Pro Make-Up Tips & Tricks admin

Pro Make-Up Tips & Tricks


Bacteria live in all our lashes and using mascara, whether on yourself or as a professional makeup artist on clients, means that it's very easy to contaminate not only the mascara tube, but your customer. The moment the mascara wand touches the lashes, bacteria is transferred to either the product tube or directly to the other eye. Bacteria thrive in dark warm environments, and with four to six months, a mascara tube will be overrun with bacteria.

The dangers of double dipping mascara wands are real and can lead to a number of serious infections such as conjunctivitis, blepharitis and corneal ulcers.

QUICK TIP - Cut off the mascara wand as soon as you have bought your new mascara and throw it away - you will never then be tempted to use it and risk infecting your client and will be forced to use disposables! This works!


Just like mascara, it's really easy to forget to use disposables when it comes to lip gloss and lip colour.

Remember that if you cut off the foam applicator head or the bristle brush that comes with your new product when you unpack it and before you put them into your pro makeup kit, you will have to use a disposable or a spatula to get the product out.

Don't risk contaminating your clients and your products by NOT using the right tools and follow our practical tips.  Just like our mascara tip, this works!


Concealers are usually cream based and come in different types of packaging, from jars, to palettes, from liquid tubes to twist brush applicators. Bacteria will thrive in all these products and, therefore, it is important to avoid double dipping. Do not to use the applicator that comes with the concealer on your client.  You must decant either on to a clean palette, a clean hand or petri dish.  Cut the applicator off any concealer that comes with the product and take out any brush that is included in the packaging.  Do not use twist products directly onto skin. These are the ones that tend to slip through the hygiene tips, so put some red sticky tape around the tube for danger.  This works!


Modern day foundations come in a variety of types from the latest silicone based airbrushing products to mineral pressed powder.  Firstly check the contents to understand what's in your product so you know how different products will react to bacteria from use. Check the shelf life date too. As a makeup professional, storage of foundations is really important so you don't turn up at a job with a foundation in the right colour, but hasn't been used for two years and has gone off! Decant fluids into small bottles that you can easily transport and keep clean and keep the original products in a cool, dark, dry storage area.

Decant liquids into palettes, petri dishes or on to the back of a clean hand and always use clean foundation brushes - , never double dip into the original product packaging - and if using fingers, make sure your hands are 100% clean.  Latex free sponges work well ensuring that your client doesn't have a reaction to latex.  Do not use twist on products directly onto skin.


This is one of the most obvious makeup products for passing on germs if not used correctly and because of the way lipsticks are made for application by consumers, you can't exactly "cut off the applicator".  Two top tips - firstly put a bag of clean plastic spatula’s on the top of your bag of lip products so you always have to move the spatulas to get to the lipsticks and, therefore, remembering to use them!  Take a little of the product off with the spatula and put into a sanitized mixing palette, petri dish or the back of a clean hand before using your lip brush to apply colour.

QUICK TIP  - you can ensure your lipsticks are germ free by cleaning them with our Alcohol wipes - these will disinfect the product in the event of accidentally taking a used brush to the lip stick.


Modern eye shadow comes in many textures and finishes and include power, silk, gel, cream, crayons and loose pigments. Whatever effect you are after and whatever range of products you are using, eyes are extremely sensitive and appropriate respect and care must be given.  Ensure you cut off any gel and liquid liner applicators and use disposables. Sharpen any crayon before application.  Wipe with alcohol wipes any tube applicators. Powder is less prone to cross-contamination and ensure you have enough good quality natural and synthetic brushes at hand not to mix up your palettes and avoid double dipping.  Wipe any powders with a tissue at the end of a session to lift any potential bacteria. Remember to use disposable mascara wands with only "one" dip into the tube.


Loose powders and pigments whether eye colours, finishing powders or mineral should be decanted with a spatula, metal or plastic.  Metal spatulas with a scoop are excellent.  Don't be tempted to put your brush, sponge or puff directly into the product and back again (no double dipping and it's easy to forget).  Decant into a small jar, a palette or a petri dish.  Remember not to blow on your tools to remove excess powder!

QUICK TIP - remove any sponge, puff or brush that comes with your powder product on purchase then you won't be tempted to use it an put it back.


This is where the hidden dangers lurk!  Think about the fact these items are put near a client's eyes and around sensitive skin picking up and transferring nasty bacteria.  Eyes are especially prone to catching conjunctivitis, so simply wipe your eyelash curlers, tweezers and other tools with one of our alcohol wipes before using them on your client. Leave about 10 seconds from wiping to actually using the product as the "fumes" from the product will affect the eye.

QUICK TIP - always "wipe in and wipe out" your tools/products - before and after using them as this will ensure that bacteria is not left to fester.


When you think about your kit bag, try and imagine all the hidden germs and bacteria that might be lurking in, on and around the bags, in the product and on the packaging!  Yuk.  Don't be fooled and think that just popping used and dirty brushes back into your kit is OK.  It's not OK and germs will grow and multiply if your used items are not sanitized properly.  Use your common sense and clean all your products and tools before you put them back into you kit bags if you have time.  If you don't have the time before repacking, DO NOT PUT USED PRODUCTS into your normal kit bags, but into a separate bag for used/dirty products. When you get home, this "dirty" bag of items can then be cleaned properly with our alcohol wipes, a tissue for powder products with any pro brushes and single-use applicators by being washed thoroughly with an antibacterial washing liquid, allowing to dry before popping back into your kit bag.

