Keeping clean and sanitized brushes and sponges is the most important rule for any makeup artisit to follow. If these items are not cleaned, they can pass diseases from person to person. Infections such as pink eye, the flu, and even flesh-eating bacteria can be passed along to another client through dirty equipment. Follow these instructions to prepare your equipment for each client.
After you finish a makeup application session with a client, collect up all of the items that were used. Items such as cotton balls and makeup sponges should be immediately thrown away. There is no way that these items can be reused, so disposing of them is the best way. As for the makeup brushes, start by gathering all of them together.
To clean the brushes, you have several options. Soaking the brushes in a harsh chemical, such as formaldehyde is a common method, but it can damage the delicate fibers of high quality makeup brushes. Instead, a preferred method of cleaning these brushes is to use a mild soap or shampoo. This method works for all types of brushes. Clean the fibers of the brushes just as you would your own hair.
Start by rinsing the hairs of the brush to remove any makeup or skincare products. Next, rub a very small amount of the shampoo into the brush’s fibers. This should be enough shampoo to cover about half the area of a dime. Rinse the shampoo out very thoroughly and allow the brushes to stand up in fresh air to dry.
Next, gather the sponge sticks that were used to apply eye makeup. Since the eye area is particularly prone to infection, it is important to keep these instruments very clean. Many makeup artists choose to use disposable makeup sponges for this area because of the importance of keeping it sterile. If you choose to use reusable sponge sticks, soak them in a solution of one part bleach to five parts water. After soaking, rinse the sponges thoroughly, then allow them to completely dry before using them.
In the case of lip and eye pencils, shave or trim off the end of the pencil. While this will cut down on the lifespan of the pencils, it is the only way to make sure that the pencil is clean for the next customer. Placing the pencil under a high-intensity UV light will also help to kill any lingering germs.