Every now and then (usually sooner than you expected) you realise that it is time to clean your makeup brushes. You may heave a sigh, but you perform the chore because you know that:
- Clean brushes are kinder to your skin than dirty brushes
- Clean brushes are better at applying makeup evenly
- Clean brushes look prettier
How often should you wash makeup brushes?
That depends on how often you apply makeup with a brush; what kind of makeup you use; and where you store the brushes. If the bristles are sticking together… it’s been too long! Wash your brushes before they reach that dreaded state. Once a month is the absolute minimum, but habitual makeup users will probably need to perform the cleaning routine two times a week.
Believe it or not, there are women who clean their brushes after each and every use. Kudos to them!
What is the best way to wash make up brushes?
Some women like to use a soap bar (organic or natural is the best), others prefer liquid (for example, a mild shampoo or a specially formulated brush cleanser). In either case, the steps remain the same:
- Wet the brush thoroughly with lukewarm water. Then sweep the bristles horizontally through a shallow dish filled with cleansing liquid or over a soap bar, applying a gentle pressure and turning the brush to coat it evenly.
- Press the bristles horizontally against the palm of your hand, again turning the brush this way and that way. Stick to horizontal back and forth motions, pressing gently to help clean the build-up deep in the brush.
- Do not use circular motions and do not allow the bristles to splay. This will cause havoc with the bristles, making them loose shape and go whichever way.
- Rinse the brush and repeat if necessary.
- After the final rinse, gently squeeze the water out of the bristles with your fingers.
- Soak up excess water with a paper towel and shape the hairs.
- Lay the brushes on a towel with the head hanging free over the edge of a table or counter and let them dry naturally overnight.
Additional brush-cleaning tips:
- Take care not to wet the handle above the metal strip, because water can loosen the glue that holds the bristles together. Keep the brush bristle-side down throughout the washing process.
- Do not stand brushes up to dry. This may cause the moisture from the bristles to seep all the way to the glue.
- Clean the handle by wiping it with a cloth dipped into surgical spirit.
- From time to time, condition your natural hair brushes just like you would your hair. After washing them, work the conditioner into the bristles and leave brushes lying on a towel for about one hour before rinsing them.
- Synthetic brushes, for example lip and concealer brushes, can be washed with dishwashing liquid, which will cut through stubborn cosmetic oils or glitter.
If you are now thinking that it’s too much work, too much hassle… Well, you’d be right. But the end results are worth it! So, keep on keeping your makeup brushes in tip-top shape.