How Freelance Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Feel About the COVID-19 Stimulus Package On Friday, March 27, the president signed a $2 trillion stimulus package in an attempt to salvage the American economy, which has collapsed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The package, named the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the largest of its type in American history, is unprecedented in its scope and magnitude: It aims to restore life to all sectors of the economy and seeks to help individuals and businesses alike.
What does that look like for, well, real people? It means that each single adult who earns $75,000 or less can expect a $1,200 check from the government, with most people receiving it via direct deposit in their bank accounts by mid-April, according to the New York Times. If you have kids ages 16 or under, you’ll receive an additional $500 per child. In addition to the payment, for those who are unemployed, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the CARES Act offers an additional 13 weeks of jobless aid to those who had “exhausted benefits under regular unemployment compensation or other programs,” and $600 more “per week for weeks of unemployment ending on or before July 31, 2020.” For the first time, unemployment benefits will also be extended to freelancers and gig workers who apply for it. With characteristic hyperbole, Trump pronounced that it is a “tremendous thing because a lot of this money goes to jobs, jobs, jobs — and families, families, families.”
But how far will these actions go toward helping the countless freelancers who make up the beauty industry? The livelihoods of makeup artists and hairstylists depend on their ability to literally touch people from far less than six feet away — they need to have the ability to perform their services on clients who, presumably, have somewhere to go other than from their bed to their couch and back.
Allure spoke to a number of freelance makeup artists and hairstylists to get a sense of how they’re feeling about the present, the future, and what the government is and perhaps, more importantly, is not doing to help at this uncertain time.How Freelance Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Feel About the COVID-19 Stimulus Package
How these freelancers are feeling in the wake of COVID-19
Like most of us, makeup artist Mollie Gloss describes her current state as “a real rollercoaster of emotions.” Apprehensive, confused, grateful, scared, determined, and depressed are all on her list of conflicting feelings during this time. “I think it’s a hard time to know how to feel, and I’m trying my best not to judge myself too much for any of it. There’s no comparison for what most of us are going through this pandemic,” she says. But there’s anger, too: “I feel angry about my career and life being taken away and enraged at the lack of response from the federal government,” Gloss adds.
Makeup artist Andrew Sotomayor started his stay-at-home time feeling invigorated about the things he’d have time to do (including e-learning classes), but now he says, “I’ve been allowing myself to finally just get some rest, nap, watch TV, cook, and check in with friends.”
For makeup artist Ellen Guhin, the first couple of days felt like any other “off” day (not a total unknown in a freelance makeup artist’s schedule), but now, she says, “it’s starting to feel less normal, and the anxiety of the uncertain future is sinking in. I am trying to find joy in the little things I am able to do in my apartment and have been putting lots of energy into cooking and storing food for the coming weeks.”