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How to Clean Your Makeup Tools the Right Way

When you think of your makeup collection, your makeup brushes and sponges might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but they are the real backbone of your beauty routine. They’re the tools responsible for that seamless eyeshadow blend or the undetectable layer of foundation on your skin! 

Beauty tools have an important role to fulfill, but they can’t do it to the best of their ability if they’re clogged with makeup.

By washing your makeup brushes regularly, you guarantee that your makeup will always glide on like a dream. Beyond that, since your brushes come in such intimate contact with your face, keeping them clean prevents breakouts and even sickness. 

If you don’t know how to clean makeup brushes and tools, have no fear! We’ve put together this comprehensive guide with answers to all of your burning questions.

If you’ve found yourself wondering how often to clean makeup sponges or what soap to use to clean makeup brushes, we have the answers. We also cover a few important hygiene and disinfection details you may not have considered before.

Hygiene is at the forefront of our minds these days. There’s always a bottle of hand sanitizer hidden in our purse, and we never miss a chance to wash our hands. We should be every bit as vigilant with our makeup tools when it comes to cleaning!

Which makeup tools do you need to clean?

It’s important to clean any reusable tool that comes in contact with your skin! Brushes, sponges, tweezers, and even your counter space must be washed and disinfected regularly. 

It’s a little different for the tools that come built into your makeup product, like the mascara wand on our bestselling Cabaret Première mascara or the doe-foot applicator on our new Polynésie Française volumizing lip gloss. The makeup itself is already formulated with ingredients that kill pesky germs, so as long as you don’t use those products past the listed expiry date, they’ll stay safe and always ready to go. 

What to use to clean makeup tools

cleaning a makeup brush

There are a lot of different makeup brush cleaners you can use, and chances are they’re already sitting in your bathroom or kitchen cabinets! So what soap to use to clean makeup brushes? It depends on the brush!  

Gentle cleaners for animal hair brushes

If your makeup brushes are made from animal hair, the best thing to use is a gentle shampoo that will wash away germs without drying out the bristles.

You can even follow it up with conditioner to keep the bristles extra-soft. Another option is to clean the makeup brushes with soap – just make sure to select a gentle one that includes moisturizing oils or glycerin. 

Cleaning synthetic brushes

Synthetic, or vegan, brushes have become very popular in recent years, in part because they are soft yet durable and cruelty-free! You can clean synthetic makeup brushes with dish soap or hand soap and feel confident that they’ll hold up beautifully. 

What to use to clean makeup sponges

Maybe you’ve heard that you can clean makeup sponges in the microwave, but that’s a big no-no. The extreme heat might kill the bacteria, but it’ll also damage your sponge. Instead, it’s best to clean makeup sponges with soap, dishwashing detergent, or any foaming cleanser that’s free of alcohol. 

Disinfecting your makeup tools 

Sometimes you don’t have time to thoroughly wash your brushes, but you still want to clean them up quickly in a way that kills germs. That’s when alcohol comes to the rescue!

Just as it can sanitize your hands, rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle can also disinfect makeup brushes and metal beauty tools. 

We recommend choosing 70% isopropyl alcohol since it’s strong enough to disinfect effectively but not so strong that it’ll dry out delicate brush bristles. As a bonus, wiping your brushes down after spraying will eliminate makeup residue and allow you to change colors. 

How often to clean makeup brushes

Misting a makeup brush 

If you wear your makeup daily, cleaning your makeup brushes at home once a week is a must. If you don’t have time to deep clean them every week, that’s okay! You can sanitize them with alcohol every week and do a thorough clean with shampoo or soap once a month. 

How often to clean makeup sponges

Sponges hold even more liquid and bacteria than brushes, so you need to keep them extra clean. If you wear foundation every day, wash them at least 2-3 times a week. Thankfully, since they work best when damp, it’s easy to wash them with soap and water before every use! 

How to clean makeup brushes 

Washing a makeup brush with soap

Before you start washing your makeup brushes, make sure to set yourself up properly! Get situated near the sink, line up all of your brushes, and have a towel ready for drying nearby. 

