Time to get in…DEEP: How I deep clean my makeup brushes.

What annoys me the most about being a makeup enthusiast is cleaning my brushes.  I know I’m not the only one as I’ve heard my friends and my makeup artist complain about the same thing.  There are brush cleaning gloves, solvents, cleaning sponges and good ol’ soap and water.  I’ve spent many afternoons washing and conditioning my brushes and I knew there had to be another way.  Here is my method:

  • You will need:  a glass jar; paper towels; rubbing alcohol and a clean flat surface
  • Wash the jar thoroughly, I chose an apple sauce jar as the tapered neck helps with the deep clean process and peel off label for a better visual of the brushes during deep cleaning
  • Prepare your cleaning surface and have paper towels close by and ready to use

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  • Fill bottom of jar with about ½ – 1 inch of rubbing alcohol
  • insert brushes, one at a time, into jar and submerge the brush hairs into the rubbing alcohol avoiding the brush ferrule *Note: Never submerge the ferrule (metal part) of your brushes in alcohol nor water as this can loosen the manufacturer’s glue that holds the brush hairs together.  The results would be increased shedding or the brush hairs falling out completely.
  • Dip the brush into the alcohol, repeatedly, releasing as much makeup product out of your brush
  • Drain the excess alcohol by pushing the brush against the jar’s sides or, in my case, I pushed my brushes against the tapered neck of the jar. Use your fingers to squeeze any leftover alcohol out of the brush hairs
  • Fold a piece of paper towel and press the brush into it, this will help remove even more product

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  • Repeat steps with each brush
  • You don’t need to replace the dirty alcohol as the makeup products settle to the bottom of the jar
  • Use paper towels to dry your brushes and determine how clean each brush is

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  • At this point you’ll have a couple options:
    1.  You can refill the jar with more alcohol and repeat the steps with each brush until you are satisfied with the cleanliness of your brushes
    2. You can wash off any excess residue with warm water and the soap or shampoo of your choice
  • Allow your brushes to air dry on some paper towels either flat or on a slight angle with the hairs pointing down to make sure no liquids settle into the ferrules

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I use both synthetic and real hair makeup brushes and the results were equally awesome.  If you are worried about the alcohol being too drying on your real hair brushes after the alcohol clean, rinse them with warm water and a hair conditioner of your choice.  I personally never had to do this, but it can help preserve your real hair makeup brushes.

I hope this helps my fellow makeup enthusiasts!  If you try this method, I’d love to hear what your results were, leave a comment here or on my other social media platforms.  I’d love to hear from you!

Take care everyone and have a happy day!

SS

Tips for Buying a New Home

I have many friends that have asked me how I bought my first home and even though there is a lot of information on the internet, nothing will compare to actually going through the process for yourself.  Here is my experience.

It took me almost 2 years to find and buy my first home.  It was a 3 bedroom 1.5 bathroom semi-detached home, which is typical for a first time home buyer in my city.  I looked through the MLS.ca website every day and after a year I started working with a Real Estate agent.  Working with my first agent was not as exciting nor as helpful as I had thought it would be.  She showed me several homes within my modest price range, however most of them were decrepit homes or homes that were turned into rentals.  She made me feel obligated to make a quick decision and I admit, I felt pressured into putting an offer on a detached century home with a shared driveway.  In going through the process, I did not know the financial steps that I needed to take and the offer fell through.  The agent was “cold” and felt more sorry for the sellers than for me.  So, I dropped her like a hot potato!  It was a stressful and disappointing time, but I managed to shake it off and start again.

After another year of searches online again, I decided to find another agent.  This time, with more knowledge and confidence, I spoke to the new Real Estate agent, told him exactly what I was looking for and what my set price range was.  I told him upfront that I was in no rush and I didn’t want any pressure tactics.  He appreciated my straight forward approach and we emailed listings back and forth.

During the house searches and open houses on the weekends, I took my savings and called my bank for a mortgage.  I was turned down as I wasn’t working in my company for more than a year yet so as per their policy, I was not eligible.  Around the same time, my agent was listing the semi-detached home.  He acted as both selling and purchasing agent.  Now, sometimes real estate agents get a little greedy when they have a client that wants their listings, however I lucked out and my real estate agent was extremely patient and we had a great rapport.  With a few financial bumps which included going to a mortgage broker, I managed to purchase the home at an extremely high interest rate and 2 mortgages, which they call “B” lenders.

Mortgage brokers can get a bad rep because they see clients that have issues with banks (“A” lenders) and your mortgage can be covered with extremely high interest rates comparing to the banks.  I have a love-hate relationship with these types of brokers.  In the end, my interest rate was at 18% compared to, at that time, 8% at the bank.  This was not an ideal situation and I was strapped financially, but after another year I finally was accepted at my bank with an interest rate of 5.4%  WOOHOO!

So here are some quick tips that I would suggest:

– Clean up your credit – pay off or make regular payments on your credit cards as this will be added to your total debt which will affect your lending capacity

– Go to your bank and ask a bank manager exactly what steps you need to take financially to be approved through their institution

– Your time working at your job is crucial to most lenders as they want to ensure stability for your mortgage payments

– Closing fees for lawyers include transfer of deed, taxes, etc.  usually about 3-4% of the cost of your home

– Save a hefty downpayment – the bigger your downpayment the better, banks/lenders/sellers will take you more seriously and you’ll get closer to being approved.

– Aside from your downpayment – make sure you have money to set up your utilities, phone, cable – when setting up new accounts for these, most companies ask for at least a $200 deposit.

– Find a good Real Estate agent, there are tons out there, good and bad, so only work with an agent that you feel has your best interests in mind. Don’t be afraid to drop an agent if they are not a good fit for you.  Having a great agent makes the house search a more exciting and happier experience, so don’t let them pressure you…REMEMBER THEY WORK FOR YOU…and they are easily replaceable.

– Best time to purchase is usually between late Spring and the end of Summer, even if you don’t have children, this is an opportune time because most sellers will list around school schedules..it’s called a “Buyers Market” which means there are more listings available around this time.

– HAVE FUN, this will be a roller coaster ride of emotional and mental ups and downs, we all go through it with our first homes, reach out to family members or friends for support.  It’s great to talk with people who have been through the process and they may have some valuable information and resources for you.

I’ll make another post regarding Tips for Selling Your Home, soon.

Hope this helps! 🙂

SS

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