How to Extend the Life of Your Makeup and Beauty Tools

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How to Extend the Life of Your Makeup and Beauty Tools

We often put our beauty tools through a lot of wear and tear. They are used daily, tossed in drawers and rarely handled gently. As a result, it's common for beauty tools to wear out after a short time. Fortunately, just a few easy tips can really extend the life of your beauty tools, saving you lots of money when it comes to endlessly replacing those products.

Makeup Brushes

Makeup brushes often wear out faster than just about every other beauty tool. Before you know it, they’re frayed, falling apart or simply don’t work as well as they once did. “A lot of my clients complain that their makeup brushes don’t work as well as mine, but when I ask about washing them, most say they never knew their brushes needed to be cleaned,” says freelance makeup artist Joanna Holt.

  • How often should makeup brushes be washed? Makeup brushes used for powder applications should be washed weekly, while those used for liquid applications should be washed daily. You can use regular soap for either, but a cosmetic brush cleanser may be a better option if you have more expensive brushes you want to maintain. Just massage the cleanser into the brush in the direction of the hairs, and rinse in lukewarm water. Then pat the brush hairs into the correct shape, and lay the brushes out flat to dry.
  • What happens when you don’t clean your brushes? According to Holt, “It lets old makeup, bacteria and oils build up on the brush, which can lead to breakouts. The longer that grime builds up, the harder it is to apply makeup properly with those brushes.”


If you’re sick of your shaving razors getting dull after just a few showers, it’s not because of the quality or the price that you paid. “Razors need to stay dry when they’re not being used if you want them to last,” explains Holt. Most people leave their razors in the shower, but this actually makes the razors wear out faster since the water corrodes and dulls the blades.

  • How can I prevent the razor blade from becoming dull? The next time you shave, dry the blade off immediately after your shower. Shake off the excess, and then use a towel or a blast of hot air from your blow dryer on the blades. Then, keep your shaving razor in a drawer until you need it again to make sure that excess moisture in the bathroom doesn’t dull it down.

Curling Irons and Flat Irons  

Do you use any products on your hair? Those same products are probably coating your curling iron or flat iron at this very moment. Once you take a moment to inspect these tools, there’s a good chance find that the spray, mousses or serums you use on your hair are actually creating a sticky buildup on your hair tools. The longer you let these products rest on the hot surfaces of your curling iron or flat iron, the sticker the film becomes and the harder it is to remove.

“You might notice that your flat iron or curling iron doesn’t work quite as well over time, or that it leaves your hair frizzy,” says Holt. “There’s a good chance that it’s because you need to clean off the barrel or the plates.”

  • How do I get rid of the buildup on my hair tools? To start, get rid of the buildup that exists now, put a bit of rubbing alcohol on a damp cloth and rub it over the barrel or plates of your hair tool. Don’t forget to lift the clamp of your curling iron to clean underneath it as well. Tough spots can be attacked with a soft toothbrush dipped in rubbing alcohol. After you get the sticky film off, wipe a clean damp cloth over the surfaces to get rid of the alcohol.
  • How can I prevent buildup on my hair tools? Now that you’ve cleaned up your curling iron and flat iron, it’s time to start caring for them regularly. Fortunately, this is a snap – wipe the surfaces with a damp cloth after each use.

Additional Tips

  1. Always check your beauty products for expiration dates. This is especially important for products with an SPF ingredient since they may not be as effective at blocking the sun’s harmful rays once they’ve expired.
  2. Don’t throw out clumpy mascara right away. Holt recommends to make your mascara last longer by adding a few drops of saline solution into the tube. 
  3. Keep your makeup bags clean by wiping them down every couple of weeks. It keeps your brushes in better shape and prevents cross-contamination of your makeup products.

When you add it all up, you’re probably spending quite a bit of money on beauty products every year. That’s why it’s so important to take care of your beauty tools to ensure that they last longer and work more effectively.

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