Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Temptalia Asks You


Do you clean/sanitize your makeup? Why/why not? If so, how often?

Temptalia's AnswerI try to go through all my products every 4-6 months and do some cleaning–wiping down powder surfaces, dipping lipsticks into rubbing alcohol to sanitize, and tossing out anything that has changed color/scent/consistency.  I use recyclable disposable lipgloss wands for glosses from the get-go, so I don’t have to worry about those, and I use metal spatulas to get cream products out nowadays to avoid dealing with cleaning cream products!

Thanks to Johanna for today’s question!

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50 thoughts on “Do you clean/sanitize your makeup?

  1. Val

    Would alcohol hurt the lipsticks?

    • I haven’t had any issues – I picked up the method from how the artists at MAC counters sanitized their lipsticks for customers!

      • Athena

        The people at your mac counter sanitize the lipsticks with alcohol? Mine just wipe them with a plain kleenex :P

          • Nazish

            Yup. My Mac store does not clean lipsticks with alcohol anymore. They just take off the the top layer with a tissue. I asked them about it and they said it dried out the lipstick because they constantly had to do it over and over again for each client. That is why I don’t try lipsticks on my lips at this particular store anymore.

            • Weird, because they’ve been doing it for years and I’ve never reached to swatch for a lipstick that’s been dried out. Personally, it’s a cost of doing business, and you’d think MAC would go through testers fast enough that it wouldn’t make a difference.

            • Ana

              The new MAC girls at my counter literally just hand me something, it was so gross. I never see them sanitize anything (they’ve hired a bunch of really young girls lately)

              What more, the girl encouraged me to test their eyeshadows with my finger. At this point I was like ew gross, and told her she should probably suggest customers use a… COTTON SWAB. Because you know, they are there that way for a reason.

              I worked at Lancome and usually we cut the wand out of lip glosses that were on display. We had a brand new display up that hadn’t been cut yet, and a woman literally opened it, USED IT and put it back in the container. I was with my manager at the time and I had to turn around so I didn’t laugh at her or make a face. Gross.

            • Every time I’ve been at a MAC counter, the wands have been cut out there. SO weird… and gross. I mean, I wouldn’t feel comfortable trying any lip product on from any counter any more, but yeah… These brands have enough margin to be able to sanitize and provide proper testers for customers.

          • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Emily Emily

            Will alcohol cleaning lipsticks prolong their life? Also what kind of places sell it do I just dip??? I’m scared haha

            • I wouldn’t say it prolongs life, it just keeps it cleaner :) I just use rubbing alcohol, poor into a cup, and it’s a pool party for all!

          • Jennifer

            Yeah, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one use alcohol either…

          • Sil

            They do the same here in belgium and the netherlands at the mac counters that i’ve been to!

            For testers it makes sense, they just scrape off the top layer. But magine how much lipstick you would waste if you would clean your own lipsticks like that..

          • At my local MAC store, it depends on the SA. Some wipe down, some use alcohol, and some do a mix of both. I think it also matters if the store is busy. Then they quickly wipe down if the next customer wants to use it.

          • shuz4ever

            Christine most MAC counters do not sanitize lipsticks with alcohol unless you specifically ask the SA to do so. Reason why i only do hand swatches – and on the rare occasion that i do a lip swtch i insist on the alcohol dip and watch em doing so with a hawk eye! Oh and this practise varies from country to country as well (i’ve noted MAC SAs in the Middle East and South Asia look surprised when asked to sanitize any product).

            • Every counter/store I’ve ever been to (most of them in California) have done it – never have not, so it is really weird that it is not uniform.

            • CJ

              At my local MAC counter they’re very strict about using the disposable wands and cotton swabs for swatches – and they use disposable things themselves when they put make-up on people.

        • really? they do that with alcholl here in Italy too!

        • Rebecca

          That’s gross.

        • Yikes I would not suggest putting that on your lips! Not sanitary :/

        • Val

          Last time I visited a MAC in Hong Kong, I asked a MUA for a alcohol wipe to clean the lipstick so I could try it on, but she said she doesn’t have any and that I should clean the lipstick myself…she refused to help me at all!

        • Adee

          Eeew!!! My Mac girls ALWAYS use alcohol. I know where they keep it and often just do it myself now. I don’t sanitize my own makeup though, unless I use it while I am sick. Then I always clean it afterwards so I don’t have to throw it out.

  2. I don’t clean/sanitize my makeup. I use clean brushes and I keep clean habits so it never really occurred to me to clean my makeup. I don’t often have things go bad on me. Heck, even mascara lasts a long time for me. Lipstick and gloss, if they sit around for too long do get a little off and have to be tossed but my pressed and mineral eye colours and blushes and so forth… Nope.

    I go through skin care products pretty fast and since I have a pared down number of products and only dip in with very clean fingers, I don’t have any spoilage issues. :)

  3. Yida

    With lipsticks, I use rubbing alcohol and I find that mineral loose products are usually cleaner if I was their lid in detergent. I find fix+ stays on my mineral powders when I use it with a brush

  4. I dont share my makeup with anyone. I like my germs. LOL.

  5. Denise F.

    I use tissues for my powder products. Clean wands for lipsticks/glosses. I buy pump foundations,so they never have to sit in/on anything,once they’re out of their containers. Lip glosses/sticks should be tossed in 9 months 2 a year.Mascara–every 3 months. Powder color products 3-6 months for eyes. 6 months for blush/powders. MAC should sanitize everything w/ alcohol. They have a beaker w/ alcohol in it, for pencils, @ the MAC counters,I’ve gone too. If they’re not clean, they don’t put make up on me. I’ve worked for Sephora, and know all the guidelines.