Cleaning makeup brushes with soap or shampoo 

  1. Start by dampening your brush bristles, but be careful not to let the water slide down into the ferrule (the metal tube that connects the bristles to the handle). If any water gets trapped in there, the base of the brush can become a breeding ground for bacteria. 
  2. Next, squirt a small amount of your makeup brush cleaner of choice in the palm of your hand. 
  3. Swirl the brush in your palm until it suds up. 
  4. Then, massage the bristles with your fingers to thoroughly break down the makeup residue–it’s just like shampooing your hair!  
  5. Then, rinse your brush until it’s clear of makeup and soap residue. 
  6. Finally, squeeze the brush head with your fingers to remove excess water and reshape the bristles. 
  7. If your brush is still feeling a little too damp, press it gently with a clean towel, and set it down to dry–we have a few more tips on that below! 

How to disinfect makeup brushes and tools with alcohol

  1. Spray your brush head or a paper towel with enough alcohol to slightly dampen the brush. 
  2. Next, wipe the brush back and forth multiple times over the paper towel. Keep going until the brush stops depositing color. 
  3. Lay the brush flat to allow it to dry.  
  4. If you’re disinfecting a beauty tool, spray it thoroughly with alcohol but don’t wipe it down. Set it somewhere clean, and the alcohol will dry away quickly on its own. 

How to dry your makeup brushes 

Professional makeup brushes drying

When it comes to drying your makeup brushes, the most important thing to remember is that you don’t want any water finding its way to the base of the bristles. 

Instead of making gravity your enemy, use it to your advantage! After squeezing out as much water as you can and reshaping the brushes, lay them flat or angle them downwards to let all of the liquid run off of the bristles. They should look exactly like the photo above! 

You can make your own brush drying contraption, or take a tip from makeup artist Troy Surratt:

"lay down a towel on a flat surface and roll it on one side. Then, lay the brushes down so that the handle is slightly lifted, putting the brush on a downward angle."

How to clean makeup sponges DIY 

Woman cleaning a makeup sponge

  1. To start, place your sponge under a running tap. 
  2. Add some soap or detergent, and squeeze the sponge until it’s sudsy–this is your sign that the soap has gotten all the way through it. 
  3. Squeeze a few more times for good measure. The suds coming out of the sponge should take on the color of your makeup. 
  4. Rinse the sponge under the tap to remove all of the soap and makeup residues. Keep squeezing the sponge while rinsing to ensure everything comes out. 
  5. Gently squeeze the sponge with a towel to remove excess water. 
  6. Finally, place it in a clean and safe place to air-dry. 

How often to replace your makeup brushes and tools 

All good things come to an end! Another element of good beauty hygiene is knowing when to replace your tools. It’s pretty obvious with makeup products since the expiry date is listed on the package, but with tools, you need to learn to judge for yourself. 

When to replace makeup sponges

Reusable sponges have a lifespan of up to 6 months, but they often need to be replaced much sooner. If you start noticing small tears or an odd smell, it’s better to play it safe and throw the sponge away. But wait... don’t throw it in the garbage! Many reusable makeup sponges can actually go in the recycling bin!  

When to replace makeup brushes

Brushes don’t have a clear cut shelf-life. Some artisan brushes can last for decades, while mass-produced brushes may only survive for a few years. What’s certain is that brushes that are well taken care of last longer. It’s time to replace a brush when it no longer holds its shape or if its bristles start to shed.  

A clean finish 

Woman applying makeup

As long as you get it done in a proper fashion, it doesn’t matter how you clean your brushes. You can use a special makeup brush cleaner or settle on a DIY method to clean your makeup brushes at home with your favorite soap or shampoo. The most important thing is that you’re keeping yourself and your skin healthy and safe!   



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Hot Makeup Trends vs Timeless Beauty
March 05, 2021
Hot Makeup Trends vs Timeless Beauty

