Hygiene and Sanitation Practices for Makeup Artists

It is essential to maintain high standards of hygiene in any work area to prevent the risk of “cross contamination”.

Cross contamination is the process by which bacteria or other microorganisms are transferred from one substance or object to another.

You will be working with client’s skin, which you will come in close contact with. Keep in mind that you must always follow sanitation protocols for yourself and your client’s safety.

Dirty tools like makeup brushes, spatulas, mixing plates, and hair tools like scissors, combs, makeup and the like, can be a breeding ground of fungi, viruses, bacteria, and parasites that can easily be spread if proper sanitation is not done for prevention.

To reduce the risk of cross contamination, there are 2 rules that one artist should follow:

  1. Avoid double dipping to any makeup product – for this, we use a SPATULA, MIXING PLATE, and disposable tools like mascara wands and lip applicators and sponges
  2. Avoid direct contact of makeup products like lipsticks, stick foundations and similar cream or liquid products. –Spatulas are used to scoop of cream or liquid products instead.




  • Paper towels, Tissues, Facial Wipes, Surface Cleaning Wipes
  • Disposable tools: Sponges, Lip Brushes, Mascara Wands, Facial Cotton Pads, Q-tips
  • Mixing Plate / Metal Plate and Spatula
  • Professional Brush Cleaner (For Spot Cleansing)
  • 70% Alcohol
  • Trash Bag
  • Ziploc bags to separate dirty brushes
  • Personal Hygiene Kit: Soap, Sanitizer, Facial Masks




According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, handwashing is the most effective way to prevent the spread of germs. It should be done before and after doing makeup work to each client.



  • Wet your hands with clean, running water.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with soap. Lather the back of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. (Happy Birthday Song twice)
  • Rinse your hands with clean, running water
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dryer

Handwashing is the best way to get rid of bacteria and other microorganisms, but there are times that soap and water are not readily available. Alcohol based Hand sanitizers can be used. While this is a good alternative, hand sanitizers do not get to rid of all types of germs the way handwashing can. It is also not effective in removing oil and dirt.


  • Apply the hand sanitizer to the palm of your hand
  • Rub together all over the surface of your hands and fingers until your hands are thoroughly dry (20 Seconds)


Expiration Dates

Whenever preparing your kit, you should always be mindful in checking the expiration dates of your makeup products. Unlike food, cosmetics do not have a clear indication of best before use and expiration dates. This can be checked by looking for the PAO SYMBOL / PRODUCT AFTER OPENING sign in your cosmetic product. (SHOW PHOTO)

The PRODUCT AFTER OPENING is a symbol that indicates the shelf life of your makeup. “M” stands for months. My advice is to do a cosmetic calender where in you label the makeup with the date when you opened the product and the date where it is supposed to expire.

Below is a table of the usual timeframe of each product


Mascara 3 – 6 Months
Liquid Eyeliner 6 Months
Retractable Liner 18 Months
Eyeliner and Eyebrow Pencil 24 – 36 Months
Gel Eyeliner 6 Months
Eyebrow Gel / Brow Mascara 12 Months
Powder Eyeshadow / Pressed Eyeshadow 18 – 36 Months
Cream Eyeshadow 12 Months




Liquid Foundation 12 Months – Water Based

18 Months – Oil Based

Loose Powder or Pressed Foundation, Blush, Bronzer, Contour 18 – 36 Months
Foundation Primer 12 Months
BB Creams / CC Creams 12 Months
Tinted Moisturizer 12 Months
Cream Bronzer and Cream Blush 12 Months
Concealer 12 Months




Lip Liner 24 – 36 Months
Lipstick 18 Months
Lip Gloss 12 Months

Not all makeup products can be seen with a PAO Symbol. Another way to check for the validity of your product is by using a COSMETIC CALCULATOR. This can be done by checking the Batch Code of your makeup product. This is then placed on an online cosmetic calculator and it will help you determine the manufacture date of cosmetics, and provide a general information of the product shelf life.

These algorithms are based on the information published on official websites. The downside of this is not all brands are supported using this method.

Water based makeups have shorter shelf life because water is an easy breeding ground for bacteria. Powders have the longest shelf life because of the absence of water.

Never use and keep expired products in your makeup kit. Always make a habit to check your kit.


