Cleaning makeup brushes may seem like such a chore and is a step in our beauty regimen that is most overlooked and forgotten. If you think about it, makeup brushes have the potential to be disgustingly dirty things. Eyeliner brushes are wet, and sit around collecting dust until the next time they are used. Lip brushes touch our lips, come on we all know mouths are one of the dirtiest parts of our bodies, and can harbor bacteria. Thus makeup brushes can be a hazard to our heath and wellness if not taken care of properly. EEEK! Yup that's right. Skin allergies? Irritations? Sudden inexplicable breakouts? Highly contagious infections such as herpes and pink eye? CLEAN YOUR BRUSHES PEOPLE! That's just an abbreviated list of the frightening possibilities of dirty brushes.
The positives of clean brushes is that your beauty supplies and tools will be worth the investment. The color pay off alone will be worth it - more concentrated/true pigment from blushes and eye shadow, yes please! Brushes will also last longer. That Chanel blush brush you splurged on last Christmas will be worth the money thrown down and last you through many an application.
Here are a couple basic tips for makeup brushes:
1. Never EVER share makeup brushes. Especially lip and eye brushes, wands etc. If you absolutely must, make sure they are clean before using them on yourself or anyone else. One never knows what you or someone else has.
2. Store clean makeup brushes in a CLEAN and CLOSED container. This is especially important if you don't use your brushes daily. This will keep them clean until the next time they are used. Just make sure to wash and dry them before storing them away.
Alright, now that I've managed to freak everyone out, it's time to actually learn how to prevent said horrors and stay healthy and beautiful!
Step 1: Things You'll Need
Step 2: Clarify
In a bowl half to three quarters full with warm water, add a dollop of shampoo. Use one or two of the dirty brushes to mix the shampoo until the bowl looks like bubble bath. You'll start to see the water turn murky from the brushes. In the picture provided I literally swished the brushes a few times and the water turned that murky. Yuck.
Remove the brushes from the shampoo water and rub the bristles in the palm of your hand. Re-dip in shampoo water and continue until the bubbles are clean and no more makeup comes off of the brushes. Do this for all the soiled brushes.
If the shampoo water gets so murky that you can't see through it, throw out that bowl and make a fresh bowl.
TIP: instead of cleaning one by one, save time and clean multiple brushes at once! Just make sure that the brushes washed together are of similar shape and size. This will allow for even and consistent cleansing of each of the brushes.
Step 3: Stubborn Makeup
Some makeup can be a bit tough to clean off of brushes. This is usually due to the type of products they are. For example, waxy, slip proof or waterproof makeup can be harder to take off with plain old shampoo. This is where the makeup remover comes in handy. Any makeup remover will do.
Apply some remover in the palm of your hand/on a paper towel. Swish it back and forth as done in the clarifying stage until the brush is clean. This step may need to be repeated a few times until the brush is clean.
In the picture is a lip brush I used on a client. I used a magenta lip gloss and tried to clean as best as I could with shampoo. It took about 3 cleanses with the makeup remover until the brush was clean and returned to it's natural brown state. The brush can seem "stained" but don't let that fool you as evidenced by the after picture.
Step 4: Rinse
Rinse brushes under running water. The bigger and fluffier the brush the more rinsing is needed. Rinse until when the bristles are squeezed, no more bubbles come out. Another good indicator is when the bristles don't feel slick from the soap.
Gently squeeze or press out excess water.
Step 5: Dry
Reshape and place brushes on a towel/paper towel to dry.
While the brushes are sitting out drying, place a paper towel on top to avoid dust and debris from falling onto them while in this vulnerable state.
Store them in a clean, closed or covered container until ready for use.
That is all that you need to do to keep your brushes clean! If you are a daily makeup wearer, wash your brushes at least once a week. If you're a special occasion makeup wearer, clean your brushes after each use and store them properly until the next use.