Health & Wellness

Model warns about makeup brushes after getting an infection

Most of us think of models as having the most glamorous life — fancy clothes, tropical location shoots, beautiful hair and stunning makeup — what's not to admire?

But for one model, the job came with a seriously unhealthy side effect: a staph infection in her eye.

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

Anthea Page, of Australia, wrote about the infection on Instagram.

"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 (that) people can overlook," she wrote.

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Page noted in her post that she had observed unhygienic practices — and had confronted the artists about them, yet still wound up with an infection.

"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," she wrote.

Dr. Jane Edmond, an ophthalmologist based in Texas and clinical spokeswoman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, noted you could get a host of infections from infected eye makeup: pink eye, bacterial conjunctivitis, inflammation of your eyelids and even a corneal infection, which could cause you to lose your eyesight.

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"Most eye makeup has preservatives to prevent this sort of thing from happening, but that wears off after three to four months," Edmond noted. "But most of us have expired mascaras sitting in our drawers."

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Though using your own expired mascara isn't likely to lead to an infection, any products being used by multiple people could.

For example, if you visit a makeup counter, even if you're using a clean, single use testing tool, like a mascara wand, another person could have dipped their single use wand in the tube multiple times.

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Edmond advised you exercise extreme caution when testing eye products at a makeup counter.

"It's very risky to test anything around your eye at a makeup counter, and I would recommend people don't do it," she said. Though testing a lotion or nail polish doesn't really cause concern, you should be more cautious when it comes to your eyes.

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If you're getting your makeup done by a professional, Edmond noted the artist should be using a new applicator for each client, and new products, too. If you're nervous this won't be the case, bring your own applicators or request that the artist use your own personal products instead.

"Check everything has been cleaned to your standard even if someone scoffs at your concerns," Page wrote. "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."

When it comes to your beauty products, you should set aside time to clean your make up brushes at least once a month to avoid extra dirt, oil and bacteria coming in contact with your skin and eyes.

Finally, if you think you've developed an infection, contact an ophthalmologist right away.

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