Sanitary Makeup Application & Cleaning Makeup Products



I want to take a moment to talk about how to apply makeup to a client in a safe, sanitary manner, and also how to clean and disinfect your products, whether they are part of your kit or your own personal makeup collection.

I realize that the spread of infectious diseases is a major cause of concern for many people right now, and I’ve received a great deal of messages about this subject. In no way do I, or have I ever, claimed to be an authority on sanitization, but I have shared with you all of the things I know from attending a world renowned, highly credited makeup school and working in the makeup industry for well over a decade. This guide was compiled from doing some of my own research as well as talking to other makeup artists, and even a few people who are in the medical field. I have done my best to provide you all with the most accurate information I possibly could.


First off, let’s go over different types of sanitizing and disinfecting solutions:

  • Antimicrobial or hygienic makeup and brush cleansers are usually (not always) a medical grade disinfectant or sanitizing solution that contains 70% to 90% isopropyl alcohol and are effective at killing any kind of bacteria, virus, or fungi that may be a threat to your health. Many antimicrobial brush cleaners from makeup supply stores are these type of solutions, and this is something you’ll see at many stores and makeup counters (it’s like the pink spray that MAC used to have, and still uses in a new “hygienic cleanser” formula).
  • When you look at an isopropyl alcohol solution that is labeled as 70%, it will contain 70% isopropyl alcohol and 30% water. If it is labeled at 99%, it will contain 99% isopropyl alcohol and 1% water.
  • The lower the percentage of alcohol and higher the percentage of water, the longer the isopropyl alcohol solution will take to evaporate.
  • The longer the alcohol takes to evaporate, the more effective it is at breaking through the cell wall of some types of bacteria, viruses, etc, and completely killing them. That’s because it has a longer period of surface contact with the germs, destroying the outer barrier or cell wall of the microorganism, then getting inside to fully denature (dehydrate) the proteins within the cell, which kills the germs entirely. Any isopropyl alcohol solution of 90% or under can sufficiently do this. It’s not advised to use anything under 70%, though, due to the lower alcohol content, which may not be as effective at sanitizing things.
  • Due to the fact that isopropyl alcohol of 91% or higher evaporates so rapidly, when the alcohol touches some types of germs, it will instantly coagulate the cell as a whole, “freezing” it and putting it into a sort of dormant state, but it may or will not break through the cell wall and kill the proteins inside microorganism or “germ” cell.

In makeup school, and from many other professionals, I had always learned that using 95% to 99% isopropyl alcohol was completely acceptable for any product. Now that may be the case, or it may not. I have not read or done any type of in depth study to compare various types of products and what kind of germs or how many germs they commonly have on them, or what kind of alcohol kills those germs, on that product, most effectively.

According to some people that I’ve spoken to in the medical field, they agree with what I learned from many people in the makeup industry… that 91% and up should be fine for products that are not typically susceptible to harboring lots of germs and are hydro-sensitive (aka can be damaged by water), such as powder products. They also agree that the practice of wiping down a powder’s surface, spraying with alcohol, and wiping the surface down again seems sufficient. However, no one I’ve spoken to in the medical field has agreed that any isopropyl alcohol solution OVER 90% would be okay to use on products such as lipsticks or pencils. The only problem with that is that allowing alcohol to sit on a creamy lipstick for a longer period of time can destroy the product, so it may be best to stick to lipstick palettes that are easier to use in a sanitary way.

After finding all of this information, I will certainly be carrying more than one type of isopropyl alcohol in my kit, and using the appropriate solution for each product. As I stated earlier, I’m not a medical professional or an authority in disinfection and sanitization, and all of these things are based on my own experience and practices, so this is in no way a gold standard in sanitary makeup application practices, but I think it’s a pretty decent guide to start off with and I hope it will help some of you out!


Now let’s go over different types and formulas of products and their likelihood to be little cesspools of germs:

  • Pressed Powders (blush, eyeshadow, powder, highlight, bronzer, etc): Not a very germ-friendly environment unless they are exposed to liquid (like dipping a dampened brush in an eyeshadow to apply it as liner). Pressed powders are dry, therefore they will not provide a moist environment in which germs (bacteria, viruses, and fungi) are likely to grow and thrive.
  • Loose Powders (setting powder, highlighter, pigments, etc): Also not very germ-friendly because, like pressed powders, they do not provide the moisture needed for bacteria, viruses, and fungi to live and grow.
  • Gels, Creams, and Liquids (gel liners, blushes or shadows; cream shadows, primers, foundations, concealers, blushes, highlighters, contours, bronzers, any and all bullet-style lipsticks; liquid foundations, concealers, lipsticks, lip glosses, mascaras, skincare, etc): These products are a great place for germs to thrive due to the moisture in them and the fact that many products like this are used around the eyes and mouth. That said, no makeup artist should EVER allow these products to be exposed to the open air and environment around them UNLESS they have the container opened to safely collect product for application.
  • Pencils (solid or gel-like eye, brow, and lip pencils): Very germ-friendly, since most of these products are not 100% dry formulas and are used around areas of the face such as the eyes and mouth.
  • Liquid Liners (felt or brush tip pens or liquid products with an applicator wand): Also highly germ-friendly, and should NEVER be applied directly to a client’s face.
  • Tools (palettes, makeup spatulas, palette knives, tweezers, lash applicators, scissors, pencil sharpeners, eyelash curlers, etc): Germs can certainly live on these surfaces and tools, but because most of these are made from stainless steel, germs are easy to kill if these items are properly disinfected and sanitized. Spatulas, palette knives, tweezers, scissors, and eyelash curlers MUST be cleaned and disinfected between EACH client and after you are done with the makeup application. Sharpeners should ideally be sanitized before each sharpening. You should NEVER dip any of these tools into a product unless the tool has been properly sanitized first, or you will introduce all kinds of nasty things into that product, which you may not be able to completely sanitize after it’s been contaminated.
  • Brushes: Brushes can be porous since they are made of fibers, and can harbor all kinds of germs if they are not properly sanitized after and between each client, or if product is left on them after a makeup application. Luckily, they’re very easy to clean!
  • Lashes: Lashes cannot be sanitized and reused.
  • Lash Glue: Lash glue would make a great breeding ground for germs, which is why you never touch it directly to the false lashes you are applying, even if they are brand new. You also must be careful not to double dip if you are applying the glue using a disposable applicator wand.


