Thursday, 28 June 2012

Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes

Cleaning your makeup brushes is an important step, not only for keeping your skin and products bacteria free but ensuring that your brushes stay in the best condition possible and generally last longer. If you have invested in an expensive brush it only makes good sense that you should look after it and make sure it lasts a long time. Old makeup, dirt, oil, dead skin cells and bacteria will easily build up on your brushes if you don't give them regular cleaning. Leaving it to long causes the makeup to stain the bristles, a common misconception that people believe to be poor cleanser but it is actually permanent staining that is impossible to remove. Also leaving it to long to clean your brushes can cause bacteria to spread down the handle into the ferrule (the metal bit that hold the bristles) which cannot be cleaned properly. Your skin will also appreciate fresh and clean brushes, especially if you are acne prone or have  sensity skin.

How long should you leave it?

Ideally you should wash your brushes directly after use, especially if you have used liquid products. This will prevent makeup staining the brushes. But you should clean them a minimum of:

. Foundation/ Conceler Brushes- At least twice a week
.Powder based products (blush/ bronzer etc)- Once a week
.Eyeshadow Brushes- Three times a week
.Eyeliner Brushes- After every use
. Lipstick brushes- Daily

What are the best ways of cleaning brushes?

There are a number of ways to clean your brushes whether its just a spot clean or a deep clean.

If you are switching between products you can use a daily brush cleanser. You simply spray this on wipe the bristles with a paper towel/ muslin cloth/ face cloth, wait about 5 mins until its dry. Also before using my brushes I like to give them a quick spritz with  an anti bacterial make up spray to make sure they are extra clean.

For deep cleansing you should use a makeup brush shampoo at least once a week to rid of any deep down dirt/ built up product (some people also like to use baby shampoo or surgical spirit).

1.  The first step is to lightly wet the bristles with tepid water. Be sure to keep the hair pointed downwards to avoid getting water in the ferrule (which can loosen the glue/ damage the brush).

2. Apply a small amount of brush shampoo with your fingers to the brush hair. Gently squeeze the hair in a downwards motion from the ferrule. Apply a little water as you go. Do this and repeat until the water runs clear. If the product is tough to remove put a small amount of brush shampoo in the palm of your hand and gently blend the brush in circular motions to work out the product then reshape the bristles in a downwards motion. Be careful to keep the water away from the ferrule when you finish.

3. Reshape the hair on your brushes before leaving them to dry. Place them carefully on a towel/ wash cloth spaced out to dry. I like to place mine in a basket lined with a clean wash cloth to make sure they do not get damaged when drying. Leave overnight to dry. Do not dry with a hairdryer, it will melt the glue and damge the brush! It is always a good idea to have spare brushes so you have some clean ones ready whilst your waiting for your others to dry.

4. Don't forget the handles! When the brush is dry be sure to clean the handles. Doing this with water can damage the brush. I like to use antibacterial wipes to wipe down the handles and keep them germ free.

My Brush Cleaning Routine


1. ELF Daily Brush Cleanser (250ml- £3.75)
- availble here

2. ELF Brush Shampoo  (120ml- £3.75)
- available here

3.BeautySoClean Cosmetic Sanitizer (8ml- £9.50)
-available here

4. Two Clean Wash Cloths

5. Antibacterial Wipes

. Before use I give my brushes a quick spray with cosmetic sanitizer

. If I'm switching between products with one brush or want to give them a quick clean I spray them with daily brush cleanser......

. Then I wipe them down gently with a clean face cloth to remove the product and wait for them to dry, which only takes a couple of minutes.

. When washing my brushes I carefully wet the bristles with tepid water.
I point the brush downwards to avoid the ferrule getting wet.

. Carefully using my fingers I apply a small amount of brush shampoo to the hair.

. I then rub the brush in a downwards motion from the ferrule, adding a small amount of water as I go. I repat this until the water runs clear. If the product is tough to remove I added a small amount to my palm and blend the brush into it in circular motions gently to loosen the product before repeating this step, carefully reshaping the bristles as I do so.

I reshape the brush hair then place them on a clean flannel to dry. I place this inside a small basket to make sure the brushes are safe and do not move whilst drying. I leave over night until they are completely dry.

. When they are dry I use an anti bacterial wipe to wipe down the handles and remove any dirt, smudges or bacteria that may be on there.

The Products

I use the ELF range which I think is excellent and extremely affordable for the price. There are a lots of alternatives out there. Here is a quick list of some other brands you can try:


. Conditioning Brush Cleanser (100ml- £ 10.50) here
.Brush Cleaning Spray (100ml- £15.00) here


.Well-cared for brush conditioning shampoo ( 120ml- £8.50) here
.Quick Change Brush Cleaner (110ml- £8.50) here


.Conditioninf Brush Cleanser (125ml- £11.00) here
.Cosmetic Sanitizer Wipes (48 wipes-  £.9.50) here

.Brush Cleanser (233ml- £8.50) here

If anyone has any tips/ suggestions on this topic please comment below X

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