This can usually be found on the packaging of your product and indicates the number of months after opening that the product will remain stable. You can also use smell, sight, and texture to check if you’re unsure - but this is a great rule of thumb.
2. Look for a change in the colour or texture of the product: If your powder products are “hitting pan” (you can see the bottom of the container), if the colour has changed (gotten darker, started to separate), or if you need to scrape the top layer off to access or use the product, it’s time for it to go.
3. Give it the Smell Test: If your any of your products have a change in smell - it’s time to bin it. I recently started using a lip gloss, but within a month the smell changed and I knew that while it was a great product, it definitely had a limited shelf life.
It is so important to check your products to ensure you are not putting anything potential hazardous on to your skin but it is equally important to make sure your applicators and sponges are clean!
For my professional and personal brushes I only use antibacterial or antimicrobial cleansers - as I am a hygiene fanatic and I’ve seen some bloodcurdling things over my career. Don’t even get me started on the artists that reuse sponges (RUN if you see anyone whip out a bag of discoloured sponges - RUN).
The easiest way to clean your brushes is to assemble everything you need at a sink:
1. Brush Soap (you can use Fairy Liquid - extra points if its the antibacterial) I’ve used Sian Richards, Bdellium, Walford-Richards, among others - but lately I’m using Fairy Liquid and Olive Oil to loosen extremely tough stains (and then soap up again to remove the oil!)
2. A clean towel to rest your brushes on after they are clean.
3. 70% Alcohol to wipe down the brush handle and ferrule.
Use lukewarm water and gently tilt the brush head down to avoid liquid penetrating the ferrule (the area where the bristles are fastened). Lather and rinse until the water runs clear. Once the water is clear gently squeeze any excess water from the bristles and lay flat to dry.
You can use this same method to clean your personal sponges - just keep squeezing to get all the soap and water out! Sponges by their nature absorb everything so you will definitely want to spend lots of time really getting your sponges clean.
Make sure you’re washing your personal brushes and sponges at least once a month - you will notice a huge improvement not only in your makeup application by keeping your products clean and the colour payoff true, but also your skin will benefit from keeping everything sparkling clean!
If you are a Pro Makeup Artist - you need to wash your brushes after every single time that you use them. I recommend owning as many brushes as possible to ensure you have plenty of clean brushes at your disposal. I make sure that I plan for any project that I’m on to have as many sets of fresh clean brushes as I have talent, and then I bring extras as a back up.I’d always rather have more than compromise on hygiene!
Equally important is how you store your nice, clean brushes and sponges? I recommend having a clean brush roll and a sponge holder and keep them OUT of your bathroom. Every time you flush your loo with the top open you aerosolise the nasties that are in your toilet. Anything that is sitting out will get a fine patina of funk - think your toothbrush, your towels, and more. Don’t let your brushes get in on that fetid action! Keep them either in another room or at least put them in a cabinet. I love this brush roll made by a fabulous makeup artist
Have a question? Ask a question! Let me know what you like to clean your brushes with!
Film & TV Makeup Artist, Beauty Expert, Skincare Obsessed, Wife to the amazing Mike, Mother of Asa and Max, Avid Runner & Fitness Enthusiast.