Next, let’s discuss how to properly sanitize these various types of products:

  • Pressed Powders (blush, eyeshadow, powder, highlight, bronzer, etc): You will want to start off by gently wiping away the surface layer of the powder using a clean, sanitary tissue. With a great deal of powder products, this is considered sufficient sanitization by many industry standards. If you would like to go a little further with your sanitization (as I ALWAYS do), you will want to spray alcohol onto the powder and allow it to evaporate. After the alcohol evaporates, gently wipe the surface again with a tissue. Because some powder formulas can be easily altered and damaged by water (typically more softly pressed formulas such as highlighters and shimmery eyeshadows), and powders don’t tend to harbor as many germs as other product formulas do, I have been informed that it’s safe to use a higher percentage alcohol on them, like 90% to 99%. If you want to try an isopropyl alcohol solution that contains more water and evaporates less rapidly, 70% to 90% may work, but I cannot guarantee that it will not damage the product that you are spraying it on.
  • Loose Powders (setting powder, highlighter, pigments, etc): Because these are a loose formula, it’s pretty much impossible to sanitize the loose powder itself. However, if you are using a loose powder product that is in a jar with a sifter, you may spray the sifter with alcohol, or wipe it down using a tissue dampened with alcohol. Because loose powders aren’t highly likely to harbor a great deal of bacteria and other germs, and are even more susceptible to being damaged by water than pressed powders are, I would recommend using a higher percentage of alcohol like 90% to 99% to disinfect the sifter and jar if there’s a chance of it coming in contact with the loose powder itself. If there’s no chance of it damaging the powder and making it a goopy mess, I feel like using an isopropyl alcohol solution of 70% to 90% would be fine. To keep your loose powders from being exposed to any germs at all, you can keep them in little squirt bottles, which I’ll include a photo of below. You can find these bottles at places like The Container Store, most art supply or beauty supply stores, or online from places like amazon. If you feel the need to sanitize the lids/dispenser tops of these jars, you can use 70% to 90% isopropyl alcohol to wipe it down as long as it can’t get into the jar and compromise the loose powder.


