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It's time for Spring cleaning, but not your grandmother's version. Forget taking down all the drapes and washing and ironing them. Go ahead and purge your old clothes and scrub the floors if you feel the urge, but take time to focus on your bathroom drawers or vanity. Clean out stray hairs, dead skin and product buildup to help keep your beauty rituals bacteria free. This will also lengthen the life of your tools.

Eyelash Curler – Use a makeup remover and cotton pad to clean mascara buildup and replace the rubber pads when they start to go, this will keep your curler in tip-top shape and keep germs at bay.

Brush(es) – Use the straight end of a rattail comb or pen to loosen and lift hair and other debris in between the bristles. Wash each brush with shampoo and water and allow to dry upside down on a towel.

Comb – After all the hair is removed, use an old toothbrush dipped in shampoo to scrub the base of the tines where lint collects.

Tweezers – You can use a fingernail file or sandpaper to fine-tune the edges when they get dull. Soak them in rubbing alcohol between each use to keep them germ free.

Flat Iron/Curling Iron – Remove the black gunk built up as a result of scorched hair product by wiping the plates with alcohol, baking soda, or acetone while unplugged. Avoid harsh scrubbing which may scratch the finish on your iron.

Blow Dryer – After unplugging, take a toothbrush and run it over the vent in back. Depending on your dryer's make, you may be able to remove the vent or open it to loosen the lint stuck inside. Your dryer will work much better after a good cleaning.

Pencil Sharpener – To sharpen a dull blade, unscrew the razor inside and swipe against a whetstone or any knife sharpener.

Mascara Wand – Spritz the brush with alcohol and wipe with a paper towel to remove any gunk. Let the brush dry completely before using it again. Mascara should be replaced every three months so don't waste the effort if it's time to open a new one.

Makeup Brushes – Be sure your makeup brushes aren't the cause of your acne and extend their life by deep cleansing them once a month. Mix two parts antibacterial soap to one part extra-virgin olive oil on a clean plate. Make sure the brush stays bristle-side down throughout the process to avoid water getting into middle part that holds everything together. Wet the brush slightly with lukewarm water then dip into the soap mixture, coating it thoroughly. Work the mixture into the bristles using the palm of your hand and fingers until the soapy residue is makeup free. Rinse under lukewarm water until no soap runs from the bristles. Let the brush dry on a slant with the bristles facing downward (a rolled towel works great for this, just prop the handle on the rolled part and let the bristles rest on the rest of the towel). Allow to dry overnight. Throw out any brushes that are shedding lots of bristles.

Pumice Stone – Clear a pumice stone of dead skin after a mani/pedi by scrubbing with a dry brush and hot water.


Remember to throw out any old or unused beauty products that are beyond their lifespan as they can breakdown and the risk of bacteria growth increases.

Toss at three months: mascara and liquid eyeliners
Six months: Cream eye shadows, sunscreen
One year: Most hair products, aerosols can last longer.
Two years: Pencil eyeliners, powder eye shadows, lipstick, gloss, lipliner, fragrances

Acne creams and over-the-counter products that contain drugs usually have expiration dates. Cosmeceuticals however (products claiming to have anti-aging benefits) are not regulated and once used should be tossed at six months. If they're in pump bottles toss them at a year.

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~ Terry Martin & Company

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