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Clean Talk: Makeup Brushes & Blending Sponges


I have always been a germaphobe. Because of this, it was a surprise I never thought to clean my personal makeup brushes prior to attending school. I thought I was treating my skin fairly by not touching it with dirty fingers and staying clear of other's beauty products and tools. Wrong and mortified, I sat in class learning the reasons why it is so important to keep your brushes and sponges clean and sanitized for client AND personal use. By now, the knowledge of cleaning your personal makeup tools is common, however, how to properly care for them and why you should care for them is not. Read on to find out how you can become a makeup brush and sponge cleaning master.


I use them on myself and I keep myself clean so why...

Let's face it, clean or not, your brushes and sponges are collecting dirt, oils, and dead skin cells which means that if they aren't getting clean, they become a breeding ground for bacteria. Bacteria can cause unwanted clogged pores and breakouts, skin irritations, and if you're planning on being a great friend avoid sharing your bacteria filled brushes and sponges because that could possibly turn into a viral infection like pink eye, staph, and worse, herpes.


Okay, so how often should I clean them...

The more often you clean them, the better condition of the bristles and more beautiful the makeup application. Depending on how often your brushes are used, you can squeeze by cleaning your powder brushes monthly but any brush or sponge that is used damp or nears a wet area such as the eye or lip should be cleaned a minimum of twice a month. BUT ideally, all brushes and sponges should be cleaned weekly! Another way to keep your tools in tip top shape is by spot cleaning after each use. This will keep them free of unwanted build up and ensure all applications glide on smoothly.

I'm keeping them clean but should I ever replace them...

As sad as it may be to part with some of your favorites, makeup brushes and sponges can have an expiration date just like anything else. Fortunately, keeping these tools clean can extend their life. Makeup packed bristles can weaken causing bristles to shed, roughen up and loose their shape. This may happen after years of keeping them cleaned and conditioned as well. When you notice your brushes struggling to blend the way they normally do, appear our of shape and frayed... it is time to say goodbye.


When I speak of sponges, I am referencing microbrial-resistant sponges such as the Beautyblender. These sponges are designed for multiple applications so if you're thinking you can get away with reusing that white wedge, don't... TOSS THAT THANG! Microbrial-resistant sponges, however, can hang on for about three to four months worth of applications!


Great information but I want to know how to clean...


Spot Cleaning for Brushes -


Things You'll Need:

Steps:

  • Pour brush cleaner into container

  • Dip brush bristles only into the cleaner and quickly remove to avoid over saturation

  • Wipe bristles onto paper towel or cloth

  • Reshape and allow to dry before next use (a few minutes)

  • Dip or spray paper towel or cloth with rubbing alcohol

  • Wipe brush handles with rubbing alcohol


Deep Cleaning for Brushes -



Things You'll Need:

Steps:

  • Wet brush bristles with warm water. I always tilt the brush at a downward angle to avoid water from touching the ferrule or handle. If water traps inside the ferrule, it can cause bristle glue to loosen or mildew / mold.

  • Optional Step - Coat bristles with coconut oil. This will help condition them a bit more.

  • Place a drop of a gentle shampoo in the palm of your hand or onto one of the recommended Sigma Spas.

  • Gently massage the shampoo into the bristles working out all the build up.

  • Rinse the bristles under warm water in a downward angle.

  • Dampen a paper towel or cloth with rubbing alcohol and wipe brush handles.

  • Reshape bristles and lay flat on a sanitized table where the bristles can hang off the edge.


Cleaning Your Microbrial-Resistant Sponges


Things You'll Need:

  • Warm Water

  • Coconut Oil

  • Gentle Shampoo

Steps:

  • Soak sponge with warm water

  • Coat with coconut oil. Coconut oil contains antibacterial and antiviral properties.

  • Saturate with a gentle shampoo and massage.

  • Rinse until water runs clear or makeup and shampoo suds from sponge.

  • Allow to dry in open air.




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