The flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, and there’s a collective mood boost coming with the warmer temps. It makes cleaning feel less like a chore and a little more like a seasonal ceremony.
Last time, we talked about decluttering your beauty stash, but what about your beauty tools? Maybe they’ve been neglected lately, but hey, that’s okay! Spring’s renewal usually comes with more space in our lives for self-care, so let’s think about how to care for the tools you use daily to look and feel your best.
For most of these, all you need is a couple of minutes, a little rubbing alcohol, cotton balls, some baby shampoo and a nice, clean towel. All things you have on-hand at home!
Return your hairbrush to its original glory.
When was the last time you deep-cleaned your brush? It’s not the type of thing that typically makes your to-do list, but a good monthly cleanse keeps brushes feeling newer, longer. On most weeks, you can just remove tangled hair from the bristles, but pick the same day every month for a more intense clean that banishes dirt, oil and product buildup – and keeps it off your hair!
Start by removing hair from the base of the bristles with a comb, tweezers or just your fingers, then combine warm water and about 2 teaspoons of mild soap or shampoo. Then soak that baby for at least 10 minutes before scrubbing it down. To get between bristles, use a clean spoolie or an old toothbrush. Then just rinse with warm water, shake off the extra moisture and dry bristle-side down on a clean towel.
NOTE: If you have a wooden brush or comb, don’t submerge it in water. Instead, dip the bristles of your spoolie or toothbrush into your warm water mixture and clean it outside the sink.
Clean your styling comb so it glides.
Styling combs have a way of getting…gritty. It’s because they get so close to each strand, picking up hairspray, gel, leave-in conditioner, and even dandruff and debris. Give them a good scrub once a month while you’re cleaning your hairbrush.
All you have to do is toss them in the sink with your brushes and give them a good soak for about 10 minutes. Then scrub off any stickiness with your spoolie or old toothbrush. For tougher stains or buildup, you can add a little baking soda to the mixture. Give them a good rinse and lay them on your towel to air dry.
Wash your makeup brushes to keep your skin happy.
Add this one to your weekly agenda from this day forward. Dirty makeup brushes threaten breakouts, irritations and patchy application. If you wear makeup every day, the bacteria, oil, product and dead skin builds up fast. The good news is that keeping your makeup brushes clean takes 5 minutes or less. Tip: We recommend cleaning them at night so they can air dry while you get your beauty rest.
Start by wetting the bristles with warm water and then put a pea-sized amount of gentle shampoo into the palm of your hand. Swirl the brush in your balm, gently massaging the bristles as the pigment comes out. As you rinse the bristles, try to keep the handle dry. Then squeeze the bristles to remove excess moisture, reshape, and lay flat to dry.
NOTE: Storing your makeup brushes safely can extend their life, so consider keeping them upright in an organizer or in a clean bag, separate from your makeup.
Sanitize your tweezers as often as you pluck.
Tweezers are the ultimate multi-purpose beauty tools, but they also come in contact with a lot of different situations. That’s why we recommend sanitizing them after every use. You can simply wash them in warm, soapy water or dip them in rubbing alcohol for a quick clean.
Scrub your eyelash curler like you mean it.
This is a big one! Your eyes are the window to the soul and they’re an extra sensitive area. To keep your makeup looking flawless and prevent infections and ingrown hairs, it’s best practice to clean your eyelash curler every time you wash your makeup brushes. Otherwise, you could end up with caked-on mascara, loads of old liner and irritation when you least expect it.
To sanitize your curler, saturate a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and wipe down the whole thing. Pay special attention to the cushion that comes in contact with your eyes (these can be replaced periodically, too). When you’re done, rinse with warm water and air dry until your next use.
Make your pencil sharpener shine.
Eye and lip pencils offer the most bang for your buck when it comes to makeup staying power. But because of where we put them, they collect bacteria with every use. Sharpening eliminates any serious concern with your pencil formulas – but what about the stuff hiding out in your sharpener?
We recommend cleaning your sharpener every week the same way you clean your lash curler. Dip a cotton ball or swap into some rubbing alcohol and attack! Rinse when you’re done and lay flat to air dry.
Don’t forget your hot styling tools.
Is your curling wand or flat iron feeling a little…tacky? Over time, hair products tend to “bake” onto the metal surface of your stylers, which makes it harder for them to come into close contact with your hair and weakens the effect of the tool. Before you start manually scraping off the grime or submerging them in water in frustration, read this.
Cleaning them is a breeze. Alcohol dissolves the stickiness, so all you have to do is take your cleaning rag or a soft microfiber cloth, dip it into your rubbing alcohol and gently wipe down the surface of the tool. You can rub lightly and then wipe away the residue with a warm, clean damp cloth.
NOTE: Clean these only when they’re unplugged and completely cool to the touch.
Keep your nails tools squeaky clean.
Many nail tools are disposable, like basic emery boards, wooden cuticle sticks and toe separators. But everything else needs a thorough clean after use. Your clippers, scissors, cuticle nippers, metal files and other non-disposable items can be washed with antibacterial soap and warm water or carefully sanitized with rubbing alcohol. Abrasive tools can be cleaned using your nail brush, but be sure to wash that too when you do your makeup brushes.
Once they’re fresh and clean, avoid storing your nail tools in airtight containers, especially when damp or just-used, since bacteria can grow. Instead, store them loosely in a zipper bag or open acrylic organizer.
Round up your beauty tools this week and give them a good once-over. With a few minutes and a little TLC, they’ll look better, perform better and, most importantly, you’ll feel like a spring clean queen.
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