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Steven Correll from MBT Beauty reveals how the business pivoted to supply their PPE equipment to help fight COVID-19

Like many businesses in New York, the COVID-19 pandemic forced MBT Beauty to discontinue its regular services during the peak of statewide isolation orders. However, the business was already sourcing and using PPE equipment in their microblading process and was therefore uniquely placed to provide that equipment to the general public to help stop the spread.

Steven Correll from MBT Beauty answered some questions about this unique story.

Hi Steven, what is MBT Beauty?

MBT Beauty is a semi-permanent makeup clinic specializing in microblading & microshading procedures that is based in Rochester, New York.

MBT Beauty was created to help women increase their confidence by enhancing their natural beauty with semi-permanent makeup.

How and why is PPE used in the microblading process?

Microblading & permanent cosmetics, in general, involves potential exposure to possible Blood Borne Viruses (BBVs).

Therefore to safely & legally perform our procedures, we must use PPE to protect both our staff & clients.

This includes using brand new PPE such as: sterile gauze, face masks, gowns, gloves, face shields, surgical covers for beds, etc. for every procedure.

When did you realize that you could pivot your business to help provide affordable face masks to the general public during the COVID pandemic?

Soon after MBT Beauty was forced to close in March 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, we started hearing horror stories from friends/family in the medical field about how there were not enough supplies—specifically masks—to fight against COVID.

Since MBT Beauty is a microblading clinic that uses PPE in our daily procedures, we already had connections with PPE suppliers in China that were sending us high-quality equipment to use for the past year.

Instead of just sitting around, waiting for this to blow over, we decided to take action.

We reached out to our suppliers and began importing masks to help out our local healthcare workers.

By the middle of April, MBT Beauty had become members & an approved face mask vendor for the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and began helping to supply masks to businesses & residents in our city, Rochester, and around the rest of Upstate New York.

Can you tell us about the benefits of the Dr. MFYAN KN95 Respirator Mask vs a regular cloth face mask?

Yes! Okay, so there is a lot of confusing information out there nowadays about face masks so I will break it down very simply:

  • MFYAN KN95 Respirator Masks protect you from harmful particles in the air & provide a barrier to protect others from you.
  • Cloth face masks provide a barrier to protect other people from you.

Respirator masks, such as the Dr. MFYAN KN95 Respirator Masks, are made to actually filter the air that you breathe. When you’re wearing a respirator mask, you should not be breathing in any pollen,  allergens, dust, dirt, haze, smog, viruses, or bacteria. Just clean, pure, air.

Cloth face masks are NOT made to filter the air you breathe, they are simply used to provide a basic barrier between you and others. They are made & worn to block large droplets of water (like when you sneeze/cough) from flying through the air and hitting other people.

It is much better to wear a cloth face mask than nothing. However…I honestly believe that anyone who is in an “at risk” group should be wearing a respirator mask whenever they are going out in public.

Since N95’s are only for medical workers, that leaves KN95’s for the rest of us.

Dr. MFYAN KN95 Masks are the real deal. They actually are 1 of only 66 companies that produce KN95 masks that are approved by the FDA for use in the USA.

The FDA maintains a list of KN95 masks made by specific manufacturers in China and updates it every week. Only if a manufacturer is listed on this specific FDA list is it considered FDA approved. You can find that list by simply googling “FDA EUA Appendix A” and clicking on the first link.

Listed under “Appendix A: Authorized Imported, Non-NIOSH Approved Respirators Manufactured in China”. The manufacturer name for the Dr. MFYAN KN95 mask is “Guangdong Zhizhen Biological Medicine Co., Ltd.”

Do you think that your decision to supply face masks in Rochester and Upstate New York has helped the state to begin re-opening sooner?

Yes, I think that our decision & the decision of many others to act quickly at the end of March and start importing face masks ASAP to supply local businesses + hospitals helped New York fight this pandemic and re-open sooner.

Like Governor Cuomo likes to say, we are New York Tough.

New York & the Tristate area literally took ALL of the punches of COVID in March, April & May. But it was because of the heroes that we have serving on our frontlines, the businesses & individuals working tirelessly to supply them, and the continued support of our local communities that we were able to pull through the worst of it.

When do you believe you will be able to start offering your microblading services again?

We’re extremely excited to announce that our beauty clinic in Rochester is finally allowed to re-open on a limited basis!

In July we are focused on booking existing clients for appointments that were delayed due to COVID & we plan on accepting new clients starting in August 2020.

Due to the mandatory masking policy, we are only allowed to offer procedures for eyebrows and eyeliners at this time. Lip blush is going to have to wait a while.

In your opinion, what are the main lessons that people should take away from the COVID pandemic and how should they continue to protect themselves and their loved ones?

I think that one of the most important lessons that the COVID pandemic has taught us is that we are all in this together. When we work together and help each other, we are able to overcome any obstacle in our path.

It warms our heart to see so many people who have donated their time, money, and energy towards helping others. This is through simple things like donating money to healthcare organizations or going grocery shopping for at-risk individuals. At the end of the day, we are all Americans, and we are only going to get through this by taking care of eachother.

As far as continuing to protect yourself & your loved ones, the #1 thing is to make sure you’re wearing a mask when you go out in public places right now. It’s a simple thing to do, and it really helps not just protect you, but protect those around you.

Other than that, it’s about being smart, staying informed, and taking care of yourself. It’s easy to get stressed out & overwhelmed by everything, but it’s important to remember that all of this is temporary. Wearing masks, social distancing, sanitizing your hands every 5 minutes, all of this will end once this pandemic is over. Unless you’re a microblading artist, then masks are here for good haha.

Thank you Steven for your time!
You can follow up with Steven Correll & checkout MBT Beauty over at