Ongoing: How Your Favorite Beauty Stores Are Responding to Coronavirus

Sephora store

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Coachella and Stagecoach are postponed. The NBA has suspended all games for the duration of the season. International sports events are delayed. All travel to Europe is cancelled for 30 days starting Friday, March 13th (coincidentally ominous). And while beauty and self-care is the sugar coating on the medicine, it’s important to stay vigilant when maintaining a personal care routine or shopping for new products.

The novel coronavirus still seems to be an enigma in many ways, which makes it all the more worrisome. Staying informed on facts from the CDC, and taking advice from medical professionals is crucial, as is preventing the spread of disinformation. In response to the pandemic, beauty stores and service industries are taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of clients during this troubling time for health and the global economy. Dr. Nicole Swiner, a general practitioner and family doctor (and Byrdie Review Board member), expressed concern over open-air make-up testers and products. “Given the current state, I would be very cautious about using and re-using any substance or product that is left open.” Dr. Swiner also noted that a virus doesn’t need a live host to survive. "Viruses can live in the air, walls and environment for up to 24 hours after exposure, in some instances, so be very careful.”

Given the current state, I would be very cautious about using and re-using any substance or product that is left open.

Vigilance is not paranoia. Take extra precautions during your day-to-day activities. Invest in an air purifier if you can. Carry anti-bacterial wipes for your hands and car. Be aware when shopping for face and body products, and do not use anything that has been left open to the public.

Here’s what your favorite stores and salons are saying about the safety measures they’re taking to ensure the care of clients and patrons so far.

Updated 3/18:

Sephora

Sephora told us that as of today, they continue to enforce strict hygiene standards all-around, although extra precautions are being taken for the cleanliness of the store. “Employees in all Sephora stores have been instructed to regularly wipe down high-touch areas such as door knobs, counters, registers, refrigerators, sinks, handrails, and restroom stall doors, etc.," a rep for Sephora told us. “We regularly clean and sanitize our products, testers and surfaces to keep our entire community safe and healthy and continue to follow the guidance of health authorities and government officials.”

Stores will remain open, but fees on standard shipping will not apply to online orders for consumers to who wish to stay and shop from home. “As the situation remains fluid, we will continue to assess needs to maintain our client experience in our stores and via our site," the rep said. "In an effort to promote the most inclusive beauty experience and accommodate clients who may wish to shop from home, Sephora will waive all standard shipping fees during the month of March." The brand also reported that in North America, it will temporarily suspended all paid in-store services, make-up applications and classes until further notice. 

Update 3/18: Yesterday, Sephora announced that it would temporarily close all of its retail stores in the U.S. and Canada effective March 17th through April 3rd. They are keeping up free standard shipping on all online orders until stores reopen, and they will continue paying in-store employees for their scheduled shifts.

Ulta Beauty

Ulta stores released this message from their CEO, Mary Dillon. In addition to added sanitation and cleaning of stores, Ulta advised customers interested in sampling or testing products to ask a sales associate. The brand is also encouraging GLAMlab, its virtual makeup try-on beauty tool.

As of today, Ulta stores is maintaining their hair, skin, brow and makeup in-store services, but said they may be temporarily unavailable in unnamed areas.

Update 3/18: Ulta announced that all stores will be closed starting 6 p.m. March 19th until at least March 31st. The notice also said that stores will continue their online purchase pick-up from stores as allowed by city and state quarantine regulations.

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European Wax Center

European Wax Center sent out an email to all customers yesterday detailing their cleanliness and sanitation measures. As a company, they have always maintained strict hygiene around services. In each salon, beds are wiped down with anti-bacterial wipes and new bed paper is pulled for each guest. Importantly, waxing sticks are never double-dipped, and all stainless-steel tool are soaked in barbicide for disinfection.

Update 3/18: Today, EWC announced via their Twitter that 200+ of their franchised centers have made the difficult decision to temporarily close, with no official reopening date listed. Many of the brand’s franchise-owned locations are owned and operated by small businesses, and any open center has been advised to take local laws and health code violations into consideration.

