Is Your Makeup Bag a Breeding Ground for Germs?

Now that spring is here, it's time to do a cleaning, even in your makeup bag. Now, I do have to tell you that cleaning makeup brushes and sponges is something you should be doing all year long. Clean tools feel nicer on your skin, apply makeup more evenly, and ensure that you're not slapping germs onto your face.

  • Wash Your Makeup Brushes To avoid damaging bristles, use a mild cleaner like baby shampoo (or even your own shampoo) in warm water. Be sure to rinse thoroughly. You'll be amazed (and maybe a little grossed out) by the deep color that rinses out, but it'll open your eyes as to how dirty the bristles were. Lay the brushes on a paper towel to dry overnight. In the morning, the bristles will feel way softer and your face will thank you. After your spring spruce-up, try to do this once a month.
  • Clean Sponges and Foundation Brushes Saturate sponges (or foundation brushes, since they're in contact with liquid makeup) with warm water and squeeze out as much color as you can. Then massage the sponge with a mild cleaner until no more color runs off. Thoroughly rinse and let dry overnight. If you can, fit this into your weekly chores.
  • Pressed for time? Try one of the convenient spray cleaners that you simply spray on bristles and wipe off with a paper towel. Right now I'm using Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics Pro Brush Cleaner ($20). Also look for Sephora's Daily Brush Cleaner ($14).
  • Chuck the Old Stuff Mascara, as you've probably heard, should be replaced after about two months. Not only does this limit the chances of infection, it makes sure the formula's doing what it's supposed to-enhancing your lashes. Liquid foundation has a shelf life of six months to a year, while powder makeup can last for years. Keep in mind that all natural products may not have much lasting power, especially in warm, humid climates, because they often lack preservatives. If a product's been occupying real estate in your makeup case but hasn't seen the light of day in months, toss it. Ditto for dried-out pencils. Lastly, remember to freshen the inside of your makeup bag with a paper towel spritzed with an all-purpose cleaner, letting it dry before you refill it.
  • One Last Tip It's better to store your makeup brushes upright in a receptacle to prevent them from getting gunked up from other cosmetics. Not to mention that it looks more professional. I keep my brushes in an old Mason jar. They look cute and it's easy to quickly see which one I want to grab.

-By Mary Clarke

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