5 Things To Remember When You’re Having Your Makeup Done At A Salon


Whether it’s attending your best friend’s debut, your childhood friend’s wedding or a corporate event that requires you to don your long-forgotten gowns and dresses — you’ll probably be on the lookout (planned ahead of time or at the very last minute) for a make-up artist to transform you Kardashian-style for the big event.

With the abundance of make-up artists and salons with in-house makeup masters, the process seems like nothing but a two-step call-and-book task.

Having had my makeup done in the salon (or by a freelance make-up artist) countless times before, I’m telling you now – it entails much more than just those two steps.

Salon Makeup

I’ve experienced a few mishaps that ended up with a face three shades lighter than my neck, an invisible pair of brows after removing my makeup that night, deer in headlights face shots in flash photography, lipstick smeared all over my face (and my colleague’s clothes! The horror!) and a few more instances that spelled makeup fail in its truest form.

For this entry, I’ll be sharing a few precautionary pointers to avoid walking out of any salon in tears.

1. Make Sure The Make-Up Artist Is Obsessive-Compulsive When It Comes To Hygiene

First impressions count. A dirty makeup kit = a dirty make-up artist. Even before seeing the products themselves, the make-up artist’s storage bag/kit/train case must be clean (or at least look clean) and organized. If you see powders all over, excess cream foundation or concealer where it shouldn’t be… that should serve as a warning sign for what’s to come.

Tools. Those makeup brushes, cosmetic sponges and mascara wands, are the reproductive hotbeds for bacteria. Manhattan dermatologist Julie Karen M.D. has this to say —

“Makeup brushes can accumulate bacteria, dust, and dirt, all of which permit the growth of further bacteria and can aggravate underlying skin conditions like acne. Anything where there is moisture involved—you’re providing a sticky, wet environment that invites bacteria.”

A good make-up artist spot-cleans (with a disinfectant spray) their brushes right after a job as well as right before any other job.


A great make-up artist does that and deep cleans (with an antibacterial wash) when they get home. They even spot-clean in front of their client before a job just to make them feel at ease — that they’re not just sitting idly while being stroked by tools home to bacteria waiting to eat their skin up. *shivers*

Mascara. Real professionals make sure to apply mascara with a disposable wand so as not to keep on using the built-in one on all their clients. Some makeup artists even cut off the tips of their mascara wands just to guarantee that they won’t mindlessly use it on a client.


Lipstick. This is usually applied with a lip brush for hygiene and precision, but for bolder looks — can be applied directly from the tube. Hopefully, the MUA shows you that he/she properly sanitizes it with alcohol before application just to assure you that you’re not taking part in the Sisterhood of the Travelling Lipstick.

Cream Products (in pot). Pros usually have a metal spatula to scoop or scrape out cream/liquid/gel products instead of dipping their brushes (or God forbid, their fingers!) directly into them more than once.

Just like how you don’t like people who double dip when you’re eating, I’m telling you it’s as (or even more!) disgusting when a MUA artist double dips on their makeup products and smears it all over your face.

2. Ask For The Brands The Make-Up Artist Uses


This is just so you know if the professional fee is proportionate to the cost of the products to be used on your face. Also, it won’t hurt to prefer makeup artists/salons who carry brands that use high quality ingredients a.k.a not chalk for their powders so as to reduce your chances of breaking out from low-quality ingredients or flaring out due to skin sensitivity (as well as looking like an espasol ready for a geisha movie).

3. Don’t Be Afraid To Suggest Or Request For A Do-Over

I know that once you’re in a salon, there is this feeling of trust and excitement as you’re sitting there on the makeup chair, void of worries and whatever doubts because you sincerely believe you’re under the hands of a professional.

But once you feel that your face is one shade (or two) too light than your body or that your eyes have shrunk instead of your original plan of wanting to open them up more — say it out loud.

If you don’t want to shave your eyebrows but the MUA insists because it’ll leave your brows looking 100x better, refuse (I can’t count how many times I’ve agreed to this and ended up looking like a ghost once I removed my makeup off because the MUA shaved way too much).

Eyebrows make a huge difference. Photo from bongqiuqiu.

Eyebrows make a huge difference. Photo from bongqiuqiu.

Resist the urge of keeping your opinions to yourself and leaving that salon discomposed all because you were too shy to voice out your opinion.

4. A Real Make-Up Artist Knows How to Contour Like A Kardashian (Or Her Make-Up Artist)

Kim Kardashian Contouring

Of course I didn’t just mention Kardashian-style makeup in the intro just as a fleeting reference. If you want to look your badass best for whatever event it is you’re attending — then the art of contouring will help you fake that best face forward.

Doesn’t matter if you’ve had too much Cheetos the whole week from stress-eating (or marathon-ing Suits all night) hence the bloated everything. Contouring will chisel those chubby cheeks into high cheekbones ready for their close-up. Don’t worry, you won’t look like that above when you walk out of that salon. If your MUA has a Master’s Degree in Contouring, you’ll be sashaying out of there instead looking like this:

Kim Kardashian

5. Practice Due Diligence

Makeup seems like the most trivial thing to do research on but let me ask you — would you want to be remembered as that walking and talking espasol host during your friend’s debut? Or the bridesmaid that wore blue eyeshadow with a clashing red lip? Or the company awardee that looked every part deserving (as you have your deep dark circles and eye luggages to vouch for you) because you didn’t even bother putting makeup on?

With the onset of social media and blogs catered to beauty everywhere (not to mention looloo!) — reviews and referrals by other ladies will easily help you reach the make-up artist who will transform you, red-carpet and close-up ready.

But the failure to look up reviews on a salon or make-up artist? The aftermath might end up teaching you a lesson on why you need to be a more diligent researcher.

Not sure where to start? Here are a couple of good salons in Manila I recommend:

Park Jun’s Beauty Lab (Glorietta & Alabang Town Center)
Emphasis Salon (Rockwell)
Studio Fix by Alex Carbonell (Greenbelt 5)
Jing Monis Salon, Greenbelt 1 and Velvet by Jing Monis, Resorts World Manila
Salon Privat (The Fort)

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About Author

Shari M

Shari is a beauty and skincare enthusiast who's always on the lookout for the next big makeup or anti-aging trend. She left the corporate world to embrace being a mother to her unica hija. When not changing dirty diapers and teaching delayed gratification to her daughter — she writes the latest trends on makeup and skincare on her beauty blog, The Misty Mom.