Next to Godliness.

Baby shampoo. Perhaps a more versatile product than you would imagine. In fact there are many baby products that work for grown-up ladies as well. Here are a few of my favorite baby products (most by Johnson and Johnson) you can use to maintain your tools and keep your skin as soft as a baby's bottom, all for a great low price. Baby wipes are always great to have on hand for wiping off makeup when you're just too tired to wash your whole face. They're also great for cleaning brushes daily. Just swipe the brush over a sheet a few times to loosen up the residue and ensure that there is no leftover color for the next day. Unscented ones are safest to use on sensitive skin. Not only is it great for refreshing your hair, baby shampoo is a gentle way to clean your brushes and is far less expensive than brush cleaner. Simply squeeze a small amount onto your dry hand, swirl the brush in the shampoo until colors begins to fall out of the brush and rinse thoroughly with warm water. Reshape the bristles and squeeze out excess water. Lay brushes flat to dry overnight.Baby oil is nice to use on dry patches of skin, like elbows and knees. You can also use it on a cotton ball to gently remove eye makeup in a pinch.Lately my favorite lotion has been Johnson's Bedtime in this pretty lavender bottle. It's a great scent that always allows me to drift off into dreamland. Use it during the day to smell sweet as a baby!

This post is inspired by a conversation I had with a co-worker about the importance of keeping your brushes clean. Too often I've been over to friends' homes and am appalled by the dirty makeup sponges, caked brushes and old mascara. Here are some helpful tips for keeping things clean and fresh:
- Throw out sponges once a week. At about 10 cents a piece you can afford to replace them often. Otherwise you are just pressing bacteria and rancid oils back onto your face. Eew!
- Tissue off residue on brushes and eyelash curlers after use if you don't have time to wash them. These tools can harbor a lot of bacteria if not cleaned regularly.
- Wash brushes once a week too. A gentle lather of baby shampoo does just the trick without loosening the glue that keeps the bristles together. Just don't soak the brush or you could end up compromising the quality and tapered ends.
- Ever catch a whiff of that fishy smell when you open your mascara? It's a telltale sign that it should be thrown out! Purchase a new mascara every 3 months, foundation and other liquid products every 6. You'd be surprised at how much better fresh make up can wear and how much better it is for your skin and eyes.
- Avoid sharing products such as lip gloss, mascara or other eye products. Though risk of infection is minimal, you never can be too careful!
- Quick industry tip: When trying on lipstick at the makeup counter, be sure to ask consultants to disinfect the lipstick bullet. All it takes is a quick spray of alcohol and a few swipes on clean tissue. Alcohol doesn't affect the color or quality of the product and you never know who tried the lipstick on before you.

I hope this is helpful! Please remember to clean and replace often. Your face will thank you for it!