How to keep your makeup germ-free

View photo

Can your makeup make you sick?

Disposable mascara wands available at Sally Beauty Supply

Disposable mascara wands available at Sally Beauty Supply

We have all become accustomed to regularly washing or sanitizing our hands after every activity. Some people have even resorted to wearing protective face masks in public places to minimize their germ exposure. The point is no one wants to get sick and most of us can't afford to visit a doctor or find the time to leave work to see one. But are there contaminants lurking in places we overlook, on products we use on our mouths and eyes daily? Yes. Your makeup can make you sick and so can the makeup testers in retail stores. Sanitary makeup practices are very important, so here a few key things you can do to keep yourself pretty and minimize the risk of becoming sick from using your makeup.


Eye infections like "pink eye" are painful and can last for several weeks. The most common cause of conjunctivitis is poor hand washing practices that lead to the spread of bacteria and virus's. It is very important to NEVER share your eye products with other people without proper sanitation procedures.

Tips for disinfecting eye products:

-Eye liner pencils must be sharpened with a sanitized pencil sharpener and then sprayed or dipped in isopropyl alcohol.

-Eye shadows can be sprayed with alcohol and then the top layer should be scraped off with a sanitized razor, revealing a clean layer underneath.

-Mascara should never be shared. Test mascara with clean disposable wands only.

-Loose powder shadows should be tapped out of the container onto a clean surface. Do not dip your brush into the product.

-Gel eyeliners should also be extracted from their containers onto a palette and then used with clean brushes. Don't double dip your dirty brush into your entire pot of germ-free gel eyeliner.

-If you do get "pink eye" it is safest to throw out any makeup that came in contact with your eyes.


Cold sores, flu, staph? Yes, you can get infected from germy lip products! Never ever pick up a lipstick in a retail store and put it directly on your mouth. I am always surprised at how often I see people doing that. I've lectured many teenagers on the dangers of contracting all types of nasty ailments from unsanitary makeup products. Sometimes if I see someone quickly pick up a product and use it without giving me a chance to clean it I will say, "Ooh, the lady before you picked that one up before I had a chance to clean it and she had a "thing" on her lip, I hope you will be okay!" The look on people's faces is priceless and I guarantee they will think twice before stupidly assuming something is germ-free.

Sephora and other self-serve makeup retailers set out alcohol so that customers can disinfect products before they try them. Smaller makeup stores have Makeup Artists available to sanitize any products a customer wishes to try. Also make sure that your artist is also demonstrating clean practices like hand sanitizing, sharpening pencils and using clean brushes and disposable mascara wands. Don't be afraid to call out a Makeup Artist out if you see something unseemly happen, you have the right to be safe and healthy!

Tips for disinfecting lip products:

Disposable lip brushes by

Disposable lip brushes by

-Dip or spray lipsticks with isopropyl alcohol. Gently scrape of the top layer of the lipstick.

-Use disposable wands for glosses in tubes.

-DO NOT share glosses in pots; they carry the most germs as most people stick their fingers into them and contaminate the whole container. Test pot glosses with disposable brushes.

-Sharpen lip pencils with a sanitized sharpener and then spray or dip them in alcohol.

-Use clean brushes or q-tips to apply liquid lip stains.

-DON'T Double dip!

Brush Off makeup brush sanitizer

Brush Off makeup brush sanitizer


I am a real stickler about cleaning my personal makeup brushes and I am just as finicky with my professional brushes. I do not share my personal brushes with anyone and I wash them weekly.

If I am healthy I use Ivory unscented soap to clean all of my brushes. I use hot water, thoroughly cleanse each brush and then let them air dry while laying flat.

Cleansing brushes helps keep breakouts at bay and also helps your products apply true to color. If you only have one blush brush but use many different blush colors you must wash it regularly or eventually your cheeks will be mud colored from your dirty product filled brush!

If I have a touch of cold or flu I will add an extra step and spray all of my brushes with alcohol and then wash them as I always do. When I am working as a Makeup Artist I sanitize all of my brushes after every use with anti-bacterial Brush Off. This product cleans and disinfects brushes, but dries quickly so that I can move on to my next client with minimal drying time. I always use disposable mascara wands, lip brushes and q-tips to apply products. I also sanitize my hands each time I do my own makeup and in front of each client I work with.