  • Gels, Creams, and Liquids (gel liners, blushes or shadows; cream shadows, primers, foundations, concealers, blushes, highlighters, contour sticks, bronzers, any and all bullet-style lipsticks; liquid foundations, concealers, lipsticks, lip glosses, skincare, mascara, etc): These can be tricky products to sanitize. Liquids are impossible to sanitize, although you can clean the pump or bottle they are contained in by using 70% to 90% isopropyl alcohol as long as it cannot get into the container itself and ruin the liquid product inside. Gels are probably the second most difficult to sanitize, followed by creams, and can easily be ruined and turned to sludge if you get too much alcohol in or on them, or use an alcohol solution that is more than about 90% isopropyl alcohol, due to the time it takes to evaporate when using a solution with a lower percentage of alcohol/higher percentage of water. Cream and gel products should never even be touched by anything that is not completely sanitary to begin with, though, and should NEVER have a finger or brush dipped directly into the container (unless it’s your own personal product), so while they are a great place for germs to grow, germs shouldn’t even be introduced into these products if you are following basic sanitary procedures. When I sanitize my gel eyeliners, cream concealers, lipstick palettes, or similar products, I do it in a way similar to how I clean up pressed powders… I use a tissue or paper towel (sometimes paper towels hold up a little better and scrape more product off that a softer tissue does) to gently wipe off the top layer of the product, spray it with 95%+ isopropyl alcohol, then use a new tissue or paper towel to wipe the top layer of the product again. In the case of sanitizing lipsticks, it’s best to use a lower percentage isopropyl alcohol solution, such as 70% to 90%, assuming that will not ruin your product. To sanitize, you will want to hold the lipstick upside down (lipstick bullet pointing towards the ground so no alcohol gets into the tube and breaks down the product), and dip the lipstick into alcohol or thoroughly spray it. After you dip or spray your lipstick, you will then want to gently wipe the surface of the product with a clean tissue or paper towel.
  • Pencils (hard, solid or gel-like eye, brow, and lip pencils): Because these products are typically used around moist areas of the face that are most likely to contain and spread bacteria, it’s absolutely vital that you thoroughly sanitize your pencils after you use them on a client and again before you use them on the next client, even if they’ve only been sitting in your kit, untouched in between makeup appointments. You’ll want to begin by sharpening them and removing the outer layer of product, using a clean, freshly sanitized sharpener (see below for how to sanitize your tools). After your pencil is sharpened, you will want to dip it in or spray it with alcohol, letting it evaporate for about 10 seconds before the next step… Depending on the formula of the pencil and whether it’s more soft and gel-like or harder and more solid, you may be able to use an isopropyl alcohol solution with an alcohol percentage as low as 70% to 90%, which would be ideal. However, if your product basically melts using that percentage of alcohol, you can dip it in or spray it with 91% to 99% alcohol, with the lower percentage of alcohol being preferable. After it’s sprayed or dipped and the alcohol is allowed to evaporate a bit, you may wipe it down with a clean, sanitary tissue. Once it’s been wiped dry, I recommend sharpening it again AFTER you spray your sharpened with alcohol and letting it dry as well. I know it seems like a lot of steps to take, but considering the areas of the face where you are using a pencil product and the fact that you will usually be applying a pencil directly to your client’s face, it’s incredibly important to make sure that the pencil is sanitary or you may risk spreading an infection to your client, which is serious stuff! Also, DO NOT put the cap back on the pencil in between ANY of these sanitizing steps or you will have to start from scratch! It is, however perfectly fine to lay the pencil on a clean tissue to repeatedly use on the client during the same makeup application, as long as it doesn’t touch any other surface.
  • Liquid Liners (felt or brush tip pens or liquid products with an applicator wand): In my opinion, there isn’t really any way to effectively sanitize these so you can directly apply them to a client using the applicator wand or felt/brush tip that’s part of the liquid liner’s component. However, you CAN, and should, sanitize them in between clients, even if you are only dispensing product by touching the applicator wand or felt/brush tip to a clean, sanitized palette or fresh, disposable paper palette. You should also sanitize your liquid liners that you use on yourself from time to time! To do so, you can spray the applicator wand or felt/brush tip with alcohol, then wipe it down with a clean tissue or paper towel. Since the wand or felt/brush tip is not being touched directly to anyone’s skin or to an unsanitary surface, I feel like it’s safe to use a higher percentage of isopropyl alcohol and I prefer 95%+. I also feel like this is the best type of alcohol solution to use on these products because, especially with the felt/brush tip pens, the product can be ruined if the alcohol sits on the pen too long and does not rapidly evaporate.
  • Tools (palettes, makeup spatulas, palette knives, tweezers, lash applicators, scissors, pencil sharpeners, eyelash curlers, etc): All of these tools must be sanitized before use, in between clients, and after you are done with your makeup application before storing them back in your kit. These type of tools should be made from stainless steel, which is not a germ-friendly surface and is easily sanitized. To clean and sanitize any of the tools mentioned, you can thoroughly spray them down with alcohol (I would recommend 70% to 90%), or even soak them if there are not any parts that will be damaged by the alcohol, such as plastic handle on scissors or eyelash curlers, or the rubber inserts that most eyelash curlers have. After you spray or soak your tools, wipe them down with a clean tissue or paper towel to make sure they are completely dry before using them on a client, especially if the tool is to be used around the eyes, since alcohol can cause serious irritation and damage to the eye.
  • Brushes: Brushes are very easy to clean and sanitize, and are the most important tools you have as a makeup artist, so it’s vital to take good care of them! You will want to start out with clean brushes, and you must sanitize them in between clients if you are using the same brushes for multiple makeup applications that day. To spot clean/sanitize, you can spray your brushes with, or dip them into an antimicrobial brush cleaner, like the one made by Cinema Secrets (my personal preference). There are a ton of great, quick drying brush cleaners out there, but make sure that it’s one labeled as antimicrobial or that it is formulated to kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi. After you spray or dip your brush, wipe it with a clean paper towel until there is no product left on the brush or coming off on the paper towel. You may repeat these steps several times, if necessary. After you are done with your makeup appointment, I recommend putting your dirty brushes into their own bag or container so they don’t contaminate anything else in your kit. Once you are home or back in your studio, it’s time to thoroughly wash your brushes with soap (I like Dr Bronner’s liquid castile soap) and water, or a mixture of soap, water, and your antimicrobial brush cleanser that you also use to spot clean. Make sure you always hold your brushes with the fibrous brush end pointed downward when they’re wet so water doesn’t creep up into the ferule, ruining the brush and eating up the adhesive that keeps the fibers in there! Once you’ve cleaned the product out of the brush, rinse well, pat or gently squeeze dry with a paper towel, and lay flat to dry on a clean paper towel.
  • Lashes: As I mentioned earlier, lashes cannot be sanitized and reused on clients. You can sanitize your own lashes at home by taking some alcohol (I would suggest 90% isopropyl alcohol so it evaporates quickly but will still clean off the old glue, as well as any germs) on a cotton swab and cleaning up the lash band and lash fibers themselves, assuming they aren’t made of something that will melt if alcohol touches it. I’m not sure what types of lashes can be damaged by alcohol because I always just use new ones when mine start to seem gross or dirty, but if I find out, I’ll add that info!
  • Lash Glue: The outer part of a lash glue tube and wand can be sanitized by spraying or wiping it down with alcohol, being careful as to not get any alcohol inside the tube where it can damage the glue itself. I would suggest using 70% to 90% alcohol for this.


Lastly, let’s talk about the types and formulas of products that are being applied to a client and how to apply them in a sanitary, safe way:

First things first, though… ALWAYS make sure that your makeup station is set up on clean, sanitary, disposable paper pads or palettes, or paper towels, so that any product or tool you use can safely be set back down and you won’t have to worry about it touching a dirty table or countertop. Also, please remember to use hand sanitizer before your makeup application begins, before you pick up a brush or tool, and before touch your products or your client’s face. If you have taken a break and touched anything else (like your hair, your own face, a phone… eww, grabbed your coffee cup, whatever), sanitize your hands before touching your tools, products, or your clients face again.

