It seems like a lifetime ago I was a makeup student working my way through the myriad of products and tools, discovering the best ways to use and maintain them all. Like all novices, along the way I encountered some challenges to keeping my makeup and brushes in tact, so I’ve listed a few of my favourite makeup hacks to make life easier! Below are a few nuggets of knowledge that I’ve collected over the years through experience, sometimes tears, and experimentation.
1 - Repairing a smashed powder (eye shadow, blush, bronzer)
I’ve had far too many of those heart skip-a-beat moments where you watch your favourite bronzer slip and fall towards the tiled floor in slow motion..….and then the inevitable smash!! Generally followed by some colourful language, we then move onto the dilemma of how to best clean the mess. Alas, if you’ve managed to only fracture your powder, or are able to collect the pieces and place them back in the pan, it may be salvaged with the help of our old friend Isocol. That’s right, the green bottle with the alligator on it, looking oh so friendly that you find in the supermarket. Spray your powder till it’s completely soaked with the rubbing alcohol and press the moist product back
into the pan. If you're struggling to mould it back into shape, you can lay a tissue over the damp product to help press it back into the pan without it sticking to your fingers. Let it dry overnight and hopefully you have managed to resuscitate your powdery companion back to life.
2 - Washing makeup brushes
So there’s about as many brush cleaning products on the market as there are brushes, and often can cost as much as a brush itself. As a makeup artist who happily invests in quality brushes, I obviously want to clean and maintain them to keep them in mint condition, but I’m not really prepared to spend a mint doing so. And so my friends, a huge pro hack is to use your trusted bar of Sard Wonder Soap! Not called Wonder Soap for nothing, it not only cleans, but helps to antibacterial your brushes. After wetting your brushes in warm water, swirl them around the bar of soap until the soap suds are product free. Brushes that have been used for liquid products like foundation may need to be lathered and rinsed numerous times until they are clean, but keep at it because you don't want yesterdays product lingering in there for tomorrows makeup.
If you are still struggling to remove sticky residue from a lip brush, or gel eyeliner from a eyeliner brush, place a few drops of Baby Oil in your palm, and work the brush into the oil first, rinse, then follow with a wash with Sard. The result? Shiny and new.
Extra tip, use a clean towel to squeeze excess water from clean brushes, and always lie brushes flat on a towel to dry so they maintain their shape. Standing them upright can cause the bristles to fray and ultimately ruin how the brush applies product.
3 - Using water on your tools
A great way to change the effect of your makeup can be as easy as dampening your tools. Want a greater colour pay off from your eye shadow? Spray water onto your brush till its damp before picking up the product for a more intense finish. This will also help if you are trying to achieve a more iridescent and glossy finish from your glittery shadows.
Another great way to utilise water is dampening a sponge to apply and adjust your foundation application. To create a sheer finish from your liquid foundation, apply the product all over with a damp sponge. Another technique is to firstly use a brush to apply foundation, followed immediately by stippling over the base with the damp sponge. This action not only picks up any excess product, but helps melt it into the skin for a natural finish. Lastly, if you have been a little heavy handed applying powder over your base, the trusty damp sponge can again come to rescue. With a with a quick stipple, the sponge will remove the excess powder on the skin so you can avoid looking dry and over powdered.
So there you have it, using some of the most accessible cleaning products from the supermarket, can save and maintain some of your most valuable makeup and brushes.
If you have any other makeup mysteries you need solved, I am on hand! Drop me a line and Ill do my best to solve the riddle for you!
Till next time!