Ideally, make-up brushes should be wiped clean with an old T-shirt or cotton material after each use, and cleaned thoroughly every week. I've been a bit lazy in the cleaning field recently, and I've actually been breaking out quite a lot because of it. So, I finally spent a quick 10 minutes cleaning my make-up brushes and it's made such a difference to my skin and my make-up has been blending more effectively too.
What you will need (clockwise from the left):
- Baby shampoo. I find Johnson's baby shampoo does the job, is cheap and a bottle lasts ages.
- A clean bowl/ a container to wash your brushes in.
- Kitchen roll/ a towel to rest your brushes on after they've been washed.
- Dirty make-up brushes!
To begin with, soak your make-up brushes in lukewarm water to prepare them for washing.
Next, prepare a mixture of around a pea-sized amount of baby shampoo and a few drops of water and begin to swirl your dirty make-up brushes in the mixture. I do this for about a minute, making sure to scrub the brushes against the bowl to work off some of the product.
You may need to repeat step 2 if your brushes are exceptionally dirty. I re-made my mixture and continued washing until the water was clear, soapy and there were no traces of make-up from the brush in the bowl.
After your brushes are clean, remove any soapy suds by running the brushes under lukewarm water.
When you're finished, tap your brushes against the end of the sink to remove any excess water and lay them on a towel, or kitchen roll.
I prefer to wash my make-up brushes before I go to bed, as they usually take a good few hours to dry, and they'll be ready to be re-used for make-up application in the morning.
- Take caution when storing your make-up brushes. Your make-up bag is full of bacteria, and storing your make-up brushes there will only make them dirty and clogged with bacteria. Invest in a brush organiser or make your own by using an old coffee/hot chocolate container.
- Never use a hairdryer to dry your brushes. The heat from the hairdryer will damage the bristles and weaken the glue at the base of the brush. If you know you'll be using your make-up brushes a lot one week, try and clean them in advance and give them proper time to air dry.
- If you use synthetic brushes (for cream/ liquid product application such as lip gloss, cream blush, concealer etc), you'll need to use an alcohol based cleanser (No7's is great) to clean your brushes, as this will help break down the waxy ingredients.
- Don't store your brushes upright when they're drying. Too much water at the base of the brush can damage the glue binding the brush hairs together, which may lead to them losing their shape. Make sure your brushes aren't dripping wet after washing and leave them to dry next to a window or on a towel.
Looking after your brushes will save money in the long run and keep them looking (and working) at their best!
For more information about how to clean your brushes, visit the real-techniques blog at realtechniques.com/blog