  • Pressed Powders (blush, eyeshadow, powder, highlight, bronzer, etc): It is fine to apply sanitized powder products by dipping your brush into the product and applying it directly to the client’s face. It is also safe to dip your brush back into the product, then apply more to the client’s face. However, you MUST disinfect the pressed powder after you are finished with your client AND before using it on the next client.
  • Loose Powders (setting powder, highlighter, pigments, etc): These should be dispensed onto a clean, sanitized palette, paper palette, or a clean tissue or paper towel. You may then dip your brush or applicator into the powder and apply to your client. Never dip your brush directly into a loose powder product jar or container, apply to a client’s face, then dip back into the container. If that happens, it is impossible to effectively sanitize the remaining loose powder within the container.
  • Gels, Creams, and Liquids (gel liners, blushes or shadows; cream shadows, primers, foundations, concealers, blushes, highlighters, contour sticks, bronzers, face primers, any and all bullet-style lipsticks; liquid foundations, concealers, lipsticks, lip glosses, skincare, mascara, etc): As I stated earlier in this post, no makeup artist should EVER allow these products to be exposed to the open air and environment UNLESS they have the container opened to collect product for application. You must NEVER put your finger, brush, or any other unsanitary instrument into a gel, cream or liquid product. The ONLY acceptable and sanitary way to dispense cream, gel and liquid products for use on clients is by using a palette knife, or spatula that has been properly sanitized prior to collecting the product, or a clean, unused, disposable applicator, scoop, or spatula. After collecting the product, it is safest and easiest to put the product onto a clean, sanitized palette or a fresh disposable paper palette. You may then dip your brush or preferred applicator into the product that has been placed on the palette and apply it to the client’s face. You may also use a disposable applicator wand, such as a lip or mascara wand, to collect the lipstick, lip gloss, mascara, etc. In this case, you must apply the product from the disposable applicator directly to the client’s face, then DISPOSE OF THE USED WAND. If you need more product, collect more with a new, clean wand and dispose of it immediately after application. If you are dealing with any gel, cream, or liquid that pours or pumps out of the container, dispense directly onto a sanitized palette or disposable paper palette, and dip your brush into the product on the palette for application. NEVER drip a gel, cream, or liquid product onto a client’s face (like you see on Instagram and YouTube). If the dropper touches the skin, it will contaminate the whole product once it’s placed back into the bottle or container. Furthermore, if you ever double-dip into any gel, cream, or liquid product, you should throw it out. They are impossible to completely sanitize if this should happen, and it’s no longer considered safe to use on the next client.
  • Pencils (solid or gel-like eye, brow, and lip pencils): These must NEVER be applied without being properly sanitized first. You may scrape some of the pencil onto a palette, if you prefer to apply it with a brush or wand, but it still must first be sanitized the same way as if you were going to apply it directly to your client. Also, as stated earlier, if you put the cap back onto the pencil during the makeup application, you must sanitize the pencil again before applying it to your client or scraping it onto a palette.
  • Liquid Liners (felt or brush tip pens or liquid products with an applicator wand): These must NEVER be directly applied to the client! Liquid liners may be applied by dipping a new, sanitary applicator wand into the product and dispensing the product onto a clean, sanitized palette or a disposable paper palette. You may then collect the product from the palette, onto your preferred brush or applicator wand, and apply it to the client’s face. After the product is placed onto your clean palette, you may double dip into that small amount of product. If these type of products are contaminated by applying directly to a client or double dipping, you should dispose of the product and not use it on a future client.
  • Lashes: A fresh, clean pair of lashes should be applied to each client, and preferably for each new makeup application. To get the lashes in place and pressed closely to your client’s lash line, use a clean, sanitized lash applicator tool or tweezers (never sharp ones), or your clean, sanitized little fingers but ONLY if you have your client’s approval to do so.
  • Lash Glue: Never use the lash glue’s own brush applicator to apply the glue to a pair of lashes, or hold the tip of the squeeze tube up to a lash band. It’s best to squeeze the glue onto your clean palette or disposable paper palette, or dip an applicator wand into the tube of lash glue, then using the wand,  apply the glue to the the lash band. Remember not to double dip the applicator wand and always get a fresh one each time if you are dipping directly into the tube of lash glue. It’s fine to use the same disposable wand if you are picking up the glue from your palette.


I realize that was incredibly long and detailed, but if you read through the whole guide, I appreciate you spending your time here and I hope that helped you out in some way! If you have any input on this subject, please feel free to comment below! I welcome an open discussion, but since this is a sensitive time for many people when it comes to the topic of germs and such, I must ask you to refrain from sharing false information that cannot be backed up, or spreading panic and paranoia. If I feel that a comment is misinforming or contributing to unnecessary levels of paranoia or anxiety, the comment will be subject to moderation. Thank you all for stopping by and thanks in advance for any additional input you may have on this subject!

MAC Oval 6 Brush

I’ve been obsessed with this brush since I purchased it not long ago and actually ended up purchasing a second one. It’s a versatile brush that can be used for several tasks and with different types of products. I’ve been very happy with the results I get with the Oval 6 brush, especially when applying a liquid or cream foundation, so I had to share it with all of you! I hope you enjoy this review and thanks for reading!

This brush sells for $42 (MAC Pro & Staff discounts do not apply) and can be picked up at freestanding MAC stores as well as It’s been out for a while now and cannot be purchased at counters, but I’m hoping they’ll change that soon! If that changes, I’ll be sure to let you all know. But back to the price… I know $42 seems sort of high for a brush, but something like a MAC 187 brush costs the same, and considering that the Artis Oval 6 sells for $57 and is honestly the exact same brush, you’re getting a good deal with the MAC version of the Oval 6!

If you want to get updates on posts are coming up, stay in touch with me, and get sneak peeks of new products that I’ll be testing and reviewing, be sure to follow me on twitterinstagram, and snapchat, all @ lesley_makeup!


The MAC Oval 6 Brush is ideal for applying liquid, cream, or powder products. It’s dense, synthetic fibers are perfect for buffing out foundation, concealer, or cream blush, while it can also be used for gentle stippling if you need a little extra coverage in some areas. There are many other uses for this brush too… I’ll go into detail about using it with different formulas and types of products below, so keep reading if you’re interested in how to use this brush!

It’s a medium size, comparable to MAC’s 170 and 196 brushes, which are also very dense and can be used with creams and liquids. The main difference between them is that the 170 and 196 are both made in the typical brush fashion, rather than having a slanted, ergonomic type of handle like the Oval 6 does. Due to the shape of this brush, it’s made from plastic rather than wood (since it doesn’t have a metal ferule), but I like that because I find that it holds up really well and comes clean more easily. This type of handle is amazing for personal application but it makes it difficult to use on other people, so this is not a brush I would recommend for a kit or professional use.

This brush does not seem to use up nearly as much product as a Beauty Blender, especially with liquid foundation. It’s so dense that you don’t get a lot of product seeping into the depths of the bristles either, as I’ve found with some other foundation brushes, so that cuts back on how much product you have to use, as well as makes it much easier to clean!

As far as packaging goes, this comes in a very sturdy box, rather than just having a sleeve on it. I don’t like that fact that the box seems to be a waste of materials, but it does give this brush a more luxurious first impression.