  6. I find when I use lip glosses I need to pick up product twice? Like I need to dip the wand in a second time to get the desired amount of product, when you are using disposable wands, do you need to use two to combat this? (or maybe I’m the only one with the problem :) )

    • If it seems like I need more than just one pull, then I’ll either turn it around and use just the wooden side for more or swipe what I did get on the back of my hand and get more. I usually just turn it around, though.

  7. Sometimes I’ll wipe off makeup containers that start looking skanky, but I’ve never sanitized them. My makeup is only used on myself, and I’m generally compulsively clean after working an internship at a food production plant.

  8. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Niki Nik

    What a great idea, I need to do that with my lipsticks. :) I dab 2 pigmented glosses from Lancome lately on a clean fingertip but disposable wands sound smart and sanitary! Where do you get them Christine!

    • I get ‘em through Amazon – I think there is a seller through there that sells them, so that’s where I go. I know EnKoreMakeup is selling some, too :) His look better than the ones I have (which are pretty cheap and less glamorous than anything that comes with a lipgloss… but for me, it’s worth it – I can easily donate glosses and not worry about it).

  9. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Mariella Mariella

    Never in my life and I’ve never had a problem.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Michelle Michelle

      Same here.. but most of these comments are making me feel gross for not sanitizing my makeup :/ I do clean my brushes, though.

      • Voly

        Most makeup contains preservatives, which prevent germs from growing. So that shouldn’t be a problem.

  10. I go through lipsticks quickly enough to use them up before they go bad. With blushes and eyeshadows, I wipe my brush off before re-dipping to avoid getting bacteria or germs back into the pot. I always use a brush or spatula to scoop out cream products.

  11. Rachel

    What is the best way to clean/sanitize a pressed powder?

  12. Niki

    I santize my makeup every 2 months, I spray palettes down with 99% alcohol, dip lipstick in 99% alcohol, I sharpen pencils regularly, clean/wipe down surface of powder and cream makeup products; and of course, I spot clean my MU brushes every other day (although the a rubbed on a paper towel sprayed with 99% alcohol befroe each use) and I deep clean my brushes every week.

    I am sure I probably go a little overboard with cleaning my makeup but I know a few woman who got skin infections and pink eye from not cleaning their makeup and I refuse to subject myself to this fate.

  13. FC

    I just spray all of my makeup occasionally with alcohol. Feel free to spray it on eyeshadows, they’ll be fine. I thought it would leave that hard “crust” on top of them when they got wet, but they don’t when you use alcohol.

  14. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Lauren Lauren

    Seriously, the herpes cold sore virus will not be deterred by scraping off a product or wiping it or alcohol. Why risk it? That’s disgusting! BE SMART PEOPLE!

    • Voly

      Yes it could. The virus isn’t alive, it can’t crawl inwards. So if you wipe off the top layer, it’s wiped off with it.

  15. Voly

    Nope, I don’t sanitize anything. I wash my brushes once in a while with soap water, but that’s it.
    This is whaat preservatives in makeup are for, so that nothing gross grows on/in it. I’ve had the surface of lanolin based lip treatment applicator start smelling gross, so I wiped it really well, and from then on used finger to apply it instead of the applicator. No problems since then.

  16. Ginnia

    Christine, do you carry disposable wands with you for reapplying lipgloss during the day too?

  17. Becca

    no I don’t. but I clean my brushes… :)

  18. meme

    I also sort through my stuff and get rid of things I won’t use or have turned. I wash my makeup brushes with face cleanser and air dry usually once a week. I toss broken, mushed lipsticks (unless it’s a die hart fav, expensive one of mine and then will use it with a brush only). I also use paddles to take out cream and clean them with each use with an alcohol wipe.

  19. For clients, I always always sanitize after every use. My personal stash of makeup Ill go through it about once a month. For lipsticks Ill spray rubbing alcohol onto a tissue and then rub back and forth. Eye pencils, the same accept I sharpen the top layer off after. Eyeshadows, blushes, bronzers, and face powders, Ill lightly mist with alcohol and then pat a tissue over them =)

  20. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Steph Steph

    I’m the only person I use my makeup on so I don’t sanitize them, though I do sometimes wipe the surface off of powder products if they start to get a weird texture and I’ll throw out anything that’s started to smell funky. If they start to get grubby on the outside I sometimes give the containers a quick wipe and of course I wash my brushes! XD

  21. Mabeline

    I can’t believe no one has mentioned BeautySoClean! I was at IMATS last year and attended one of their seminars. It changed the way I sanitize my makeup. Other makeup artists have started using their products and done away with alcohol. Alcohol, over time, can ruin the quality of cream products and shadows – even changing the color over time. This product is so great. You can buy it in a bottle or get a box of little wipes. I have both! I just bring a few packets with me and sanitize any testers at any store – no need to rely on sales associates to do it for me. I could go on and on why everyone should sanitize their makeup – regardless if it’s for personal use or for sanitizing product before using on clients. I will never use alcohol again! Here is a link to their web site: http://www.beautysoclean.com/. Even some of the makeup supply shops that cater to MUAs have started carrying it in their stores near me. I use this for my own personal makeup as well as my makeup kit.

  22. Rebekah

    Would the same method of dipping the lipstick into alcohol work on eyeliners and products like that?