Monday, 2 February 2009

Top 5 Tips for Keeping Your Makeup Kit Clean and Sanitary

So this weekend I had yet another model marvel at my cleaning and sanitation practices which is something that always bothers me as cleaning brushes and keeping a sanitary kit should be the norm.

The steps you can take to keep your products and tools clean and sanitized are so quick and simple that there are no excuses for not doing it.

Here are the basic steps you should be following at the very least to insure a clean and safe working environment for you and your models.

1. Wash your hands!

I carry an anti-bacterial hand gel which eliminates the need for soap and water so I can sanitize my hands on the spot. I find it also puts the client or model at ease when they see me being hygienic from the start.

2. Scoop, scrape or squirt products onto a clean palette

By working from a clean palette you cant double dip which can contaminate the product. You can use a spatula to transfer cream or loose powder products to your palette.

3. Never use the wand that comes with the mascara to prevent transferring bacteria which can cause eye infections.

Use a fresh disposable wand every time you need to get more product from the mascara tube.

To minimise the use of disposable wands I like to put some mascara on my palette and use a tiny fan brush which can be cleaned and reused to coat the bottom lashes.

If you like using the wand that comes with a particular brand of mascara you can remove them from the tube, clean thoroughly and keep in your kit like a reusable wand but make sure you have several as you must never put the wand back in the tube after use if you need more product.

This also applies to lip gloss. Always transfer the gloss to a palette or use a disposable applicator replacing it every time you need more gloss from the tube.

4. Sanitise all brushes and tool before use.

I use a 99% Isopropyl Alcohol solution to sanitize and quickly remove makeup from my brushes. As the alcohol content is high it evaporates very quickly leaving your brushes dry and ready to use in no time at all so if you have to work on multiple models with the same brushes there is no excuse not to clean between each model. As it evaporates it is also important to keep the lid on at all times or the product will become useless.

To clean immerse the tip of the brush into the IPA and work it in back and forth on a paper towel repeating until there is not trace of product left.

You can spray tools, pallets and work surfaces with alcohol and wipe down with a paper towel to sanitise. Anti-bacterial wipes are also handy for wiping down surfaces and the inside of your kit.

5. Always sharpen lip, brow and eye pencils using a clean sanitary sharpener.

Clean out the sharpener and use a q-tip soaked in alcohol to sanitise inside and out. Once pencils have been sharpened you can wipe the tip with alcohol as an extra precaution against bacteria and other germs.

If you have any more tips to make sanitising your kit easy let us know and post a comment.
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  1. Great advice, totally forgot about my sharpener!
    In regards to 99% Isopropyl Alcohol solution, have you ever had anyone allergic to that strength?

  2. I havent had anyone react although I never use this directly on anyone's skin, only on my tools ect.

  3. I'm always shocked to hear the horror stories of some ppl's sanitation practices...China is crazy for them! I tell every model I work w/ here to bring her own mascara to set as I've heard too many eye infection stories or stories about MUAs just using the same lip gloss brush from one model to the next.

  4. I know, I dont know if its that some artists are too lazy to care or what but i think its sad that hygeine isnt a top priority.

    The model that inspired this post started modeling about 5 years ago so she hadnt just been working with newbie mua's either.

  5. YESSSSSS a blog about makeup, where have you een all my life,


    MM x

  6. I'd never use it on anyones skin direct :) but I do worry about using the tools directly after. I know the alcohol leaves the brush practically dry but the potent smell always makes me hate bringing it up to someone face, I have a plethora of foundation brushes instead (gets pricey!). Could be the one I use (Ben Nye), its very strong.

  7. Its always better to have multiple brushes on hand but as I use a very small amount of IPA on the brushes when I clean them I dont find that they are too smelly when Im ready to use them again as the alcohol has all evapourated :)

    I havent tried Ben Nye but Cinema Secrets is supposed to leave your brushes smelling lovely so I might give that ago next time im re-stocking!

  8. Welcome to the blog Marlboro Martini! :D

  9. Thank you so much for this. I have become more and more aware of sanitation with each shoot i go to.

    also, is the alchol bad for your brushes?

  10. I havent had any problems but you can also give them a shampoo and condition regularly to help keep them in tip top condition.

  11. I'm all for the nice smellies, must try the Cinema Secrets one! x