Brushes, Beauty Blenders, Baking & Bacteria

Makeup is an amazing art form that has evolved through the years! We now have access to tools that make the application process flawless! I encourage everyone to take full advantage of the different makeup & tools. The esthetician in me wants you to be excited about make up, but be responsible with your skin. In this blog, we will chat about being responsible with your makeup and tools.

Makeup is a means of personal expression. The artist can deliver their style with a little pigment and a stroke of a brush. Some artists wear makeup to create an illusion of perfection, some simply enhance their God given beauty, and others want to make a statement. You become an artist when you blend with your brush or stipple with your blender. Because makeup is an art, it doesn’t have to be perfect! However you apply and for whatever reason you apply, rock it!

Social media is full of makeup artist sharing their techniques, favorite brands, tools, and crazy DIY tips! Most artists share their tips but forget to tell you how to protect your skin from bacteria, contact dermatitis, and other contaminates. That’s why you have me! I got you! Hopefully the tips I share will keep you safe while you Youtube your way to makeup artistry!

Have you tried a beauty blender? If not, do it! These egg-looking sponges give the foundation an air brushed finish. Before using your blender, wet the blender and wring it out. Using the unique contours of the blender, you can ensure even coverage in all nooks and crannys of the face. Beauty blenders are wonderful for makeup application, but they can get nasty real quick! They are porous. They can harbor and spread bacteria. If you have an occasional breakout you can use the blender, but if you have active acne, I do not recommend continued use of a blender or any other sponge applicator. It is very important to wash your blender and know when to replace it! Wash your blender after every use. You should replace your blender every couple of months. If your blender has rips, tears or loses its shape, pitch it!

I love my brushes! There are sooo many brushes to choose from! There is a foundation brush, smudger brush, blender brush, powder brush, angled brush, kabuki brush, fan brush, (you get the point). Although different, they all have one thing in common – they need to be cleaned! I know, I know…it’s a pain in the tush. Who has that kind of time? Kids, a husband, a dog, and reading takes up all of my time! But, my obsession with my skin forces me to be a good girl and clean the funk from my brushes. Ok, so let’s be realistic. Ideally, daily cleaning is preferred. But we all know that won’t happen. So, maybe if I tell you how gross a used makeup brush can be, you’ll be compelled to clean more often. The worst is the brushes we use around the eyes. I’m sure you’ve seen the magnified image of the “eye bugs” that have taken up residency in your eye lashes and other areas of the face. And if you haven’t, I will graciously share the image with you…because I love you.

The actual name for these bugs are “Eyelash Mites” or Demodex Folliculitis. The mites are a parasite that lives in the hair follicles of the face. They feed off of the oil, build up and bacteria in the follicle. They can overpopulate if you don’t properly clean your makeup brushes and change your mascara wands. You should be just as cautious with other makeup brushes. The bristles are porous and can harbor & spread bacteria. Make up can coat the bristles making cleaning difficult. So, the more you clean them, the easier it is! You can purchase brush cleaning solution or use warm water & gentle soap. Some of my patients have asked if rubbing alcohol is acceptable for cleaning. Rubbing alcohol will clean the brush, but it will dry out the bristles and severely decrease the quality & life of your brush. If you purchase high quality brushes and you clean them a minimum of once a week, your brushes can last years!

Is there a better option for makeup application that won’t spread bacteria and doesn’t need a cleaning routine? YES! Silicon make up applicators is where it’s at! They look like bra inserts or cutlets, but they are a genius take on sanitary application! Because its silicon, it is a non-porous surface that will not harbor or spread bacteria. The surface can be easily rinsed clean. They can last a while, but they are relatively inexpensive. Believe me…you’ll need to replace it. Not because of application or sanitary reasons, but because they look cool and everyone in the house will want to play with it! Downside? The application process takes some getting used to. Once you’ve mastered it, you’re going to use much less foundation! Sponges and brushes absorb about 40% of the product you use! And if you have expensive taste, 40% of that $70 bottle of Giorgio Armani foundation is crucial!

No matter the tool used, you should NEVER (I MEAN NEVER) share your tools with anyone! Contact dermatitis, staph, rashes, irritation, & bugs can be transferred from contaminated tools. If you see a makeup artist for events, demand to see clean brushes! Now-a-days artists are charging insane amounts of money or your first born. For those prices, you deserve quality makeup and a clean application.

Your tools aren’t the only concern. Be responsible with your makeup as well. I understand how pricy good makeup can be. Unfortunately, so does my husband. We’ve had the conversation that starts “$30 for an eye brow pencil, really?!” Way too often! He cringes when I ask to go to Sephora. So, I understand that throwing away $60 foundation can be painful. Thankfully, makeup lasts a good while. If you are unsure how long you can stretch your makeup, there is a general rule of thumb…
• Mascara – 3 months
• Eye Shadow – 2 years for powder & 1 year for cream
• Eye Liner – 3 months
• Foundation – 1 year
• Concealer – 1 year
• Blush & Bronzer – 2 years
• Lipstick – 1 year
• Lip Gloss – 6 months
Again, this is a general time frame. If you have environmental factors or contaminate your makeup with dirty brushes, you will have to throw your makeup away. Don’t risk it. Better safe than sorry!

I hope this blog was helpful. If you have specific questions regarding your makeup, application, tools, and tricks of the trade give me a ring! I am your esthetician and I’m here for ALL of your skin care needs. As my patient, I want you to be excited to play with makeup and just as excited to take care of your skin! If you liked this blog, don’t be selfish! SHARE the love with your friends! If you have a blog topic you’d like me to cover, let me know! I can be reached at the office 985-893-6073 or email at
‘Til next time…

Your Esthetician