31 March 2014

How to clean your makeup brushes

Makeup brushes come into contact with our makeup products and our skins. Not washing makeup brushes regularly can lead to breakouts, and even an uneven colour distribution. You use a coral blush today, and tomorrow a pink blush, and the next day your peach blush is looking a bit muddy on your cheeks…

The two main questions that usually come up when talking about brush washing are 1) how often to wash the brushes, and 2) what to wash them with? The first answer depends on how often and how much makeup you wear. If you wear a full face of makeup for most of the week, I would say you should wash your brushes once a week. If you don't wear that much makeup, I'd suggest you wash your brushes once a month. I wash mine once a month,  but if I wear a lot of BB/CC cream (I like to use a brush to blend everything in), then I normally just wash that brush more regularly, and the rest of the brushes once a month.

The second answer is something I like to play around with. I used to wash my brushes with baby shampoo as it is very mild, but then I heard that you sometimes need to use something anti-bacterial to ensure that the brushes are disinfected. I bought the MAC brush cleanser solution and I use that every second month. I'm not too fond of it, because it's very watery so I'm not always sure how much to use. I also can't really tell if my brushes are clean, as the cleanser doesn't really foam. I like seeing a bit of foam and in my mind that tells me the brushes are really being cleaned, so it's a bit disappointing if you can't see that! 

This month I tried something new-- I used LUSH's Karma Komba solid shampoo bar (you can see my review for its normal use here). It's a gentle clarifying shampoo, and I found the solid bar of soap to work much easier than a bottle of shampoo. I probably won't use this every time, but I've heard a lot of girls using different types of shampoo, so I'm sure it will be fine. If it's safe for my hair, I'm sure it will be safe for my brushes! I have a couple of sample bottles of shampoo lying around which I was actually saving for when we go away, but I seem to have accumulated too many, so I will be using them to wash my brushes and see how it goes. I've also heard that some girls use tea tree shampoo as it cleanses the brushes nicely, and the tea tree disinfects the brushes too.

Right, so onto today's blog post. My husband kindly agreed to be my photographer while I show you how I clean my brushes.

What you need

Dirty makeup brushes
A small clean towel
Brush cleanser or a mild clarifying shampoo
A place to wash them, preferably a sink


Wet the brush under a running tap. We don't have a mixer on our taps, so I normally use the hot water tap until the water runs too hot, and then I switch to the cold water tap. You can fill the basin with a small amount of water, but I find that normally you either have too much water in the basin, or that the water becomes dirty very quickly and then you anyway need to fill the basin again. It is important to be very careful when wetting/washing the brushes so as not to get the ferrule (the metal or plastic part where the bristles come out of) wet. Getting the ferrule wet can lead to bacteria growing at the base of the bristles, and can cause the glue to come loose and then the bristles fall out.


Put some of the shampoo in your hand and swirl the brush in the palm of your hand, working up a lather. If, like me, you're using a solid shampoo, swirl the brush directly on the bar of soap and then swirl it in the palm of your hand. Rinse and repeat if you think it's necessary. I normally find that the brush I use to blend my foundation and/or BB/CC creams usually isn't clean on the first swirl, so I rinse it lightly and then go back in with the shampoo.


When your brush is nice and clean, gently rinse it under the tap. Be careful once again not to get the ferrule wet. Once the water runs clean and there are no soap bubbles left in the basin or on the brush, you are done.


Lightly wring out the bristles between your fingers and shape the brush into its normal shape. This is the shape in which the bristles will dry, so you need to shape it now.


Take your towel and fold it double (if you have a lot of brushes, fold it lengthwise) and roll up the one end a few times. I roll mine so that there is enough space for the biggest brush. Place the brush with the handle on the rolled-up part of the towel, so that the bristles lie on a downward incline, with the bristles hanging slightly off the towel. You should never let your brushes dry upright, as the water will seep into the ferrule. It's probably not necessary to roll up the towel, but I like to do it as I know my brushes will dry safely.


Continue the above steps with each of your brushes and let them dry completely on the towel before putting them away or using them.

And that's it! I hope you enjoyed this blog post. I certainly enjoyed putting it together, and now my brushes are clean-- bonus!

What do you wash your brushes with? Let me know in the comments section!

Until next time!


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