Dupes:   As I mentioned earlier, the two brushes I’ve found to be most similar to the Oval 6 that are made by MAC are the 170 Synthetic Rounded Slant Brush and the 196 Slanted Flat Top Foundation Brush. In my opinion, the 170 is more similar than the 196 because the brush fibers seem to be nearly the same and are incredibly soft and smooth, as well as tapered and domed. The 196 is more sharply slanted, which makes it fantastic for carving out contour or getting very close to the eye area, but it doesn’t naturally hug the curves of the face quite as well as the Oval 6 and 170 brushes do. I also find that the 196 requires more of a stippling motion for application, rather than a gentle, gliding motion like I do when using the 170 and Oval 6.

And of course I must mention the Artis Oval 6 Brush as a dupe! It’s basically the same brush… I’m not even kidding. Both brushes were designed by the same gentleman, who used to be part of the MAC family. After parting ways with MAC, he became a consultant and partner for a major brush manufacturer and has launched his own line of brushes under the brand Artis. Basically, if you get the Artis brush, you’re just paying for the way it looks… It costs $15 more than the MAC Oval 6 and the only difference is the color and/or material of the handle. The Artis version of this brush may look more luxurious and fancy, but I personally prefer the sleek look of MAC’s Oval 6, as well as MAC’s price! I have used both, although I don’t own the Artis version, and I can assure you that they do the exact same job!

If you’d like to know more about application techniques, please scroll down past the photos.






I am going to try to take photos this week to demonstrate how to hold this brush for each application technique since it’s still a new concept for some people. The “level” of wordpress that I have right now won’t allow me to post videos, but I plan on using this brush a lot in upcoming YouTube tutorials, so I’ll link that as soon as my videos go live!

Liquids:   When applying a liquid foundation, I recommend dabbing the product onto your face with your finger, then blending it out with the Oval 6 brush. The type of motion you’ll want to use is more of a gentle, gliding motion to sweep your foundation all over the face, rather than a circular buffing motion that you may be used to doing with other brushes. You can also softly stipple with this brush if you’re trying to blend your concealer! The shape of this brush allows it to fit under and around the eye, nose, and mouth with ease. You’ll also notice that you don’t need to use nearly as much product with this brush, especially if you’ve been using something like a Beauty Blender!

Creams:   With creams, you’ll use pretty much the same gliding motion as you do with liquids, although I find that a circular buffing motion tends to work alright with creams, while when I do that with liquids, it seems to thin out the coverage a bit. You can even use the side or edge of this brush if you’re applying a cream contour… The shape allows you to get a precise line, then gently buff it out. When applying a cream blush, you’ll want to use the more rounded part of the brush to buff it onto the apples of your cheeks. The Oval 6 Brush also works well with cream concealers since the shape allows you to get right into your under eye area!

Powders:   I’ve found that the buffing and gliding motions work best for powder foundations. I don’t recommend using this brush to apply powder over a liquid foundation, though, as it can sort of wipe away or streak your foundation that you’ve already applied. That said, I absolutely love this brush if I’m in a hurry and want to put some Studio Fix Powder on real quick! It gives great coverage when used with that type of powder. I also LOVE using this brush to apply powder under my contour line on my cheeks to clean it up and add definition! Powder blushes can be a little tricky, depending on how pigmented they are… Because this brush picks up a lot of product, if you aren’t careful and use a light hand, you can end up looking like a clown! The few times I’ve been successful at applying blush with the Oval 6, I’ve gently patted it onto the apple of my cheek, then used light, circular motions to blend it out.

Primers/Skincare:   While I personally prefer to use my fingers for skincare and primers, since the heat of my fingers melts those type of products into my skin, you can use this brush if you want to have a more pampered, spa-like experience. The only downside is that primers and lotions tend to be more liquidy, so the brush will soak those up more than it will foundations.

Cleaning:   I always make sure to spot clean all of my brushes daily… To do so, I have my MAC Brush Cleanser in a spray bottle, which I’ll spritz onto a paper towel, then gently swipe the brush across a couple of times until most of the product is off of the brush. For deep cleaning, you can mix MAC Brush Cleanser with water or use a gentle shampoo diluted with water (I like Dr Bronner’s Liquid Castille Soap, but it’s very concentrated, so you only need a few drops). Like other brushes, make sure you don’t submerge the entire brushhead in water, as this can loosen the bristles. You only have to dip about the top third into the water/shampoo mixture, then gently swoosh it around in the palm of your hand. To rinse, run your thumb across the bristles while holding the brushhead under running water (again, just part of the bristles). You can pat it dry with a paper towel, then make sure it’s reshaped before putting it back into your brush cup  or holder to air dry the rest of the way!


*** This post expresses my own honest opinion. I purchased this out of pocket and did not receive any type of PR or compensation for this review ***

MAC – Kelly Osbourne – 183SE Flat Buffer Brush: Photos and Review

I was so incredibly excited when I saw that MAC was finally releasing an awesome brush with one of their limited collections! I’ve been wanting a brush like this SO badly, though I couldn’t find the perfect one, but here it is at last! This collection, collaborating with the ladies of the Osbourne family, Sharon and Kelly, came out at counters and stores last Thursday, June 12th, and online the week before… While many products sold out quickly, I know that this brush is still available at some stores and counters where I live, so I imagine that applies to nearly everywhere. It is, unfortunately, sold out online, so I suggest calling around to your nearest MAC locations if you want to find this brush… And trust me, it’s worth going on a hunt for!




MAC Brushes are super high quality, with this one being no exception! According to MAC’s description, it’s a “short-handle buffer brush made of lush, dense fibres in a circular shape with flat-topped head. Ideal for applying and blending bronzers and powders to any part of the body. Features an aluminum ferrule, which also performs as the handle”…  This brush is perfect for applying any type of setting powder, loose powder, powder foundation, highlighter, or bronzers to both the face and body.

