Sunday, May 4, 2014

All About Brushes Part 3 | Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes

So now that you have a basic understanding of brushes, you should know how to clean them. If you haven't read my first two posts about brushes, click HERE and HERE. I am going to be blunt.. your makeup brushes are disgusting. They are filled with old makeup, dirt, DEAD SKIN, and bacteria. Even when your brushes are not touching your face they are still collecting dust and dirt from microscopic particles flying in the air. If you don't wash your brushes, your face may break out, and you can get an infection in your eyes. Not to mention your application will be so much smoother when applying with clean brushes.

But I'm gonna be honest, cleaning my makeup brushes is more of a dreaded task for me than cleaning up cow manure...okay not really, but it's a close call! When I do a nice deep brush cleaning, I do this about once every 2 weeks, give or take. I, however, spot clean my brushes every few days... the brushes I use more frequently that is. 
Can you see why I hate washing all these babies?

How to Spot Clean:
Take a dime-quarter size amount of brush cleaner (depending on how big your brushes are.. face brushes obviously require more than eye brushes) onto a paper towel. Swirl brush in cleaner, swipe on clean parts of paper towel until it runs clear. Pat dry with another paper towel, and you're done. For the most part I only use 3 face brushes and 4 eye brushes, daily. So spot cleaning these 7 takes about 3 minutes tops. Spot cleaning basically removes the outer layer of gunk and is a quick disinfecting process.

When to Spot Clean: This process is effective if you're working on somebody else and you need a quick clean in between jobs. You should also spot clean if you just used a harsh color (such as purple or black) to ensure a clean brush for the next use. If you use an eyeliner brush, spot clean that everyday (especially if you use it on your water line). Not only will it get rid of bacteria, but gel, liquid, and cream liners will dry and cake up on the brush so you want to eliminate that.

How To Deep Clean:

      1. BeautyBlender Solid Sponge Cleaner. I initially bought this to clean my BB because I was tired of spending 10 minutes squeezing the suds out of it from using dish soap. This is basically a bar of soap... on steroids. I found this is the quickest way to deep clean brushes (as well as beauty blender). One at a time, swirl wet brush around in soap, ensuring the deepest part of the bristles touch the soap. Work up a lather in palm of hand until soap runs white/clear. Repeat and rinse until sud and makeup free.

      2. DIY Cleaner. Dawn Disinfecting Dish Soap + Olive oil. This process, in my opinion is very effective, but time consuming. Pour dish soap on a clean plate and add a drizzle of olive oil. EVOO will help keep your bristles soft. Repeat same steps as above.
** It seems to me using dish soap does not clean them as quickly as the sponge cleaner. I find myself repeating the steps more and spending more time rinsing out the suds. But all in all, if you don't want to spend money on a cleaner, this does work really well!

      3. Brush Cleaner. Pour 3/4 part Brush cleaner and 1/4 part water in a small dish. Swirl brush around cleaner. Repeat and rinse until water runs clear. FYI-- I use MAC's brush cleaner for both this and spot cleaning. . HERE

--Dry brushes with a paper towel or lint free towel, shaping them in the process. Lay flat to dry.

All clean :) 


** When running brushes under water, avoid getting wet the part where the handle meets the head (metal piece). Over time, this can loosen up the glue inside and causes bristles to fall out.

** Foundation can be especially stubborn when trying to remove from your brushes. Because you are pressing this brush into your face, old product just keeps pushing further & further down the bristles. To ensure this brush is clean, repeat washing process 2-3 times.

** To prevent prune fingers, quicken the process, and for added effectiveness, buy one of these-- a silly (yet genius) glove by Sigma. HERE. ((I actually just saw a dish glove at Walmart that looks almost identical to this!))

** Brushes really should be dried downward to prevent water or moisture getting up in the handle. If your brush came with a clear plastic guard when you got it, place the guard on the brush and dry upside down. If you don't have these anymore, don't fret, laying flat will be just fine!


  1. Great post! I find the beauty blender sponge cleaner a godsent, xoxo.

    1. It really is!! I purchased it for the sole purpose of my sponge and was shocked as to how easy it cleaned my other brushes!

  2. great post very helpful! new follower! it would mean a lot if you could check out my blog?

    1. I love your blog!! Just followed you back on gfc:)


  3. Ahhh, I agree - the more brushes the bigger the nightmare to clean them!!! That's one downside to working as a make-up artist BUT you get to have fun and create some lovely looks too! :)

    Layla xx - hope we can follow each other xxx

    1. Exactly!! Every joy comes with a pain, but the payoff is so worth it!

      Just followed you on GFC. Your style is so lovely! <3