How coronavirus is changing the face of the beauty industry

Published: Jun. 2, 2020 at 2:16 PM EDT
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Social distancing orders have forced many people to get creative to make ends meet, including makeup artists. Since many can't meet clients face-to-face, some are now sharing their skills online.

This should be a busy time for California makeup artist Cindy Stirling. From weddings to TV productions, her schedule is usually packed.

"It's been a little bit scary seeing that how busy I normally am during this time and having absolutely nothing on my books," she said.

Stirling decided to take a chance and highlight her talents online, offering donation-based makeup lessons on Zoom. Each virtual lesson lasts about an hour.

"I'll do feature focuses. So one day it'll be the wing eyeliner. Also, I'll do a skin focus. So an anti-aging, what you can do to cover dark spots, age spots, freckling, dark circles," she said.

Adria Lawrence logged on for a private session and found the process to be less intimidating.

"To literally do it in my own bedroom, with my own products was amazing," she said.

Stirling says the move to virtual has been going so well, she added a class for kids, preteens and teens to give parents a break.

It's not just makeup artists who are adapting. Beauty retailers are also focusing on virtual to increase sales during the rise of do-it-yourself beauty care. Beauty and lifestyle expert Sadie Murray says makeup sales are down 20% compared to this time last year.

Stores like Sephora are now relying on digital tools to drive sales. Its virtual makeup artist allows shoppers to try on and create their own looks.

"The major retailers will bounce back because we will always want to look good," Murray said.

Stirling is counting on that. For now, she's embracing technology and the added source of income.

"If this pandemic had never of come about, I probably would never have done this, or not this year, maybe in like five years," she said.

Stirling says her digital lessons could continue post-pandemic.

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