The Make-Up Business

Taking Care of Your Make-up Items

Mirror, mirror on the wall; washing, storing, cleaning, ditching

Unlike diamonds, beauty items and their applicators do not last forever. But taking care of your make-up items can easily stretch their use for longer. You should also know when it is time to replace them.

Maintenance of your make-up items is a vital part of every make-up-using woman’s routine. It does not matter whether you are a professional make-up artist or own a personal cosmetics kit, you should be familiar with storing, washing, cleaning, and, inevitably, ditching techniques of beauty items that no longer prove useful.

This is important because using unhygienic or expired make-up items can put your skin (and others) at risk. Dirty applicators can lead to clogged pores, infections, inflamed skin, and breakouts. Expired beauty items tend to cause more harm.

Regularly taking care of your make-up items means you are employing sanitized pieces every time they hit your face or a client’s. The suggestions below have been categorised under three headings – cleaning, storing, and tossing.


You can clean your applicators – brushes, sponges, etc – with antibacterial wipes when you want to change colours during make up. But they should all be washed thoroughly every few days with soap and water or an anti-bacterial solution

Sharpen your eyeliners and lip pencils to sanitize the parts containing bacteria. In addition, spray a little disinfectant on a tissue and wipe over the sharpened tip of the pencils.

Use sanitizing wipes over all containers of cream make-up products, eye shadow palettes, highlight products, blushers, contours, and face powders every so often to keep them dirt-free. Do the same for the interior and exterior of their packaging.

One more thing, do not share your products.


This should be in a cool, dry place where the make-up items will not encounter warmth or humidity, as these elements can affect the efficacy of the products. Many women are guilty of storing their beauty items in the bathroom because it is the preferred location to make up – wide mirror, natural light, access to water if needed, etc. However, it is not an ideal place because of one of its usages – bathing. Also, keep your make-up and skincare bottles organized and separated. This habit helps them stay clean, too.

If a make-up bag is part of your everyday entourage, use one that is wash-friendly. Ensure it gets a thorough wash bi-monthly or, at the very least, monthly.  On the other hand, if it is made of a delicate material, then sanitizing wipes used to clean it out once a week is in order.


If your make-up items start to give off an odour that was not present at the time of purchase, then the shelf life is probably up and it is time for a replacement. Other indicators of expiration could be discolouration and changes in texture and consistency. Few make-up items like lipsticks can last for up to two years. Others have a shelf life of one year of fewer than six months (Mascara: 3 – 5 months; Foundation 3 months; Liner: about a year). Becoming acquainted with the longevity (or lack thereof) of beauty products is a healthy practice.

Read also: 10 Must-Have Beauty Items for Today’s Woman

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