The Dirt on Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes

A set of artfully arranged brushes caked with remnants of makeup will kill the aesthetic of even the most beautiful display of makeup products. Without regular cleaning, makeup brushes can become a breeding ground for bacteria and, consequently, cause nasty breakouts. “We should all thoroughly clean our brushes once a week,” advised Janeena Billera, national makeup artist for glo minerals. With proper cleansing, a set of great makeup brushes can last for a lifetime of flawless, bacteria-free makeup application.

Wet Your Brushes

Gather your brushes and run them under lukewarm water with the brush head facing downward. “It is very important that the brush head is facing down so water does not get into the ferrule, the metal band that binds the bristles of a brush to the handle,” said Billera. Over time, water can loosen the glue that holds the brush together.

Apply Cleanser

Once brushes are thoroughly moistened, apply a small drop of mild shampoo to the bristles on each brush. Billera recommends baby shampoo because it’s gentle and doesn’t have a strong fragrance.

Lather

“Create a lather by swirling the brushes against the palm of your hand,” instructed Billera. Make sure you reach all the bristles, not just those on the outside. You can also use clean fingers to massage the soap into the entire brush.

Rinse

With your brush heads facing downward again, rinse the bristles thoroughly under lukewarm water. Continue rinsing until there are no traces of soap or residue left — just as you’d wash your own hair.

Pat Dry

“After all your brushes are rinsed, use a clean towel to pat dry them,” said Billera. You can gently press the bristles between a towel to soak up excess moisture. It’s important to pat them dry as soon as they’re completely rinsed. Never let your brushes soak in water as this will make them fall apart.

Reshape Brushes and Dry

Once you’ve finished patting dry, reshape the brush heads and lay them down on a clean, dry towel for six to eight hours. “Do not put brushes right-side up in a cup or blow-dry them,” noted Billera. Laying them flat helps them maintain their original shape and keeps water out of the ferrules.

Daily Spray Cleansing

In addition to a weekly deep cleaning, you can perform a daily cleanse on each of your brushes with a water-free cleanser, available in cosmetic stores and online. “Just spray a couple of spritzes on a tissue and swirl the brush gently until there is no longer residue,” advised MLR makeup artist Kelly Morezak. “A lot of brush cleansers are anti-bacterial, which is great if you have acne-prone skin. Talk about the easiest way to prevent pimples!”

Conditioning Synthetic Brushes

“Synthetic brushes tend to get hard over time,” noted Morezak. “Every other cleaning, I use a hair conditioner on them.” She recommends selecting a conditioner with as little scent as possible. Follow the same steps you use when shampooing your brushes.

Types of Dresses That Make You Look Skinny

No matter what your weight, you deserve to look beautiful in dresses. Sometimes, creating a flattering look is about smoke and mirrors. Dresses should draw attention to the best part of you and cover the parts of you that you like least. Regardless of your body type and the dress you choose, make sure you choose the proper fit and wear undergarments that flatter.

Wrap Dress

Fashionistas and stylists agree that the wrap dress is universally flattering. Introduced by Diane von Furstenberg in 1972, the wrap dress is usually made in a lightweight knit print. It wraps around your waist, highlighting the smallest part of your shape. It also creates an automatic V-neck. A wrap dress with an A-line skirt gives the illusion of an hourglass figure. Select a small print, which is more slimming than a large print.

Dresses With an Empire Waist

An empire waist creates a line right under the bust, an area that is usually a slim part of your torso. Drawing the eye to a small part of your body will make you look slimmer. The empire waist will also draw the eye up toward the bust. Pairing the dress with eye-catching jewelry will draw attention to your neckline, too. You can find a dress with an empire waist with an A-line skirt or a pencil skirt that skims the hips instead of flaring out.

Dresses with Ruching

Ruching is a gather of fabric. You can choose a dress that is ruched from top to bottom, or you can choose ruching for the waist. It may seem counter-intuitive to wear a dress with gathered folds of fabric, but many figures are flattered by ruching that draws the eye toward the center of the body or toward a narrow part of the body. Ruching may also have the effect of concealing figure details behind the fabric.

Sheath Dress

Although you may think that a bigger dress will hide your body, it just makes you look heavier. The sheath dress skims your body and accentuates your curves. The sheath can be paired with a long jacket to camouflage wide hips. Or pair your sheath with a wide belt to further accentuate your waistline. Don’t be afraid to choose color when buying a sheath dress. Instead of basic black, a pastel or jewel tone that flatters your complexion will put the emphasis on your face.