How to clean your makeup brushes

How to clean your makeup brushes

Hands up if you find washing your makeup brushes a bit if a chore? 🙋‍♀️🙋🏽‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️

Yup, we've definitely seen the proof of that.⁠

If you're going to invest in makeup brushes, washing them regularly is absolutely essential. The benefits are two fold, the most important being your health. Those bristles, especially when used with liquid and cream products, can harbour bacteria if not cleaned regularly. Your makeup brushes will also last longer, and apply product more evenly too.

And when it's done frequently, washing your brushes is actually pretty quick (it's the backlog of product buildup that makes it a mission).⁠

This is how we recommend washing your brushes:⁠

  • Use lukewarm, not hot, water.⁠
  • Wash one brush at a time. Hold your brush downward, dampen the hairs and then lather with a gentle shampoo or brush soap.⁠ Gently work the soap into the hairs.⁠
  • Rinse thoroughly until the water runs clear, again, keeping the brush head pointing downward.⁠ Squeeze extra water out of the brush head.
  • Shampoo again if the rinse water doesn't run clear.⁠
  • You can choose to use conditioner on them if you like - this can be a big help for brushes with natural fibres. Use your normal conditioner, let it sit for 1-2 minutes then rinse off.
  • Lie your makeup brushes flat to dry. We like to use a mesh rack with a lint free towel over the top to allow the air to circulate.
The reason we're so obsessed with keeping the brush head downward (and laying brushes flat to dry), is that the fibres are held in place with a special glue. If water drips down into the brush ferrule (metal part at the top of the handle) it can weaken the glue over time and cause shedding. For the same reason, don't be tempted to blow dry your brushes. It may seem like a quick fix to get damp makeup brushes ready for use, but the heat of your hairdryer can loosen that glue too.

    As makeup artists, we wash our brushes after every client. However, when you're using them just on yourself at home, you needn't clean them quite as often. There isn't a hard and fast rule for this, but if you wear makeup every day, try washing them once a week. If you wear makeup less often, every 3-4 weeks. 

    We do recommend spraying your base or concealer brushes with a sanitising brush cleaner after every use. This helps to kill any bacteria that could cause complications for your skin.

    What to clean your brushes with? Baby shampoo is out go-to! It's gentle, yet effective enough to thoroughly clean.


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