One of the best things about makeup is how creative and evolving it can be. While clothing trends force you to buy new products every season, trendy makeup often just requires a change in technique. Experimenting, changing, and playing around with hot new trends from Instagram, TikTok, or the runways can be a ton of fun! However, these makeup trends are usually fleeting. Unlike classic makeup looks, they won’t stick around for longer than a year or two! It’s fun to look back at photos from the ‘80s or ‘90s and admire how differently women used to do their makeup, but it’s a little scary to imagine others doing the same with photos of you.  When you get ready for graduation photos, weddings, and other big events, do your makeup in such a way so that when you look back at the photos, you won’t find yourself thinking, “gosh, I can’t believe we all used to wear our makeup like that!”  In this article, we’ll go through each hot makeup trend whose days are unfortunately numbered, and reflect on the more timeless makeup looks equivalent to the trend.  While trends are fun for a night out or a creative Instagram story, classic makeup looks are the ideal choice for the most important occasions, so they’re utterly essential to master!   Hot trend: soap brows Brushed up brows are the go-to look for a ton of influencers these days, who usually achieve them with soap, brow gel, or even a semi-permanent lamination. They make the eyebrows look bushy, fluffy, and more symmetrical, and they’re very reminiscent of the styling for model brows in the ‘80s.  Soap brows give a youthful look and they’re a lot of fun, but like other brow trends before them, we think a new look will replace them shortly.  Classic look: groomed brows Soap brows are great fun—we think they’re going to be a major marker of the end of the 2010s. However, keeping your brows classically groomed has the benefit of looking good today as well as in the future.  Eyebrow pencils tipped with a grooming wand, like the Brow Arcade, are incredibly helpful for this technique since you can fill in your brows and then brush the hairs so they go to the side instead of upwards, to lay down in a more natural way.  Hot trend: fox eyes The fox eye makeup trend has absolutely taken over social media and the red carpet, especially by the likes of US-based celebs Bella Fox and Kendall Jenner. It’s a gorgeous look that gives the face an angular, elven appearance through pointed eyeliner and brows that are shaved off at the arch and filled in on an upward angle.  Classic look: classic eyeliner View this post on Instagram A post shared by Vivienne Sabó Paris (@viviennesabo.paris) Fox eyes may be sultry and sexy, but we predict that in the long term, eyeliner that makes the eyes look a little larger will continue to endure. After all, we’ve been doing our eyeliner this way since the ‘40s, and looking back on photos from that era, it still looks stunning.  The trick to keeping your natural eye makeup looking classy is to keep the liner away from the inner corner of the eye, and then to create the wing by following the natural angle of your lower lash line. We have a few more tips and tricks for this look here! Hot trend: baking or strobed skin We live in an era of extremes, with two ultra-popular foundation trends that directly contradict each other. You either bake your makeup under a thick layer of powder for 5-10 minutes, to guarantee an impenetrable finish, or you pack on the glowy serums and highlighters for a strobed, reflective skin finish. It can be great fun to experiment with both of these trends! Classic look: natural skin View this post on Instagram A post shared by Vivienne Sabó Paris (@viviennesabo.paris) In the long term, however, we think natural-looking skin with a satin finish will always be the classiest choice. It’s exactly in the middle between very dewy and matte skin, with the same level of reflectiveness that the skin has when it’s happy and moisturized.  To achieve such an easy natural makeup look, all you need is a light coverage foundation and maybe a touch of concealer. Then, a light dusting of powder with a fluffy brush will help to lock things into place and control excess sheen without making your skin look flat and dry.  Oh, and there’s one more way to achieve this look that’s even easier. Skip the foundation altogether, for the natural, no-makeup look!  Hot trend: flattened Cupid’s bow We first noticed ultra-pouty lips with a flattened Cupid’s bow on the gorgeous Ariana Grande. Then, before you knew it, everyone was applying their lip liner with a continuous, rounded line. It essentially changes the lips’ natural shape, transforming them into elongated ovals. While we love the look right now, it might seem odd in just a few short years.   Classic look: slightly overdrawn lips  While you don’t need to go overboard with it, overdrawing the lip line is actually a very timeless makeup look that goes at least as far back as the ‘30s. The key to achieving lush and full lips without looking cartoonish is to follow the vermillion border, which is the skin-colored line of demarcation surrounding the lips.  The best part? You can create both the classic and trendy lips with our Le Grand Volume lip pencils.  Time and place for every makeup look Every style and technique, from the easiest natural makeup look to the most outrageous hot trend, has its time and place. We don’t want you to forsake makeup trends, because they add spice to life, but it’s just as important to master the classic makeup look so you can look chic for the coming decades. 