Makeup Set up

A clean workspace is important to avoid contaminating your clean makeup and tools. Always disinfect the area before setting up your work station. Spread a clean towel where you can lay all your tools and makeups. As much as it is tempting to do a very decorative spreading, sanitation and hygiene should always play a top priority. Keep it clean and organize all the time.


Disinfecting Makeup

 In cleaning makeup products, we use 70% Isopropyl Alcohol.

 70% IPA solutions penetrate the cell wall of surface microorganisms like bacteria and viruses, it then spreads to the entire cell, and kills the microorganism. The extra water content of the solution slows evaporation process, therefore this increases surface contact time of the alcohol and enhancing it’s effectiveness.

As a rule of thumb, compact powders like Eyeshadow Palettes, Face powders, Blushes, Highligters and the like are cleaned by spraying  70% Isopropyl Alcohol. We just spray directly in the product and wait for the alcohol to evaporate. We then wipe the sides of the palettes after.

However, we cannot do the same method for cream and liquid makeups. By spraying directly on these, it may only disperse liquid, spread the bacteria, and contaminate the whole product. That’s why it is important to use a clean spatula for scooping cream and liquid makeup products instead.

For cleaning pencils, we should always sharpen it first, or if it is a retractable one, we cut off the top layer, and then we proceed by spraying the alcohol and letting it dry after.


Disinfecting Tools

For professional makeup artists, cleaning your tools and brushes should be done after  every use for each client.    

There are two ways in cleaning our tools and brushes. First is Deep Cleansing and the second one is Spot Cleaning.

Spot Cleaning your Tools and Brushes

When I do makeup for a group of people, I make sure to carry extra brush sets with me. If I am doing it for a larger group of people, I do spot cleaning. This is simply spraying a brush cleaner then gently wiping the brush with paper towel.  I clean one brush set after I am finished doing makeup to one client. I proceed by using a fresh set of brush to my next client. This allows time for the other brushes to dry up once we do spot cleaning, before it becomes ready for the next person.

Deep Cleansing your Brushes

While spot cleaning helps sanitize your makeup brushes in an instant, it is still important to do deep cleansing. Deep cleansing preserves the quality of your makeup brush and keeps them in it’s best shape. It also removes debris and heavy oils that spot cleaning can’t.


To do this, just mix 1 part brush shampoo to 4 parts warm water in a small bowl. Dip the brush head in the solution and gently massage the bristles, you may use a brush cleaning pad for this. Rinse the bristles and squeeze out excess water. Make sure that no water touches the ferule of the brush because this is where the glue holds together all the bristles. Lay the brushes on a dry towel, it is better to lay your brushes on a counter with the bristles hanging on the edge. This will speed up the drying process. Remember, never dry your brushes in an upright position, as it may loosen the glue in the ferule and also damage the wooden handles. Once dry, you may spray with your brush cleaner.

**With the present pandemic, it is highly suggested that clients bring their own brushes for personal safety or different sets of “deep cleansed” makeup brushes are brought in your kit.

Disinfecting Tools

Tools like lash curlers, spatulas, mixing plates and scissors can be disinfected using surface cleaners like Bleach. With the help of science, new formulas for surface cleaning agents are made like Barbicide, which is especially used for Beauty Industry professionals.

UV Sterilizers

 With the help of technology, there are additional equipment that will aid in disinfecting our tools and products. There are different kinds of sterilizers like dry heat sterilizers / autoclaves, steam sterilization and UV Sterilizers. The first two, while more effective, is not be the best idea in cleaning your tools as it may cause damage due to the high heat it emits. The UV Sterilizer device though is safe to use for delicate tools like your makeup brushes andmay eradicate bacteria and viruses without damaging it. Make sure to also sanitize your tools properly before using the UV Sterilizer.

Below are examples of UV Sterilizing tools that are helpful in keep your tools and makeup area clean and sanitized.

Upang UV Sterilizing Cabinet, UV Care Germ Zapper and Portable Light.



The recent pandemic has placed the beauty industry to a halt. I encourage that this time may be put to good use for us to update our knowledge with sanitation and disinfection protocols as beauty professionals. This gives not just you, but also your client less risk in  contracting or spreading the virus. Below are sites that aid in the knowledge of the said subject with certifications that may be added to your work area as a pro makeup artist.




