How To Clean Makeup Brushes: Step By Step GuideHow To Clean Makeup Brushes: Step By Step Guide

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Let’s be honest, when was the last time you cleaned your brushes? It’s a chore we all would rather not do, but it is so important to keep your brushes and makeup sponge clean to avoid build up of oils, product and dirt which makes them a breeding ground for bacteria which can cause skin irritation, acne or even infection – gross!

Do you have your skincare routine locked down, but still suffer with breakouts? Maybe your expensive foundation isn’t applying how it should – it’s time to take a look in your makeup bag at the tools you are using on your face.

Daily build up of dirt, grime and oils can create a very dirty makeup brush, which when used on your face can cause breakouts, rashes and irritation for your skin. Who knows what’s lurking in those brush bristles? Yikes!

Not only is a dirty brush unhygienic, you are probably not getting the best makeup application either. If a brush is dirty, it can become limp and ineffective, resulting in patchy, or badly blended makeup! Using a clean brush to apply your makeup ensures a flawless finish. In order to get the most out of your beauty tools it’s important to keep them washed and dried properly, do this and your makeup brush will last you years to come! Having clean makeup brushes ensures perfect makeup application. There is no excuse to not be washing makeup brushes regularly!

So, if you have forgotten what colour the bristles on your brushes were, it’s probably time to grab some makeup brush cleanser and get to work!

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How to Clean Makeup Brushes – Step By Step Guide

Here are our easy steps to sparkling clean makeup brushes, to ensure beautiful makeup application and brushes which last!

1. Rinse each brush with lukewarm water

Grab your dirty makeup brushes and let’s get ready to clean! The first step to clean makeup brushes is to begin hand washing your makeup brushes or beauty blender by rinsing them with lukewarm water.

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2. Use your brush cleaner of choice

Unless you’re a professional makeup artist and have hundreds of brushes in rotation, save your pennies and ditch the expensive brush cleanser, most of them contain a high level of rubbing alcohol which is an effective disinfectant, but will eventually dry out bristles. It’s also important to avoid any harsh products such as dish soap, as these are good at cleaning but will leave the brush feeling dry. The best shampoo to use for your brushes is a silicone free, gentle shampoo. Baby shampoo works a treat at cleaning makeup brushes, as it’s a gentle shampoo which will clean the brush without damaging, leaving you with super soft brush hair!

3. Use cleanser to lather the brushes

Lather the brushes and shampoo the brush head gently with your fingers to begin cleaning, this will lift off dirt and product from the brush bristles. If you’re in a hurry then use a brush washing mat – these silicone mats stick to your sink and have ridges to help the soap cleanse and clean your brushes, this is great for bigger and smaller brushes. Foundation makeup and colour on eyeshadow brushes may be more tricky to clean, but don’t panic – if you have a particularly dirty makeup brush you can use a natural oil, such as coconut oil to melt away any of the residual makeup from the brush.

4. Rinse

Rinse the soap out of bristles thoroughly. Run your brushes under lukewarm water until all the soap or shampoo has rinsed away.

Check over your brush bristles and make sure they are all clean, if you have any stubborn residual makeup then repeat steps 1 and 2 until the brush bristles are sparkling clean! If you are cleaning a sponge, be sure to rinse and squeeze out all the remaining shampoo from your beauty blender.

5. Time to dry!

Once your brushes are clean, squeeze any excess water out of the brush or beauty sponge onto a paper towel, then lay your brushes flat in a row on a clean towel to dry.

Did you know…? It’s important to dry brushes laid flat rather than store them upright, otherwise the water can sit in the bristles and damage the glue which can cause your brushes to fall apart over time. Be sure to lay each makeup brush out separately on the towel, avoid stacking them as they won’t dry properly. Make sure you store them in a dry environment as bacteria will breed in damp conditions.

Want it done faster? Drying your brushes next to, or underneath a radiator will help your brushes dry quicker.

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Brush Cleaning Top Tips

If you’re looking for hygienic brushes, a synthetic brush is best! All of our makeup brush sets are made with synthetic, vegan bristles which are not only cruelty free and animal friendly, but are also hypoallergenic and more hygienic. Natural hair brushes are porous which encourages bacteria and product build up, which makes the brush bristles harder to clean.

How Often Should You be Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes?

Well, this depends on how often you use your brushes and what you use them for. If you wear makeup daily, we recommend cleaning your liquid or foundation makeup brushes at least a few times a week, to ensure they are free from dirt, oil and makeup and to keep them as fresh as the day you got them (bacteria is more likely to breed in wet conditions). Your powder brush should be washed weekly, and eyeshadow brushes could be washed twice a month. The cleaner your brushes are the better!

Using Rubbing Alcohol to Clean Makeup Brushes

If you are short on time but have a lot of eyeshadow brushes or powder brushes, you can use rubbing alcohol and a paper towel to quickly remove any colour pigment from the brush for your next use. The benefit of rubbing alcohol is it will help kill bacteria, and it is quick drying so your brush will be ready to use right away, which is great for cleaning when switching between different colours for eye makeup application. However, using this too often can damage your brush bristles. You can get the same results by keeping some makeup wipes on hand when applying makeup to quickly clean off your makeup brush. We recommend doing a deep cleaning of your makeup brush with shampoo to ensure your brushes last!

In a hurry? Get your brushes dryer quicker and use your hairdryer on a low heat/cold setting – just make sure you still store them flat whilst drying!

How To Store Your Makeup Brushes

Now you have clean makeup brushes, it’s important to store them to protect the brush bristles and keep them away from any nasties. Firstly, make sure you store your brushes in a cool, dry place. Warm, damp environments such as your bathroom will encourage bacteria! If you’re travelling, keep your brushes organised in a separate makeup brush roll or pouch. If you have a full makeup brush set, keep them nicely displayed on your dressing table using a makeup brush holder! This will make it easy to see all your brushes when doing your makeup. Why not separate your face makeup brushes from your eye makeup brushes for a super organised makeup station. Just be sure to keep your brushes separate, don’t store a dirty makeup brush with your clean makeup brushes to avoid transferring any product or dirt.

It may be another thing to add to your weekly cleaning list, but washing makeup brushes will help your skin, keep your brushes lasting longer and ensure your makeup applies like a dream!

Shop our full collection of vegan makeup brushes

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Clean makeup brushes in less than 60 seconds

For a quick refresh in-between deep cleans, buy your favourite makeup remover wipes and swirl your brush bristles in a circular motion until clean.

By Hà Phương

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