QUICK TIP - have a used kit bag with a red ribbon or tie that signals "danger = red = dirty".


Your hands, as a professional makeup artist or beauty practitioner, are your number one working tool. Hands are responsible for transferring 80% of germs and so it's crucial that before you start working on a new client, you sanitize your hands 100% and that means literally just before you touch your client, you say "I am just sanitizing my hands now" whilst at the sink before washing hands thoroughly.  If you are not able to wash your hands in soap and water in front of your client, then use a good alcohol hand sanitizer and ensure you rub the gel thoroughly all over your hands and let it dry before touching your client (alcohol fumes will sting if not fully absorbed.)  Remember, if you don't clean your hands, how does your client know your hands are safe before you start touching skin and products.  This is when the cross-contamination process starts.  Don't get caught out.

QUICK TIP - remember that to wash your hands thoroughly you need to sing the "Happy Birthday "song twice.


There is a lot of miscommunication in the market about mineral makeup including what's the definition of a mineral product, the pros and cons of using minerals etc.  Many cosmetic brands have launched mineral ranges in the past few years and it's worth checking carefully the content of any makeup product that is branded "mineral" - is it 100% pure or is it a mix of product content?  Hygiene pointers are the same for mineral products as non-minerals in our view.  Just remember to respect the shelf life of any product and if testing at the counter or using as a professional makeup artist, it doesn't matter if it's a mineral brand or not, no double dipping, no dirty hands, clean spatulas for decanting into mixing pots and palettes and definitely no dirty brushes (especially the kabuki kind!).


As a makeup professional, your pro brushes must be sanitized 100% daily and in between clients.  Using disposables is essential for many makeup products such as mascara, liquid liner etc to avoid double dipping.

To clean your pro and personal makeup brushes use a good antibacterial soap or shampoo with warm water.  Get a good lather going and rotate in the palm of your hand gently.  Rinse clean and repeat until the water runs clear.  With products such as lip colour, concealers and gel eyeliners, take extra care as the emollients will take more effort to remove by working out the products from deep in the brush bristles.  The oil in these products means you must use a cleaning product that can breakdown the oil.  Think about washing up liquid and a greasy pan – hot water and a good washing up liquid works.  The same goes for getting brushes and tools clean.

Once the brushes are 100% clean and all the detergent has been washed away, squeeze out the excess water with a towel or a paper towel and shape brushes while damp.  Air dry them by laying them flat but with the brush exposed 360% to the air on the side of a counter, the bath or a table works well.  By avoiding the bristles touching a towel, they will avoid getting misshaped and potentially smelling of mildew.

It's easy to become complacent with brush cleaning at the end of the day of a busy working day and we hear all manner of excuses..."can't be bothered to take it home from work".... "I’m going out tonight with friends and won't have time plus I don't want to carry them with me" we've heard all the excuses.  So think about this.  It's your reputation as a makeup artist and if your client picks up conjunctivitis or herpes from your dirty hands and brushes, what will that do to your reputation and career? ALWAYS use a brush sanitizer between clients.

Think and never be tempted to give brush washing a miss!


Any pro makeup artist or beauty practitioner applying false lashes to a client must use new lashes from a sealed container for every customer.  Never reuse lashes on clients.  We do not recommend reusing your personal lashes on yourself as once opened and exposed to air via wearing, bacteria will form.  We know that some false lashes can be very expensive and you will want to get as much wear and value for money from them.  One removed and before reapplying, the lashes need to be cleaned and sanitized thoroughly.


We are often asked at trade fairs, master classes and events, if disposable mascara wands can be reused?  We say "no" not at all.  Disposable is just that - one dip in the tube, one application and into the bin.  We don't believe that these wands can be sanitized 100% and that means potential bacteria can be left lurking.  So, why risk it?  We frequently see demos and product testing where the sales/beauty consultant or even educator is using a disposable mascara wand, but then "double dipping" it!  Loading once, applying, reloading, and reapplying, and so on.  Only after both eyes are finished, does the disposable mascara wand get thrown away.  The whole hygiene protocol of mono-dipping is lost and to be honest, the consultant might as well not have bothered and used the mascara wand that came with the product.  As a makeup pro, don't be misled, think about how you would like to be treated as a customer and remember, makeup and beauty should not be a game of Russian roulette in that your clients have no idea what they might or might not catch.  Think "safe beauty".

What is "double dipping"?

Double dipping is a term that all professional beauty and makeup artists should be aware of and it means reloading the same mascara wand (or any other applicator) by dipping it into the tube/product more than once. The only way to avoid cross-contamination through double dipping is to use disposable mascara wands, but remember one dip into the tube. Just by using a disposable wand, but double dipping, completely defeats the purpose. It's the double dipping that is the biggest issue together with germs passing from skin to skin - so don't get caught out.

The new way, the modern way and the right way is "mono dipping"!