Is your makeup bag due a clear out?

When was the last time you cleaned out your makeup bag? For many of us, the answer to that question is probably a long time ago. Our makeup is the one thing most of us rely on every day, yet it’s also the one thing we seriously neglect. To put it simply (and quite revoltingly too – sorry) you wouldn’t rub dirty hands all over your face, so why do it with makeup products? Experts say you should have a clear out of your makeup at least three times a year, if not more. So, just for you, we’ve compiled this handy guide on the best way to keep your products clean and stop those pesky little germs from making themselves at home in your cosmetics. 

Have a clean out

Admit it, there’s probably more than one product lurking away in the bottom of your makeup bag that hasn’t seen the light of day for years. Take this opportunity to have a rummage and get rid of the products that you never use. You’ll be surprised at what you find; dried out creams, cracked powder that inexplicably gets all over everything, broken lipsticks and clumpy mascara. Get rid of all of it, you clearly won’t use it again, and think of all the space you’ll create for new products!

Bear in mind the time of year too, if it’s the middle of summer, are you really likely to wear that deep plum coloured lipstick? Equally, that bright blusher and eyeliner that you wore to the summer festivals might not look right at the office Christmas party. Watch out for new trends and colours and make room for new beauty treats when the seasons change!

Don’t forget your brushes!

Of everything in your bag, it’s probably most important to keep your brushes clean. Dirty brushes can mean that applying your makeup becomes a nightmare, and that products won’t blend into your skin as well as they should. Plus, the inside of the thick, deep bristles is the perfect environment for bacteria to make itself cosy. This can, of course, lead to horrible break outs on your skin.

Good maintenance for your makeup brushes is essential. Make sure that you store them separately from your makeup products, ideally upright with the bristle end pointing upwards. Shake any excess powder from the brushes after use, and if it’s a cream or lipstick product you’ve used, wipe the brush clean afterwards. It’s also important to remember not to use the same brush for multiple products. Not only will this lead to you potentially ending up with a bit of lipstick in your eye-shadow, it also spreads different kinds of bacteria around the face (you don’t want food germs from your lipstick ending up in your eye!)

Perhaps most importantly, if you lend your brushes to anyone, wash them immediately before you use them again to avoid spreading oils and bacteria over your face from someone else’s skin. Otherwise, wash your makeup brushes once a month.

Washing your brushes is simple, just follow these steps:

You can use normal shampoo, or buy specific brush cleanser. Soap or cleansing cream will do the job too!

Wet the brush and apply a small amount of the cleaning product to the bristle area.

Work it into a lather gently using your fingers. You’ll probably find that there’s quite a lot of product built up in the brush, so just rinse it with warm water as you go along until the water runs clear.

Make sure that all of the cleaning product has been rinsed out of the bristles and reshape the brush before you dry it.

Lay the brushes out on a towel to dry them, ideally overnight so that they’re fully dried when you use them in the morning.

Keep your products clean

Most of us assume that our various jars and tubs of lotions and potions contain little bits of luxury that are beneficial to our skin. We don’t tend to think that what they might actually house is something that’s a little nastier, and certainly detrimental to our skin care routine.

Think about it. If you dip your fingers into your moisturiser, then whatever germs are on them will end up in the product, and then back on your face the next time you put your moisturiser on! It’s a never ending, unpleasant circle. So it probably goes without saying, but make sure that you thoroughly wash your hands and the area under your nails before applying moisturiser, or anything else, to your face.

Bin any cosmetics that smell or look unusual as the chances are they’ve gone off. Beauty professionals recommend that you don’t keep products for more than six months, advice which is especially important to take into consideration with mascara and other eye makeup. Finally, sharpen any pencil products and clean any tubes or pots that have become sticky with product, don’t forget to wipe the inside of the makeup bag too!

round illuminated mirrorDark hollywood mirror

It may also be worthwhile to clean your vanity desk with warm water and disinfectant to combat any germs that might be gathered there. You can wipe over your mirror too with glass cleaner and a microfibre cloth to get rid of any streaks or product residue.

Following this guide should, hopefully, help you to achieve a perfectly organised, clean and stress-free makeup area that will make your beauty ritual much easier. Why not add a touch of glamour to your usual routine with one of our illuminated mirrors? Our Hollywood Mirror is perfect to use for applying makeup, and is guaranteed to look beautiful on your makeup table! Browse the full range of our illuminated mirrors here.




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Jamie Bell is the managing director of Illuminated Mirrors. You can find Jamie on Google+; he also occasionally updates the Illuminated Mirrors Facebook page.

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