Most of what’s written here are common practices for makeup artists. But additional content for sanitation and disinfection were added for us to be more equipped when allowed to be back in business. Additional protocols like temperature check for clients and health checklist should always be given before proceeding to any beauty service.

This blog post is a work in progress. Additional information are added from time to time. I hope this became an informative post to any beauty professional. If you have any ideas that you can share, please do by commenting below.

Break my heart for what breaks Yours

Photo by: Dids Raduban

Tears start to well up in my eyes as I sang with the crowd. There, I see my life flashing through.

Back then, my idea of happiness is a product of things, people, situations that deemed to be most important to the world – a worldly life it was. Until I lost everything, bit by bit. A domino effect that started from losing myself, losing the love of my life, almost losing my father and all the comforts this life can bring. I lost count with all those misses and failures.

How many times should we have our hearts broken chasing temporary things to realise  we should run back to Him?

This song (Hosanna) stuck with me. How could ever one desire to be broken? How could one possibly ask for a pain like that? When we all know how having a heart broken means immeasurable pain in return. Why would we ask for what aches for the Lord in a world that is convicted with so much hate and sin?

This line speaks to me in volumes. There I was living a life of comfort in all my humanness asking the Lord to break my heart for what breaks His’. Why would one ever want it? I do not understand.

But, it was in my brokenness that God revealed himself more to me. It was in my most failing moment as a human that I realised that it was not “me” – not my deeds, not my works, not my actions that would be given redemption. But it was all “Him” – His grace, His mercy and His love for me – for all of us man kind. It was not just about understanding but KNOWING the power and glory of the Lord.

There are many times that I come up short, and there God is, coming up much bigger. How was I so blind to see the glory and grace of the Lord, who in our pain and in our sin, was willing to take us back in all our brokenness.

In a time where I had everything perfect in life, I felt a huge void in my heart that I cannot understand. I started praying. I prayed that if this life was not for me, let it slip in my hands. And there it happened – everything slipped out one by one. As if not preparing you for the huge avalanche of heartache. But it was there in those heartaches that I learned to trust the Lord even more.

My thoughts aren’t as clear as I want them to be in this post. How can I put in to writing the immeasurable love of our Lord? It is just too vast, too huge and too big to put into words. But what I am sure of, that in all my pain and brokenness, I still stand firm in faith. He is my confidence because I know what He has done. I will continue to praise Him knowing that from here on, I walk with Him.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
– Proverbs 3:5-6
“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith”
– Hebrews 12:2

Life in the Fast Lane


Today’s world is all about instant – food, clothing, modes of communication, transportation. Look around you and you will find something that offers something that delivers quick. Even success can be measured by how many stats we get on our social media accounts that can be made in an instant by the click of the credit card button.

I think, the easy access of getting whatever we want whenever we want changed us. Instant gratification = less patience. Instant success = less value.

When everything is easily presented to us, the value of working hard diminishes. Not that I am saying it happens to everyone, but admit it or not, it always feels safest to take the easy route.

This generation we have became so lax with how instant everything is. We all want to get this and that, but none of us are willing to work hard for the price.

I remember, when I was starting with doing makeup, I didn’t have enough resources to support my passion. Back then, I would try to score books from second hand stores because that’s all I could afford. The internet became a good source then but content wasn’t as huge as how it is now. I badly wanted to go to makeup school to add knowledge but I couldn’t afford it then. I made good use of the resources I had making sure I learn something. I even joined a contest that would win you a makeover just so I’d experience having my makeup done by a celebrity makeup artist I look up to. When I started studying for makeup, I made use of my days off so I could take the classes on weekends. I only had enough to enroll to makeup school (and it was money I even borrowed), unlike my classmates, I didn’t have much to upgrade whatever is new in the market, we would borrow from each other because it was really expensive to buy a complete set. On my other days off, I would join my makeup artist friends and help them with gigs even if I was sleepless from my hospital shift that ended in the morning. Back then, I told myself to just grab every opportunity presented to me as long as it will help me learn, grow and improve.

