The life of an MUA isn’t all glitz and glamour. After a long day of beautifying faces and hanging out with models, it’s a makeup artist’s responsibility to make sure their kit is hygienic and safe to use.

Hygiene within the makeup industry is now more important than ever, so follow our makeup cleaning tips to give your clients the confidence to put their face in your hands. 


Ensuring you take hygiene precautions before, during and after each makeover is of utmost importance to prevent your clients walking away with nasty infections. The last thing they want is to look worse than when they came in!


So, whether you’re just starting out or you’re an experienced MUA looking for some extra makeup cleaning tips, we’re here to help you turn from an average cleaner to the next Mrs Hinch. We’ll cover:


  • Keep Your Hands Clean
  • Check For Contra-Indications
  • Clean Your Equipment
  • Use Disposable Items
  • Never Double Dip
  • Separate Brushes
  • Clean Your Makeup Bag
  • Date Your Products

Keep Your Hands Clean

makeup cleaning tips

The main piece of equipment an MUA uses is their hands. When was the last time you washed yours today? If you’re not regularly washing your hands before and between appointments, then you’re putting your client at risk of cross contamination. 


We all know the score when it comes to washing our hands, but here’s a reminder: wet hands, lather with an antibacterial soap, scrub between the fingers and under the nails, rinse. A thorough wash must last at least 20 seconds to make sure those nasty microorganisms are well and truly zapped. 


And cleanliness doesn’t just stop at your hands! A professional MUA must take good care of their personal hygiene if they want to build a good reputation. Have breath mints, deodorant and a hair brush on hand at all times so you can freshen up when you need to. And of course your makeup needs to be on point – if your client sees your 10/10 makeup before sitting in the chair it’s going to make them excited for their own makeover. 

Check For Contra-Indications


A contra-indication is anything that will stop the makeover from going ahead. In an MUA’s case, if a client walks in with an open wound, viral infection, stye, or coldsore etc. then it’s too much of a risk to carry out the treatment. 


Adding product can cause inflammation of the affected area and also increase the chance of cross contamination. No MUA wants to put their products and equipment straight onto an infected area, as this can easily pass it onto other clients. It’s safer for your reputation and safety to turn the client away and ask them to reschedule their appointment. 

Clean Your Equipment

how to start a makeup line

As far as makeup cleaning tips go, disinfecting your equipment is extremely important. An MUA’s kit is full of brushes, tools and makeup that you’ll use time and time again. But how do you make sure they’re safe to use between clients? Here’s how to clean each type of equipment:


  • Brushes – wash thoroughly with warm water and antibacterial soap. Lather in your hands and keep washing until the water runs clear – there should be no trace of makeup left behind. Lay out to dry on a clean piece of kitchen towel. 


  • Tools – metal and plastic tools such as sharpeners, tweezers and eyelash curlers should be wiped down with an alcohol based disinfectant between every use to avoid cross contamination. Posh Look Spray Clean is the perfect disinfectant spray to clean equipment, surfaces and hands on the go, so you’re not slowed down between clients!


  • Makeup – you may think that keeping your actual makeup products clean is a tricky feat, but it’s pretty simple. Powders such as eyeshadow can be disinfected with a 99% isopropyl alcohol spray which evaporates so your powders are ready to be used again. Refresh pencils such as eyeliner and lipliner by sharpening them before each new client so you can start on a new slate. 


Use Disposable Items

makeup cleaning tips

Some equipment cannot be cleaned thoroughly enough to use on multiple clients as they present too much of a risk. Disposable items include sponges, cotton pads and mascara wands, that are used once then disposed of safely. 


Mascara wands should only ever be used once as the eyes are a sensitive area and extra susceptible to infection. 


TOP TIP: If you have a regular client, buy them a designated mascara so you can use this every time instead of a disposable wand – just make sure it’s labelled clearly. 


Sponges soak up product and therefore bacteria, so you don’t want to pass this from skin to skin as it can cause infection and breakouts. 


You’ll use cotton pads to clean up mistakes or cleanse the skin, so obviously you can’t use the same one on multiple clients – that’s just gross! 

Never Double Dip


The golden rule of makeup artistry – NEVER double dip! Even if you’re tempted to quickly dip your brush back into your powder or foundation – don’t. Instead pour products onto a makeup palette or the back of your hand, then you can dip all you want as the product is separate from the container. 


Also, never blow on your brushes to remove excess makeup as this transfers all of the bacteria from your mouth onto the brush and onto your client’s face. This is a HUGE red flag to clients. 

Separate Brushes

makeup cleaning tips

If you’re working on a bridal party or photoshoot you’ll be dealing with a number of different faces. Therefore you need to keep a set of brushes separate for each person so you can work without having to stop and clean your brushes in between. 


Have a few pots ready and label them with each person’s name so you don’t get mixed up. 

Clean Your Makeup Bag 


You don’t want to store your clean equipment in a dirty makeup bag. Not only does it look bad, but it also defeats the purpose of all the makeup cleaning tips mentioned. Wipe down your bag with antibacterial wipes or spray before you put your clean equipment back in. A bag with different compartments is great for keeping makeup products and tools organised.

Date Your Products

All makeup comes with an expiry date, so make sure you know exactly when your products need replacing. Using out of date makeup can cause adverse reactions and serious infections, so you don’t want to end up with a lawsuit on your hands from a disgruntled client. 


Keep a record of when you bought your products and the date they run out. That way you won’t be caught short and will know what you need to replace. Perfect!


Makeup cleaning tips are a must-know if you want to build a successful career without having any preventable slip-ups. So, make sure you put all of these industry tips into practice! If you’re an aspiring MUA, why not check out our professional training courses? They’re the perfect way to kickstart your career – find out more.