How to keep your makeup clean (from an expert!)

We’re all making huge changes to our lives right to keep ourselves and those around us healthy but one huge area that you might have forgotten to sponge down is your makeup. We get it - you’re not leaving the house right now, the only person you’d be impressing with a full face of makeup is yourself when you’re checking yourself out in the mirror. But the reality is that cleaning out your makeup collection and keeping your brushes clean can make a huge difference in keeping yourself healthy and preventing major breakouts (which is always a win, quarantine or not.)

As someone who considers tinted moisturizer and clear mascara a full face of makeup, I have zero business telling you anything about keeping your collection clean. So we tapped one of our favorite beauty experts Lyndsay Simon of Lyndsay Simon Beauty to give us some tips on keeping things sanitary. And let’s just say, I have a very important project to keep me busy this weekend. 

Here’s Lyndsay with some amazing tips!

Tip #1: Keep those brushes clean

Keeping your brushes clean is important all the time, but especially right now. Bacteria thrive in makeup brushes, which means it’s important to keep them clean to avoid breakouts. Keeping your brushes clean can also help them last longer. Over time, oils in makeup can get into the ferrule of the brush (the metal part holding the bristles together) and break up the glue, causing the bristles to fall out. If you want to avoid spending $30-60 on a new brush every few months, you gotta take care of them now. Clean brushes also allow makeup to be applied flawlessly and true to color (aka - you’re going to look better if your brushes are clean.)

More of a Beauty Blender fan? I get it - they are great products, but they are also a breeding ground for bacteria if not cleaned every day. These should be replaced every few months, and cleaned with a brush/sponge soap daily and left to dry so they don’t grow mold.

Did you know that you should be cleaning your brushes EVERY WEEK?! If you haven’t been doing this, it’s okay - we won’t tell anyone, but let’s change this habit right now!

Here’s how I would recommend cleaning your brushes:

  1. Run your faucet with warm water
  2. Wet the bristles under water and apply brush soap (I’ll share my recommendations below)
  3. Swirl brush around in the soap
  4. Use the palm of your hand or a brush cleaning mitt (like this one) to remove any product built-up
  5. Rinse and repeat until the water runs clear
  6. Gently remove excess water by running the brush over a towel
  7. Stand your brushes up right in a cup and mold bristles into desired shape to dry
  8. Leave overnight to dry

Products I love for cleaning my brushes:

Cinema Secrets Brush Cleanser: A great spot cleaner that sanitizes as well as removes pigment from your brushes. It dries in minutes! 

Clean Act Brush and Sponge Shampoo from Limelife by Alcone: For a deep clean that should be done on a weekly basis.


Tip #2: Purge your makeup when it expires

Yes - it’s true. Your makeup does have an expiration date, and it can usually be found somewhere on the package. This will tell you the shelf life of your product once it’s open. Most powders can live past their expiration date, as they do not harbor bacteria like creams and liquids do. While mascara should be replaced every 3-6 months, your blushes and eyeshadows could last years. Using a cosmetic sanitizing spray or wipes like Dirty Work from Limelife by Alcone can prolong the shelf life by keeping bacteria away. You can use the wipes to sanitize lipsticks and eyeliners, and the spray to spritz cream and powder products like blushes and eyeshadows. 

What to toss:

  • Any products with a funny smell
  • Powder products that have a film or are hard over the top, and you can’t pick up pigment on your brush
  • Dried up mascara and eye/lip liners 
  • Old beauty sponges and brushes that have excess buildup 

What to keep:

  • Salvageable makeup brushes that can be shampooed
  • Cracked powders/shadows/highlighters. You can grind them up into a loose powder and use as a pigment instead
  • Lipsticks you don’t use. You could always repurpose it and use it as a blush!
  • Foundation that is too light or dark. You can mix a drop of your darker foundation in with your regular shade for your summer color when you are tan, and lighter in for your winter color when you are paler.

Tip #3: Clean your actual makeup and bag

When going through your makeup bag, give everything a wipe down with a lysol wipe to remove product buildup on the outside. I have seen a lot of scary looking makeup bags, with clients who wonder why they continuously get breakouts. We are touching these products and then our faces, so we want to keep it as hygienic as possible, as well as our bathroom countertops/vanities.

Voila! There you have it - your 3 step approach to a cleaner, healthier, more effective makeup collection. Have specific questions for Lyndsay? Contact her on her website or DM her on instagram @lyndsaysimonbeauty


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