How to properly clean your makeup brushes!

This has been a post that has been requested many times since I started blogging. Every one always asks me what I do to keep my brushes clean. Working in cosmetics, you hear the craziest stories. Seriously, we are up there with hairdressers and bartenders. Sometimes you hear things that just make your head spin. The clients who use their brushes for about a month, and then buy a whole new set and throw out the old ones … The clients who have never washed their brushes, even though they have had them for years, and my personal favorite, the client who puts their makeup brushes in the dishwasher. Yup, you heard me right. The dishwasher. Next to her beef stew and spinach salad plates. Barf. Let’s go through the steps I take to ensure that my brushes stay clean, and last forever!

1.) Have a system in place for your clean and dirty brushes: This is an important step. If you keep all of your brushes in the same jar, or holder, you are inevitably going to get all of your brushes filled with bacteria. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t used your eyeshadow brush, if you throw a dirty blush brush beside it, your bacteria will travel. Not to mention some of your color pigment.

2.) Keep Kleenex (Hand Towels Preferably) and a brush cleaner spray on hand, and spray your brushes down every time you use them: This seems like a lot of work to some people, but it is as easy as spraying the brush and wiping it on a tissue. Mind you, it is not going to rid your brush of all bacteria, but it will disinfect the top surface, and keep your brushes fresh enough until it’s time to shampoo them.

3.) Try to deep clean your brushes once every 2 weeks: Now, I say this assuming you are a regular person, wearing everyday makeup. If you are rocking the black lipstick and winged liner, or you shadow as a drag queen, you will obviously have to clean your brushes more. I try to shampoo mine once a week, and focus really on my face brushes, as 99% of the time I use my fingers for my eyeshadow. There are lots of things you can use to clean your brushes. Baby Shampoo is a popular choice, or even Dawn dish soap (only the blue one, never the green one!) Dawn is amazing to use for gel eyeliners, and long lasting foundations, because it really breaks down the oils and gets the brush squeaky clean. I am also obsessed with my Beauty Blender Solid cleanser. That stuff cleans makeup sponges like no other.

4.) Invest in a brush cleaning glove: Hear me loud and clear when I say, do not purchase the Sigma Cleansing Glove. It is around $50.00 and you can get the exact same effect from a rubber glove that you bought at the dollar store. Or, a silicone oven mitt. This is a step that I deemed unnecessary, until I used one. It protects your hands from drying out, and it gives some texture, which is perfect for rubbing your brush on, as it really lathers up and cleans the brush better than just your hand.

Now the actual process goes something like this. Put your rubber glove on the hand that you don’t write with. Get all of your dirty brushes ready, and have an area with a clean towel laid down, so you have somewhere to put them. Put a small drop of whatever cleanser you are using in the palm of your gloved hand, and swirl your brush around in it. Turn the tap on and get some water on it, which will make it really lather up. It is important to always keep the brush pointing down, in order to avoid water getting into the feral, and loosening the glue that holds the bristles in. (Don’t you guys hate it when your brushes shed!) Keep swirling and rinsing the brush until the water runs clear, and there are no longer suds coming out of it. Still keeping the brush pointed down, squeeze out the excess water, to reshape your brush, and lay it flat on the clean towel. If possible, try to put the brushes in a position where they are slightly pointing down. Don’t point the brushes up, or put them in a cup to dry, because again, you don’t want to loosen up the glue. Don’t rush through it, especially with bigger brushes. If you haven’t done it in awhile, you will be shocked to see what comes out of them.

They do sell brush shapers, which I sometimes like to use, especially if I am travelling. You simply slip the brush guard up onto the bristles, and it will reshape the brush for you, and also ensure your bristles stay protected.

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The only thing I haven’t invested in that I still think about, is a brush tree. Those things look amazing. But none the less, laying the brushes on a flat towel gets the job done just as well.

I hope that answers any questions that you guys had about brush cleaning! Do you guys do anything different? If so, let me know!

-Sara

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