Local beauty industry hit hard by COVID-19

Wani Roslan

The COVID-19 outbreak has affected businesses including those in the beauty industry, especially local make-up artists as they are required to stand close to their clients for a long period.

Clients also had to cancel events like engagements, solemnisation ceremonies and wedding receptions complying with restrictions on mass gathering as announced by the government in early March. Local make-up artist Norisma binti Haji Taha said COVID-19 has affected her business while stressing about the uncertainty of where this is heading to, especially among the self-employed make-up artists.

“Before the pandemic, clients booked slots for wedding make-up from March to December this year. Following COVID-19, about 80 per cent of my clients cancelled their wedding ceremonies,” said Norisma.

She added, “Our make-up artists (MUA) group is worried as most of us are concerned with losing our clients while some had made an advanced payment.” Norisma said her income has also been affected. She said previously she earned a minimum of BND1,000 and a maximum of BND3,000 a month.

Despite certain restrictions being relaxed, she said her business has not been stabilised yet and clients were trickling in for August.

“This might be because most of the newly married couples are only having a simple celebration, the solemnisation held at the Syariah Court and not needing to have MUA services,” she said.

Norisma said she wears a face mask and gloves during the entire make-up process, using hand-sanitiser before and after, and informs the bride or groom-to-be, to avoid a crowd in their bedroom.

“I hope this pandemic will be over soon, not only for our country, but also around the world, and our local MUA can return to business like before. It is heart-breaking to see our self-employed local MUA not receiving any income throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

Another local wedding MUA, Ash Maria expressed similar sentiments where her business is also affected.