Resilience unites us: adapting our industry in 2021

Guest blog by Alana Pignatiello

In a time where our industry has been bitterly let down by governments in the UK, Alana impassions us to stand together, think creatively, and overcome our biggest career hurdles.

In March 2020, when we went into our first lockdown, I don't think any of us thought we would be back here again nearly a year on. In the beginning, when everything shut, everything was cancelled and we were all sent home, I remember so many industries worrying about how they were going to get through this 2 week lockdown! A lockdown that ended up lasting months and decimating so many business and industries. Many industries found a way to coexist with corona, restaurants put up partitions between tables, shops enforced social distancing but one industry that has not been able to return to normal in any sense of the word is the makeup and beauty industry. We have been totally abandoned with very little support from our government. Instead of helping us they have told us to retrain; See that job you spent years training in and building into a successful business that pays taxes? It's not good enough now so go and find something else to do.

“Weddings, night out makeup, TV gigs and much, much more are all gone. All income, gone”

The rage that rippled through the beauty industry when those adverts came out was palpable. I am a makeup artist and makeup artistry lecturer that lives in Scotland. Since March 2020, I have not been allowed to do makeup on another person's face unless they have a mask on and I am standing to the side or behind them, we all know that's impossible, don't we? So basically, makeup artists have not been able to work. I made the best of being stuck at home with only my own face to work on and ended up having lots of fun doing it. I got 15 minutes of fame from something that made people smile and I'm happy it did. I am also very lucky as I am still employed by my college and I am still able to teach my students. However, all demonstrations are done on me. Other makeup artists, in Scotland anyway, have been unable to work for nearly 11 months! Weddings, night out makeup, TV gigs and much, much more are all gone. All income, gone.

“We are an industry mainly dominated by women; strong, feisty women and we won't be defeated”

Many have used their amazing talent and ingenuity to come up with ways of continuing to earn money during this time, whether its doing lessons online or using other skills they have like baking or crafting to start a small business to see them through. Ultimately, we all want to be able to go back to what we trained to do and love to do which is makeup on other people! When will that be able to happen? Who knows. The government don't seem to value our industry so I doubt it will be anytime soon. We are an industry mainly dominated by women; strong, feisty women and we won't be defeated. If we continue to support each other in any way we can and don't lose our passion for the industry we love we will be able to claw our way back from this and reap the rewards when it is finally open again.

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