanks!

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    Arden Thomas
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  • 2.  RE: keeping make up sanitized

    Posted 3 days ago
    The make-up kits should be used for that student only for hygienic purposes, they should not be shared between multiple students, this is the only way to be safe.

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    Jerry Onik
    V.P. Theatrical Supplies and Equipment
    Heartland Scenic Studio
    Omaha NE
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  • 3.  RE: keeping make up sanitized

    Posted 3 days ago
    Arden,

    Our county health does not allow any sharing of make up or supplies.  Each student is responsible to purchase their own kit and supplies.  Our beloved community theater had an individual passing on pink eye, lice were passed around, and there were some hep. C cases traced to sharing eye make up - or so they claim.  In the I.A make up artists are given "character specific" i.e. person specific make up pack for that individual.  Never is any one allowed to "borrow" make up from another pack - you have to go get new or request the needed item - but under no circumstance is make up allowed to be used "cross character!"  A long story short - Never "double dip" any make up item that has not been sterilized (Hope you own an autoclave or good sanitizing chemicals) or allow it to be so!  This is one area where I am grateful that the county health folks preempted my "choice" and makes me follow "best practices!"  BTW my friends who do movie make up (IA) are all licensed cosmologists now.  Laugh if you will but the level of care of actors is high - and they have few transmission cases of any kind because of their training and adherence to the "person specific" make up!

    See: https://ehs.princeton.edu/health-safety-the-campus-community/art-theater-safety/theater-safety/cast-crew

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    Robert Holter
    Helena High School
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  • 4.  RE: keeping make up sanitized

    Posted 3 days ago
    Arden:  Great to be concerned about safety and health concerns with shared makeup. I agree with Jerry Onik that makeup should not be shared.  Monona Rossol, in her book The Healthy and Safety Guide for Film, TV, and Theater, devotes a chapter to theatrical makeup.  Among other precautions, she notes:  "Never lend your makeup to anyone and never borrow or accept used makeup.", and "Makeup artists need to ensure that their clients' makeup is not shared."
    Take care and stay safe.
    Bill

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    Bill Reynolds (he.him.his)
    Lecturer in Theater Safety & Health
    Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre
    203-314-1543---cell
    Bill.reynolds@yale.edu
    Author: Safety and Health for the Stage
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  • 5.  RE: keeping make up sanitized

    Posted 3 days ago
    I got a letter from the Health department stating unequivocally that unless completely sterilized - No make up brushes or other devices in contact with human skin or hair shall be shared.  "The liability will be with the individual who allows this to happen as you have been warned."  A local community theater made this letter possible - several cases of Lice, pink eye, and allegedly Hep C from eye make up were passed along.

    Nuff said - Never share any make up brushes or sponges without an autoclave - most make up items won't survive that....

    Rob Holter
    Helena High

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    Robert Holter
    Helena High School
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  • 6.  RE: keeping make up sanitized

    Posted 2 days ago
    Bill: Thank you for your contribution to this thread and for sharing your expertise/experience.

      Our district purchased a copy of Rossol's book for each of the Theatre teachers a few years ago and it has been very helpful. From the chapter on makeup, which you mentioned:

    "Group makeup precautions. Makeup artists need to ensure that their clients' makeup is not shared. Cream sticks and lipsticks can be sliced into pieces and put into small containers, labeled with each client's name. Sponges and applicators should be disposable. Powders can be supplied to each in the smallest possible containers. Eyeliners and mascara should not be shared. The water used to moisten pencils or brushes should be changed for each client. Paper cups can be used to make cleaning water containers unnecessary."

    I attended a makeup PD session recently where the importance of not sharing makeup was reinforced. However, they also suggested that in some instances you could use a disposable craft stick to transfer foundation (and/or shadow/highlight etc.) from the makeup container to a separate paper plate for each student, essentially creating individual and disposable palettes.  Each student would also be given their own disposable applicator.  I am curious what your thoughts are on that.

    I was also curious about your thoughts on sanitizing brushes.  The makeup artists in the PD session suggested using a 99% alcohol solution to sterilize brushes in-between uses. Any guidance you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Guy

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    Guy Barbato
    Theatre Teacher/Director
    Leonardtown High School
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  • 7.  RE: keeping make up sanitized

    Posted 2 days ago
    Guy:  Thanks for the follow-up.  I agree with the guidelines to not allow personal care items to be shared.  Since we don't have the means to assure that applicators such as brushes can be fully sanitized, and do not pose a health risk, they should not be shared.

    In addition to the health and safety concerns from the sharing of make up, sponges, and applicators, there is the educational and training aspects of our performing arts programs.   Integrating safety and health practices into curriculum and production activities, whether these be the wearing of hard hats and other PPE, or having individual make up kits, provides an opportunity for programs to more fully prepare students for further education or future careers.

    I can imagine a financial consideration (tight budgets) lending support to purchasing some makeup in quantities to be shared as described. I think this does not model professional practice.  And it may be challenging to provide adequate oversight to assure there is no contamination of the stored makeup products.

    I recommend following the practices Monona describes:  no sharing, small individual quantities of product, and disposable applicators.
    Please stay in touch with other S&H questions.

    Take care and be well.

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    Bill Reynolds (he.him.his)
    Lecturer in Theater Safety & Health
    Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre
    203-314-1543---cell
    Bill.reynolds@yale.edu
    Author: Safety and Health for the Stage
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: keeping make up sanitized

    Posted 2 days ago
    Thank you for all this extremely helpful information!

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    Arden Thomas
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