Makeup Kit Favourites: Cleaning and Hygiene

Working hygienically and keeping your kit clean is essential when working in makeup to prevent cross-contamination. Here are our favourite products we use to clean brushes, keep our makeup sanitised and tools disinfected, and ensure makeup hygiene standards are high.

Cinema Secrets: Brush Cleaner

Brush cleaner

  • This is the best brush cleaner we have ever used. A cheeky blue colour, it does the job quickly and effectively.
  • Only a tiny amount is needed to clean even the muckiest of brushes, so the product lasts well.
  • Use on natural and synthetic hair brushes.
  • Dries quite quickly, so by the time you’ve cleaned a handful of brushes, the first ones cleaned are dry and ready to use.
  • Removes 99.9% of bacteria.
  • Environmentally safe and non-carcinogenic.
  • Comes in various sizes, from a refillable 200ml pump spray bottle up to a large container.
  • The 200ml is perfect for a set bag – or decant a little into a small wide-necked bottle where you can swirl your brush in the cleaner. It’s quick and easy!
  • None of Cinema Secrets’ products are tested on animals.

Where to buy: Online Ireland & UK | Online USA

Japonesque®: Pro Brush Cleaner Wipes

Japonesque Pro Brush Cleaner Wipes

  • Environmentally-safe brush cleaner in a small sachet.
  • Handy for set bags or your handbag.
  • Disinfects and conditions brushes.
  • Parian Spirit cleaner with ingredients: Isoparaffinic, Hydrocarbon, D-limonene, Ethanol.
  • Come in a box of 12 sachets. Quite expensive so we’re not frivolous with them, but they are great for speed.
  • Dissolves all types of makeup products (powder, liquids, waxes and adhesive).

Where to buy: Media makeup shops | Authorised retailers

Beauty So Clean: Cosmetic Sanitiser Mist

Makeup hygiene wtth Beauty So Clean

  • A liquid product to mist on all makeup items (from creams, waxes and pencils to all pressed powder products) to sanitise after or before use.
  • Removes bacteria from makeup.
  • Does not affect performance of products and is not drying (like just using alcohol would be).
  • Comes in a pump spray bottle in a handy handbag size for personal use (as shown), or 120ml and 250ml bottles for pro use.
  • Just hold it about 6 inches from your makeup and lightly mist once. Allow it to dry for 20 seconds before using or closing lids.
  • We like this product for compact powder products like eye shadows, blushers and foundations. It’s easy to decant a small amount of cream and liquid products to  use, but it’s not easy to do this with powder products – so, we like to spray!

Where to buy: Store locator


Barbicide®: Hairdressing Tools Disinfectant

  • The translucent blue Barbicide is the hairdressing industry standard for disinfecting hair tools.
  • The concentrated liquid needs to be diluted with water (the amount depends on the use). The clear glass jar has a plastic shelf for placing tools on for submerging.
  • A broad-range disinfectant proven effective against most bacteria, fungi and viruses, including Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Staphylococcus, Herpes, Pseudomonas, Salmonella, Clostridium Difficile, MRSA, Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus (VRE), HIV-1, Influenza (including H1N1) and “Athletes Foot” (Tinea Pedis).
  • Use to disinfect plastic and stainless steel tools (combs, brushes, scissors, bowls, rollers) and work surfaces.
  • Anti-rust formulation protects your expensive shears.
  • Barbicide Material Safety Data Sheet

Where to buy: Hairdressing supply shops

Barbicide®: Clippercide® Aerosol Spray


  • A kit essential for keeping metal hair clippers disinfected, protected and lubricated.
  • Also use on metal hair implements.
  • Disinfects against bacteria, fungi and viruses including HIV-1 and TB (kills both).
  • Lubricates the blades by leaving a thin film of lubricant that reduces friction and keeps blades sharp.
  • The aerosol blows away hair, dust and particles from between clipper teeth. We also remove excess hair prior to using our Clippercide – use the little brush that comes with the clippers.
  • Aerosol spray cools blades on contact.
  • Anti-rust formula protects blades and prolongs clipper life.
  • Clippercide Material Safety Data Sheet

Where to buy: Hairdressing supply shops

Disposable Tools and Brushes

Disposable brushes

  • Disposable tools come in various forms like foam eye shadow applicators, mascara wands in different shapes, lip brushes, lip gloss applicators, blusher brushes and eye liner brushes.
  • We like the eco-friendly versions of the tools, which have either a recycled wooden handle or a bamboo one, as opposed to a plastic one.
  • They are invaluable for applying makeup to someone who has an infectious condition like a cold sore.
  • They are also handy for crowd calls, where you don’t have time to clean brushes between people.
  • Obviously, just because you’re using a disposable item doesn’t mean you can double-dip e.g. once it’s gone into the mascara and onto someone’s lashes, don’t use that mascara wand again in the tube!

Where to buy: Media makeup shops | | Fero Beauty |  Beauty therapy/hair supply shops

Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA)


  • IPA is used to dilute and activate solid makeup products (in particular SFX products), apply tattoos, and clean and disinfect makeup brushes.
  • It’s made by various companies and there is no one brand we use. IPA for makeup use is 99% alcohol.
  • It is extremely flammable. Do not use near heat or an open flame. Do not leave in sunlight. Do not store in or near a heat source.
  • It gives off a lot of fumes and should only be used in a well-ventilated area/room. Using in an enclosed area can lead to dizziness and sickness.
  • If you’re using IPA with makeup, make sure you hold any makeup diluted with IPA away from your actor’s nose – and it will sting if it goes in eyes!
  • IPA is a hazardous substance and, as such, containers should be correctly labelled (as per picture). Being clear, it looks like water…!
  • It melts certain types of plastic – do not pour down sinks (it can melt the pipes) or use on plastic tools like mascara wands or brow brushes. Synthetic brushes are OK.
  • Use IPA to clean and disinfect your makeup brushes. Put a small amount into a glass bowl and dip the bristles in, then wipe on a tissue. Repeat until all traces of makeup are removed. Avoid the handles of your brushes as it will strip the paint away. IPA dries fairly instantly.
  • Tissues and other things soaked with IPA should be disposed of in a metal bin, not the regular bin.
  • IPA Material Safety Data Sheet

Where to buy: Media makeup shops | Note: IPA is classed as a hazardous good for shipping so make sure you buy from a reputable agent who labels and packages correctly.

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2 thoughts on “Makeup Kit Favourites: Cleaning and Hygiene

    1. Hi Ashleigh – We’ve seen people clean brushes with it, but no idea about using on makeup products. Meths contains ethanol (the same alcohol used in pro sanitisers to disinfect), but it also contains methanol, which is toxic, and often has dye in it, so probably not the best option. You can defo use IPA to clean everything, though be careful of plastic packaging and brush handles, as it can melt some plastics and paints! Sorry we don’t know the definite answer, but the ingredients in meths alone makes us sway to the “probably not the best option” answer. Cheers 🙂

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