Renew your makeup brushes in a few simple steps

Let’s face it! Professional makeup brushes are an investment.  And, like any other investment, we want a great return on that investment.  One of best ways to ensure that will happen is proper brush care. One of the best things you can do for your brushes is to clean them – regularly.  Clean them when they are first purchased and clean them on a regular basis to remove:

  •  Old makeup
  •  Dirt & debris
  •  Bacteria
  •  Oils
  •  Dead skin cells

One of the greatest benefits to keeping your brushes clean is softness! Yes, did you realize that makeup buildup, especially foundation, makes your brushes feel scratchy? If you have sensitive skin, cleaning your brushes regularly will help them stay soft and lush! Your skin will thank you!

How often should you clean your brushes?  Ideally, everyday. But, who has time for that? So, here are a few guidelines:

  • Foundation Brushes -minimum once a week
  • Brushes used for finishing powders and bronzers – once a week
  • Blush Brushes – once a week
  • Eyeshadow Brushes – every 2-3 days
  • Eyeliner Brushes – after every use especially if you use an eyeliner sealant.

For those that suffer with acne, you will greatly benefit from keeping your foundation brushes clean at all times. To cut down on cleaning time, rotate brushes so you always have a fresh clean one to use.

How to clean your brushes:

First, you want to wet the hairs under the faucet with tepid to warm water with the hairs pointing downwards – this will help prevent any water getting in to the ferrule (metal part) or down in to the handle for brushes that don’t have ferrules.

Next you want to use a mild shampoo, liquid hand soap, pure castile soap or our favorite – Johnson’s Baby Shampoo.  Squirt a little soap on your fingers and apply it to the hairs from ferrule to hair tips. Gently squeeze the hairs from ferrule to hair tips over and over adding a little water at a time.  Rinse and repeat until the water runs clear.  Make sure when you are rinsing to keep the brush hairs pointing down.

After your brushes have a good bath, brush them off a little on a clean paper towel and lay them to dry on their side on a paper towel or a regular towel. It is also a good idea to reshape the brush at this point in time to prevent splaying. Lay kabuki’s and any other stand-up brush on their side. Never leave them to dry brush hairs up in a brush holder.  The water can run down in to the ferrule and loosen the glue holding the brush together over time.

Lastly, let brushes dry completely before using.  Dry time will depend on size and brush density.

Keeping your brushes in good condition by washing frequently will provide you with years of beautiful makeup application!  Now that’s a great investment!

Get rid of those shopping bags under your eyes

The home remedies found below, are easy to locate and will relieve you from some of the discomfort caused by puffy eyes.

From the Home Remedies Cupboard

Tea. Green tea or black? Both work well to soothe puffy, irritated eyes. The difference? Not much. Caffeinated teas help constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling, while herbal teas (especially chamomile) contain anti-irritants that soothe redness and inflammation. Steep 2 bags of your choice of tea in hot water for three to five minutes. Let cool until the bags are comfortably warm to the touch. Lie down, close your eyes, and place a tea bag over each eye; then cover with a soft cloth. During hot months, put the cooked tea bags in the refrigerator and apply to eyes when needed for a refreshing, eye-opening experience.

From the Home Remedies Drawer

Spoons. Teaspoon-size spoons are just the right utensils for temporarily helping your eyes reduce to normal proportions. Place 4 or 6 spoons in the refrigerator. When you need to deflate those eyeballs, lie down, close your eyes, and place one spoon (curved side down) on each eye. As the spoon warms, replace it with a cold one from the fridge.

From the Home Remedies Refrigerator

Cucumbers. From the vegetable bin comes the well-known cucumber remedy. Cucumbers aren’t only deliciously cool and soothing to the touch, but their astringent properties cause blood vessels to constrict. Lean your head back, rest a slice on each closed eye, and relax for five to ten minutes while the cukes cure your puffiness.

Egg whites. Call this kitchen cure a souffle for the face. Whip up 1 or 2 egg whites until stiff, and apply with a brush or soft cloth underneath your eyes. The skin will feel tighter and look less like puff pastry.

Potato. The common potato also pampers puffy eyes. Tubers are tried and true in European folk medicine as a means to soothe painful joints, headaches, and other inflammatory conditions. Potato starch acts as an anti-inflammatory agent to ease irritated eyes. Start by pretending you’re making hash browns. Peel one potato, then wash and dry it. Grate the potato as fine as possible, then instead of frying it up with butter, place the pulp in a clean cloth and fold to make a poultice. Place the poultice on your eyelids for 15 minutes.

From the Home Remedies Sink

Cold water. Eyes seem to puff up on workday mornings when you have 30 minutes to get ready. There’s no time to luxuriate with tea bags and cucumber slices –but don’t despair. Cold water will work in a pinch. Rise and shine, and rinse your face with several splashes of cold water. This may be a rude awakening, but the coldness will constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling. Plus, it only takes ten seconds. Repeat throughout the day if possible.

Drinking water. Water is the saving grace when it comes to reducing eye puffiness. Be sure you drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day, and don’t substitute sodas, coffees, or sugary drinks. When the body is dehydrated, it acts much like a camel, storing water for the long haul across the desert. Instead of a camel’s hump, you’ll develop water reserves around the eyeballs. By keeping yourself adequately hydrated, the body isn’t put into survival mode and won’t puff up in all the wrong places.

From the Home Remedies Spice Rack

Salt. Jumbo fries, pepperoni pizza, and other salt-intense foods can cause puffy eyes. However, salt by itself does the eyes good. Get rid of the puffy eyes by mixing 1/2 teaspoon salt into 1 quart warm water. Dip cotton balls or facial pads into the solution, then lie down and apply pads to the eyelids. Rest in this position for at least ten minutes while keeping the pads in place. You’ll arise with deflated eyes.

Do Remember

  • Enjoy a light self-massage, which can help relieve puffy eyes. Close your eyes and gently press your ring finger underneath one eye, moving in an arc shape from the inside corner to the outside corner. Massage 10 to 15 times. Then repeat on the other eye. This is a great massage to do before jumping out of bed.
  • Use two pillows to keep your head elevated while sleeping. Fluid won’t accumulate underneath the eyes.
  • DON’T vigorously rub your eyeballs in the morning. Avoid touching them throughout the day.
  • Watch what you wear. Do your eyes puff up midday? For women, beauty products may be the culprit. Many fingernail polishes, hair sprays, and makeup contain formaldehyde, which can cause eyes to swell. Luckily, the fashion industry is wising up and new formaldehyde-free beauty products are hitting the shelves. Use the process of elimination, avoiding each product for one to two weeks, to determine which is causing the blow-up.
  • Give your eyes a break! For every hour you are on the computer, take a five- to ten-minute rest. Stare out the window, close your eyes and meditate, or stroll to the water cooler. While working on the computer, try to look away every few minutes.
  • Keep your bedroom free from dust, pollen, and animal dander. Remove all dust-collecting objects, wash sheets once a week in very hot water, cover the mattress and pillows with dust-mite protective coverings, and bar pets from the bed. During pollen season, wash your hair before hitting the pillow, and use air conditioning instead of opening the window.
  • Use hypoallergenic soaps and fragrance- and color-free detergen.

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