During chemotherapy, the body's white blood cell count is lowered and the immune system's ability to ward off infection is reduced. When it comes to using make-up products, proper hygiene is essential on the road to recovery, as any contamination can lead to a more serious infection. Keep these tips in mind and get the make-up look you want without the risk of germs!
Always wash your hands before applying make-up.
Ok, this one is a no-brainer, but I'm sure we'll all guilty of rushing in the morning and not keeping this in mind. You can keep a hand sanitizer handy (I like Life Brand's Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer as it moisturizes and is not completely drying like most hand sanitizing brands).
Use disposable make-up applicators.
Use q-tips, sponges, eyeshadow and lip applicators. To be safe, discard after each use.
Brushes are great, but can harbour bacteria if not cleaned properly. It's fine to still use your brushes (I know once you go brush--you can never go back!), but to be safe, wash with a brush shampoo after each use, and spray with 99.9% alcohol. Let the brush hairs dry over the sink before rolling them up in your brush clutch (never put dirty/wet brushes away into your clutch - the dark and moist environment is perfect for bacteria growth).
Sharpen your eyeliner and lipliner before each use.
After sharpening, spritz this with 99.9% alcohol and give it a quick swipe with a tissue before applying it directly to lips.Replace your mascara every 3 months.
Mascara has a short life span of 3 months. Replace.
Do not try to extend past this, as you'll risk infection of the eye. Look at this as your opportunity to try out a new mascara with so many out there to choose from!
Do not pump your mascara wand!
When applying mascara, simply withdraw the brush top from the tube and avoid pumping. When you pump the brush, it pushes air into the mascara tube which promotes for bacteria growth!
To avoid contamination of your most beloved products, use a spatula and dig only the amount of product you'll need to use out of the container.
i.e. Use a make-up spatula to sliver off just the right amount of lipstick you'll need for application. Dip your disposable lip applicator into the lip product on the spatula and apply it to the lips. Once application is done, wipe the spatula clean of product and spray it with 99.9% alcohol so it's ready to go for the next time.
Avoid cross-contamination by not sharing make-up or make-up tools.
This is a time to be selfish - your make-up is all your own!!
For more helpful Think Pink Make-up Tips, check back on Make-up Junkie to see more from this series:
I. How to Maximize Sparse Eyelashes
II. Brow Know-How
III. Applying False Eyelashes
IV. Taking Care of Skin and Nails
V. The Importance of Proper Hygiene
Rhia Amio is a Freelance Make-up Artist, Beauty Blogger and self-confessed Make-up Addict based in Toronto, ON.