Beauty Musings & Rogue Ramblings


CleanUp Time: Make-Up Brushes & Sponges

Is your skin looking not-so-hot? Do you use make-up brushes or sponges? Did you know that they may be why your skin is in a funk?

Well, it is true, if you are not cleaning your make-up tools often enough or properly. Brushes and sponges not only accumulate product residue, but also bacteria, which without proper cleaning, means that you are spreading that days old product residue and bacteria onto your face. Eeek!

Based on how much and how often you apply make-up, brushes should be cleaned thoroughly once a week to once a month. I would also recommend using a daily anti-bacterial brush cleaner in between proper cleanings.

The exception to this would be if you have enough brushes to use some for a limited time and move onto using more clean brushes.  The only issue with this – when you run out of clean brushes, you will have A LOT to clean at once! Not fun – I know 😦

So onto how to clean your brushes (according to me and what I have learned)…

Cleaning make-up brushes:

Step 1: Gather your brushes and take them to a flat surface with plenty of space, either on a bathroom/kitchen counter or table.

Step 2: Grab a medium size bowl (or partially fill your bathroom sink) with warm water.  Doing this wastes less water.

  • Depending on how dirty your brushes are and how many, you may have to empty and refill the water once or twice.

Step 3: Wet the bristles of the brush, doing your best to avoid wetting the brush handle.

  • Wetting the brush handles, especially if wood, can damage them – as water makes the wood expand, when it dries, the handle can crack.

Step 4: Add a small amount of brush cleaner/soap to your palm and swirl the brush into your palm, sweeping back and forth.

  • Do not push the bristles down – the forcible spreading of the bristles outward can/will damage the brush density and form.

Step 5: Rinse under clean cool water and repeat Step 4, in the bowl of water, until the brush is clean of make-up.

Step 6: Gently squeeze the bristles, ridding the brush of as much water as possible, and re-form the brush to its smallest density.

  • When squeezing the brush, do so downward – from the brush handle towards the end of the bristles.

Step 7: Dry the brush handle with a clean towel, if necessary, and allow the brush to dry – brush head end down.

  • If the brush is not dense enough to support the weight of the brush, meaning the bristles bend when placing the brush bristle end down, then lay the brush down on a clean towel to dry overnight.

The brush shampoo I currently use:

Sephora Purifying Brush Shampoo 

The daily brush cleaner I currently use:

Sephora Daily Brush Cleaner

(spray after use and allow to dry – no rinsing required)

When I don’t have my Sephora brush shampoo:

I use a 2:1 ratio of Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and Dial Gold Antibaterial soap. Works just as well.

I have mentioned this in a previous post, but to those new readers or in cased you missed that post, make-up sponges should be cleaned after each use. Since sponges absorb more product and absorb the product deeper than brushes do after one use, proper daily cleaning is important.

Cleaning make-up sponges:

Step 1: Take the sponge(s) to your bathroom/kitchen sink.

Step 2: Do NOT wet the sponge

Step 3: Grab some oil (yeah – I did just said oil, grape seed or olive, or even baby oil)

Step 4: Pour the oil on the more stained areas and work the oil into the sponge well.

  • The oil breaks down the cosmetic ingredients and separates the makeup from the sponge better than regular soap.

Step 5: Squeeze the dirty out! Then squeeze some more.

  • Repeat Step 4 until the stains are gone.

Step 6: Grab some of your brush cleaner, gentle facial cleanser or some baby shampoo/antibacterial hand soap and wash out the oil.

Step 7: Squeeze all the water out using a clean paper towel and check for any oil residue.

  • Check for oil residue by pressing the sponge onto your clean, dry hand – you will be able to feel/see on your hand if there is still oil.
  • Repeat Step 6 until you have rid the sponge of the oil.

Step 8: Allow the sponge to dry or use it right away – if you prefer using your sponge damp.

Side Tip: Wash your pillow cases often too.

  • Why? 1. Sebum (Face “Oil/Grease”) 2. Sweat 3. Product Residue 4. Bacteria

Have fun cleaning your way to good skin!

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my Chloe + Isabel boutique and spread the word! You’ll love it and I’ll love you for it! 



It’s Pink and Spongy… and a favorite of mine

It’s the MAC Pro Performance Sponge! 

Yes, it looks quite strange and you can call it the MAC version of the cult loved “BeautyBlender” cosmetics sponge, but I’m really loving this thing.

No, I haven’t actually tried out the BeautyBlender, for a 2 main reasons:

  1. It’s pricey, $10 more than the MAC Pro Performance Sponge
  2. Available online only, meaning I couldn’t get my hands on prior to buying

So what most others say about the MAC Pro Performance Sponge versus the BeautyBlender (BB)

  1. The MAC Pro Performance Sponge is more firm/dense than the BB
  2. The MAC Pro Performance Sponge does not expand when wet/damp – but the large rounded end of the MAC Pro Performance Sponge is equal/slightly larger than a damp BB
  3. The MAC Pro Performance Sponge can be a little more difficult to hold onto (though I have no problems with it)
  4. The shape, the MAC Pro Performance Sponge has a large rounded base, edge and tapered point – in comparison to the BB
  5. The MAC Pro Performance Sponge is not quite as bouncy against your face as the BB
  6. Overall, the MAC Pro Performance Sponge performs just as well as the BB
So my favorite things about the MAC Pro Performance Sponge
  1. It gives a perfect finish on the skin
  2. Can be used with liquids, creams and powders
  3. Has the large rounded end, an edge (like common cosmetic wedges) and tapers to a small point – perfect for applying to all areas of the face
  4. It doesn’t suck up products, so I don’t have to use “extra” foundation – like most other cosmetic sponges

So I am a makeup brush fiend – seriously, I own A LOT of brushes, but I cannot use a brush for foundation after using this sponge! I didn’t have time to wash the sponge this morning and grabbed a brush instead, I was met with disappointment – the sponge has spoiled me!

I always spritz the sponge with some Fix+ (or distilled water if I have run out), as the sponge works best when damp.  This is great because if I forget to wash it the night before, I can do so in the morning and squeeze out all the water with a clean paper towel, leaving the sponge perfectly damp for foundation application.

I am loving this so much that I am probably going to go get another one tomorrow, to use with other products like blush, bronzer, as well as contouring. Currently, I already use the same one for foundation, then concealer, cream contour and cream blushes – in that order.

Cleaning the sponge is also fairly easy. My process:

  1. Take the sponge
  2. Do NOT wet the sponge
  3. Grab some oil (yeah – I did just said oil, grape seed or olive, or even baby oil)
  4. Pour the oil on the more stained areas and work the oil into the sponge – the oil breaks down the cosmetic ingredients and separates the makeup from the sponge
  5. Squeeze the dirty out!
  6. Repeat until the stains are gone
  7. Grab some of your gentle facial cleanser or some antibacterial hand soap and wash out the oil
  8. Squeeze all the water out using a clean paper towel and check for any oil residue (if yes, wash once more)

So far the sponge is holding up like new each time I wash and reuse it – we’ll see how many months I get out of it.

P.S. HAPPY HUNGER GAMES – may the odds be ever in your favor!