What are the beauty rules you were taught early in life? I realize now that so many of mine were all wrong – or at the very least, wrong for me.
For years I believed everything I read in magazines. I thought the models really did have lashes that full and that long. I thought famous people didn’t have wrinkles or acne issues. I thought you were only supposed to wear certain colors of lipstick up to a certain age. I thought I was supposed to brush my hair 100 times a day. I didn’t question mainstream beauty rules, I just accepted them. But brushing my hair 100 times a day would only result in extreme frizz. And I’m not a person who believes that women shouldn’t be wearing any shade of lipstick or nail polish they love or look good in. You can rock a bold lip, nail art or glittery eye makeup at any age you want to.
The process of going natural and having to learn what my hair needed, of moving away from home and having to learn my own lessons forced me to confront what I thought I knew about beauty. I realized that I had to unlearn a lot of old stuff, and teach myself some new rules. I realized that we can rewrite the old beauty rules, and create new ones. So here’s my attempt. Here’s a new series of beauty rules that that are actually sensible, helpful, timeless, and relevant to everyone. This is number one.
Obvious, yes. But I know I’m not alone in being really bad about this. I know that dirty makeup brushes lead to bacteria and acne, but I’m still super lazy about it. I’ve definitely lost track of the last time I’ve cleaned my brushes before. I’ve definitely gotten breakouts that I KNEW were my own fault before. NO MORE of THAT. I’m on a regular brush-washing regimen, thanks to these helpful tips from one of my favorite professional makeup artists, Niehla Ollie. As a professional, Niehla is really really GOOD about having clean makeup brushes and a professional kit. Meanwhile I’m over here with brown brushes and sponges stained with foundation.
I know I need to do better, so I turned to Niehla for some expert tips on keeping those makeup brushes clean. Take it away, Niehla!
Clean brushes are the most important part of a well stocked makeup bag. As an artist, I take great pride in making sure that they are clean and in the best condition possible. I recommend that my clients deep clean their brushes at least two times a week to avoid breakouts from a build up of bacteria on their brushes. There are a few quick drying brush cleaners on the market that I like for use in between clients on big jobs, my favorite has always been Parian Spirit. But for a deep clean, I’ve developed my own concoction.
I typically refer to my brushes as my kids and when I give my kids a bath, it’s a process.
– First things first, I like to pre-treat them by massaging them in the center of my hand or a plate with olive oil. This helps to remove oily, waxy and hard to remove products like lipstick, gel liner and foundation and it helps condition the hair on your natural hair brushes.
– Next, repeat step one using Johnson’s baby shampoo, it’s gentle on your brushes but it will definitely clean them.
– If you want to make your life a little easier and add a splash of color to your brush washing routine, pick up a textured silicone pot holder. I got mine from Walmart but it’s also available on Amazon. It’s shaped like a honeycomb and those little ridges really help to remove that buildup from the brushes.
– Rinse with cool water making sure that the hairs are facing down, so you don’t loosen the glue that holds the hair onto the actual brush. Gently squeeze the water out of your brushes.
– Lastly, lay your brushes down overnight to dry. If you can lay them on a slight incline with the hairs facing downward on a clean dry double layer of paper towel.
And there you have it. Clean brushes! Rinse and repeat. Literally. Thanks, Niehla!
How often do you clean your makeup brushes? What cleanser or cleansing method do you use? Tell me in the comments!
Niehla O.’s love for beauty was fostered early in life while watching her mother’s beautification process. Her love for all things fabulous grew as a teenager, where she would try out makeup looks on her friends as well as herself. As an adult, Niehla decided to take life by the horns, follow her passion and enrolled in the Makeup Artistry Certification program at Columbia College. Since, 2000, she has been honing in on her artistry skills, as an independent artist. She has also helped hundreds of clients to achieve their beauty goals while working with makeup giants, M.A.C. Cosmetics and Bobbi Brown. Her artistry has been showcased in film, music video, television, print and runway and she has a diverse clientele, from politicians to US Olympic Athletes.
Niehla currently resides in Los Angeles, California and is well on her way to fulfilling her goal of becoming one of the most sought after red carpet and print artists in the industry and to enrich the life of every client that sits in her chair.