Beauty giant Sephora has cancelled all makeup appointments and beauty services in Australian stores to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
HuffPost Australia has acquired an email from the brand titled: “Cancellation of your makeover services or makeup lessons.” The body of the email stated that the customer’s upcoming makeup appointment would not go ahead due to the global outbreak of the virus.
“In view of the ongoing 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) situation, Sephora would like to reiterate that the health and wellbeing of our customers and our cast is of paramount importance,” the email stated.
“All custom makeover services and makeup lessons will be suspended until further notice. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, and thank you for your understanding.”
Coronavirus has killed at least 563 on mainland China and there were 14 confirmed cases in Australia on Thursday.
Sephora’s parent company LVMH confirmed to HuffPost Australia on Thursday that all makeup services have been cancelled and customers have been notified via email.
“As confirmed in the email, all custom makeover services and makeup lessons will be suspended until further notice,” LVMH said.
The company also confirmed it would go ahead with a makeover if the client bought new brushes in-store, which would cost more than $120.
Beauty retailers such as Sephora, Mecca, David Jones and Myer offer services such as Sephora’s “special event” Full Glam Makeup which the website describes as “Instaglam makeup application with all the extra touches in 75 mins for $120, redeemable on product at the time of the service.”
Australian makeup brand Napoleon Perdis said today it would continue its makeover services.
“We have a strict hygiene policy specific to makeup service sanitisation and product hygiene, which is standard practice for our teams,” the brand told HuffPost Australia.
Professor Gary Mortimer from QUT Business School suggested coronavirus is “the nail in the coffin” for an already fragile sector and Sephora’s move to shut down beauty services will have a knock-on effect.
“When we start to see beauty salons and cosmetic houses cancel services or lay off staff then the next category of effected retail will be apparel, footwear, clothing and accessory retailers who are already doing it tough,” Mortimer told HuffPost Australia.
“We’ve just seen Colette go into voluntary administration and Bardot.”
Some Sydney nail salons have requested that clients wear face masks to avoid the spread of the virus.
Local Sydney woman Emmalee Fagerstrom, 27, said she noticed her local salon in Redfern was taking precautionary measures when she visited last Friday.
“As soon as I walked in I saw everyone was wearing face masks which I thought was interesting because that is not always the case at the salon,” she told HuffPost Australia.
“The manicurist asked me to wash my hands and then gave me a mask to wear for the entirety of the appointment. Everyone was wearing masks.”
The death toll from coronavirus in mainland China jumped by 73 to 563 on Thursday, its third consecutive record daily rise, as experts intensified efforts to find a vaccine for a disease that has shut down Chinese cities and forced thousands more into quarantine around the world.
Hubei province, the epicentre of the epidemic, reported 70 new deaths on Wednesday and 2,987 new confirmed cases - more than 80% of the total reported by Chinese authorities. The other fatalities were in Tianjin city, the northeastern province of Heilongjiang and Guizhou province in the southwest.
There have been two deaths outside mainland China - in the Philippines and Hong Kong - both following visits to Wuhan.
Virgin Australia said on Thursday it would withdraw from its Sydney-Hong Kong route from March 2.
Aussies evacuated from Wuhan have landed on isolated Christmas Island for quarantine.