Use a makeup palette to avoid cross-contamination of brushes and products

Use a makeup palette to avoid cross-contamination of brushes and products

You can purchase Brush Off at their online store

Amanda Storey
Do you sanitize your makeup products after you've been sick? If so, what are your tips and tricks?

What's the most unsanitary makeup practice you've ever witnessed.....EEEK? Share your scary stories with us in the comment section below or connect with us on Twitter @yahooshopping

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Tiger Woods Doesn’t Regret Cheating on Ex-Wife Elin Nordegren

      The 40-year-old professional golfer opened up to Charlie Rose on Thursday.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • Man 'fed up' with with children playing on drive jailed after running over and killing neighbour's son

      A man who ran over and killed his neighbour's five-year-old son after becoming "fed up" with children playing on his driveway has been jailed for two years. David Cowell, 42, killed neighbour Riley Ferguson, while he pulled his car onto the drive he shared with the boy's family in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. Cowell had denied the charge of causing death by careless driving but was convicted by a majority verdict.

      International Business Times UK q
    • Thousands of California soldiers forced to repay enlistment bonuses a decade after going to war

      Short of troops to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan a decade ago, the California National Guard enticed thousands of soldiers with bonuses of $15,000 or more to reenlist and go to war. Now the Pentagon is demanding the money back. Nearly 10,000 soldiers, many of whom served multiple combat tours, have been ordered to repay large enlistment bonuses — and slapped with interest charges, wage garnishments and tax liens if they refuse — after audits revealed widespread overpayments by the California Guard at the height of the wars last decade. Investigations have determined that lack of oversight allowed for widespread fraud and mismanagement by California Guard officials under pressure to meet enlistment targets.

      Los Angeles Times q
    • Ivanka Trump backs her father but doesn't want to fall with him

      Ivanka, soon to turn 35, is still clearly her father's protegee. Having grown up in the spotlight from an early age, at a time when her father's extramarital affairs filled the tabloid press, Ivanka knows how to tend to her own image -- and that of the clothing line that bears her name.

    • Khloe Kardashian And Tristan Thompson Are Reportedly Getting Married

      UPDATE: According to ESPN, the two are not engaged to be married. “Khloe and Tristan plan on spending at least $1 million on their big day,” the source tells InTouch, “and they plan to invite 400 guests.” Thankfully, that massive amount of people won’t have to travel far, as Khloe and Tristan reportedly want to hold their wedding ceremony in California.

    • KFC Sued for $20 Mil -- Your Overflowing Bucket of Chicken is a Finger Lickin' Lie (VIDEO)

      1 10/22/2016 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF KFC ripped off a woman who ordered the bountiful bucket of chicken she saw on TV, but got a measly 8-piece instead ... according to her new lawsuit. The New York woman told us her story ... she went into a KFC and paid 20 bucks for the "Family Fill Up" deal -- expecting an overflowing feast -- but got cheated. She contacted KFC about the false advertising and a rep offered her a coupon for her troubles ... but she told them to eat it. Instead, she wants the restaurant chain to pay her $20 MILLION ... though she admits that number might be a tad high -- for a good reason. A KFC spokesperson tells us ... they've got this one in the bucket.

      TMZ q
    • The Best All-Inclusive Packages at Adults-Only Resorts (7 photos)

      Hear that? Its not the sound of a baby on an airplane , or an argument between two kids. Its the roar of waves crashing on rocks, tree frogs chirping from the canopy, and of complete, grown-up silence. You dont have to be a parent to value the absence of potentially noisychildren. Everyone can appreciate the absolute tranquility of a kids-free hotel. Thats not to say adults cant get rowdybut adults-only properties tend to foster a relaxed, laid-back vibe. Guests are typically seeking a low-key (and yes, quiet) reprieve from life; especially if that life has three kids between the ages of 1 and 7. Resorts such as these know theres only one thing more calming than an escape from the myriadday-to-day tasks ofparenthood (or a romantic getaway that isnt stifled by shrieking infants or toddlers peeing in the pool ): an all-inclusive package. Forget about nitpicking every cocktail or excursionall-inclusive packages make a resort stay a totally worry-free experience. You already know what the bill will look like when you get return home. Even your tips are included. If all this sounds like just what you need, read on for a few of our favorite all-inclusive packages at the top adults-only resorts.