How to Look Great on Zoom Calls
February 26, 2021
How to Look Great on Zoom Calls

These days, more of us around the world are using technology to speak with friends, loved ones, and colleagues than ever. Life and communication look different, and so do we. While we’re used to styling ourselves to look gorgeous in person, this doesn’t always transfer through a digital screen. Looking nice on camera is a different skill set, and it’s no longer limited to Hollywood glamour or French fashion shows. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of tips and tricks that will help you learn how to look great on zoom calls. Whether you’re curling up on your sofa for a remote trivia night with friends or armed with coffee for an early-morning work meeting, these video call makeup tips will help you look great and feel confident. Choose the Right Filming Location As the best videographers would tell you, lighting is everything. Sit in front of a window and allow the sun’s rays to light up your features. The best lighting for Zoom calls illuminates your face from the front, not from overhead or behind. Artificial lighting can appear yellow on a screen, which can mess with the way you appear through the lens. If you’re taking a call at night or otherwise don’t have access to natural lighting, try placing a white-toned light in front of you to get a similar effect. Turn off any rear or overhead lights, then check to see if the lighting looks natural on-screen and that you can easily be seen without strange shadows or highlights. You might have to adjust other lights in the room by turning them on and off until you get the desired effect.  Once you’ve chosen the right location, simplify your background so that fellow video call attendees can focus on your face, not the overcrowded shelving or dirty laundry behind you. Adjust Your Camera Angle Next, adjust your camera angle so that you can look better on video. You should be able to look comfortably forward into your camera, not up or down. A camera from below, where most laptops, tabletops, and even our phones are naturally positioned, can distort your features and cause your face to look unnatural. The people you’re speaking with may end up with a view of your nostrils rather than being able to make eye contact. Being able to look straight into the camera will also help with your posture so that you don’t have a sore neck or back halfway through your call. Use regular household items such as books stacked under your device to get a flattering angle. Keep it steady so that it doesn’t topple over, especially if you have children or pets in the home that may bump the table or stand you’re using.  Have Confidence The French know that the first step to success is to have confidence. When you feel your best, your natural beauty shimmers through. Dress from head to toe, even if nobody can see your lower half. Or, have some fun and pair pajama bottoms with your best blouse. The relaxation and happiness you feel when you’re comfortable in your own skin are contagious, so focus on feeling good, and the rest will follow. Conceal Discoloration Concealing discoloration, such as eye bags and red spots, goes a long way on camera, which can accentuate our imperfections. Dab on some concealer to hide any blemishes. If needed, you can also use a camera filter to even out your skin tone. Choose Vibrant Colors You can cause makeup to look better on video calls by selecting brighter, bolder colors than you would when meeting up in person. A vibrant blush and lipstick combo will make you look more lively and less flushed out, as can sometimes happen in a video call. Our Matte Constance Duo Pack comes with two stunning lipstick shades for you to try. Focus on Your Eyes Focus on your eyes while formulating your makeup look to draw attention to them on camera. Cover dark circles and apply Cabaret Premiere mascara for beautiful, full lashes. Pair this with a neutral eye shadow to complement your vibrant lipstick and blush selection, and voila!  Keep it Simple Don’t feel that you have to go overboard on applying your makeup to look cute on your Zoom call. A little can go a long way, and it’s alright to keep it simple. Focus on accentuating one or two features, and don’t be afraid to have some fun trying new techniques or products. Relax, be yourself, and don’t take things too seriously. Preview Before Going Live Whether you’re using Zoom, Facetime, Skype, or even just taking a photo, you’ll likely notice that your face looks much different than it does in the mirror. The lens type, the distance between you and the camera, and the angle can all distort your image. This is why it’s important to preview before you go live so that you have an idea of what others will see. Fix any lighting, makeup, or angle issues ahead of time so that when you take the call, everything goes smoothly and you aren’t stressed about the lipstick on your teeth or that plate you forgot to put away in the background.   Enjoy Your Meeting You're all set to join any video call with confidence! When it comes time to log on, relax because you've thoroughly prepared for this. You go girl!

