A Queensland makeup artist has called for industry reform after an Aussie model contracted Golden Staph from dirty makeup brushes while working.

ICYMI, we published an interview with Sydney model Anthea Page, who picked up the v. serious (and potentially life-threatening) infection from a dirty makeup brush at Fashion Weekend 2016, forcing her to cancel or reschedule the next month’s worth of bookings and narrowly avoiding a trip to the hospital.

Now a well-known makeup artist – who wishes only to be identified as Lisa – has called for fashion show organisers to hire extra staff to ensure proper hygiene standards are met.

“Fashion shows need to have extra hands on deck for cleaning makeup tools,” she wrote on Facebook. “It’s unreasonable to put such pressure on the makeup artists to ‘pump them out’ without having time to clean their equipment.”

“The makeup artists are under so much stress at these events and are rarely treated like the goddesses they are! If it weren’t for the makeup & hair girls, there would not be a show. It is up to the designer or organiser to employ trained ‘helpers’. This may mean they need twice as many MUAs – one to apply, one to clean to industry standard.”

Lisa told PEDESTRIAN.TV that when she worked at shows eight years ago (since then she’s worked in a private capacity) she would often be in a position where she’d have 10–15 faces to do and only 15 minutes for each one, leaving not a lot of time for cleaning.

“I’ve got [cleaning] down to about 10 minutes, but you often don’t have the time to do that in a show,”
she told us, adding that she has an almost “OCD thing” about cleaning brushes properly. 

“With the cleaner, you either spray it onto the brushes or you dip the brushes into it, so it’s wet for a good five minutes.”

CEO of the Hair & Beauty Industry Association (HBIA) Sandra Campitelli also expressed the time pressures on makeup artists to us earlier this week, encouraging individuals to be unafraid to question the cleanliness of an artist’s equipment.

For its part, a spokesperson for Fashion Weekend told P.TV it provided everything necessary for the artists to keep their tools safe and hygienic.

“I can confirm that the freelance makeup artists that were contracted to apply the makeup looks for the show were provided with all the tools necessary to provide the most hygienic service possible and to keep their brushes and implements clean including disposable makeup wands, cotton buds, disinfecting alcohol for brushes, brush cleaner, wipes and hand sanitiser,” she said.

“It is unfortunate that Anthea Page contracted an infection and we wish her a speedy recovery.”

If you missed Anthea’s original post about her experience, you can read it in full below.

A letter to makeup artists and those getting their makeup done… I’m not going to sit here pretending I don’t like modelling or isn’t awesome because it really is and I do almost always have fun on jobs. Models have it good most of the time, especially in Australia however there are health/hygiene risks involved for models and anyone using testers or getting their makeup done people can overlook. I have just been on a fashion show job for the past 4 days and unfortunately even though I had observed unhygienic practises and confronted the qualified artists (who I will not name) I still ended up taking home a nasty eye infection from fashion weekend. I do feel my safety concerns were dismissed as if it was part of my job to put up with these unhealthy conditions. My message is not intended to critique the women who I trusted with my eye and skin health but to raise awareness of importance of hygiene practises amongst artists. If you are getting your makeup done or using any testers, check everything has been cleaned to your standard even if someone scoffs at your concerns. This is not my first time receiving an ailment from a dirty makeup brush and unfortunately in my line of work I doubt it will be the last but please be aware of this if you ever come close to a makeup kit so you can keep yourself safe and healthy. ?? Ps – It been diagnosed as a staff infection by the doctor and I’m now on medication ???? #unretouched #nofilter #fuckingsick

A photo posted by ?????? (@anthea_page) on

Photo: Instagram / Anthea Page.