Spray-cleaning a makeup brush - is that all you need to do?

Makeup Tips and Tricks

Are You Really Cleaning These Makeup Tools?

It takes more than just passion, skill, and practice to be a professional makeup artist. Your makeup tools are your best friend—with you for all your makeup trials and tribulations. But you have to take proper care of them so they’ll last longer (quality tools are expensive!) and perform better.

While cleaning your tools isn’t the most glamorous part of the job, it’s definitely one of the most important. Cleaning your tools regularly helps prevent the buildup of oils, dead skin cells, and bacteria that could wreak havoc on your client’s face. You can be more lax with your own personal cleaning routine, but you absolutely must clean all your professional tools after each client.

Just because you can’t see something with your naked eye, doesn’t mean there’s nothing menacing lurking underneath. Here’s a guide on cleaning your most used makeup tools in time for your next appointment.

Brushes

Your brushes are your most-used tools, so they should receive the majority of your attention. Your cleaning routine will change depending on what the brushes are made of. You can use a brush cleaner to clean these, but with so many brushes in your arsenal, it might be easier on your wallet to consider other options. Here’s a quick run-down.

Makeup brushes can have either synthetic or natural hair bristles

Bristles

If your brushes are made with animal hair bristles, you’ll need clean them extra gently. Animal hairs are fine and can easily break.

Brushes may also have bristles made from synthetic fibers, which are tougher than natural hair. These brushes are usually used for creamy or liquid makeup. Typically your lip and concealer brushes are made with synthetic fibers.

Handles

If your brushes have wood handles, don’t submerge them in water! Wood can expand and crack or split, ruining your favorite brushes. If possible, dry wood-handled brushes upside down or on an angle with the water dripping downwards. Use a paper towel and rubbing alcohol to disinfect the handle.

Plastic is simple. Use a paper towel and rubbing alcohol to disinfect a plastic handle.

Make sure water isn't dripping back onto your brushes' handles when you dry them!

Brush Cleaning Pro Tips

Sponges / Beauty Blender

Disposable sponges are a makeup artist’s tool of choice, but they don’t rival the smooth application of a Beauty Blender. If you choose to use a reusable sponge, here are three ways to clean it:

  1. beautyblender’s beautycleanser solid: A cult favorite cleanser designed for cleaning the beauty blender. It’s portable and can clean makeup brushes, too!
  2. Warm water + baby shampoo: Wet, lather, rinse, and repeat (sponges can hold A LOT of product).
  3. Extra virgin olive oil + dish washing detergent: Use a mixture of both to lather the sponge. Note: this formula may irritate sensitive skin.

The best kind of rainbow...

Pro Tips:

Powder / Foundation Puffs

If the puff is used solely for powder, some soapy warm water (wet, lather, rinse) or a cleansing mist is enough to clean the puff. But if you’re use liquid foundation and are in a hurry, some professional makeup artists toss a whole laundry bag of puffs and sponges with some mild detergent into the washing machine.

Makeup bags

If you have a makeup bag with plastic-lined interiors, flip it inside out and use a disinfectant wipe. If you have a soft-cloth bag, just toss it in with your laundry—wash it with the darks, just to be safe.

Don't forget - your makeup bag need to be cleaned regularly too!

Eyeliner sharpener

These sharpeners are versatile and can sharpen eyeshadow pencils, lip pencils, and eye pencils, so it’s important to clean it regularly. Soak a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol, and run it in and around the sharpener, concentrating on the blades.

Mascara wands

Mascara is one of the biggest breeding grounds for bacteria. Whether it’s for brows or lashes, always use disposable spoolies on a client and never double dip (it defeats the purpose).

If you want to clean a professional spoolie that’s part of a brush kit, first rub off excess product from the wand onto a towel. The towel will increase the drag on the spoolie to pull out the product. Then, boil some water, and toss in the wand for 5 minutes. Take it out, spray with an alcohol solution, and let it dry.

It's the wand that makes all the difference, right?

Eyelash curlers

You can either use eye makeup remover to clean off the mascara buildup, or just water and soap. Then, move onto disinfecting it with an alcohol-soaked cotton ball.

Mixing palettes

Used to keep original containers of products contamination-free, and to mix custom colors for liquid makeup, these palettes are easy to clean. Simply use soap and water to wash off the excess product before wiping it down with some alcohol.

Tweezers + Lash Combs

A simple combination of a cotton ball and alcohol can do wonders.

On a roll and want to do more than just cleansing your tools? Check out this infographic for a 5 step makeup spring cleaning routine.

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