So it’s time for an updated how to clean your brushes post! A brush cleaning post was one of the first ones I did on my blog, over a year ago, and my technique has changed quite a bit so I thought I’d share it with you!
It is important to clean your makeup brushes as they can harbor bacteria, which grows at an alarming rate. Dirty makeup brushes can cause potential skin problems/irritations including acne break-outs, and can also shorten the life of your makeup products by contaminating them.
Washing your brushes kills bacteria & ensures your brushes are clean, soft and kind to your skin. I recommend deep cleaning your brushes once a week (or once every 2 weeks depending on how frequently you wear makeup), and spot cleaning after each use for eye brushes (as if you use different shades on the same brush on different days you won’t be getting a true colour) and whenever your face brushes look like they need it.
So how do you clean them?
There are 2 methods.
The first method is spot cleaning, which is typically done straight after you use the brush if you are going to use it on someone else, or if you want to use a different colour on the same brush. This method is frequently used by makeup artists after working on one client, and before working on the next to ensure their brushes are sanitized and clean for each client.
Many different brands offer brush cleaners for spot cleaning including MAC, e.l.f & more. I personally use the Cinema Secrets brush cleaner which is amazing at cleaning out all the built up makeup & it also leaves your brushes smelling like vanilla (which I love). This brush cleaner is available form selected beauty supply stores and also online at the Cinema Secrets website, on Camera Ready Cosmetics and others.
To spot clean you simply use either a clean hand towel or paper towel, wet your brush with the cleaning solution and work it into the bristles. You will need to use different sections of the towel/paper towel as parts become dirty.
Continue wetting & working the solution into the brush until the brush is clean, then lay to one side to dry. Spot cleaners are generally made up of a high percent of alcohol, so they are dry and ready to use in about 30 seconds, although big brushes take a little longer to dry. Also as spot cleaners are made with a high percentage of alcohol, it is important to still deep clean your brushes so they don’t dry out from all the alcohol.
Regardless of whether or not you spot clean your brushes throughout the week, it is still important to deep clean your brushes at least once a week to ensure they are clean and sanitary. Below are the steps required to deep clean your brushes.
Step 1: Get your dirty brushes ready to wash
Step 2: I generally wash big brushes individually using a 20c amount of shampoo (you may need to use more after you rinse it off), whilst washing smaller eye brushes 3 at a time using a smaller amount of shampoo. I use the Tresemme 2 in 1 shampoo & conditioner because it cleans and conditions the brushes at the same time, leaving them soft and clean, however you can also use baby shampoo or a mixture of olive oil & detergent, whatever takes your fancy.
Step 3: Thoroughly wet the bristles of your brush with lukewarm water, ensuring not to pour water directly into the metal part of the brush (the ferrule), as this is where the brush hairs are attached to the handle with glue, and wetting this causes the glue to loosen over time (YOU DO NOT WANT THIS!).
Step 4: Squirt the shampoo into your palm and work it into the bristles, creating a foamy lather. I personally use a brush cleaning glove with raised grooves as it really gets into the bristles & lifts out all the makeup & is a lot quicker than washing with just your hands. Obviously you don’t need to use a brush cleaning glove to clean your brushes (although you can find silicone oven mits with grooves at $2 stores), however as a makeup artist it is a lifesaver for me as I can wash more than 20 brushes in 20 minutes :).
Rinse and repeat the process until the foam is white and the water runs clear when rinsing.
Step 5: Gently squeeze excess water out of your brush using a clean towel, reshape your brush and set aside to dry.
When drying makeup brushes it is important to either lay them flat, or pointing down so that water doesn’t seep into the brush ferrule (as mentioned earlier). The best place to dry your brushes is somewhere they can get air flow to dry quicker. I dry mine in a Benjabelle brush tree as it allows the brushes to get a lot of airflow & the shape of the brush hairs is maintained. However if you don’t have a brush tree I also recommend laying your brushes on the end of a bench/table with the bristles over the edge.
You’re done! Now your brushes are clean & ready to get dirty all over again 😉 Brushes typically need approximately 6hrs to dry, but I leave mine overnight to ensure they are completely dry.
If you have any questions, comments or requests leave them below!