MAC

U.K. newspapers have reported that MAC Cosmetics in Britain have instituted a strict "No-Touch" policy across all stores and counters in an effort to keep customers safe. Last week, MAC canceled a meet-and-greet with Euphoria actress Alexa Demie at Macy’s in Herald Square to ensure the health and well-being of all.

Update 3/18: All free-standing stores are temporarily closed.

Equinox

The luxury gym chain sent out emails to members documenting added safety measures they’re taking to ensure cleanliness in the environment. Hospital-grade disinfecting solution is being used at each club three times a day, and they are eliminating skin-to-skin contact instruction during personal training sessions and yoga classes.

Update 3/18: All locations have been temporarily closed, due to official orders on local and state governments regarding fitness centers and gym closures.

Olive & June

Sarah Gibson Tuttle, founder of the beloved nail brand and Beverly Hills salon, issued a statement to Byrdie, saying, “The health of our manicurists and clients are always our top priority. Our salons adhere to the strictest hygiene guidelines. We go beyond what the California state board mandates and use an Autoclave machine, which is a medical grade sterilizer, on all of our tools. In addition, our buffers and files are all single use for hygienic reasons and all of our manicurists use a fresh set of gloves for each service and wash their hands with antibacterial soap frequently including in between clients. These are procedures we use on a daily basis." She goes on to say that given the current public health concern, manicurists are also wiping down all stations with antibacterial wipes in between clients and have mandated that manicurists do not come into the salon if they're feeling sick."

Glossier

Glossier founder Emily Weiss released a statement to the public today: "We’ve made the difficult decision to close all our current permanent and temporary retail locations (New York, Los Angeles, London, and Atlanta) for at least the next two weeks to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We will also delay the opening of Glossier Arizona, which was scheduled for next Wednesday. This is obviously a fluid situation, so we’ll be monitoring and adjusting our plans and timeline accordingly." She encouraged consumers to follow Glossier on social and tap into Glossier's online editors, the gTEAM. She ended by concluding, "To everyone reading: We’re not alarmists, we’re realists. While this may not be the right decision for every company, it’s the one where we feel we can make an impact."

Drybar

The blow-dry franchise released a statement via email on Friday to share the safety measures and precautions as they remain open. The email went on to say that employees must wash hands between clients and reminded customers that tools are disinfected with barbicide between each treatment. All open food (like the cookies they usually have at the counter) have been removed from every location, and they are stepping up deep-clean practices in each location. Throughout the day, CDC-approved sanitation wipes are being used to wipe down counters, washbowls, and all public surfaces. Drybar has also set up hand sanitation stations with CDC-approved disinfectant for patrons and employees.

Dr. Barbara Sturm

Last year, Dr. Sturm opened a brick-and-mortar store and spa at Zero Bond offering product sales and facial treatments. On Friday, Dr. Sturm sent out an email saying facials and treatments are suspended, but all boutiques are open to selling products with extra safety measures in place. 

Dr. Sturm’s team advised that medical-strength antibacterial wipes are being used throughout the day to disinfect all surfaces, products, and equipment. The email also kindly requested all clients to refrain from visiting the store if exuding flu-like symptoms or general malaise to ensure safety and containment.

Fresh

As of Friday, all in-store services have been suspended, and employees will no longer apply products to guests. Cleaning and disinfecting practices of each store have been expanded, and deep cleaning will be performed once per week for as long as necessary. All testers have been removed from display in stores, and each store’s hours will be affected.

Update 3/18: Yesterday, Fresh announced that they have temporarily closed all stores and will reopen on April 3rd.

Heyday

On Friday, Heyday released a statement via email and on their Instagram feed. All 11 locations are temporarily closed, effective 3/13/20, due to the evolving situation and to ensure the safety of their clients, staff, and community. 

Heyday also announced they are allocating 10% of all online profits to help support paying and maintaining wages of in-shop teams during the temporary closure.

Rescue Spa

Rescue Spa announced via email that both locations will suspend services effective March 17th until March 27th. 

As of March 18th, all 258 Lush retail stores in the U.S. and Canada are closed through March 29th.

Kate Somerville

The luxury Melrose Place beauty staple announced that, to protect the health and safety of clients and staff, they have decided to close the clinic from Friday March 13th until Friday, March 27th. 

 

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