It wasn’t an easy feat, but it was worth it. It was worth every night I had to stay late to practice and to learn, all those days that were physically challenging to carry so many kilos of makeup stuff because I only had myself to rely to. It was worth letting go of so many comforts in life to help me build a new one from it. It was worth all those hours I spent standing up with a brush, flushed from getting criticized for a work I couldn’t perfect. There were many ways an easy route could be presented, but I am glad I took the route that made me appreciate what I have now – the route that helped me build what I have from ground up.

Started from the bottom, now we are here! 🙂 

It became so frustrating to see a generation that wants success but is lazy to go through all the hurdles. This goes to a lot of things in life. It may not only apply to our careers, it can go about to the most mundane things to more deeply rooted one’s like relationships.

For those who are lucky to be given opportunities to grow quicker and easier, always make good use of it. But, for those who have to work their way harder than others, do not be discouraged. There is joy in looking back at all the hardships. Make good use of your story.

If you see Kaye: Guimaras


I’ve always had an inkling to travel on my own. This trip from a year ago was the first solo trip that I planned. It was a side trip from a work I had in Iloilo, and since I’ve gotten around the city a few times before, I thought, “why not explore a new place this time?

Guimaras is an island located at Western Visayas, just a 20 minute boat ride from Iloilo City. It is famous for having the sweetest mangoes in the world which is why it is named the “Mango Capital of Philippines”.

For those who wish to plan a trip in Guimaras, read on.

Guisi Beach

BUDGET: I spent around 1500/night for my accommodation (room can be shared by two people). My transfers cost me around P2000 which includes land and island tours already. Food is 150/meal and up. There are more cheaper options, but since it was my first time to roam around solo, and transportation in Guimaras is rare (you have to ask a tricycle driver to pick you up on schedule), I chose to stay at a location where everything is convenient (food, island transfers and the like).

Mango Pizza at Pitstop before heading to my hotel
I skipped the land tour due to budget constraints, but I was lucky enough to be taken to this view before heading to my hotel – a hill overlooking the mango plantation

HOW TO GET THERE: From Iloilo city, go to Ortiz Wharf and take a boat to Jordan, Guimaras. Theres a boat that leaves every 15 minutes from 5:30AM to 7:30PM and it would cost you less than P20 for a one way trip. From Jordan port, you can hire a tricycle that will take you to your accommodation. I was lucky to get Kuya Michael John that time (09469013093). The rate going to my hotel was 250 but for an added fee, Kuya Michael helped me get around a few spots that we can pass by on our way to the hotel. Going back to the port tricycle rate is 300 but, since I skipped the complete land tour which costs 1500 (could fit 4 people), Kuya Michael arranged a side trip that would take me to Guisi Lighthouse Before heading home, so going back I spent P600.



WHERE TO STAY: There are many places to choose from in Guimaras, during that time, I played safe and stayed at Raymen Beach Resort for the following reasons: It has a restaurant that is open and takes last orders at 6PM so food is accessible and it has a beach front where island tours are provided. The place was decent and safe to spend a night.


Feeding Giant Bangus in SEAFDEC

WHAT TO DO: There are two main things to enjoy in Guimaras (aside from eating mangoes of course), one is the LAND TOUR and the other is the ISLAND TOUR. The best time to travel is during Mango Harvesting season. Since I was travelling alone, I skipped the land tour as it was more expensive. I arranged the tricycle driver to take me to the places I was interested in seeing, instead of going to a complete one. If you are sharing the land tour with others, expenses are more cost efficient.

The Island tour would cost you a P400 for an hour boat ride and will charge you 100 for the succeeding hours. The  typical island hopping tour will take you to the following places: SOUTHEAST ASIAN FISHERIES DEVELOPMENT CENTER (SEAFDEC), Turtle Island, Ave Maria Island, Fairy Castle, Isla Naburot and Baras Beach. You can request your boat to take you to Yato Island and Nagtago Island which are usually not part of most island tours. Among those places, I enjoyed SEAFDEC the most as I got to feed fishes like the giant bangus bred on the place. Next was Ave Maria island where I got to spend time snorkelling and feeding more fishes with sky flakes crackers. I did this early morning and was back at the resort by lunch time. The rest of the day, I just spent reading a book by the beach indulging in as many mango shakes as I can.

