AS lockdown restrictions ease, more and more businesses are able to return to a new kind of "normal".

With the recent news that beauty salons could reopen, many working in the beauty industry rejoiced, believing they too could get back to work.

However, the guidelines for those allowed to open has highlighted that many services, such as eyelash extensions and make up application cannot go ahead due to safety guidelines of having full PPE worn at all time.

So a few people can't get their make up done. Big deal right?

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Some of Jen's work

Well yes, it is. Because the industry is made up of business owners, many of them women, and for them these guidelines mean they cannot return to work.

Many people across the country have criticised the restrictions, which prevent almost all facial treatments except beard trimming - despite it requiring practitioners to get closer to a person's mouth without a PPE mask on.

One such makeup artist is Jen Hunter in Rainford, whose work has been featured in music videos and on the catwalk stages and own her own studio in Ranford, Spectrum.

She argues that 'beauty' services for men such as beard trimming, which is currently allowed at barbers, cannot be done with PPE being worn by the client.

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Jen at work

She said: "All of those who work in the beauty industry have to work to strict hygiene guidelines in a normal setting anyway and are trained to the highest standard.

"So for services such as basic make up application to be not allowed but beauty services for men being given the green light it shows a lack of female representation in government.

"It is not necessarily the priority that people cannot have these services, though I'm really excited to see my clients again, but it's the business owners, like me, left unable to work even with strict PPE visors and going above our usual high standards of hygiene for ourselves and our clients.

"I do not think this is necessarily intentional, that mainly women business owners in the beauty industry are unable to work but that barbers are, but maybe the lack of women making these decisions in Government has resulted in this?

"It's the make up artists and lash technicians and beauty therapists in business who are struggling.

"The beauty industry as a whole is a huge part of the UK economy, but limitations are placed on those fully trained and qualified to work in top hygienic settings, yet other venues that are not held to those standards usually are allowed to reopen with restrictions? It just hasn't been thought through at all."

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Vicky King


Another person affected by these restrictions is Vicky King, a make up artist who owns Glamorama Makeup, and specialises in bridal makeup for clients across the North West, added: "When that blanket statement about the beauty industry being reopen again I thought hallelujah, it's been tough during all of this and immediately I sent all my loyal clients a text saying my new times and availability.

"Then within 30 minutes someone told me about those restrictions and I realised I couldn't return to work and had to text them all back and tell them.

"I was in floods of tears.

"I know that safety is of the upmost priority as it should me, but those in the make up and beauty industry are constantly having to keep everything clinically clean, we are trained in hygiene and health and safety and would of course listen to any demands for PPE and I know I have my equipment ready to go.

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Vicky at work


"I'm thrilled for those with jobs in the industry that are allowed to work, but the rules are not fair because if we cannot give a service without PPE being worn, then why can beard trims take place, but lash extensions or make up application on eyes, where you can still wear a PPE mask on your mouth not go ahead?

"It is sexist, against the people receiving those treatments and the the business owners providing them.

"It's also preventing new business, any clients who had to postpone their weddings, I have of course moved their dates, but without new work coming in I cannot get more money, and I'm already limited on dates due to rearranging cancelled dates due to the pandemic."