Without its community of beauty professionals, ITG would be pretty darn boring to read. Imagine: ITG with no editorials. ITG with no expert guides, or how-tos, or updates from the cutting edge of beauty—it just wouldn’t be the same. Beauty is intimate, and there’s not a lot of room for physical intimacy in this age of social distancing. So while we wait for better days ahead, please consider supporting beauty professionals from the comfort of your own couch, or bed, or bathtub so they can keep on doing what they’re doing. You know, that thing you love. If you’re not sure where to start, start here:
Support The People You Love
It sure does take a village—"it" being your beauty routine, that is. And if you regularly see an aesthetician, manicurist, colorist or hairstylist, consider continuing to support them through this time. There are a few ways professionals have been making it easier to keep their clients engaged from home.
For some aestheticians, that’s meant making the shift from in-person facials to digital consults and follow-along routines. “Obviously the quarantine has impacted us massively as we can't perform facials right now,” explains Sofie Pavitt, who had to shutter the doors of her Soho studio when New York shut down all non-essential businesses this past Sunday. Pavitt’s team quickly pivoted to online consultations, and her community responded positively. “So far we've booked 36 online consult appointments, and we’re booking three to four more a day moving forward,” she tells us. Other NY-based spas are following suit, with Glowbar founder Rachel Liverman and Rescue Spa’s Diana Yerkes offering skin consultations over video. The opportunity gives you access to the field’s top experts with whom getting a regular appointment usually proves difficult. It’ll also make you feel good.
You can apply the same line of thought to your favorite local beauty pro—reach out and see if they’d be willing to do a consultation or lesson on FaceTime, and offer to pay them their regular rate (or whatever you can afford). For those suddenly finding themselves with no source of income, payment for your consultation can immediately translate into a week of groceries, or a lifted burden of making rent. You can also donate to this fund, created to help cover the living costs of out-of-work hairstylists and aestheticians.
Support The Places You Love
Another way to make sure you can continue seeing your favorite beauty professionals when the dust of COVID-19 settles is to support the places that employ them. Faced with the realities of completely stagnated business for several weeks, small business owners are struggling to make ends meet. Many of them are stuck choosing between continuing to support their employees on paid leave or paying rent on their space. "It broke my heart to temporarily close down Sundays Studios,” says founder Amy Lin, who sent her 50 nail specialists home indefinitely. Lin recently set up a GoFundMe page to directly support them, which you can donate to here. “Most of our specialists are moms or single moms,” adds Lin, “and all of them are very vulnerable. I am persistently searching for ways I can help support them.” Meanwhile, haircare brand Virtue launched their own GoFundMe to support affected hair salons. As of Friday morning, they are still $10K short of their ultimate goal.
Alternatively, you can purchase gift cards to your favorite beauty salons and stores. By paying for a service you were going to get months from now anyway, you help support small business when they need it most—right now. A voucher for a facial, mani-pedi, massage, hair treatment, or makeup lesson is also a thoughtful birthday gift for a now long-distance friend. Or, buy two and plan for a romantic date with your significant other once things return to normal.
And Support Other Artists Currently Struggling
Freelance beauty professionals are arguably the hardest hit group—without a steady job to provide security or insurance, or regular clients for financial support, freelance artists are finding themselves unsure of how to move forward. “It started almost a month ago,” says editorial hairstylist Clara Leonard. “Jobs started getting canceled or pushed back, and then they all just stopped.” Hair and makeup artists who work behind the scenes on runways and photoshoots are dependent on collaboration, which is rendered impossible in an age of social distancing. But people like Helen Reavey, co-founder of Act+Acre, are trying to bridge the gaps by setting up a system to connect editorial pros with a whole new base of clients. “We're in a unique position to support these incredible stylists that have just lost their jobs,” explains Reavey. When you sign up for a hair consultation with Class Act, you get a free session with a hair professional compensated for their time and expertise by Act+Acre. “Hairstylists are special people, and it’s a privilege to hire them to consult with the Act+Acre community.” You can practice how to do the perfect high pony, flat iron waves, or home hair color—and get one-on-one time with a stylist you might not ever get the chance to learn from otherwise.
Another way you can support freelance beauty pros is through donating to this relief fund for NY-based artists and freelancers. With the money they raise, they’re giving out payments of $150 to folks who really need it. There's also Support Creatives, a newly founded nonprofit raising funds to give financial support and mentorship to hair and makeup artists. “I had moved to the city to pursue my dreams as a higher level artist only eight months ago, and things were finally taking off,” explains makeup artist Mollie Gloss. “Being a makeup artist is extremely expensive and hard to succeed in, and I just watched thousands of dollars worth of jobs disappear in a matter of days.” And Leonard adds, “I’m careful with money, but in a couple months I will have blown through my savings. There’s not much else I can do.” If you have a favorite hair or makeup artist whose work has inspired you in print, film, or on the runway, consider donating to a relief fund or reaching out directly to see if they’ll accept support on a payment app. “It’s really special to feel like someone’s looking out for us,” says Gloss. For beauty professionals whose job it is to look out for you, it sure feels important.
Photo via ITG.