Keep It Clean! When to Toss Old Makeup and How to Clean Your Brushes

You may have heard how important it is to clean your makeup brushes, but do you know the importance of cleaning your actual makeup? Not only does your makeup need to be cleaned and sanitized, but all makeup also has an expiration time. If you use makeup beyond its suggested time, you could encounter some undesired outcomes. These time frames are often different and vary, but these are my comfort zones for personal use, not my professional kit!

Suggested time to keep makeup:

  • Mascara: 2-3 months
  • Lipstick: 1 year
  • Lipgloss: 1 year
  • Powder Shadow: 2 years
  • Cream Shadow and Liner: 3-4 months
  • Liquid Foundation: If in a pump: 2 years. If in a bottle that has an open top: 6- 12 months
  • Concealer: 6 months
  • Pencils that can be sharpened (eye, lip, etc): 3 years
  • Face powder (blush, foundation, etc): 3 years
  • Primer: 2 years
  • Liquid Liner: 3 months

After the suggested expiration, makeup starts to grow bacteria and can cause a plethora of problems ranging from contributing to acne to causing eye infections. Keeping your brushes clean is just as important as washing your face daily. When you have dirty brushes, you reintroduce bacteria and germs onto your skin.

To clean your brushes:

You will need: a gentle soap (like baby soap) or a specified brush cleaner like Sonia Kashuk Brush and Sponge Cleanser (Suggested Retail: $6.69. Available at Target.com), a towel or paper towels, and 91% alcohol and a small spray bottle.

  • Run the tips of the brushes (careful not to soak the area where the bristles meet the metal) until they are wet.
  • Drop a few drops of soap or a specified brush cleaner into the palm of your hand.
  • In a circular motion, massage the cleanser into the brush. Really work the cleanser through the bristles (about 10 seconds).
  • Run the brush under warm water, rinsing the suds away.
  • Rub onto a towel (paper towel will work as well) again, in a circular motion. Be careful not to ‘pound’ the brushes into the towel, this will cause the bristles to loose their shape and/or break off.
  • Repeat these steps until the brushes leave no product behind on the towels. If product remains in the brush, repeat the first 4 steps until nothing is left behind on the towel.
  • Next, use 70% or 91% alcohol and spray it onto your brushes concentrating on the bristles.
  • Lay flat to dry. They are now clean and, because of the alcohol, sterilized.

Repeat this once per month and after any cold or illness, this will keep from spreading the germs back into your system.

To clean your makeup:

You will need: 70% or 91% alcohol, a small spray bottle, an eye/lip liner sharpener, and tissues.

  • Open all your blushes, pressed powders, shadows, cream concealers, etc. Anything that is in a container that opens in that fashion, open it up and line them up.
  • Pour the alcohol into the spray bottle.
  • Spray spray spray. Spray the alcohol right onto the powders/creams (pressed only). They will look a little scary and like you have ruined them, but the alcohol dries (and completely evaporates) quickly and will not effect the texture or quality of the product.
  • Using a tissue, wipe off all lipsticks, stick concealers, stick shadows, etc.
  • Spray them with alcohol.
  • Next, using the liner sharpener, sharpen all eyeliners, brow pencils, lip liners, etc, to a perfect point. By sharpening to a perfect point, you can be sure you are shaving off all old surfaces and germs.
  • Allow everything to dry completely before putting it away.

Voila! You're done! This is one routine that professional makeup artists use when cleaning their materials from one client to the next.

Happy Cleaning Beauties!

-x-

JenniferK

Article originally published, by Jennifer, on www.ABeautyLoft.com