Hygiene and Cleaning Your Make-Up Tools

by Katherine Gould

Cleaning Make-Up Tools

Your brushes should be a thing of joy, beautiful tools to precisely apply your make up. As I’m sure you know they can also cost a fortune and that is precisely why they should be treated with respect. Brushes will pick up dirt, oils, and dead skin cells and this is why cleaning is so important. When using bushes professionally I will wash them every night AND use a brush cleanser, the fastest way to lose your reputation is to use dirty or contaminated tools on a client. For my own personal use I will wash brushes once a week and spot clean with brush cleanser in-between if necessary.

Brush Cleanser

Perfect for a quick clean and quick dry. Use Brush Cleaner for a spot clean to remove surface dirt and product from your brushes. Most contain small amounts of alcohol, which helps to sanitize your brushes and evaporates quickly so your brushes dry faster. Ideal for cleaning eye and lip brushes daily. Pour brush cleanser on a tissue and wipe brush gently over until product is removed.

Deep Cleanse

Nothing cleans brushes like soap and water. I love using baby shampoo, which cleanses without over drying or coating brush hairs. With Waterproof or Oil-Based product like lipstick, use a Waterproof Make-Up Remover or Cleansing Oil on brushes before washing. Only use tepid water and a small amount of shampoo and lather the brush in the palm of your hand. Avoid immersing the handle of the brush in water and keep the direction of the brush down so water will not loosen the glue that holds the bristles in place. Rinse thoroughly with fresh water and gently squeeze or blot out excess water. Lay a towel flat and roll one end a couple of times and place the brush handle on this; encouraging the water to drain down as it dries. Make sure the bristles are neatly reshaped as they can break or dry splayed if left like that.


Sponges by nature absorb. Be it product, oil or dead skin cells, sponges get extremely dirty very quickly. With this in mind it is imperative that if you use sponges then you should replace them regularly or wash if applicable. Sponges left on top of pressed powders can transfer oil from your skin back in to the product rendering it unhygienic and useless so store it separately or consider using a brush. Having said this, using sponges can be great to work product in to skin and disposable sponges are great for one off use and Special FX products that may stain or damage brushes.

General Hygiene on Make-Up Counters

A quick note about testing product on make-up counters. All testers have been poked, tried, dropped… you name it. Scraping a lipstick right at the bottom? Trust me, loads of other people have had that idea too! When trying products on make sure creams are wiped, sanitized with alcohol and tools are clean. For products such as mascara and lip-gloss, disposable wands must be used and only used once. Want to stay looking beautiful? Stay hygienic!