Saturday, November 22, 2008

I know this is a strange excuse for a post, but gimme a break; it's Saturday

Male readers, you'll have to excuse me for a minute. I have a question for the women in the house. Ladies, tell me something. Do you actually wash your makeup brushes regularly, or are you of the school of thought that the brushes you use on your face are contaminated only by your own face and hence, any residue gunked up on those bristles can live in perfect harmony with your skin?


I was in that third camp myself up until about a year and a half ago, when I joined the mineral foundation cult and bought the Bare Escentuals starter pack. And it occurred to me only a couple of weeks ago, when I stopped to wonder why my forehead was suddenly breaking out for no good reason, that perhaps there actually was a good reason. Perhaps the brushes I swipe onto my face every single day have, in the year and a half I've been using them, become a science experiment of sorts.

It was probably a paranoid thought as usual, but it grossed me out anyway. So the last time I was at Ulta, I picked up some brush cleaner, and this afternoon I finally got around to using it. Because I am a great big dorky rule-follower, I read the instructions. Actually, scratch that. Maybe I don't read instructions because I am ridiculous or over-cautious; maybe I read them because, as a technical writer, it's a professional courtesy. Yeah. Let's go with that. Of course, as a technical writer, I'm in the best position to critique and be irrationally annoyed by instructions that make little to no sense. To wit...

DIRECTIONS: Apply a dime-sized amount of shampoo directly onto dampened brush and massage with fingers under running water...

NOTE: Always make sure brushes are completely dry prior to application.


It's not just me, right? You guys see a problem here as well? Maybe I should look up "dampened" in the dictionary. Perhaps our pals at M Dubs have changed the meaning of "dampened" to something that would correlate with "completely dry."

Obviously I like to tackle the big issues here at Stefanie Says. Next up: "Lather, rinse, repeat. It's not an endless loop!"

NaBlo 2008: Eight days and counting. We'll get through this together; I swear.

14 comments:

Megan said...

I think -- but can't be sure -- that it means the brush should be dry before you use it to apply makeup to your face.

You're right, it's not worded very well.

Heather said...

Ha! I'm the worst sort...I do things first, then if it doesn't work, go back and read the instructions to see where I went wrong (aside from the obvious mistake of not reading instructions to begin with). Of course, after seeing this I'm now realizing that I'm probably better off.

I'm sorry, though - I do wash them about once every month or two. Lukewarm water and soap, pat dry with a towel, then let them air dry. I usually do it on a weekend, because they take a full day or two to dry completely.

purplegirl said...

I recently got the Bare Escentuals makeup too, and my theory on why I am breaking out is because I am putting more makeup directly into my pores than I did with the liquid stuff. I feel like because of the buffing brush, and the amount I use to get sufficient coverage, I'm applying more makeup (and it's getting into my pores more deeply). I don't clean my brushes, I never have.

plumpy said...

M Dubs! I'm glad to see I have wormed my way into both your heart (wait, is that too big of an assumption?) and your vocabulary.

Courtney said...

Like Megan, I took it to mean the brushes should be dampened before applying soap, but dry before applying makeup to your face. Still, it could be clearer.

Um, I never wash my makeup brushes. Then again, I don't wear foundation, so the only brushes I come in contact with are the ones for blush and eyeshadow.

flurrious said...

I am studiously avoiding reading the comments above because I am afraid I will learn which of your three readers never floss their teeth, and I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW.

Ahem. As to your question, I do wash my brushes but not regularly. I just do it when it occurs to me, and I use regular face soap to wash them. I didn't even know there was special brush shampoo.

Mickey said...

I wuz here.

abbersnail said...

I'm pretty sure they mean that the brushes should be dry prior to make-up application.

But they suck at writing, clearly.

12ontheinside said...

Special brush shampoo? Yikes.

Abby said...

I enjoy your blog immensely, especially your dating stories, but I usually can't comment because while I can read blogspot at work, I cannot comment. Not that I would read/comment on blogs at work. Anyway, I gave up wearing makeup when the hot flashes started - foundation + sweat = ick. I do rinse my toothbrush with hydrogen pyroxide when I have a bug, though, just in case I am reinfecting myself twice a day.

Aaron said...

Those directions just made my brain explode.

Stefanie said...

Megan, Courtney, Abbersnail--Doh! I am dumb. Yes, that's exactly what they mean, I'm sure. Why that didn't occur to me, I have no idea. You agree it's poorly written, though, right? (Please?) :-)

Heather--I tried that method with my windshield wipers last week. Of course, that could be because there really WERE no directions... just some hard-to-decipher pictures. I'm not sure which annoys me more: no instructions or poorly written instructions. (Man, who knew I felt so strongly about this??)

Purplegirl--Really? I would think liquid would get in your pores more. I've always hated liquid foundation, though, so maybe I'm just using that as an excuse. :-)

Plump--Ha. It seems you have.

Courtney--Wait. Wouldn't blush and eye shadow brushes need to be cleaned (or not need to be cleaned) just the same as one for foundation would?

Flurrious--Yeah, I have no idea why I bought the special brush shampoo. I like wasting money, it would seem.

Mickey--I appreciate your "present" answer to today's roll call. :-)

Abbers--As I said above, clearly you are smarter than I. Maybe my Mensa card WASN'T just lost in the mail! ;-)

Aaron--And to think I actually didn't transcribe all of them!

Alice said...

so... did cleaning your brushes have any effect?? i've of the "i believe i probably SHOULD clean my brushes, but am too lazy to have done so, so instead i think about all the gunk i am jamming into my pores each day, and am disgusted, yet continue to not do anything about it" camp. so.. um.. positive feedback about the benefits of washing one's brushes would probably be good for me right about now. :-)

Noelle said...

I couldn't get the poll to work, but the bottom line is that my make-up routine does not involve brushes, for the most part. I use Q-tips if I ever need eyeliner, and the rest of my stuff is so hideously old, that it's probably contaminating me all on its own.