Makeup Business

Makeup Sanitation MasterClass: 5 Dangerous Makeup Artist Kit Mistakes

Hey Sisters, Misters and Non-Gender Identifying peeps! It’s time we had a talk about cleanliness.

Dianna Hampton
Updated July 26, 2019

As a Professional Makeup Artist, I have experienced a lot of different work environments from the kitchen set up for a highschool prom, to gorgeously lit highrises in NYC, to working in an overcrowded room with dozens of other artists behind the scenes at the Miss America Pageant. I have seen it all and done all kinds of work, and let me tell you there are some things going on in this awesome industry that I love that we need to chat about!  Here are my top 5 makeup sanitation no-nos.


1. Blowing on Brushes or lash glue with the air from your bacteria-filled mouth. 

Hey there! What’s that? You’ve got too much eye shadow on your brush do you? Blowing on the brush, is not an option. One more time. Blowing. On. It. Is. Not. An. Option.

Let me introduce you to my awesome friend TAP. That’s right darling, just tap that baby on a hard clean surface. It can even be tapped on the very palette you are using! Amazing innovation right?

Lash glue seems to be a place many otherwise clean makeup artists forget about. Don’t blow on glue to dry. Wave those lashes in the air like you just don’t care or you can look cool and collected by carrying a tiny nifty battery powered fan.


2. Skipping the sanitization of your powder products.

Many artists assume that powder products don’t breed bacteria because they are dry, but that has been debunked many times before.

It is very important to spray your powders in pan form like palettes, with 70% alcohol when you wrap up your work day. I give mine a good spray and wipe down regularly to keep them looking clean, of course, but also to keep nasty germs that could cause eye & skin infections, acne and skin irritations at bay! Why 70% alcohol and not 90% or higher? Put simply, 90% dries too quickly, before all the germs are killed.

Google will verify this-hard-to-believe truth. Amazon sells their own brand of it for super cheap now. You’re welcome!

“If you aren’t using disposable wands for these products, you are putting your clients at risk”


3. Anything with a wand in a tube being used directly on the client’s face.

We all see the videos online that show artists of all levels applying lipgloss and mascara right out of the tube. Some of those artists gift the gloss and mascara. Many of the artists do not. They reuse these products that are a breeding ground for germs.

If you aren’t using disposable wands for these products, you are putting your clients at risk for herpes, pink eye, staph infections and more! Disposables are very inexpensive and can be purchased in bulk direct from china for a few dollars. You can always find them on Amazon and at beauty supply stores as well!


4. Using cream products from packaging to face.

Next up on products that don’t always get cleaned correctly before use are lipsticks used straight from the bullet or through a lip brush and dipping back into the tube over and over after touching the client’s lips. Please try to use a clean spatula to scrape what you need. But if you don’t, make sure to spray with 70% alcohol and wipe the surface area with a clean tissue.

Lip and eye liners: these products usually can’t be used any other way than directly from the pencil. Luckily, we can sharpen and spray with 70% alcohol, and then they are good to go! Finally, cream products in pans: it is always best to dip into these with a clean palette spatula. If you cannot or if they get touched by hands or brushes, be sure to spray with 70% alcohol and wipe surface area with a clean tissue. Your clients and business reputation will surely thank you for it!

Photo by EVG photos from Pexels


“If your brushes look dirty, they are. Washing brushes is part of our job.”


5. Using dirty makeup brushes.

I cannot tell you how many clients have come to me because they had to quit an artist they loved but could not work with anymore because of how grossed out they were to see the artist use the same brushes on everyone in a bridal party or just using dirty looking brushes in their salon.

First of all, if your brushes look dirty, they are. Second, washing brushes is part of our job. Not washing our brushes and using the same brushes on multiple clients can lead to very serious complications, like the model from Australia who almost lost her eye after getting a staph infection working a fashion show (Link to article below)!

“Let’s show our clients how much they mean to us not only with the beautiful job we do making up their faces, but also with the care we take to keep our makeup kits (and their beautiful faces) sanitary and safe!”

Imagine giving the beautiful bride you’re working with the gift of pink eye on her honeymoon! It could happen if you aren’t regularly washing your brushes. I believe in deep cleaning the brushes with a moisturizing soap (tea tree oil soap is an added bonus for antiseptic qualities), and then spraying the bristles with 70% alcohol once they are dry. I also wipe down the handles with alcohol.  When I’m on set or working on location, I use Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner because it not only sanitizes, but it also gets product out of the brush so they look and feel clean!

Without our clients we are nothing. This goes for most industries, but it’s especially important in the beauty industry where referrals and reputation are king (or queen). Let’s show our clients how much they mean to us not only with the beautiful job we do making up their faces, but also with the care we take to keep our makeup kits (and their beautiful faces) sanitary and safe!

If you would like to see a Part 2 to this Sanitation Master Class, give me a shout on insta!

Link to article on Aussie Model



Dianna Hampton

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