Your makeup is only as good as the tools you use to apply it. Therefore, your tools must always be in their best working condition. That means clean brushes, puffs, and sponges; sharpened tweezers; makeup containers that are in perfect shape; and makeup that’s not too old to use safely. A good set of brushes will last several years if it is well cared for.
This involves storing the brushes properly (either in a neat brush roll that has individual slots for each brush or upright in a pencil cup) and keeping them clean. To clean brushes, take a drop of brush cleaner or very gentle soap in your palm, wet the brush, and swirl the bristles around on your palm until they are covered in soap. (I love using baby shampoo.)
Rinse thoroughly until all soap residue is gone. Do not immerse the brush head in water, because the hair is glued to the base, and even the most expensive brushes will come apart. Squeeze out excess moisture with a clean towel, reshape the brush head, and let it dry with the bristles hanging off the edge of a counter so the bristles dry into the perfect shape.
Brushes can become mildewed if they rest on a towel while drying. Clean all your brushes every month or two. For a quick cleaning in between washings, use a spray brush cleaner. Spritz it onto the bristles, and swipe them back and forth on a tissue until all product residues are removed from the brush.
High-quality sponges can be washed many times before they need to be discarded. Alternatively, you can buy disposable synthetic sponge wedges at the drugstore that work well and are inexpensive. You can wash and reuse them only a few times before you throw them out.