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

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.

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 | Beauty therapy/hair supply shops | Fero Beauty |

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