6 Ways To Stop Accidentally Ruining Your Makeup Tools

As much as we may love our makeup products, tools like brushes and sponges are kind of the MVPs of the beauty world. After all, the right brush can determine how well your foundation blends or how sharp your winged liner is. So it's good to make sure that you're not doing anything that could accidentally ruin your makeup tools. You know, so you don't have to worry about replacing your Holy Grail stippling brush too soon.

Besides the fact that makeup tools can be expensive, no two are ever really the same. (You know you have a favorite MAC 217.) And by making some common mistakes, you could be shortening the lifespan of your tools. But what's worse than having to replace your brushes and tweezers prematurely are the effects your damaged tools could have on your skin. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that you probably don't want breakouts, infections, or lost lashes because you didn't properly care for your makeup tools. So to avoid accidentally wreaking havoc on your skin and wallet from ruined makeup brushes, sponges, and other beauty tools, here are six ways to help keep everything in tip-top shape.

1. Regularly Clean Everything

It doesn't matter if you're talking makeup brushes, sponges, tweezers, or eyelash curlers: everything needs to be cleaned. As dermatologist Dr. Debbie Palmer told GoodHousekeeping.com, all of your makeup tools have a tendency to collect bacteria and dead skin cells, and this buildup could cause some problems. Tweezers could stop gripping hairs as well, causing you to have to re-tweeze, which could irritate your skin. Bacteria and buildup on brushes, sponges, and eyelash curlers could cause your brushes to lose their shape and even make your skin break out. To prevent all of this from happening, try to clean your tools once every week.

2. Dry Brushes & Sponges Properly

Simply making sure to clean your tools isn't enough though. To keep them in their best form, how you dry them is just as important. If sponges and brushes are dried in a space that isn't well ventilated, they could become moldy, ruining them for future use. Also be sure to dry brushes with the bristles facing down. This could be lying on an angle or hanging from a brush tree. Keeping them in a position where water can run out down the bristles instead of up into the handle will prevent the glue holding the brush together from loosening and the bristles from falling out.

3. Sharpen Tweezers

Tweezers quickly become dull if they aren't cleaned or sharpened frequently enough. And dull tweezers are ineffective tweezers. So to make sure that yours can easily grip any hair you may want to pluck, sharpen them on a regular basis by rubbing them on an emory board. Not only will this keep your tweezers in the best shape possible, but it will also prevent them from causing re-tweezing irritation.

4. Change Eyelash Curler Pads

Even though it may seem like your eyelash curler works just as well when the pad is new as when it is thoroughly dented, it's important to regularly switch out that pad. This is because the pad is what protects your lashes from being clamped between two pieces of metal, which could dent or even cut them. So you don't run the risk of curling your lashes off, be sure to regularly replace your eyelash curler pad. A Shu Uemura rep told InStyle that replacing the pad once every three months is ideal.

5. Be Gentle

Sweeping your brush harder against your skin isn't the best way to deliver more pigment or blend better. In fact, it can actually cause the bristles to splay out and your brush to lose its shape. So make sure to not use too much pressure or force bristles to go in a direction they wouldn't normally.

Also be careful when washing your brushes so as to not accidentally pull bristles out. Wringing excess water out of your brushes too hard can cause shedding, so gently squeeze before laying them down to dry.

6. Store Everything Properly

When storing your tools, whether when traveling or for everyday, there are two things to keep in mind: where and how. The where of it all should be somewhere cool and dry — definitely not the bathroom. Somewhere with high humidity and bacteria floating around, like the bathroom, could cause your brushes to become contaminated with nasties, and turn them into tools you'll want nowhere near your face.

Once you've decided where the ideal spot for your makeup tools is, be sure that brushes and sponges especially are not overcrowded. Packing too many of these tools into the same space can cause them to become easily bent out of shape. If you're traveling and can't have your brushes propped up in cups or organizers where the bristles aren't smushed against each other, try using brush caps or guards. These will help your brushes maintain their forms and prevent bristles from becoming bent or broken.

And together, all of these precautions will help ensure that your favorite tools stay in the best shape for as long as possible.

Images: Miki Hayes (6)