Makeup brushes are the tools of my trade. I bet I have over 200! I have my faves that I use all the time and I have a few I wish I would not have bought. But whether I have spent a few dollars or splurged on a special brush, it is important that I take care of them with proper cleaning. I get asked all the time about how to take care of makeup brushes. Here are answers to the top 5 Makeup Brush Questions I get asked all the time.
1 Why should I clean my makeup brushes?
When you use a dirty makeup brush you may notice that you are no longer getting the look you used to achieve. Each brush is constructed with a specific job in mind. some are to line an eye, some are to contour a cheek. if the brush is so loaded down with product that the shape has changed it won’t be able to do it’s job well. that means that you won’t get the result you are looking for.
Dirty brushes can’t apply product as well. If they are misshapen because they are filled with product, or if they are “wet” because they are laden with old concealer or foundation you won’t get the clean lines or soft edges that the brush is intended to create. Also, wet products like foundation and concealers can grow bacteria causing breakouts.
2 How do I know when it is time to wash my brushes?
If the makeup brush you bought is now unrecognizable, that is a good sign to wash your brush! Clients hire me to help them streamline and improve their daily beauty routine. I have them bring me the contents of their makeup bag. I often see brushes that were once slim and streamlined that are now fluffed up and fanned out like a peacock’s tail. When your blush brush is 3 times it’s original size that means it is so loaded with product that the bristles are now not able to hold their original shape. That means that washing out the product will most likely result in a slim shape again, allowing it to do it’s job well.
3 How should I clean my brushes?
I like to keep things simple and cost effective so while I love a good brush cleaner I like to keep it simple here is my latest brush cleaning routine.
Warm Water and Simple Dish Soap
I use warm water and simple dish soap to clean my brushes. I do not use soap with fragrance or anti-bacterial properties, so my soap it simple yet does the job well. I swish around the brush to remove the product. If stubborn product is still stuck to the brush I add a bit of soap to my hand and gently swish it around again. It’s important to rinse thoroughly but swiftly. brushes should not be immersed in water for long. water can get into the ferrule (the metal part of the brush that connects the bristles to the handle) and cause the bristles to become loose and shed. So i am swift with my rinsing. you can swish the brush around in a cup of warm water or hold each brush under the stream of water from your faucet, which is preferred because less water will make its way to the inside of the brush this way.
4 How often should I clean them?
It depends. If your brush looks “full of product” as I mentioned above then the brush won’t be able to do it’s job. If it’s visibly dirty with foundation or concealer then you risk bacteria growth. Dry products like eye shadow don’t grow bacteria but wet products like cream concealers or foundations will absolutely be prone to growing bacteria. That could lead to your skin breaking out. So those brushes should be cleaned more often, like once a week or twice a month.
5 What are your favorite makeup brushes?
I wrote an article for Posh Seven Magazine listing some of my favorite makeup brushes. Click the link below to read about them:
Photo credit: Angela Goodhart of Goodhart Photography