Monday, October 18, 2010

How to Sanitize Makeup

Hello Gorgeous Ladies!
This post has been a long time coming. My subbies on youtube have been asking me to do a video on makeup sanitation, but I decided to write about it instead. Hope this is just as helpful if not more!

Sanitizing makeup is probably the thing I am the most wary of, especially since I am a makeup artist and use tons of brushes, and tons of makeup on my clients on a day to day basis. Sanitation is SO important because if you don't, your customers can develop skin reactions, infections, and many other things! Though I have not heard about any MUA being sued for something like that, it is a definite possibility and you don't want to be known for spreading infections, because in this industry, word of mouth is your greatest source for success.

There are a few different ways to sanitize makeup, and I will all of you about the different methods I have/still use. Originally, when I first started doing makeup I was taught the MAC method of sanitizing makeup, which is to take a tissue and rub off the top layer of your powder products. This includes eyeshadows, blushes, highlighters, etc. With you using brushes and double dipping into products (which is almost a necessity with makeup) you get into germ breeding. The brushes touch the clients' face, and then the surface of your makeup, which leads to all bacteria transferring from their face to your makeup. However, this bacteria stays on the surface of your product and does not penetrate below the top layer. That is why taking a tissue and rubbing off the top layer is a great way to sanitize powder.

Now, sanitizing cream products is much more difficult. If possible, you should use a spatula and scoop out some product to use. If you have not done this in the past, you can take a coin or knife, and scrape off about 2 layers of the cream products. On a cream product, bacteria tends to penetrate a bit deeper than on powder products.

Lipsticks, eyeliners, and lipliners are the easiest to sanitize. I use 70% alcohol (available at any drugstore for just a few $), pour it into a small cup, and then dip the above products into the alcohol, then rub off a layer on a paper towel. Though it sounds tedious, the aforementioned products are the easiest to sanitize.

When it comes to using lipglosses and mascara, make sure you always use disposable applicators, because mascara is the biggest carrier of germs! These disposable applicators are available at, Sally Beauty Supply, and even, so they are easily accessible and a MUST have if you are a MUA.


I just got my hand on an AMAZING brand of cosmetic sanitizers called Beauty So Clean. They have a cosmetic sanitizer spray as well as cosmetic sanitizer wipes. The spray is especially ingenious because all you have to do is spray it on the surface of all your powder and cream products (which is most of your kit, anyway!) and after 10 seconds, you are ready to go! This spray settles onto the surface of your products, and sanitizes it by removing 99.9% of the germs. Yes, that not 100% but even the daily soaps, shampoos, and anti bacterial sanitizer you use on yourself is 99.9% effective. Using the spray literally makes my sanitizing time about 20 minutes for my entire kit, while the aforementioned method took about an hour. The only downside is that the spray is really expensive, at $12.50 for a tiny on the go bottle, and $25.00 for the pro size bottle. Also, being a spray, you end up using much more of the product than you think, so it will not last a lifetime like most makeup products do.

As for the sanitizer wipes, its meant to be used for lipsticks, lip liners, and eye liners. All you do is wipe off the tip, and you are ready to go! The only downside of the Beauty So Clean products is that they have a strong smell of alcohol, which can give you a massive headache (in fact I have one right now due to cleaning my kit!).

When working on a photo shoot or backstage at a show, I like to keep the sanitizer wipes and spray on hand, to quickly sanitize everything on the go, so your clients dont feel like they are in bad hands.

As far as brushes go, I use MAC's Brush Cleanser and clean ALL my brushes off after each use. It's a lot to do, but since the MAC brush cleanser does have some alcohol in it, so the bristles of the brush dry faster. However, it is worth your time and money to sanitize ALL of your kit AND your own personal makeup because you don't want a bad reputation from one eye infection!

Hope this was helpful!


  1. This really was helpful thank you for this post! I was always curious what makeup artists did for sanitizing their products.

    1. Dear Beauty Insiders,

      I’d like to Introduce you to… the one and only makeup brush you’ll ever need.

      Why you need it:

      Mieoko’s flat top brush is perfect for medium to heavy coverage – that doesn’t look caked on. It will never leave your foundation uneven – we promise. Our brush is made from only the finest quality high density synthetic taklon bristles. The new Mieoko Flat Top Brush is an essential addition to your makeup bag. Our flat kabuki makeup brush provides you with a flawless and seamless makeup application – every single time.

      And the best part? It doesn’t shed. Your pets shed, your makeup brushes shouldn’t.

      These brushes usually sell for $24.00. But today we’re going to give it to you absolutely free.

      And remember – you’re getting it totally free.

      So what are you waiting for? Get yours before it’s gone. Supplies are very limited. All brushes will be given out on a first come first serve basis.

      Click here now to get your FREE Mieoko Flat Top Makeup Brush.

      Why would we do that?

      To promote our fabulous new American Beauty Association

      We went through a process of hand selecting the softest most cruelty-free brushes we could find. Our makeup brush has been compared to the Sigma – F80 Flat Top, the #1 selling brush on Amazon.

      Put yourself back in control of your coverage, with one less caked-on layer of foundation. The Mieoko flat top brush allows nothing to stand between you and your makeup application. Imagine perfect skin all day, every day 24/7.

      It works with all makeup, including creams, liquids, minerals, powders and does not soak up excessive amounts of product like other brushes. And that’s just for starters. This small compact brush is really handy for on-the-go full coverage, whether it’s a quick car mirror fix or a little late afternoon pick-me-up.


  2. This really was helpful thank you for this post! I was always curious what makeup artists did for sanitizing their products.

  3. Try The Pro Hygiene Collection - just brilliant

  4. In addіtion, on Dеcеmber 14, 2012 buѕiness іn Syԁney, Αustralia.
    Μy pаrtnеrs and I would HIDE new academic ѵocаbularу woгds in the 3rd gгade hall fοr students to bе on
    thе road.

    my homepagе ... minnesota internet marketing

  5. Why not just put the alcohol in a spray bottle instead of paying so much more for Beauty So Clean. Alcohol is used to fix cracked eyeshadow and powders so it obviously doesn't hurt the product. Just a thought...

  6. There are various home how to find a girlfriend programs on the market.
    This does not seem to be the home for the toxins.

    Feel free to visit my web page: homepage

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. OMG!!! Do you not know why ANTIBACTERIAL products like the,SPRAY and wipes you mentioned are SOOOOOO BAD???? Yes 99.9% of the germs and bacteria will die, but the 0.01 percent that REMAIN ALIVE will be imune to your precious spray. And these new imune germs andbacteria will grow and pass on the imunity to their offspring so to speak. And that 0.01 percent will continue to grow on your makeup, and no matter how many times you spray it will not affect the ones that are now imune. They will continue to grow intill they are the mayority. And unbeknownst to you, who will continue to use these products on people and spread these now antibacterial resistant bacteria to other people. That is what happens in hospitals where things are onstantly desinfected with antibacterial products. Super resistant bactetian strains are born, that can't be killed with anything. So the old wipe off, alcohol, and cleaning with gentle soap n water is WAY better than creating super bacteria.

  9. Thank you SO MUCH for quoting this product - just ordered!