Snorkeling at Ave Maria Island

Since I was working on a tight budget, the next day, I arranged my tricycle driver to take me to Guisi Lighthouse and pass by Mango Stalls where I could buy something to take home for friends and family before heading to Jordan Port. Guisi Lighthouse is the second oldest lighthouse in the Philippines. It was built during the 18th Century Spanish Colonial Era. Going to the top is just an easy 15 minute hike. The view was really beautiful, overlooking Guisi beach with coconut trees lined on a beautiful cove. Make sure to drop a coin and whisper a wish before leaving. Kuya Michael charged me 600 pesos for the trip to Guisi and my trip back to Jordan Port.

Guimaras is a good place for first time travellers. You can go around the island for 2 days. While solo transport could be quite expensive, if you have time, jeepneys are available too which are more cheaper, except you have to wait a while to ride one.

For someone who travels for work most times, it is nice to give yourself a break and bask in the beauty and goodness this country has to offer.

I hope this finds you helpful. If you are heading to Guimaras, I hope you will enjoy it too as much as I did. Make sure to eat as many mangoes as you can on your trip!


What was your first solo travel? I’d love to know!

30 on 30 (Nuggets of wisdom before hitting the big 3-0)


While the past decade has been the most crucial time of my being, I have learned so much along the way. In no particular order, I am sharing things that have made me wiser, cured my soul, lifted my spirit, and basically clichés that helped me in my pursuit of joy in life. This may or may not apply to everyone, but for those who want to know, just read on. (WARNING: Long post ahead, make sure to grab a cup of coffee to keep you awake)

