12 Ways how to Keep Your Makeup CLEAN!

Knowing how to clean your makeup is just as important as why we keep it clean.

What needs to be clean?


Hands, skin, tools, our products. 

It’s easy enough to do and with a little practice you will soon fall into the habit of being clean and safe. 

When I started with casualty simulation we used grease sticks (you can’t rally even buy these anymore). We would just take the stick and warm up the product on the palm of out hand and then use our fingers to apply it to the poor volunteer. There was no practice of washing hands or using hand sanitizer between people. We just grabbed a baby wipe and called it a day. Or if I needed the same colour for more than one person I might just keep going back and forth between people. 


So, how to keep it clean.

1.  Alcohol

There is a debate between 70% alcohol and 90% alcohol. 

We use 90% to activate our detailing palettes so why bother to carry 70%? 

There is a good reason. 

91% or higher isopropyl alcohol will cause the cell wall to coagulate so quickly that it protects further proteins. This may kill some but requires more contact time for disinfection.  70% alcohol causes the proteins in the cells to coagulate more slowly and fully, effectively killing and disinfecting your surface area fully. 

To read more:

Why Is 70% Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) a Better Disinfectant than 99% Isopropanol, and What Is IPA Used For?

I prefer 70% to sanitize as that is what it is intended for. The alcohol will not dry as fast allowing it to work at killing everything that may be present. 

How to clean makeup with Alcohol:  Spray your makeup with 70% Alcohol and allow to dry.  The drying time is what will allow the germs to be killed.

2.  Wash your hands


Hands should be washed or sanitized before each person you work on. Clean your hands right in front of the person so they know you have cleaned your hands. I like to use a pleasant smelling hand sanitizer for them to smell while I work. 

3.  clean your skin


Giving the skin you are working on a quick clean will ensure the products work as you expect them too. Use a cotton pad with Witch Hazel for normal and oily skin and Rose Water for normal and dry skin. These work like a toner and be sure to moisturizer after. 

4. wash your brushes and tools

Brushes and tools

Tools can easily be wiped of product and sprayed with 70% Alcohol.  Leave them to air dry and they will be ready to use in a matter of minutes. 

Brushes do better with brush cleaner. For between people be sure to use a quick drying cleaner. Alcohol will work but can dry out brushes decreasing their lifespan.  Read the directions on your brush cleaner but generally speaking 

Apply the product and wipe your brush on a clean paper towel or cloth. Some cleaners go on the cloth, some go directly on the brush.  

I like to use old white face cloths (or baby wash cloths). 

When you get home from a big job and before a big job, make sure to deep clean your brushes with mild soap or proper brush cleaner. It is this deep clean that will keep you brushes alive for longer. 

Never mix your clean and dirty brushes!

I like to use two brush containers, one for all me clean brushes and on for the dirty brushes to go as they are used.

5.  Use disposable products

Disposable are a great tool with working quickly or on multiple people. There is no cleaning between, just toss in a garbage that you should keep close by (or I use a small gift bags with a small plastic bag inside. It sits right on my table for easy access. 

Disposables can include: 

Sponges (latex or non latex wedges or flat)

Cotton pads

Facial tissue

Baby or makeup wipes

Paper towel 

Mascara wands

Lip sponges or brushes

Small cups or sample cups for liquids

Tongue depressors 

6.  clean your work space

Work space

To keep your workspace clean you can either roll out a shelf liner or simply pot down a layer of paper towel. This keeps your table clean under and makes for easy cleanup later. Catch all those spills and avoid stains. 

Some people like to work with their hands and some products respond well to the heat that is generated. Make sure to sanitize your hands. Place product on the back of your hand.  Make sure to ask the person you are working on if it is ok to use your hands. You can explain that “The cream melts into the skin so much better when I use my fingers to apply it.”

Try to stick to using a stainless steel palette and tools for application whenever possible. 

7.  Pour out your liquids


Products like liquid latex and Pros Aid can be poured in a small cup (like the ones at the dentist or sample cups). You can then work out of these cups and toss when finished. 

8.  wipe your powders

How to clean you makeup powdered products

Wipe with a tissue. Yup. That simple. 

You can also give them a light spray with 70% Alcohol.

9.  scoop your creams

How to Clean you Makeup Cream Products.

Cream pots, concealers, foundation and lipsticks are breading grounds for bacteria if your not careful.  It is easy to contaminate a whole pot with one double dip or the use of a dirty brush.  The easiest way to keep creams clean is to scoop out what you need with your sanitized spatula or disposable stick.  Put the product on your palette and work from there. 

Feeling a little old school or like hoe the product warms on the back of your hand?  Try covering your hand with a layer of tegaderm first.  Keeps the product clean and stops your had from staining or getting messy.

If you need to sanitize the surface of a cream container you can spray with 70% Alcohol then turn it upside down so there are no puddles that form in the divots of the cream.

10.  sharpen and spray your pencils

Pencil liners

Sharpen your pencil, spray with 70% alcohol and wipe with a tissue or cotton pad. 

11.  wipe and organize your kit

Your kit

We can all admit that on occasion something has exploded, spilled or didn’t have a cap. Or we rushed at the end of a job to go home. Our kits can become a disaster. 

Make sure to keep these clean too. Take everything out and give it a wipe. Wipe down all your products and reorganize while up put everything back. 

Having a clean well organized kit will keep everything moving smoothly and with less stress looking for that one thing you need that you know is in there somewhere!!! 

12.  use things that keep them selves clean

A few products that keep them selves clean. 

Just by the nature of these products they do not allow bacteria to grow. You can used these items as they come. 

For example Rigid collodion and Spirit Gum can be brushed right on the skin. 

Alcohol paints are the cleanest you can find. Since they only activate with alcohol they will be sanitized right from the start of application. 

When in doubt

If you not sure about a product the best way to keep it clean is simply to use a clean spatula and take what you need onto a palette to work with. This method will work well with just about everything except powders. If did want to scoop out a powder to with with just make sure you have a palette with a well like artists use for paints. 


Get truly clean brushes with Cinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner. Stubborn waterproof and long wear makeup melts away and brushes dry almost instantly, no water or rinsing required leaving a pleasant vanilla scent. As soon as brushes are dry to the touch they are ready to use and 99.99% bacteria free.

Cinema Secrets Metal Cleansing Tin

Use this tin to cleanse your makeup tools without contaminating your cleaner. Cinema Secrets Cleansing Tin prevents spills during work, and its compact profile makes it the perfect size to stow in a makeup kit.

Rectangular Metal Palette Large

Large Rectangular Palette gives you plenty of working space for all your makeup projects.

Amaze FX - Makeup Remover

AMAZE was developed as an alternative to 99% alcohol as a remover of special effect and water base makeup from the skin. AMAZE penetrate and removes makeup from the skin and at the same time moisturize it.


“AMAZE” works immediately to soothe and supply skin with a wide complement of antioxidants and skin-identical ingredients it needs to look and feel its young, healthy best. It instantly dissolves regular and water-proof makeup, eliminates buildup in pores and cleanses the complexion while minimizing irritation. Formulated with Aloe Vera, Green Tea and Chamomile extract which replenish vital moisture to hydrate, soothe and soften, reduces inflammation and help reinforce a healthy barrier function. Suitable for all skin type.

Made In Canada