I Never Wash My Makeup Brushes and More Gross Things I Do That Should Get Me Fired As a Beauty Editor

I believe that you’re only as sick as your secrets, so here, for all the world to see, is the essence of my beauty editor malpractice. Forgive me, y’all, for I have sinned.
Publish date:
May 16, 2013
beauty, habits, gross things, confessions

I am essentially an accidental beauty editor. I went into writing with a passion for fashion, and somehow I made my way to the beauty party and just never left.

In many respects, I’m like my beauty editor brethren in that that I always have an educated suggestion for anything that’s bothering you: I can MacGyver an entire makeup palette out of the bottom-scraping remnants of your favorites, I have inside information from the best hair salon, spa and nail salons in many major cities and I can advise for hours on skincare maladies and recommend products that WILL fix the problem.

I’m also a beauty geek, which means I read all the books and science studies, I sit for hours to hear about product ingredients, and I squeal with delight when the newest MAC, NARS or Chanel product comes forth.

I can pass. Until you get down to some of the gross things I do when no one is looking. Because there are many things that I’ll ask you to do in articles that I should NOT do, things that could lose me the password to the Beauty Honeycomb Hideout and get me kicked out of the Beauty Editor section of classy press dinner.

But, I believe that you’re only as sick as your secrets, so here, for all the world to see, is the essence of my beauty editor malpractice. Forgive me, y’all, for I have sinned:

I rarely wash washcloths or towels.

I have a giant stack of washcloths in my bathroom, which should only be used once or twice if you listen to top dermatologists who will tell you that the average wet washcloth is a breeding ground for bacteria akin to a toilet seat or restroom floor with regular use. I’ve been known to get all sorts of lazy and use the same washcloth for up to two weeks at a time. So, I imagine this means that I’ve essentially performed the germ equivalent of sitting on my own face. Nice.

I also don’t wash my bathmat very often. People, it’s five flights of stairs to get to my washing machine, which means that if I’m not out of underwear, chances are the laundry ain’t gonna get done. This also means that my bathmat, where I stand at least a bazillion times a day in and out of the shower, gets washed with the rise of the harvest moon.

Let’s face it: I hate to do laundry in New York City -- I have to set a calendar reminder to change my bedsheets. That is kind of gross, especially since pillowcases are a breeding ground for bacteria and ick. I have a solution for that: I rotate my pillows every week (I have six.) You can do the math on how often I wash my bedsheets.

Oh, and for those who are silently screaming at me to send my laundry out, I do that but it gets EXPENSIVE and I have a beauty editor compensation level: amazing perks, not a ton of liquid cash.

I don’t get regular beauty treatments.

Most of the beauty gals have impeccable hands and feet, nails that are sharpened weekly and painted to professional poise. I roll in about once every two months for an emergency overhaul and make apologies for the fact that I have Hobbit Feet and hands that look like I’ve been breaking rocks for fun.

I pick at hangnails as well, which is just so cute. I only book eyebrow appointments when they’re starting to curl in various directions. The only reason I started getting regular bikini waxes is because short of covering myself in leaves and hoping someone will fall in, I’m not getting any, and I need to step up my Groove Thang Game.

Namely, I’m preparing the resort for visitors. Otherwise, I honestly just don’t care.

I wash my hair in the kitchen sink.

The water pressure in my shower sucks, so I do the Southern Sunday Beauty Ritual and wash my hair in my gigantic (it’s bigger than the whole apartment, honestly) sink. I love it. My mom used to wash my hair in the kitchen sink when I was a kid, my grandmother washed my mother’s hair in the kitchen sink. It’s an old-school thing and it makes me happy. Yes, I clean the sink before I start and when I’m done, and no, there are no dishes in it when I’m doing it.

I very rarely wash my makeup brushes.

About twice a year, it dawns on me that my makeup brushes need to be cleaned, at which time I pull out the baby shampoo and the towel and get to cleaning. I know that I’m wrong, but between the makeup brushes and the washcloths, I’m certain that I’ve got an abnormal resistance to general germs and whatnot. I also get rid of makeup so often I’m not sure it ever gets a chance to get nasty, but there it is: I don’t clean my makeup brushes.

I stick my fingers in everything.

You’re really not supposed to put your fingers in creams and other beauty pots and jars because the bacteria from your hands can create a petrie dish-effect. I wash my hands often (no, I really do -- because I’m always testing things and I have NEST Moss & Mint Hand Soap which cleans and smells like happiness), but I always forget to use the little stick thingy. So, I’m constantly sticking my fingers in all my products. Which is why I don’t share things, honestly. I’m the weird sibling that licks the pizza so no one else can eat it, I guess; once I’ve had my hands in it, minesies.

That’s really it. Otherwise, I’m just as anal about organizing my products by category, all my color beauty products are in light spectrum order of ROYGBIV and I have storage bins for everything and an inventory process to get rid of things before they decay. (If your mascara smells like gasoline, throw it out -- it’s decaying.)

I guess at the end of the day, I will always be the kid that looks presentable but there’s always something a little off, like the fact that my eyebrows aren’t the same width or that I’m always busy washing my hair on Sunday nights. Whatever. I’m weird, I like me weird, so it’s all good.

And now it’s time to spill your dirty beauty secrets. Do you rarely wash your washcloths? Are you a little too touchy-feely with your own beauty products or is your bathroom an antiseptic lab of pristine prettiness? Let’s get down and dirty in the comments section.