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MAKEUP BRUSHES

Clean them at least once a month to prevent the growth of bacteria, which may lead to breakouts. After washing the brushes bristle side down, gently squeeze the bristles with a towel to dry them. Then, lay your tools on a dry towel, with their bristles hanging off the edge of the table – this keeps the bristles in shape and prevents water from seeping into the base of the brush, which loosens the glue and causes bristles to fall out.

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STYLING TOOL 

That crusty brown gunk building up on your curling or straightening iron is the result of scorched hair products such as hairspray and wax. If this residue is not removed, heat from the styling tool will burn it, in turn singeing your hair. The good news is, you can easily remove it with alcohol wipes. Do this once a month. Ensure that your device is unplugged and cooled before you clean it.

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NAIL FILE

If you’re using a glass nail file, wash it with water and soap, then scrub it gently with a toothbrush after each use to remove dirt build-up. If you’re using a disposable one, replace it after four or five uses. Also, use different nail files for your hands and feet. Steve Desobeau, studio manager at Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio by Bastien Gonzalez, says that using the same nail file on your hands and feet can cause fungal infections.

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PUMICE STONE

After every use, rinse it with warm water and use a toothbrush to remove dead skin cells trapped in it.

EYELASH CURLER

The mascara residue left on your eyelash curler may become a breeding ground for germs, and this could lead to an eye infection. Before using the curler, clean it with alcohol wipes to remove the dried-up makeup, says Sophia Chia, a trainer at Shu Uemura. Also, change the rubber pad on the curler once a year to ensure it curls your lashes evenly. Some of these tools come with replacements for the rubber pads, like the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler. Once you’ve gone through two rubber-pad replacements, you should replace your curler, as the mechanism tends to loosen over time.

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BATTERY OPERATED CLEANSING BRUSHES

Once a week, rinse them with a foaming facial cleanser to remove soap and grease residue, then store them in a cool and dry place. Avoid using an oil-based cleanser as it may leave oil on the bristles and clog pores.

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MASCARA WAND

Clean it every week to get rid of excess product, which causes clumpy lashes. First, blot the bristles with a piece of paper towel. Next, soak the wand in warm water for about five minutes – this will loosen clumped-up mascara. Dry the wand with another sheet of paper towel, then use alcohol wipes to disinfect it.

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HAIR BRUSH

Cleaning out your hair brush will give it more grip on your hair when you’re brushing it, leaving it smoother. Slide a pen under the hair that’s stuck in the brush and tug upward until the mess loosens. Use a pair of scissors to snip the hair down the middle of the brush lengthwise, then simply pull the tangled mess out and discard it.

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TWEEZERS

Clean the tips with antibacterial wipes after each use to prevent skin infections caused by dirt and bacteria. If the edges of your tweezers become blunt, use a nail file to sharpen them.

This story was first published in Her World magazine, January 2015 issue.