October 17, 2016

We don’t like to resort to scare tactics, but we hope this sobering story will motivate you to clean your makeup brushes a little bit more (or for some of you, to actually start cleaning your makeup brushes).

Anthea Page is an Australian model who recently walked the runways at Sydney Fashion Week. She then posted a selfie on Instagram with one swollen eye in clear view, accompanied with a detailed caption claiming that she contracted a staph infection (an infection caused by the staphylococcus bacteria) from unsanitary makeup brushes used backstage.


A letter to makeup artists and those getting their makeup done… I’m not going to sit here pretending I don’t like modelling or isn’t awesome because it really is and I do almost always have fun on jobs. Models have it good most of the time, especially in Australia however there are health/hygiene risks involved for models and anyone using testers or getting their makeup done people can overlook. I have just been on a fashion show job for the past 4 days and unfortunately even though I had observed unhygienic practises and confronted the qualified artists (who I will not name) I still ended up taking home a nasty eye infection from fashion weekend. I do feel my safety concerns were dismissed as if it was part of my job to put up with these unhealthy conditions. My message is not intended to critique the women who I trusted with my eye and skin health but to raise awareness of importance of hygiene practises amongst artists. If you are getting your makeup done or using any testers, check everything has been cleaned to your standard even if someone scoffs at your concerns. This is not my first time receiving an ailment from a dirty makeup brush and unfortunately in my line of work I doubt it will be the last but please be aware of this if you ever come close to a makeup kit so you can keep yourself safe and healthy. 💖 Ps – It been diagnosed as a staff infection by the doctor and I’m now on medication 💖💖 #unretouched #nofilter #fuckingsick

A photo posted by 🐜🇦🇺 (@anthea_page) on

Page’s intention of making her infection so public was to raise awareness for how harmful dirty makeup brushes can be, as well as to shine some light on models’ plight when it comes to subjecting their faces to makeup brushes that might have been used on several other people without being cleaned properly.

Most of us thankfully don’t have to deal with that, but this incident is a good reminder to be more aware about the state of our brushes. So please, clean them regularly – even if you don’t spritz them with brush cleaners after each use, at least give them a good wash once a week. We know a great brush cleaner that only costs $2, and other really affordable alternatives if you’re especially lazy.

Still, it’s a good idea to invest in a brush cleaner from a reputable brand, if you have the budget for it. For example, Sigma Beauty, a brand that is quite the expert when it comes to cleaning brushes, will soon launch the SigMagic™ Brushampoo™. This one is somewhat special as it’s 100% natural and antimicrobial, which means it will be able to rid brush hairs of all the nasty bacteria using gentle ingredients like ethically-sourced palm oil and virgin coconut oil.


Sigma Beauty SigMagic™ Brushampoo™, available from Oct 24 on, and

Here are some other options from your favourite brands to consider too. Remember, people: if you can no longer see the original colour of your brush bristles, it most definitely is high time to give them a good clean.


From left to right: Sephora Brush Cleaning Sponge, POA; NYX On The Spot Makeup Brush Spray Cleanser, $22, Sephora; Make Up For Ever Instant Brush Cleanser, $36, Sephora; M.A.C Brush Cleanser, $23; Shu Uemura Brush Cleaner, $25. 


Main image: Instagram @anthea_page