Disinfecting and cleaning your make-up kit

makeup artist setup

Keeping your kit as clean and sanitary as possible is very important if you are a make-up artist. Not only is it a reflection on how professional you are, but it will establish trust between you and your clients. Cleaning your kit can take pretty long at first but you will soon get the hang of it. You can play music or an audio book to make the task less tedious or my favourite go hide with Netflix while my husband cooks!

In this post I will sort products and tools by category and explain how to clean it properly.

  1. Metal implements: Tweezers, spatulas, small scissors etc.


Metal tools can be rubbed down with alcohol and left to dry, this will remove any leftover product like lash glue and kill germs and bacteria. If you are anal, like me, you can place your tools in a shallow dish (after the alcohol rub down) and pour boiling water over it, leave to sit until the water has cooled down then simply take it out and dry it off.

Tip: I like to keep tools like these sealed in a plastic container after cleaning them off to keep them as pristine as possible.

  1. Compact Powders: Eye shadow pallets, blushes, highlighters etc.


To disinfects compact powders you can just spray them lightly with alcohol and leave to dry completely before putting it away (or using it!!!), the outside can be rubbed down with cotton wool or with a soft cloth that was dipped in a water and miltons solution.  Be sure to remove all bits of powder or pigment from the packaging. Alcohol will not damage pressed powder products, and can even be used to repair a smashed eyeshadow.

Tip: I like to keep all eye shadow plates that don’t have a secure closing mechanism in plastic zip lock bags. This helps keep everything clean inside the bag as well as outside (RIP smashed eyeshadows) I reuse these bags and also give them a wipe down.

  1. Cream or loose powder products: Concealer, foundation or loose powder.

Make Up Makeup Cosmetics Eyeshadow Powder Blush

These products should be decanted using a spatula to avoid cross contamination, lots of make-up artists decant products onto the back of their hands, but in my opinion it is good to use a palate to decant products. The spatula and palate can be rubbed down with alcohol.

Tip: It is good to have a few palates on hand, this way you don’t need to discard left over products between models/clients, and you already have the products you used on them for touch-ups.

  1. Lipsticks

 Rosa Lipstick Colorful Labios Woman Mouth Makeup

It is always better to scrape some lipstick off onto a palate before use.  However if you need to disinfect a lipstick you can spray quite bit of alcohol on a cotton round, and gently wrap it around the lipstick for 30 seconds. This will not harm the lipstick or mess with the formula.

Tip: sometimes it is nice to decant lipsticks into clear palates, it is easy to see all the colours at a glance and will eliminate the temptation of applying lipstick straight out of the tube.

  1. Pencils: eye liners, lip liners and sharpeners.


Traditional liners (the ones that need to be sharpened) are very easy to clean just rub the pencil down with a wet cloth or cotton swab with alcohol and sharpen it. The gel liners that need to be twisted up, can be cleaned by soaking the tip in alcohol on a cotton swab and then rubbing the pencil down. The sharpener should be cleaned with a Q tip in order to remove any pigmented product left over after sharpening.

Tip: make sure you replace all the caps of the liners after use, to protect the product and to help keep it sanitary between uses. I often clean and keep the caps of discarded pencils to replace any caps I might have lost.

  1. Make-up case

 Make Up Make-up Makeup Case Opened Professional

A make-up case is the part of your kit anyone will see when you show up on set. It is often neglected when you scrub your kit. The first step is to make sure your case is in a good working condition i.e. it can close properly and be easily carried. If a case cannot close properly products can spill out or debris can get in. Every once in a while remove everything from your case and scrub it down with soap and water. You can also spot clean on the go with alcohol or a wet wipe.

Tip: Make-up cases can get very heavy very easily, save up and when you can, invest in a case on wheels.  Your back will thank you.

  1. Miscellaneous items: Capes, headbands and towels.


I tend to just toss these items in the washing machine. I say be lazy where you can!

Tip: I always bring an extra clean towel for my work surface, this makes clean up after a spill easy and convenient.

Cleaning your kit can be a huge schlep but it is very important. How do you clean your make-up kit? Please leave a comment with any helpful hints in the comment section down below

Have a beautyful day.


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