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October 24, 2005

BehindTheMedspeak: Clinique Antibacterial Makeup Brushes


You're only pretty as you feel, sang Grace Slick back in the day, and there's no truer gauge of inner — and outer — beauty.

And if cleanliness is next to godliness and you feel pretty when you feel clean then you're on your way to being — at least in your inner milieu — a goddess.

Now comes Clinique, riding the wave of germ phobia and flu fear, with its perfectly–timed introduction of a new line of antibacterial makeup brushes.

The new accessories (above) are fitted with Lucite handles and silver ferrules.

The brush bristles, a combination of natural and synthetic hair, are treated with the company's proprietary antimicrobial technology, which Clinique says provides "a protective coating that guards against the mold, fungus and bacteria that can gather on brushes, especially those kept in humid bathrooms," according to Ellen Tien, writing in yesterday's New York Times Styles section.

Tien continued, "For cleaning fanatics, the company offers a cleanser ($12.50 here) to further disinfect your brushes.

What does it all mean?

Are you better off with these tricked–out brushes than, say, Clinique's regular line?

I wouldn't say so — but you might.

And that's what matters in the end, isn't it?

The new brushes are $16.50 to $30 here.

October 24, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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Posted by: The Beauty Brains | May 24, 2006 7:22:46 AM

The great irony here is that probably at least half of the women (no scientific data here, just my guess) would be applying their foundation with their fingers before using their antibacterial brush. So your brush might be protected but your grimy fingers (I know, I know, speak for myself)would be the infecting agent.

This reminds me of the sanitizing option on a dishwasher too. As soon as you touch a dish to put it up, it is, by definition, no longer sanitary. (Just like we ran test tubes and flasks through an autoclave when I taught freshmen biology labs in college - and then we touched them to put them up.)

And, finally, one last irony and then I will shut up: The place where you would be most in need of an antibacterial brush would be the Clinique makeup counter itself. That's where all the microbes are lurking.

Posted by: Shawn Lea | Oct 24, 2005 3:55:03 PM

So, what if you don't feel ugly OR pretty? (Or even purty. Which is a whole 'nother level of appearance. Reminds me of Roz Chast's cartoon showing various groups of people dressed "to the nines" and "the tens" and so on, then one group dressed to "X, the unknown.")

My makeup brushes all come from Winsor & Newton and Grumbacher and Loew & Cornell's mid-price collections, usually bought on sale. I wash them with soap and water and set them in the sun a little while to dry. Some even have lucite handles.

Take that, Clinique.

Posted by: Flutist | Oct 24, 2005 2:47:30 PM

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