Lipstick Colors and What Statements They Make
February 15, 2021
Lipstick Colors and What Statements They Make

The color of your lipstick or lip gloss says a lot about you. Your perfect lip color can make you seem seductive, creative, cheerful, flirty, or any combination of traits. As long as you choose a color that fits your attitude on any given day, you can’t really go wrong with your lipstick style.  We’ve put together a list of all the most popular lipstick colors, with explanations of exactly what kind of statements they make. Whether you’re looking to find your perfect lip gloss or you’re more into the matte look, keep reading to figure out what shade will give you your most confident lipstick look, no matter what that means to you!   Red  Red is the most classic and sexiest lipstick color there is. No shade can compare when you want to exude confidence and sensuality in a classy, timeless manner. A woman in red lipstick is ready to face any challenge that life throws at her! It’s a bold color that never goes unnoticed or out of style.  While perfecting a red pout can take a bit of work (and a great red lip liner), once you master it, it becomes a huge time-saver! You can look completely made-up and put together even when you’re only wearing red lipstick and some mascara — it’s the ultimate French girl makeup trick.  Nude  Nude lipstick is a simple yet elegant choice. It gives a polished finish to your look but still allows you to feel comfortable in your own skin. It won’t be obvious to those who look, but you’ll know it’s there, making your lips look smoother and fuller while leaving everybody else guessing.  It’s one of the best everyday lipsticks for every occasion because it goes on easily and it’s always flattering. With bold lipstick shades, you have to be very careful to keep a neat lip line, but a nude lipstick blends into your skin and looks like a natural lip color.  A quick swipe, even without a lip liner, will always look great. It looks amazing with any makeup style, offering the ideal balance for dark eyeshadow or for bronzed makeup looks.  Purple berry   A purple berry lipstick is eye-catching in a very chic way. It’s a great shade for a confident lipstick look because it has the same intensity and depth as a red lipstick but with a modern twist. It’s the perfect lip color for the modern woman!  Oh, and did we mention that it somehow always makes the teeth look whiter? The best time to rock a purple statement lip is when you want to make a lasting impression, especially if you’re in a creative environment. Art gallery openings and fashion shows are the natural environments for a woman who wears a berry lip.  Burgundy  A burgundy lipstick is as sultry as a red one, but with an underlying darkness that adds mystery to your look. This lipstick shade brings to mind the gorgeous sirens of 1920s silent films with its seductive depth.  It can give your look a moody twist or come off as totally mature, depending on how you style it. You can wear it along with dark eyeshadow for a gothic look, or use it to add an edge to a natural makeup style.  As with red lipstick, lining the lips and taking your time is essential! We highly recommend slightly over-drawing the lip line, since such a dark shade can make the lips look a little smaller.   Soft pink  Soft pink lipstick is nude lipstick’s demure sibling. It has a delicate charm that’s particularly flattering to those with cool undertones. It’s a lovely lipstick style to choose when you’re in a feminine, relaxed mood and you want to exude an image of serenity.  Soft pink lipstick is perfect for dates, but it’s also appropriate to wear to class or the office. It’s a nice companion to more intense eye makeup since it’s softness will add balance to your look. Just make sure to choose a pink lipstick that’s at least a shade darker than your skin tone, to avoid looking washed out.  Fuchsia   Fuchsia is vivid and vivacious, with a feminine twist. This bright shade is at the meeting point between hot pink and bright purple. It’s the best lipstick color when you want to feel flirtatious and playful but also independent and strong.  While it might be a little too much for a day at the office, it’s great for wild nights out on the town. It’ll immediately put you in an energetic mood, guaranteeing that you’ll have a fun time no matter where you end up. Because it’s so vibrant, your lips will instantly become the focus of your look, but since it’s not too dark it still works in combination with heavier eye makeup.  Coral Coral lipstick is ideal for those days when you want to express a fiery passion with a cheerful twist! It’s a warm and vibrant color that brings to mind the joys of a vacation to tropical locales. If your skin has naturally golden undertones, it’s even better! It’ll give you the image of a daring, spontaneous woman who’s filled with joie de vivre. You can’t go wrong with coral lipstick, especially for parties or fun dates! While the shade itself feels more fitting in summer, the kind of woman who wears coral lipstick can rock it all-year-round if she so wishes.  Bisous (kisses)! There’s a lot you can say with just a small change in lipstick shade. You can go soft and calm with a natural lip color one day, and transform yourself into a passionate diva in a bold lipstick the next. As long as you feel confident in your lipstick, there are no wrong choices!