How to care for your makeup products
June 7, 2019

You've stretched out the collar of one too many shirts to avoid skimming your face. You've strained your neck far too many times when going in for a hug. When jumping through these hoops, you've got two main objectives: don't ruin your makeup and don't leave a stain behind.

Makeup products are deeply pigmented and contain heavy oils and resins, which can make stain lifting harder than usual. Most liquid makeup, such as foundations, concealers and even mascaras, are oil-based, while lipsticks, lip liners and eyeliners are made up of both oils and wax.

If you're stuck dealing with a dreaded makeup stain, simply dampen the area with clean water and spray it with a solution of 1 ounce Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner and 1 cup of water. Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner is both a cleaner and degreaser, which can work wonders in expelling these oily product stains from fabrics and clothing.

Let the cleaner soak on the stain for a few minutes, then gently rub and blot it with a clean, damp towel. Allow the area to dry completely.

Always wash the article of clothing or fabric immediately after spot-treating, but never throw the item into the dryer unless you're sure the stain is gone. The heat will bake the product into the fibers.

Cleaning Your Brushes, Applicators & Sponges

Regardless of whether you're a makeup artist, an everyday beauty guru, or a once-in-a-while wearer, it's also a good idea to regularly clean your makeup brushes.

Makeup sponges, also called beauty sponges, are popular applicators because their plush material completely eliminates streakiness and makes makeup truly look like a second skin. But between makeup application and rolling around in a makeup bag, these sponges are magnets for leftover product, oil, dead skin cells and other debris.

Household staples like dish soap and bar soap can dry out and damage the texture of a sponge. Other products like vinegar and olive oil may leave lingering smells or oily residue that you may not want mixed in with facial products.

Fortunately, Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner can also deep clean your makeup tools without ruining them. The formula is non-toxic and clean-rinsing, so you don't need to worry about cleaner residue causing skin irritation or mixing with your makeup products.

Makeup Sponges: Directions

To clean your sponge, mix one cup of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner with one cup of warm water in a bowl or glass. Squeeze your dirty sponge under warm running water so it expands and soaks up the clean water. Squeeze the sponge again as you place it in your Simple Green solution to help it absorb the cleaner.

Leave it to soak for about 10 minutes, then remove it from the solution and rinse again under warm running water. Continue to squeeze it out and let it soak up clean water until it stops sudsing and the water coming out of it runs clear. Never wring out your sponge, as the twisting motion can cause the material to tear or wear out quicker.

Finally, let it air dry. Do not put it away in a closed makeup bag or drawer until it is completely dry, as trapped moisture will encourage bacteria and mold growth.

Makeup Sponges: When to Deep Clean

Ideally you should be rinsing your makeup sponge after every use, but make sure you deep clean it once a week – and possibly more depending on how frequently you use it. It's also a good idea to store your sponge in a ventilated case to prevent it from taking on additional buildup and stains between cleanings.

Time to Buy a New One?

It's normal for the color of your sponge to fade a bit with regular use, but if it gets to the point of makeup remnants discoloring the sponge entirely - even with regular cleanings - it's probably time for a replacement. Otherwise, the buildup may cause makeup to appear discolored or apply unevenly. Replace your makeup sponge after 3 months of use if you use it on a daily basis.

Makeup Brushes: Directions

Like any reliable tool, high-quality makeup brushes can be expensive. It's important to take the time to clean yours to ensure your makeup application is as smooth and even as possible.

Cleaning your brushes gets rid of built-up oils, dirt and dust that they've accumulated. Dried and caked-on product can make your brushes stiff and scratchy, which will make your blending process more difficult and can irritate your skin. Brush hairs and bristles are porous, so the longer you wait in between brush cleanings, the more built-up grime and residue you're applying to your skin.

To get started, wet the bristles of your brushes with lukewarm water. Avoid getting water above the place where the bristles attach to the handle, which is called the ferrule, as this can loosen the glue over time and cause bristles to fall out. Pour full strength Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner into a large cup or jar - only use enough to submerge the bristles. Soak the brushes for 2-3 minutes.

Then, carefully swirl your brushes around to loosen makeup and residue lodged in the bristles. Rinse thoroughly in clean water. Again, be careful not to wet the handles of the brushes. Squeeze excess moisture out with a clean towel or paper towels. Reshape each brush head so it dries back to its original shape.

Let the brushes dry with the bristles hanging off the edge of a counter. Air drying them like this allows them to dry in the correct shape. Do not lay your brushes on a towel to dry, as the bristles can become mildewed, and never dry them vertically where the water could leak into the ferrule.

When you're finished soaking your brushes, drizzle the used Simple Green around your sink. You can use it to quickly wipe it down and help deodorize your drain.

Makeup Brushes: When to Deep Clean

Synthetic brushes, such as concealer and foundation brushes, should be thoroughly cleaned once a week to prevent product buildup. Brushes used around the eyes, like eyeshadow brushes, should be cleaned at least twice a month. All others, such as blush and powder brushes, can be washed once a month.

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