How to Clean Makeup Brushes

Makeup Brushes are a must have staple in our beauty arsenal. They can create a 1,000 different looks and if maintained will last for many beautiful years. Last week I shared my Pro suggestions on buying, and using Makeup Brushes.

Right Arrow on Samsung  Makeup Brushes (pro suggestions) what to buy and how to use.

I wanted to follow-up with a post showing y’all how to care and maintain them. These suggestions are simple and affordable. When you invest in makeup brushes the last thing you want is to be chucking them into the trash after a year. The video below will show how to avoid brush waste and keep them sound for many years.

*This video shares my personal brush cleaning routine and the streamlined tips that I do to make sure makeup brushes last for as long as possible.


Why is cleaning makeup brushes so dang important?!

  1. It removes bacteria and product build up that hides within the brush hairs.
  2. If left dirty makeup brushes will become inefficient and your ability to create a look will be hindered.
  3. Dirty brushes can cross contaminate beauty products. Leading to major product waste!

Makeup Brush Cleansers.

Personally I love the brush cleaning disks. In the video I show the Merle Norman cleansing bar; click here to see it on their website. I find these work best at removing all product out of the brush hair; whether it’s full foundation to heavy pigmented eye shadow. It also removes dark lipstick colors out of lip brushes.

  • Cleansing Disks or Bars last a very long time because they are concentrated. These products are particularly formulated for brush cleansing use. So they’re ingredients can break down heavy product that shampoos can’t.

Another favorite of mine is the Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo. Why? Simply for the fact that it is very gentle. If you have extremely sensitive skin that is prone to irritation J&J is a great alternative. The fragrance is mild and the ingredients are gentle. I still use this for cleaning my Beauty Blenders and Vera Mona color switches.

  • Please be advised that it does take several washes to remove long wear makeup out of a brush if using J&J compared to a cleansing bar.

I am not a fan of using hair shampoo for cleaning makeup brushes (although I have in a pinch) since the formulations were not created to remove heavy makeup. Formulas very between shampoos so you never know if that particular brand will dry out your makeup brush leading to brush hair that becomes brittle, and breaks over time.

  • Usually when we use shampoo we follow it up with a corresponding conditioner. Unless you’re prepared to do that I would nix using hair shampoo. However, that is just a suggestion please do what works best for you, your budget, and makeup brushes.

Starting a Brush Cleaning routine.

Starting a routine can seem daunting at first especially if time is limited. However, there are several tips I can share to help get you started. If put into motion it can save you money (by not spoiling your beautiful makeup brushes) and ease by getting into a habit that doesn’t take ages to do.

  1. Set an alarm to go off at the same time and day every week. The aim is to clean your brushes every week. If you cannot brush them every week then set a goal to do it every other week.
  2. Use Witch Hazel on weeks you cannot clean your brushes. This will help limit the amount of bacteria that gets inside the brush. Simply add Witch Hazel to a small spray bottle and spray your brush evenly. (I go over this in the video above)
  3. Get a plastic tote bag (or something you can see through) and place used dirty brushes inside of it at the end of the week. This will help remind you that it is time to clean your brushes. It also gives you an idea of how many you’ll be washing. If you’re in a pinch wash the most important ones. (such as the facial brushes)
  4. Keep all your brush cleansing supplies in a drawer or plastic bin where everything is together. Then on brush cleansing night you can simply take it to the sink and get started. You’ll save time not having to hunt things down or wondering where something is.
  • Here is what I keep in my ‘ready to wash’ drawer. 2 hand towels, my cleansing mitts, the cleansing bars, and my plastic tote bags.

Extra Tips to Brush Cleaning Success!

  • Pick up a brush cleaning mitt such as the one I showed in the video. You can check out the one I have here.
  • Rinse brushes with tepid water as hot water can dry out brush hairs.
  • Make sure to flick out excess water, and follow it up with a gentle squeeze from a towel. This helps the brushes to dry faster.
  • Reshape. Reshape. Reshape! This is so vital. A brush left unshaped is like going to the beach without sunscreen. It simply is a fail. A brush left unshaped loses its ability to create a look as the bristles will splay everywhere and lack the ability to do their job.
  • Keep clean brushes away from kids and pets. I cannot tell you how often my little one has grabbed a clean brush and dragged it along a wall. Or how my cat has decided to use one of my brushes as a toy. If left to the little’s and the fur babies the cleansing process and reshaping has to start all over again!

I hope you enjoyed this post and tutorial. If you have any questions please comment below or contact me through email.

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