Thursday, 3 November 2016

How to Clean Makeup Brushes

One of the questions regarding makeup I see asked most frequently, is 'how do I clean my makeup brushes'?

I'm quite obsessive when it comes to my makeup brushes and clean nearly all my makeup brushes after every single use. It is necessary to clean bacteria that may be lingering in the makeup brush, and to get rid of pigment stuck in the bristles. I wasn't always this obsessive but it's become part of my routine. I'm also guilty of having lots of makeup brushes so I don't have to clean them every time! 

There are lots of ways to clean makeup brushes, but I thought I would share what works for me.

How To Clean Makeup Brushes

To remind me to clean my dirty makeup brushes I store them in a pot in the bathroom. It also ensures I don't reuse them once they are dirty and so that they are handy when I do decide to clean them.

Dirty makeup brushes
Just look at all those dirty brushes!

Supplies You Will Need to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Rumio Makeup Brush Cleaner Mat
Rumio Makeup Brush Cleaning Mat
There's a few supplies you will need to clean makeup brushes. One is a silicon mat with a raised and varied texture, which will get all the muck and makeup out of the brush. I like this RUIMIO Makeup Brush Cleaning Mat Butterfly Shape (Silica) from Amazon. It's £6.99, which makes it much cheaper than other brands like Sigma, but it still does the job. Alternatively a textured silicon oven mitt would work, or Popsugar have a video which shows you how to create your own out of a plastic clipboard and a glue gun. I used to just use the palm of my hand, but it isn't textured enough, and my hand gets really sore after a while!

Solid makeup brush shampoo
Hard Brush Soap
Personally I prefer to use a hard soap to clean my makeup brushes. This Clean Brush Shampoo is my favourite makeup brush cleaner but it's difficult to find a UK stockist so I have to import it. However, any hard bar of soap will work as long as it lathers well. A hard bar of soap gives some resistance to your makeup brushes as you lather them up and it starts the cleaning process. There are lots of recipes on Pinterest etc for using washing up liquid and a bit of oil on a plate, so use what works best for you.


Method to Clean Makeup Brushes

Firstly, run the soap and the makeup brush under warm water and swirl the brush against the soap to create a lather. Sometimes you get a residue of makeup on the soap but that is easily rinsed off.

Wet makeup brush swirled in the hard soap
Swirl the wet brush around on the soap

Next, rub your makeup brushes on the silicon mat so that the bumps and ridges can clean all the makeup and bacteria out of the bristles, making sure to use a fair amount of pressure so that even the deeper bristles are cleaned. If it is a particularly manky foundation brush it can take a bit longer or need a bit more soap to get right down to clean the bristles near the finial. I rinse the excess soap as I go so that I'm not rubbing dirty makeup water into the clean bristles. This butterfly mat has lots of different textures to help you get all the dirt and muck out and leave you with beautifully clean makeup brushes.

scrub the makeup brush on the silicon mat

When you are satisfied you have all the makeup out of your brushes and there is only soap left, make sure to rinse out all the soap until the water runs clean. You don't want soap residue on your nice clean makeup brushes as it can affect makeup application.

Drying Clean Makeup Brushes

The worse thing you can do, after getting your precious makeup brushes nice and clean, is leaving them to dry, bristles pointing upwards. The bristles are held in the finial (the shiny bit metal bit between the bristles and the handle) by glue, but water will dissolve that glue, and if you dry your clean makeup brushes upside down, the water will run into the finial and destroy your brushes. Especially if you have spent some money on getting decent brushes, you want them to last as long as possible.

There are various techniques for drying brushes so that the bristles point downwards, without also deforming the clean makeup brush in the process, but my preferred method is to use a smalls dryer, the type that comes with lots of little pegs. I hang it from my shower rail so it's always to hand when I have cleaned my makeup brushes. I attached some larger pegs to the smaller pegs to hold the bigger handled brushes. I can't always hang them straight down but they are mostly pointing downwards, so the water will drain away from the finial. It also ensures that as long as you shape the brushes before hanging them up, they keep their shape whilst they dry.

Makeup brushes hanging to dry on a smalls dryer
Lot of lovely clean makeup brushes

Quick Ways to Clean Makeup Brushes

This is a really effective way to deep clean makeup brushes and it doesn't take me too long to do 15 or so at a time. But what about when you just don't have time to clean your makeup brushes, or you only have one of that particular blending brush and you need it right now, but it's got a darker shade on it and you want to use a lighter shade?

There are various quick brush cleaners on the market where you spray and wipe but these have the disadvantage of leaving your makeup brush damp, which can affect the application of your eyeshadow. Thanks to one of my favourite YouTubers, I discovered Shadow Switch Dry Makeup Brush Cleaner which is an incredible product for cleaning your eyeshadow brushes on the go. It's a rough textured sponge in a tin and by simply swirling your makeup brush round on top of the sponge a few times, it cleans all the pigment off your brush ready for the next shade of eyeshadow. This product is such a time saver for when you are in a rush in the morning.

Shadow Switch sponge Dry Brush Cleaner

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to clean makeup brushes and you have picked up some helpful tips. If you have any suggestions please leave them in the comment box or if you have an idea of another tutorial you would like to see, I would love to hear from you.


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