  1. The most important relationship you have (aside from that with God), is the one you have with yourself. I used to be a people pleaser, in turn it made me focus more on what people want me to become rather than what I wanted for myself. I would beat myself up with my insecurities from those projections that I forgot to be grateful for what I am as of the moment.
  2. The less you know, the less it hurts is just as bad as the more you know, the more it hurts. At a certain point, I wished I was not burdened with certain truths. I wish I walked blindly so I could keep people in my life the same way I did. But the truth, no matter how painful is what always sets us free. Learn to accept that so you could move lightly in life.
  3. It is never too late to dream a new dream. I shifted careers when I was 26. For a decade I was determined to be in the medical field, until I found a new dream job – to be a makeup artist. I loved what I did before, but I found something that makes my heart leap, makes me smile from so much joy, gave butterflies in my stomach – I knew then that I was falling in love harder for something more.
  4. It is also never too late to love a new love. I was in a long-term relationship with someone until we both took parts ruining it. Back then I thought I was a failure for not being able to keep the relationship. It always seems nice to end up with your first love, but sometimes they are there in life to pass through – mostly as a lesson that teaches you. So don’t beat yourself up from the past, always choose to still give love when you can.
  5. Time is a trickster. You can never take too much. So make sure that when you have a chance, you give too much.
  6. Travel for fresh eyes. Travel gives you a new perspective about the world. You always come home a new person after.
  7. Travel to heal. No better cure than hitting the road and walking away from it all. Promise you will come back like a new person, again just like number 6.
  8. Travel solo at least once in your life too. It takes courage to do this but your heart will thank you for it in the long run. It is in my solo travels that I have my epiphanies and best realisations. It is also the time I felt the most courage in my entire being.
  9. “It’s always darkest before the dawn”. I’ve always been struck with this line from a song by Florence and the Machine (Shake it out). On times I feel troubled, I always remind myself of that line. Next to the darkest time in life is light (the break of dawn). Just because you are facing a problem, doesn’t mean that you will be stuck there forever. There is always a breakthrough that will show you light.
  10. The thing they say about “Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life” doesn’t mean it will always be easy. The hardships will always be there (and mind you, it will be the hardest that you will find yourself working because it is something worth keeping), it’s just the perception of work that differs. Every labor transforms to love and that changes everything.
  11. In times of regret, always remind yourself of the “Silver Lining”. Much of are what if’s in life is a lesson learned. Be grateful for it.
  12. The secret to confidence is comfort. Once you are truly comfortable with your own true self (not trying to fit a mold or a checklist on how to be anything) you will find yourself confident day by day.
  13. The first step, is taking the first step. You can never start that idea in your head without taking “that first step”.
  14. In chasing dreams, do SPRINTS.
  15. Not everyone is given equal opportunities in life but GRIT always comes free. In the case of not being presented with a great opportunity, let grit work your way from ground up. It is always more fulfilling to work hard for something and achieve it, rather than cheat your way to success.
  16. It is easy to get envious when you look at how people are going. Others would have it easy in life, but focus on yourself and don’t compare it to others. Refer to Number 15. Always remember that we move at our own pace.
  17. When I teach makeup, I am always honest in admitting how thin my personal kit is and that it would only consist of an eyebrow pencil, a lip and cheek stain, an eye lash curler and mascara. Some days I throw in concealer and powder. You can live with that. But if you want a quick transformation, wear dark lipstick. It does wonders.
  18. Be more conscious about the environment. You can start by bringing your own water bottle, skipping straws, keeping count of eco bricks you make, making sure you only get to fill few ones (to none) in a year, thinking 10 times if what you will eat is worth the plastic packaging you will throw (and I swear you will avoid eating it in the long run, eventually you will find alternatives). There’s a lot on the list thanks to people who make an effort to raise awareness. Take part in making the world a better place to live in. (will do a separate post on this one)
  19. As much as we strive to be perfect humans, we can never be perfect. There will come a time that our words, thoughts and actions may hurt others. By or before the time we regret doing what’s done, learn to lower your pride, admit your mistake and apologize.
  20. Try to change the time you spend lurking on the internet and read books instead. Some say it is an end of an era, but there is magic in opening a book and touching the crisp paper and smelling the sheets (TMI, am I the only one who smells my books?? HAHA)
  21. The gym you invested in? The running shoes you purchased? The spinning class you availed? The yoga passes you signed up for? Don’t put all those to waste. Be active. Your body (and skin) will thank you for it.
  22. It’s okay not to be okay. We have good days and bad days. If you are a girl, you have hormones that you battle with (mentally and emotionally) every single month as well. Don’t beat yourself up trying to be Stepford perfect. Acknowledge the days you feel down too so you can learn to understand yourself more.
  23. Family is everything. Nurture it. Keep them close. Do whatever to keep it together. It is easy to be overwhelmed with life and neglect the people who are supposed to be closest to you. But, in the toughest situations, it is your family who you can run to.
  24. My papa used to ask me what I wanted to be when I grow up and I responded “I just want to eat everything nice”. Never regret the good food that you ate, it is already in your stomach anyway.
  25. Now this one is a pain to learn and, it took me years before I could fully come in terms with. But, always learn to forgive the inexcusable, because God did the same for you too. Whether we were offended once or many times, still choose to forgive. Still choose the little percent of goodness you see even if it is overpowered by a bigger percent of negativity. It takes a lot of effort to do this, but the weight lifted after will let you live life freely too.
  26. “He has made everything beautiful in it’s time”. This verse from Ecclesiastes 3:11 is something I live by. This reminder helped me become more patient in waiting for God’s season for me. Time, the same with space heals and makes things beautiful. Even the violent and angry parts in our hearts and lives are cured in due TIME.
  27. Another verse I hold closely (that I even had it inked in my ribcage last year) was Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it”. Your heart should always come at top priority. In the bible, the heart is mentioned more than 900 times and it is translated in a lot of ways depending on context. Imagine how important your heart is for you to be so careless of? We care so much about our tangible possessions that we forget what really matters. Everything we do in life, our thoughts, actions, our innermost being, everything relies on it. Guard it.
  28. Be humble. It is easy to be blindsided with wealth, achievements, popularity and the like, but remain humble. If we are to boast, boast only of His name, His word and His love.
  29. Life will throw punches at you, and you will be knocked down in so many ways you can ever imagine. Keep standing. Life isn’t about the many punches thrown at you but the many times you stood despite all the blows.
  30. Now we come to the last part, and it is always hard to conclude what to write in this part. I am leaving this blank in knowing that there are still more pages to fill in this life. It does not end or begin when you are 30. Between knowing and not knowing, let the unwritten parts surprise you. We may not always figure out what to do, but we can always seek guidance to the one who deem it best, GOD. Always walk with confidence in life, live it with purpose and put Him at the center of it all.

There goes my 30! For those who think I am still on my 20’s, secret’s out now! I always thought I would dread this day growing up. Turns out, it isn’t so bad after all.