Chronicled Beauty

One girl's journey through the makeup industry

Spring Cleaning – Makeup Edition April 7, 2013

Finally, trees are turning green, flowers are blooming, the wind is softly blowing in cool hair on a warm day.  Spring is upon us!!  While my husband and I are in full-blown Spring Cleaning mode, purging our house of things we haven’t touched in years, I figured I would give you all some tips and guidelines on how to keep your makeup collection up-to-date and clean.

What many people don’t know is that expired, unclean makeup can lead to those pesky breakouts we get.  If your brushes are never cleaned, they harbor tons of bacteria which cause blotchy skin and pimples.  Shadows, foundation, compacts, pretty much all of your makeup, if not cleaned and sanitized can become a place for bacteria to hide.

As I am a makeup artist, I take pride in my sanitation and cleanliness of my makeup.  There are a few products that I would HIGHLY recommend to my readers – all of these will help clean your brushes, sanitize your makeup and get you in a better habit so that if you do have a minor breakout, you can say cross out the possibility that it comes from your cosmetics.

1. Cleaning your brushes

It is important to deep-clean your brushes as often as once a week.  Now your asking, deep-cleaning, what does that entail?  A VERY inexpensive and effective way I clean my brushes to rid them of product is Johnson’s Baby Shampoo.


Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, Lavender scent – $5.79

I prefer to use the Lavender scent because I just smells divine and most of my clients love the scent as well!  Honestly, any gentle baby shampoo will do.  Just wet your brush, making sure you do not let water get into the ferrule – the usually silver, metal part of the brush handle that holds the brush hair.  If this part of the brush gets wet it will compromise the glue holding the bristles and eventually they will start to fall out.  So swirl the brush in the palm of your hand until all of the product comes out.  Rinse, reform the brush and let dry overnight.

For “spot-cleaning”, which is quickly cleaning and sanitizing your brushes, in between use I would never survive without my M.A.C. Brush Cleanser.


M.A.C Brush Cleanser, $14.00

This stuff is a miracle worker in my eyes.  Even with hard stained brushes that hold foundation or lipstick, this stuff cleans them so well and also has a significant amount of alcohol in it to disinfect.  All you need is the brush cleaner and a hand towel you don’t mind getting grimy and even stained.  Give the brush bristles two drops of the solution, swirl in the towel until all of the product is removed.  Before you use the brush next, make sure it is fully dry, which takes anywhere from 5-15 minutes.  Clinique, Estee Lauder and E.L.F. make similar cleaning solutions.

2. Sanitizing powder, liquid products

A staple in my makeup kit, and personal collection for serious sanitizing of my makeup is Beauty So Clean products.

This company makes amazing sanitizing products for all of your cosmetics.  There is a spray, which can be used for brushes, cream formulas, shadows, loose powder, on and on.  They also make wipes which you can clean your liners and lipsticks, anything solid.

3. Expiration dates

A few years ago, I was surprised to find out that makeup does have an expiration date and unfortunately, it’s a quick life for most of our cosmetics.  I’ve made a small list of the accepted expiration dates for most makeup.

Oil-free foundation: 1 year
Cream or compact foundation: 18 months
Concealer: 12-18 months
Powder: 2 years
Blush and bronzer: 2 years
Powder eyeshadow: 2 years
Cream eyeshadow: 12-18 months
Eyeliner: 2 years, if sharpened regularly
Liquid eyeliner: 3-6 months
Mascara: 3 months
Lipstick: 2 years
Lip liner: 2 years
Lip gloss: 18-24 months

If you can, remember when you opened the product and keep track.  These products will lose a lot of their staying power, vibrancy and durability if used past its expiration date.

Last, and definitely not least, when you are at a department store, or makeup store, please PLEASE please make sure you use disposable applicators instead of trying things directly from their container.  There is no telling how many people have touched these products so it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to putting things on your face and close to your eyes.

I hope you try these tips out yourself!  Remember, our skin is the biggest organ we have.  We must keep it as clean as we possibly can, and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg at all!