    • Pictures of two Egyptian children engaged to be married trigger outrage — once again

      CAIRO – While celebrating his eldest son's lavish wedding, at which a number of famous singers and belly dancers performed, Nasser Hassan decided to "double the joy," he later recalled. He announced that his son Omar would marry his cousin Gharam. At the wedding, held in a province about 75 miles north of Cairo, the guests didn’t find it strange. Some would later tell Egypt’s Al Watan newspaper that there was “nothing inappropriate,” adding that it was only “an engagement, not a marriage". Omar is 12 years old. His fiancee, Gharam, is 11. Egyptian laws prohibit official registration for marriages for anyone under the age of 18. But the practice remains prevalent. According to UNICEF, 17 percent

      Washington Post q
    • AP Interview: Kaine already reaching out to GOP

      BOSTON (AP) — Tim Kaine is sounding a hopeful note that a Democratic White House could work with Republicans to bridge deep divides laid bare by this bitter presidential campaign.

      Associated Press 45 min ago
    • Always Broke? 4 Things Debt-Free People Never Do

      Do you want financial freedom? Don't do these four things.

      The Cheat Sheet q 58 min ago
    • Deer walks up to hunter and demands head scratches

      Hunter Jordan Maxon from New Richmond, Wisconsin, had a very odd encounter with a very friendly deer.  After setting up a deer stand in a clearing, Maxon looked around to see if any wildlife had wandered into the area before he started hunting. That's when he noticed a buck about 70 yards away.  "I figured I'd wait for him to leave the clearing, however, after five minutes of standing there, he wouldn't leave," Maxon explained on YouTube.  SEE ALSO: Deer fearlessly leaps through house window, becomes viable stuntman Instead of leaving, the buck approaches Maxon, who gently convinces the dear to come a bit closer with noises you'd use to coax a cat or dog.  The deer comes so close that Maxon is

      Mashable q
    • Bermuda Triangle mystery solved? Experts say 'air bombs' sank ships and brought down planes

      The mystery of Bermuda Triangle may have been solved according to a new documentary. A documentary by the Science Channel showcases new satellite imagery from NASA over coastal Florida, revealing "a series of hexagon-shaped clouds," which meteorologists say can produce 170 mph (273kmph) wind air bombs above the Bermuda Triangle. Steve Miller, a satellite meteorologist from Colorado State University, says that the straight-edged appearance of the clouds is pretty unusual.

      International Business Times UK q
    • Pakistani tea seller turns model after fame on social media

      ISLAMABAD (AP) — A Pakistani tea seller with striking eyes who saw his life change overnight after a picture of him at work went viral, said Friday he was totally unaware of social media until recently, when boys and girls suddenly started thronging his tea stall to take selfies with him.

      Associated Press
    • Kanye West Gives Kim Kardashian a Priceless 36th Birthday Present — See It Here

      Kanye West created a video for Kim Kardashian’s 36th birthday from old home video footage — watch

      Us Weekly
    • This brilliant 13-year-old figured out how to make clean energy using a device that costs $5

      Maanasa Mendu thinks she's cracked the code on how to make wind and solar energy affordable...

      Business Insider
    • Trump’s campaign manager got called out at the final debate and it was probably the best part

      As if this election season wasn’t already ~messy~ enough, there’s even more messiness to behold. By now, you probably know that Trump’s campaign manager,…

      Hello Giggles
    • An embarrassing situation at the Al Smith Dinner

      'The O'Reilly Factor': Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points 10/21

      FOX News Videos
    • Carrie Underwood Slays in a Metallic Minidress with Her "Handsome Hunk" at CMT Artists of the Year Event

      Carrie Underwood shone like the country star she is at a CMT Artists of the Year event in Nashville on Wednesday. The 33-year-old looked absolutely radiant in a metallic patterned minidress with strips of sheer paneling flanking her chest and back. Unexpected as it was glamorous; Underwood's dress bestowed an added sartorial surprise with an elegant black train that trailed down the backside of her skirt. Underwood wore her blonde bob in relaxed waves for the event and complemented her gol

    • The Trail Blazers aren't mad about Draymond Green's kicking, they're just disappointed

      Thought we talked about this, guys.— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) October 22, 2016You know the NBA season is coming closer when teams get their incredible Twitter accounts spinning and start spitting out gems. On Friday night the Trailblazers took the first shot of the season by poking fun at Draymond Green and his propensity to kick whenever the opportunity presents itself.They’re not mad, they’re just disappointed.You can’t be mad at Green here, more like ... impressed. ...

      SB Nation q