Is your vanity or medicine cabinet one big hodgepodge of lipsticks, tweezers, mascaras and perfume samples? We applaud your vast array of beauty essential, but there’s a good chance you’re storing your beauty tools all wrong.
If you want your favorite tools stand the test of time, storage is critical so that they don’t break, scratch other tools or become less effective. Below, five top beauty experts let us in on the best way to store and maintain our most-beloved beauty tools.
Hair dryers/curling wands/straightening irons. As soon as you’re finished using a hot hair tool, unplug it and loosely wrap the cord around the tool once it’s cooled down, says Jeff Chastain, celebrity hairstylist and creator of PARLOR by Jeff Chastain. “If you wrap too tight you can break down the wires where they connect to the tool,” Chastain says. “Leave a little give so it doesn’t kink, and gently wrap around the tool so you aren’t putting any corners or bends that could someday snap.” If you need to clean the metal portion of your tool, make sure it’s unplugged and then use dish soap and water on a towel to scrub off any product. Styling on the go and not sure where to place your still-too-hot-to-store tool? “Keep a heat resistant towel to wrap around your hair tool so that it doesn’t burn or melt anything it touches, including its own cord,” Chastain says.
Tweezers. Take those tweezers out of your makeup bag, a place where celebrity makeup artist Julia Dalton-Brush says they’re liable to get banged up and become dull. “The best way to keep your tweezers is in a glass on your counter/toilet top with the edge up so they won’t be knocked around,” Dalton-Brush says. If you prefer to store them in a carrying case so you can groom on the go, Dalton-Brush recommends keeping a plastic tip on them so that they don’t hit anything while you’re moving around.
Nail clippers/scissors. Tired of digging around in your makeup bag for nail clippers and scissors? Luciana Hipolito, a bridal makeup artist and esthetician at Blushing Brides Boston, came up with a genius and elegant way of storing these tools: attach a small wall magnet to a discreet area in your bathroom where you can easily attach nail clippers, scissors and even bobby pins. Separating these tools from others will help prevent them from losing their sharpness.
Makeup brushes. Two words: take cover. Makeup brushes should be stored in an upright covered canister, says pro makeup artist and beauty expert Jennifer Trotter of Lip Service Makeup. She recommends Sigma’s Brush Cup Holder, but says several brands make them. Another option? Tuck brushes into the pockets of a brush roll like Makeup Forever’s brush portfolio and then store them in a clean, dry place. Stashing brushes in containers without a cover–particularly in the bathroom, where Trotter says they’ll collect germs and dust, and will be exposed to light and moisture–is a big no-no as is keeping them in your makeup bag. “Definitely don’t store them in a makeup bag–it’s impossible to keep them clean,” Trotter says. “The brushes collect color from other brushes, resulting in a muddy appearance and the bristles will get crushed causing the brushes to lose their shape. You shoudl always store makeup sponges and beauty blenders separately. Wash them after each use and store in a mesh bag to keep them clean, but allow air flow so they can dry properly.”
Eyelash curlers. They can go a long way toward plumping up lashes, but if you aren’t storing them correctly, eyelash curlers can easily fall apart. Trotter recommends storing them in a small zip-up case to prevent the protective silicone pads that come with them from slipping off. Another must: clean your curler after each use. “Give it a quick wipe with a makeup remover after each use to prevent mascara build up,” Trotter says. “I keep all metal tools (curler, tweezers, small scissors, metal spatulas and metal palettes) in one plastic case, and they are all sanitized with alcohol after each use and stored back in the bag to keep everything sanitary. This keeps your metal tools from getting scratched and prevents sharp tools from poking anything.”
Combs and brushes. When it comes to protecting your brushes and combs, it’s all about keeping them from damaging your other beauty supplies. “Combs and brushes can be stored in a bathroom drawer, upright in a large canister or my preferred method: tucked into the side pocket of a tote bag designed specifically for hair supplies,” Trotter says. “This keeps them accessible and keeps bristles from getting damaged or scratching other supplies. Clean out excess hair after each use and wash combs and brushes occasionally to reduce hair product build-up.”
Loofahs and washcloths. Loofahs and washcloths can help you scrub your skin and clean hard to reach spots on your body, but they can also harbor gross germs like yeast and bacteria, says Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse, a dermatologist at Rapaport Dermatology of Beverly Hills and clinical instructor at the University of Southern California. Here’s how to prevent that from happening: “Rinse them, squeeze out excess water and let them dry completely between uses,” Shainhouse says. “Consider tossing your washcloth into the laundry after using it and either soak your loofah in some water with white vinegar or throw it into the dishwasher to sanitize it.”
For more beauty tips and news, check out 6 sites that give you cash or credit for beauty products and 8 high tech beauty products that need to be on your radar.
Follow me at @lisafogarty123 on Twitter.