It’s flat top and round shape, packed full of natural fibers, make this wonderful for getting great coverage by stippling a powder product onto the skin, while it’s fluffiness makes it fantastic for buffing things out. Even though this is a fairly large brush, it’s still easy to control for areas of the face, so you don’t just have to use this on the body! The 183SE has replaced my previously favorite 181 Kabuki buffing brush as my go to powder brush… I’ve actually been using this on a daily basis to apply my Mineralize Loose Powder Foundation (which I use over Face & Body) for a perfectly flawless, airbrushed looking finish! Then, once I apply my bronzer and blush, I use the 183SE brush to buff around the edges of everything and soften any harsh lines… I swear this brush is like a magic wand!

The handle for this brush is the same light violet color that coordinates with the other products from the Kelly part of the Osbournes collection. It also has her red signature on the ferrule/handle.

The 183SE (special edition) brush is limited edition and available now (if it’s still in stock) online at as well as at stores and counters. As I mentioned, last I saw, the 183SE brush is sold out online, but I know that there are several stores and counters in the Los Angeles area that have it in stock, so I imagine that many other locations all over the country do as well. This brush sells for $58, which is about average for brushes this size.


Kelly 183SE Brush 2
183 SE

Overall Rating:   5 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:   5

Fiber Quality:   5

Softness:   5

Size:   5

Packaging:   5

TIP:   Make sure that you spot clean this brush before using it, as MAC brushes have a very light, protective coating to help them keep their shape during shipping.

To clean and sanitize this brush, I suggest using MAC’s Brush Cleanser… It comes in a squeeze bottle, but I prefer to put it into a spray bottle so it doesn’t waste so much cleanser… To spot clean (I try to do this daily or every other day), you simply spray the brush itself or a paper towel, then gently swipe the brush around on the paper towel until you don’t notice any color or product coming off of the brushl. The Brush Cleanser dries quickly too, so you can use the brush again a few moments after cleaning if you need to. The wonderful thing about MAC’s Brush Cleanser is that it sanitizes, removes buildup from product and the natural oils in your skin, and lightly conditions the brush so it will last you a lifetime! I’ve had my MAC brushes for 10+ years, so I can attest to this being the perfect method for caring for your makeup brushes!

To deep clean, which I try to do with my personal brushes once or twice a month, you can mix some Brush Cleanser with water and a gentle soap, like Dr Bronner’s unscented baby formula pure castle soap, in a small bowl… After mixing this up, dampen your brush under running, lukewarm water, then dip just the tip into the soapy cleanser mixture… Holding the brush with the fibers facing downwards (always), you want to gently swirl it around in your hand, then rinse and squeeze out the excess water until there’s no dirty water or soapy residue coming from the brush. Once you see that it’s nice and clean, make sure you softly squeeze out all the moisture you can (I like to wrap a paper towel around it when doing this to absorb as much as possible), while still holding it upside down, then lay if flat to dry. Don’t EVER turn a brush right-side/bristles/fibers up while it’s still damp… This can cause water to get into the ferrule and destroy the glue and wood that holds the brush together! If you treat your brushes well, they’ll do the same for you!

MAC – RiRi Hearts MAC Holiday 2013 – Makeup Bag: Photos and Review

This bag is probably my favorite part of the whole RiRi Hearts MAC Holiday collection… I’m not really a makeup bag fanatic… I have a few that I switch between depending on what purse I’m carrying and the season, but I’m not the type that buys every new, cute bag that comes out. To me, a makeup bag is a necessity and is more for function than fashion, fortunately, the RiRi Hearts MAC bag meets all of my requirements for function and is pretty on top of that!

RiRi Hearts MAC Holiday 2013 Bag 1


RiRi Bag 2

This bag is a beautiful metallic pink, going along with one of the accent colors featured in most of the RiRi Hearts MAC collections. The zipper pull on the bag is a gorgeous rose gold and the fabric is made from a high quality, quilted material. What I love about that is that it’s actually slightly padded! I’ve dropped mine several times (I’m clumsy!) and none of my powders have broken as they have in some other bags I’ve carried. The bag also has a small handle on the side, so it’s easy to carry around or pull out of your bag.

RiRi Bag Zipper Pull

On the inside, there’s a silky fabric that’s a pretty light pink with pearly colored writing with the “RiRi <3’s MAC” logo on it. The bag also has a small, thin, clear plastic pocket on one side of the interior that’s perfect for slipping pencils or small brushes into so they won’t roll around and get lost.

RiRi Bag Interior 1

The dimensions for this bag are 6.5″ x 4.5″ x 1.5″, so this bag is small enough to fit into a medium to large purse and can hold everything you need from day to day basics, a night out, or even a weekend trip! I played around with what all I could get in there and I managed to fit a travel brush set, liquid foundation, powder compact, blush, mascara, lipstick, lip pencil, eye liner and a small sample perfume! The shape is great too because it’s somewhat stiff, deep, squared off, and won’t get all floppy and make the items inside move around too much.

Overall, this is my favorite makeup bag I’ve ever had and I definitely recommend picking it up while supplies last!

This is limited edition but still seems to be available at most counters and stores as well as online. The RiRi Hearts MAC bag sells for $40.


Sneak Peek – MAC Archie’s Girls Collection

Today marks the official release date for MAC’s new collection… Archies Girl’s! There are two sides to this collection… One half features the girl next door, blonde sweetheart, Betty, with softer, warmer colors. The other half is more sultry, cool colors that are perfect for the spoiled, raven-haired Veronica (who was always my favorite).

I have *nearly* all of the products from the entire collection that I will be reviewing as soon as possible! All of the photos have been taken, they just need to be edited and I need a day or two to finish product testing… Here’s a sneak peek of the fun new stuff you can look forward to seeing on here over the next few days!!

Keep checking back, I’ll have posts up ASAP! Thanks for reading!     Xoxo, Lesley

Archie's Girls Sneak Peek

Tuesday Tip #4: How to Spot Clean Your Makeup Brushes (with video)


I finally got brave and/or motivated enough to make a YouTube video… Woohoo! Unfortunately, I was forced to film it with my MacBook because my camera battery died, which equals bad quality, but I was in a hurry to get it done so I could include it in this post. I promise that future videos will be MUCH better!

