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Make-Up Matte ($22.95-29.95) is a makeup pad intended to both carry cosmetics and also serve as a space to set makeup when you’re getting dolled up outside your house. The company was kind enough to send us one to sample and we found that though there were a few downsides — as there are with almost anything — overall, it’s a great product for carrying and setting down makeup as long as you wash it regularly.
PRO: It’s Washable
You’ve probably heard numerous times that you should throw out makeup products after a certain amount of time, wash your brushes regularly, and avoid using the communal testers in cosmetics stores — but how often do you think about your bag?
When your brushes are full of bacteria and you set them in your bag, that bacteria, in turn, has free reign to travel through your bag and onto the rest of your brushes. So, even if you’re washing your brushes regularly, if your bag is full of germs — many coming from fecal matter — you’re makeup isn’t as “clean” as it could be (ABC).
You should be washing your bag regularly, but certain cosmetics holders like cases or vinyl bags are more difficult — though not impossible — to wash. So, it’s a big “pro” that the Make-Up Matte is washable. While you regularly wash your brushes you can throw it into the washing machine and come out with, not just clean makeup tools, but also a clean makeup bag.
[Read More: 5 Warnings about Skin Care and Cosmetics Containers]
CON: It’s Water Absorbent
One of the appeals of the Make-Up Matte is that you can use it on-the-go, placing is wherever you want to put on makeup and providing a barrier between your tools and the surface. So, for example, if you’re putting your makeup on in the gym locker room, which is riddled with bacteria, you can feel better knowing that blush brush wasn’t just swiping the sink.
On the other hand, if you put the Make-Up Matte down on a counter where there’s water, it could be all for naught. The fabric can absorb water that causes bacteria growth and because the water will go through to the brushes and products. Fortunately, the very easy way to deal with this is to make sure that the counter space you’re using is dried off before you set your Make-Up Matte down.
PRO: It Turns into a Mat
This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s a pretty big advantage. Think about it: When you pull your makeup out of its case and set it down on the countertop, it touches the counter. Often times, traditional cases make it hard to see everything you’ve brought along and you inevitably take things out and they end up on the counter.
The benefits of the Make-Up Matte is that it forms a barrier but also unfolds into a larger space that allows you spread your tools and makeup out without having it ever touch the countertop.
[Read More: Are Your Beauty Products Making You Sick?]
The Make-Up Matte has more pros than cons in our eyes. We considered the lack of a zipper compartment and decided that while it would make the bag ever so slightly better, that when folded up, the Make-Up Matte is secure enough with its band that makeup likely won’t fall out. Overall, with proper cleaning, the Make-Up Matte can help to keep makeup from becoming contaminated and it’s super functional as both a cleanable carrier and a mat — just as long as you make sure the surface you set it on is dry!
Additional PRO: It’s a Super Cute Gift
So this isn’t the most scientific of pros, but we couldn’t help but consider just how cute it would be to give a friend the Make-Up Matte and fill it with cosmetics so they could unfurl it and discover all their goodies.