In the current climate, which we know will be difficult for the makeup artist community, we want to give you as much of our knowledge as we can to help you to stay positive, healthy and hygienic. Because cosmetics is our area of expertise, we are going to share with you ways to keep your makeup kit, whether personal or professional, squeaky clean. Devised by Kim, our CEO and professional makeup artist, and Donna, our co-founder and Head of Formulations, here are our top tips and tricks.
Washing Your Hands
Whether you are applying makeup to yourself, or someone else, make sure to;
- wash for 20 seconds with warm water and soap.
- get a good lather going as the friction will help to remove dirt, grease and microbes from the skin.
- If you don't have access to water and soap, use hand sanitiser. The most effective sanitisers contain 70% alcohol.
- Wash your hands before and after application, and if you are working on a client, get them to wash their hands too.
What is the Difference Between 70% and 99% Alcohol?
- Isopropyl Alcohol, or IPA, is the most common and widely used disinfectant within medical and healthcare settings.
- The most beneficial solution you can purchase is 70% IPA.
- 99.9% IPA may kill some bacteria but would require longer contact times. It is more suited to removing sticky and stubborn residues on surfaces and electronics as it doesn't leave any moisture behind.
- Because 99.9% IPA doesn't contain any water, it puts bacteria into a dormant state rather than breaking them down and destroying them.
How Should You Clean Your Brushes?
- For a deep clean, baby shampoo is great for cleaning brushes without being harsh. Swirl the individual brushes into the palm of your washed hand, into a good dollop of shampoo then rinse thoroughly.
- Leave to dry in a warm, dry area. You can dry on a radiator but lay them flat on a towel to protect the handles. If you can, tilt the brushes downwards so that any excess water runs away.
- For disinfecting in between clients, use 70% rubbing alcohol or a specially formulated brush cleaner. Kim recommends Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner for pro makeup artists.
Don't Contaminate Your Products
- If you are working with a client, make sure to lay your kit out on a clean surface. Take a towel with you or purchase a makeup mat, like this one from Em-J, to protect your products from fibres and dust.
- Whether you wash your hands or not, if pop your finger in your lip balm then you've just transferred any bacteria on your hands into your product. This can be a breeding ground for bacteria plus it decreases the longevity of your product. Use products with a dispenser where possible.
- Don't double dip. Make sure you transfer product on to the back of your (washed) hand, or onto a dish/palette and then apply the product from there. If you want to apply your lipstick from the bullet, don't share it with anyone else.
- Clean your makeup bag. It's pointless cleaning all of your brushes and being extra careful not to contaminate your products if you are going to put them back into a dirty makeup bag. The dark, moist environment of your makeup bag can provide a paradise for germs so give yours a good wash on the regular and let it dry thoroughly.
- Close your products properly. This will prolong the freshness and protect from any airborne spores that are lurking!
- Keep lip and eye pencils sharp, after every client, using a sharpener cleaned with 70% isopropyl alcohol.
Disposable Applicators You Say?
- If you are applying mascara on another person, use a disposable, recyclable spoolie. Don't use the wand that comes with the mascara unless you plan on actually giving the product to your client. Get compostable bamboo spoolies here.
- Recyclable cotton buds are perfect to use for fixing any mistakes and readily available online to buy. These sustainable thin cotton buds from Muji, made from paper and cotton, are brilliant for precision fixing and they offer refillable packs.
These are just a few tips that can help to avoid the growth and spread of bacteria within the makeup community. Keep your eyes open for more tips like this coming soon!