Anyway, this is just a quick post explaining how to spot clean your makeup brushes. I cleanse mine on a daily basis after I finish applying my makeup. That may seem like a lot of work but it’s so worth it! I also deep clean my brushes once every other week or so, which I will do another post about later on.

Spot cleaning your brushes every day will remove any leftover product so your makeup will apply flawlessly the next time you use your brush and colors won’t get mixed up or old product won’t be applied to your face. It also sanitizes your brush so you aren’t applying nasty bacteria to your face, which can grow on brushes that have products and your skin’s natural oils leftover on them.  That will help prevent breakouts and keep your skin clear! Brush cleanser also helps condition the brush so it will stay soft for years to come.


To clean your brushes, you only need a few things…

  • Brush Cleanser… I prefer MAC’s. It’s non-drying and removes everything easily. This Brush Cleanser costs $13 for 235ml.
  • Paper Towels
  • Spray Bottle (optional, but it will keep you from using so much brush cleanser). I got a small, cheap plastic one from the travel section at CVS

Cleaning your brushes is quick and simple using these easy steps:

  • Lay paper towel on flat surface, preferable folded over
  • Spray brush with a small amount of Brush Cleanser (or pour a little bit onto the paper towel)
  • Gently swipe brush back and forth on the paper towel until all product is removed
  • Swipe brush back and forth on the dry area of the paper towel to help absorb any extra brush cleanser that’s still on the brush
  • Stand brush up in a cup or lay flat to dry

This is super easy to do and will keep your brushes AND your skin clean and flawless all the time!

MAC Heavenly Creature: Complete Collection Roundup

MAC Heavenly Creature  –  Thursday, July 5th, 2012

MAC’s Heavenly Creature collection is a large, space themed collection full of Mineralize products such as Eye Shadows, Blushes, and Mineralize Skinfinishes. There are also Mineralize Charged Water skincare products like Eye Cream, Cleanser, and Moisture Gel. They even brought back Volcanic Ash Exfoliator with this collection! As well as Mineralize products, there are Lipsticks and Cremesheen Glasses too. MAC is also repromoting a few of their permanent products, like the 286, 187, and 188 Duo Fibre Brushes and False Lashes Mascara.

The product names in this collection are all fun and space-related. The Mineralize Skinfinishes, Blushes, and Eye Shadows all have a swirly appearance too, so they resemble planets, galaxies, etc… Most of the products are bright, bold, warm colors, which are perfect for summer! MAC usually releases a Mineralize collection around summertime every year. Heavenly Creature is my favorite in the past few years… These colors really are unique and nearly every product can be worn by anyone!

MAC’s Heavenly Creature collection is already available online, but the official North American release date for counters and stores is Thursday, July 5th. The majority of these products are limited edition. Since Mineralize products are SO popular, you may want to go ahead and get what you want online or stop by your local MAC store or counter and pre-purchase or reserve the products that you want! These will probably sell out VERY quickly!

* Mineralize Skinfinish *

$29 for 10g / 0.35 US oz

MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish is “A luxurious velvet-soft powder with high-frost metallic finish. Smoothes on: adds buffed-up highlights to cheeks, or an overall ultra-deluxe polish to the face.” These are shimmery, but buildable so you can wear them as a softer wash of color with a glow, or layer them up for intense color payoff and a metallic sheen. These apply best with something like a MAC 187 or 188 Duo-Fibre brush and wear for around 8 hours. There are four Mineralize Skinfinish powders in this collection, all of which are limited edition. For more photos and swatches, you can click here: MAC Heavenly Creature Mineralize Skinfinish: Photos, Swatches and Reviews

* Mineralize Blush*

$23.50 for 3.2g / 0.10 US oz

MAC Mineralize Blushes are “Baked minerals refined into a powder formula to provide exceptionally sheer and lightweight application. Colour builds lightly, layer after layer, without heavy coverage. Veils and enhances the cheekbones with a luminous, pearlized shimmer.” All of these are warm, bright colors and although they may look a little intimidating to those of you with fair-light skin, they’re buildable, so with proper application, these don’t have to look so intense if you don’t want them to! Mineralize Blush applies best with a MAC 187 or 188 Duo-Fibre brush and wears for about 8 hours. All four Mineralize Blushes in this collection are limited edition. For additional photos and swatches, you can click here: MAC Heavenly Creature Mineralize Blush: Photos, Swatches and Reviews

* Mineralize Eye Shadow *

$20 for 1.8g / 0.06 US oz

MAC’s Mineralize Eye Shadows are also “Baked minerals refined into a powder formula provide exceptionally sheer and lightweight application. Colour builds lightly, layer after layer, without heavy coverage”. Basically, it’s the nearly the same formula as the blushes are, only in an eye shadow form! As with the rest of the Mineralize Products, these are buildable, and can also be applied damp for extra bold shimmer and color payoff. I go over all application techniques in my other post. With these, I get approximately 6-10 hours of wear, depending on whether or not I apply a primer underneath. All nine Mineralize Eye Shadows are limited edition. For more photos, swatches, and a full review, you can click here: MAC Heavenly Creature Mineralize Eye Shadows: Photos, Swatches and Reviews

* Lipstick *

$14.50 for 3g / 0.1 US oz

MAC’s Lipstick formula feels lightweight on the lips, but still gives great pigmentation and color payoff. Most of the Lipsticks in the Heavenly Creature collection are Lustre finishes, except for Pleasureseeker, which is a Glaze. Lustre finish Lipsticks give me around 4 hours of wear before they need to be touched up, while Glazes last slightly longer since they are a bit more creamy. All five of these Lipsticks are limited edition, with Pleasureseeker being a repromote that was originally released with the Neo Sci-Fi collection in May of 2008. Cut A Caper is also a repromote from MAC’s A Tartan Tale collection which came out in October of 2010. Cut A Caper was extremely popular when it was originally released and sold out online the first day that the Heavenly Creature collection was available! For more photos, swatches, and a complete review, click here: MAC Heavenly Creature Lipsticks: Photos, Swatches and Reviews

