Many women complain that they may be allergic to this or that brand of cosmetics, as a result of the breakouts they suffered when they used them before. When I ask if it was an immediate reaction, they usually tell me, not at first, but after a few weeks the breakouts start.
Sometimes breakouts do happen even with a newly opened package, especially with eye makeup and blush. But 99 percent of women are not allergic to makeup at all. They’re basically suffering from self-infection.
The first question I usually ask is, “How often do you clean your cosmetic brushes and sponges?” A lot of them pause and squint at me because they honestly do not remember!
Apparently, some women feel that since they are the exclusive users of their cosmetics they do not really need to wash the tools as there is no contamination.
Wrong! Your exposed face and skin oils contain bacteria which you transfer to your tools, so if you don’t wash and clean them at least once a week, they will infect the cosmetics, and the bacteria will breed and fester there. To start fresh you will have to throw the entire cosmetic collection out.
So, please, clean your tools. It isn’t hard to do; it’s even not time-consuming!
How to wash: Cheap conditioning shampoo for your brushes or gentle hand soap for sponges are all you need.
I put a squirt of shampoo on a big mug or pail (tabo) and fill halfway with water from the faucet. I then swirl my brushes in there for 10 seconds or less. I throw out the water, rinse the pail/mug and replace it with clean water and swirl my brushes in again.
If the water is not clear, I repeat the soapy solution, swirl, and then rinse.
I lay my brushes flat on a towel. I even dangle the brush end off the side of the counter so it fluffs up and takes it’s natural shape when it dries.
Sponges: Use warm water and soap. Lather up the sponge, squeeze it, and rinse off. Repeat process until foam is plain white and water runs clear.
Make sure you dry sponges well before you use with the matching cosmetics or else you end up damaging your makeup stock.
Unfortunately, a lot of women take offense with my advice and snap at me with the most ridiculous comments I have heard such as:
1. “My brushes are high-quality sable, mink, pony, etc.” My reply: I do not care if it’s made from unicorn, cashmere goats or chiru antelope fur. They all accumulate bacteria and need to be washed.
2. “I only use premium cosmetic brands such as Shu, Chanel, Guerlain, Sisley, etc.” Like any cosmetic, even expensive brands have a shelf life, and when you use them after they expire or with dirty tools, your face will pay the price in infection, rashes, itching and even scarring. The high price tag does not mean they won’t ever go bad. In the end all you are is a beauty snob with a skin disease.
1. Buy an extra sponge or puff for your face powder, because even if you wash the sponge every other day it gets too dirty at some point. As for the face powder puff, washing it will never make it look and be as efficient the same way after a few washings.
2. Never soak your brushes and leave for a minute or longer. This will dissolve the glue that holds strands together and cause the hairs to fall apart.
3. Mascara needs to be replaced every three to four months, so use them daily to get your money’s worth.
Liquids like foundation, concealer, etc. should not be kept longer than 12 months once opened.
Powders and lipsticks can be kept up to two years. Pencils like eye- or lip liners need to be sharpened to get rid of old exposed tips before using. You may keep them indefinitely.
4. Lipsticks not used within six months though may just have to be thrown out. So, what I do is use lipsticks even around the house and rotate my colors.