After a busy wedding season and countless times of cleaning and drying my brushes, I decided that since I’d been asked many times how often I clean my brushes by several people it would be good to explain how, why and how often to clean your makeup brushes.
Admittedly this is not one of my favourite tasks at work but incredibly important when it comes to maintaining high hygiene standards. Makeup brushes can harbour bacteria if not washed on a regular basis, I have always done this after every use so as not to cross contaminate. That being said my brushes are being used on a professional basis, so your own makeup brush that only you use would probably benefit from at least once or twice a month thorough clean and dry.
When it comes to actually washing your brushes there are a few different products that you can use. I’ve tried many including Ciara Daly Purifying Brush Cleaner that I’ll spray onto the brush as a quick disinfectant in between clients but always follow with a thorough clean at the end of the day. This product, as many of these specific brush cleaning products are alcohol based and will rapidly dry the bristles out, especially if they are natural. At London College of Fashion I was taught by my tutors as general good practice to shampoo and condition all your brushes each time you used them. I found over the years that a good hydrating shampoo – for dry hair is usually a great way to have soft, gentle bristles and the same with the conditioner. I also like to use baby shampoo; this is nice and gentle, alternatively Forever Living Aloe Hand Soap is also very nice. As I’ve said it’s good practice to both shampoo and condition your brushes but generally if I’m short of time a shampoo will suffice, and I’ve also found the synthetic bristles don’t benefit as much from conditioning.
Now to the process of cleaning them it’s fairly straight forward, although I have a few top tips to take extra special care of your treasured brushes. Squirt a very small amount of product onto your fingertips, depending on the brush size but never bigger than a pea. Get the brush bristles wet under a running tap of warm ish water and then rub the brush into the product. Ensure you work the product thoroughly into the bristles and you should see some of the makeup rinsing out, then clean with water thoroughly.
To avoid damp and rot occurring under the metal section of the handle on your brush, keep the water on the bristles only, this is the case for wooden handled brushes in particular and will prevent the bristles eventually falling out.
Once you’ve cleaned all your brushes and they all look and feel clean you need to dry them. They’ll probably take at least 12 hours, and I prefer to lay them out evenly spaced on a towel, I tend not to add any heat, but just let them dry naturally. One other important tip I was shown by a professional makeup artist several years ago was to wrap up any of your large brushes, i.e. blusher brush, powder brush etc in some tissues tightly, this keeps the bristles all nicely tight together and prevents them from splaying out.
So once your brushes are all nice and clean they will be good to use time and time again, the more care you give them the longer they will last. If you have any questions regarding makeup brushes, whether it’s cleaning, where to buy etc then drop me a message via my website and I’ll be very happy to help!