Makeup giants are taking drastic measures to stop the spread of coronavirus, banning in-store makeovers and enforcing strict new cleaning standards.
MAC Cosmetics has cancelled all client makeovers across Australia as it enforces a strict "no-touch" policy amid virus fears.
A source told News Corp Australia MAC would not hold any makeup applications with its stores this weekend, after an email from the company's owner, Estée Lauder group, instructed stores to cancel all bookings.
Customers booked in for makeup applications tomorrow were given less than 24 hours' notice of the ban.
MAC has also suspended future bookings "until further notice", following similar moves in the UK, as well as for its sister companies Tom Ford, Clinique and Bobbi Brown.
MAC's new "no-touch" service model promotes hygienic self-application with disposable applicators and instructs makeup artists not to use brushes.
News Corp Australia understands customers will be offered a refund or product redemption.
It came as Sephora's US operations confirmed it would no longer offer in-store makeovers amid the pandemic.
In an email to customers titled "Steps we're taking to address COVID-19", Sephora's US-based operation said: "As a precautionary measure, and for the welfare and safety of our clients and employees, we are suspending all paid in-store services, makeup and skincare applications, and classes until further notice".
"We invite our clients to engage with our well-trained employees, who are happy to teach and coach on how to use and apply product through face charts and tools like our Digital Makeover Guide and Virtual Artist."
It also announced enhanced safety measures including disinfecting all high-touch areas of stores, hand sanitiser stations for customers, and cleaning display testers multiple times a day.
"It is, however, advised not to directly apply makeup that may have been used by others."
DESIGNERS BRACE FOR DOWNTURN
Luxury brands that are made in Italy "could be impacted" by coronavirus, which has left the country in lockdown, with an overall downturn in designer retail expected as a result.
Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Prada and Fendi are among the world's most sought-after fashion brands, whose supply chains are based in Italy.
A Wall Street Journal report indicated that Italian luxury brands would feel the impact of the virus on sales, after it started in China and has put Italy – and most of the world – in a state of emergency.
Retail analysis are also tipping Chinese shoppers – a key demographic for luxury fashion – will spend less, in the wake of coronavirus.
"All designer brands will see very weak demand for their goods in the first quarter of 2020 at least," the WSJ stated, in an analysis of coronavirus' effects on the luxury goods market.
The multi-billion dollar industry is driven, in part, by cashed-up Chinese buyers who spend up big on luxury brands.
"Chinese shoppers buy one-third of luxury products globally and traffic at stores in mainland China is down by between 80 and 90% in some virus-hit locations," the Wall Street Journal's report stated.
Coronavirus wreaked havoc on Milan Fashion Week, with shows cancelled and fashion industry attendees self-quarantined amid the outbreak in Italy's fashion and financial epicentre.
The number of cases in Marche and Tuscany – hubs for footwear and leather manufacturing – is said to be increasing, the WSJ reported.
Nearly 90 per cent of suppliers for Kering, which owns Gucci and Bottega Veneta, are based in Italy.
And 83 per cent of Ferragamo's handbag and suitcase suppliers are in Tuscany, the Wall Street Journal noted.