By  on April 11, 2008

Makeup artist Mally Roncal is absolutely fanatical about germ prevention. After her twin daughters were born last December, staying bacteria-free went from a routine to an obsession; Roncal even added more makeup brushes to her eponymous brand in a bid to keep women from using their fingers. “The worst thing ever is when I’m sitting in a public place,” says Roncal, “and I see a woman open a compact and, with her germy, dirty fingers, touch up her lips and cheeks.” With that thought in mind, we asked Roncal to share her top five tips for clean cosmetics.

1. Wash your hands with antibacterial wash. For my clients I use an antibac that smells like lavender called Jao Hand Refresher. I put it on my hands and rub them together, then let it dry and put it over their faces. Not only do you kill germs, but you can enjoy a moment of peace.

2. There’s nothing worse then looking in someone’s makeup bag and seeing dirty, funky, crusty brushes. Either use a brush cleanser or wash your brushes in a gentle shampoo and then condition them.

3. Use Q-Tips whenever possible. In a perfect world, if we were all kajillionaires, we could use our Kevyn Aucoin brush once and throw it away, but we can’t. Q-Tips get the makeup on and off and you can just ditch them.

4. Don’t blow on your brushes! A lot of women get makeup on their brush and then blow on it. I just see the spit from their mouth on it. To get rid of excess powder, tap on the brush instead.

5. Anything you use in your eye area needs to be cleaned with each use. Sharpen your eye pencil right before or after you use it to take off what you just used on your eye.

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