Monday, 11 May 2015

Makeup Brush Cleaning Tips And Tricks

As I alluded to in my previous post, I recently discovered a list of the ten most googled beauty questions of 2014. I wasn't surprised to see that 'how to clean makeup brushes' was in the top five as there are many different methods out there and it can all get a bit confusing. I remember when I had just started wearing makeup at 13, I used to 'wash' my brushes about once every six months by letting them soak in a sink full of soapy water for a few hours before I would dry them off and start using them again. Needless to say, that was not a great way of washing my brushes at all and I have gotten slightly better at it now. So today I thought I would share with you my hints and tips for cleaning your makeup brushes properly.

You need to make sure that you deep clean your brushes (aka wash your brushes with actual water, I know it's a lot of effort but hear me out) and give them a bit of an TLC at least once a month if not more. I used to think that deep cleaning was such a faff so I put it off for as long as I could and I started to notice my skin getting worse. Because makeup brushes harbour a lot of bacteria, you need to wash your brushes with an antibacterial soap as often as possible to really get rid of the nasties lurking in the bristles so they don't harm your skin. The way I deep clean my brushes is by simply running them under warm water, squirting some Dr Bronner's liquid soap (baby shampoo works well too) into one hand and swirling the brushes into the soap with my other hand. Then I squeeze as much soap as I can out of the bristles and rinse again until the water becomes clear. It sounds simple but it feels like a mammoth task when you have a big brush collection, especially when you use all of the following tips too for a full deep clean...

1) If liquid soap just isn't cutting it to remove tough lipstick or gel liner from your brushes, use a small amount of an oily product like a cleansing oil or even extra virgin olive oil to break down the stubborn makeup on your brushes. Just make sure you wash all of the oil out before leaving to dry!

2) Always make sure you clean the middle bristles where remnants of foundation like to lurk and breed bacteria. When washing your brushes you need to really work the soap into the middle as well as the outer bristles to give your brushes a proper clean.

3) When you are running your brushes under the water, make sure that they are facing downwards. If water gets into the ferrules (I think that's the fancy world for the handles), it can dissolve the glue that is holding the bristles in place so it can make your brushes shed more easily. Also remember this when leaving them to dry, I find rolling up a flannel and placing it under the handles of the brushes works well to stop the water trickling into the ferrules.

4) Remember to reshape the bristles of your brushes whilst they are damp as they will dry in that shape. If your brushes have bristles flying out in all directions, just take some time to mould them back into place and you will feel like you have a brand new brush set once they are dry.

5) Leave your brushes somewhere warm overnight to speed up the drying process. I used to leave my brushes on my chest of drawers after cleaning and they would always be too wet to use the next day which was sooo frustrating. Now I pop them in the airing cupboard overnight and they are ready to be used as soon as I wake up, even with my 6am starts for work!

6) Don't forget to clean all of those makeup tools that might not necessarily reside in your brush pots. Things like the makeup brushes you keep in your handbag, makeup sponges and the spoolies on the end of brow pencils probably need cleaning too. You can even pop your makeup sponges in the washing machine, I do this with mine and it never damages them!

7) For my last tip, I have to acknowledge that sometimes a deep clean is just not an option. When you have a last minute invitation to an event and all of your brushes are covered in black eyeshadow from a failed attempt at recreating a smoky eye from a YouTube video, ain’t nobody got time to wash brushes with water. Keeping a speedy brush cleanser like this MAC one is a great time saver for moments like this. A small pump of this on a flannel and a quick swirl of your brushes will leave them free of colour and ready to be used again instantly.

I hope this was helpful! Has anyone got any makeup brush cleaning tips? As you can see, my brush cleaning routine is quite lengthy so I would love some time saving hints…


  1. Very handy! Also made me think up a new blog post, just love your tips! xx

    Eva ||

    1. Ahh thank you! I know how hard it can be to think of blog post ideas sometimes so I'm glad I could help you in a little way! Xx


© Jessica Bird Lifestyle | All rights reserved.
Designer Blogger Template by pipdig