* Cremesheen Glass *

$19.50 for 2.7ml / 0.09 US fl oz

MAC Cremesheen Glass is “A lip finish that fuses the creamy, sheen-filled nature of Cremesheen Lipstick with the shine of M∙A∙C Lipglass. Soft, comfortable, non-sticky. Applies with a doe-foot applicator. Use as a top layer to its namesake Lipstick or on its own.” These truly are non-sticky, and while they aren’t as thick as typical Lipglass, they are still intensely pigmented and offer great coverage. I get around 4 hours of wear with Cremesheen Glass. The five Cremesheen Glasses in the Heavenly Creature collection are all limited edition. If you’d like to check out more photos, swatches, and full reviews, click here: MAC Heavenly Creature Cremesheen Glass: Photos, Swatches and Reviews

* Brushes *

187 Duo Fibre Face Brush:   This brush is permanent and sells for $42. It is “A large full circular brush used for lightweight application and blending of face powder or pigments. Use to create soft layers or add textures. Made from a soft blend of goat and synthetic fibres.” It’s perfect for the application of Mineralize Skinfinishes or Mineralize Blushes (but the 188 will give you more control). You can easily layer the product, gradually building color with it. The 187 Brush is also great for buffing and blending!

188 Small Duo Fibre Face Brush:   This brush is permanent and sells for $34. It is “A flat-topped, full circular brush used for lightweight application and blending of any formula colour – fluid, cream, powder or pigment. Ideal for creating soft layers or adding textures. Made from a soft blend of goat and synthetic fibres.” It’s a smaller version of the 187 brush, so it’s better for applying to smaller areas, like cheeks, and gives you more control over the product. This is my favorite brush for applying Mineralize Blush.

286 Duo Fibre Blending Brush:   This eye brush is also part of MAC’s permanent line and sells for $30. “With its soft dome shape, this two-toned, duo-fibre brush of goat and synthetic fibres provides a sheer, more controlled application of M·A·C Mineralize Eye Shadow.” I think this brush is great for applying Mineralize Eye Shadow, but mostly just for buffing out and softening the intensity and dry application. It fits into the crease very nicely and gives you a great deal of control. It’s also a fantastic brush for applying under-eye concealer!

* False Lashes Mascara* 

$19 for 8g / 0.28 US oz

False Lashes Mascara:   This mascara is a permanent product. The formula is “Fashionably false in look, but honestly real, this mascara’s key benefits of volume and curl are matched by a dramatic end look. The unique edge: the ultra-thickening formula in combo with the plush-’em-up action of its unique double-lush brush.” This is by far one of my favorite mascaras of all time! I use this on an almost daily basis to make my lashes look long, dark, and full. I especially like layering this over Prep + Prime Lash for added volume, length, and drama. False Lashes Mascara layers well without weighing down the lashes or clumping and wears without smudging or flaking.

* Skincare *

Volcanic Ash Exfoliator:   This product is “A highly effective, dual-purpose foaming, cleansing and exfoliating scrub blending natural Volcanic Ash with fine sugar crystals. Refines and unclogs the skin, adds instant moisture: leaves skin feeling soft and comfortably clean. Mineral-rich. May be used effectively on any part of face or body. Rinses off with warm water.” I have not used this myself, but I plan on picking some up this week! I hear fantastic things about it and from what I understand, it’s good for all skin types. MAC usually releases this in limited quantities and once it’s gone, it’s not released again for a while. That said, I’m unclear if this is going to stick around or not, but I’m pretty sure that it’s limited edition with the Heavenly Creature collection. This contains 100ml / 3.4 US fl oz of product and sells for $28.

Mineralize Charged Water Cleanser:   This cleanser is “A lightweight cleanser formulated with our ionized Super-Duo Charged Water technology. Removes all makeup (except waterproof and longwearing) with a wipe – no rinse-off required. Leaves skin nourished, soft, absolutely clean.” It’s a cleanser/remover, so you don’t have to rinse your face with water after using this if you’re in a hurry. I still like to rinse mine, though. I don’t own this product but I’ve used it several times and I like it! It leaves my skin feeling nourished and doesn’t seem to dry it out. Mineralize Charged Water Cleanser is permanent product that contains 100ml of cleanser and sells for $23.

Mineralize Charged Water Moisture Eye Cream:   This eye cream is “A luxuriously rich eye cream. Infused with our ionized Super-Duo Charged Water technology. Moisturizes and adds radiance, while instantly – and over time – reducing the look of dark circles, lines and puffiness.” I have only tried this out for a few days in a row but I thought it was nice and plan on purchasing it when I run out of my other eye cream! it doesn’t decrease puffiness as quickly as Fast Response Eye Cream does, but it seems to help prevent it to some degree and provides more moisture. This is a permanent product containing 15ml of eye cream, which sells for $35.

Mineralize Charged Water Moisture Gel:   This moisturizer is “An ultra-light, gel-like cream that absorbs instantly to give the skin intense hydration. Infused with our exclusive Super-Charged Water technology, this formula leaves skin softer, more luminous. Use day or night.” Again, I haven’t used this much, only as a sample for about a week, but I think this is a fantastic product for all skin types. If you have dry skin, this will soak in quickly, but still hold in moisture throughout the day. If you have combination skin, it will help to even out the dry areas and oily patches. If you have oilier skin, it will give you just enough moisture to keep your skin even and healthy. My favorite part about MAC’s gel formula moisturizers is that they aren’t heavy and feel like that almost adjust to your skin type, giving you the perfect amount of moisture. It soaks in quickly and doesn’t sit on the surface of the skin, so you can apply makeup over this without feeling like a shiny, slippery-faced mess. During the hotter months, I use the Lightful Moisture Creme, which is also a gel-style moisturizer, so my skin can breathe without having a sticky, heavy layer of moisturizer on it when it’s already hot and humid outside. Mineralize Charged Water Moisture Gel is permanent and contains 50ml of product. This sells for $37.