It’s been awhile since I introduced my makeup brush recommendation to you all, so I thought it was time to do a how-to on brush care. This is by no means a definitive guide, but I find that most people rarely clean their makeup brushes. I also know that I was one of those people, so no judgment on my end. There are several good reasons for cleaning makeup brushes:
1.) Your brushes pick up dust and dirt just by being in an open space (also why the F do bathrooms get so dusty?). You don’t want to be smearing dirt all over your eyes and face every day, that’s probably not great for your skin.
2.) You never get all your makeup off when you are applying it to your face, so there is still product on the brush. This changes other product’s efficiency when you use the same brush for a lot of different products.
3.) All this dirt, bacteria, and old makeup will get into your pores and clog them and if you have sensitive skin (like myself) this will inevitably cause acne.
4.) When you properly take care of your brushes they should last a very long time. If you have professional ones this means probably close to a lifetime. I‘ve had my Real Techniques for 3 years now and they work just as well as the day I bought them.
Now that we know all the gross reasons we should clean our makeup brushes, the questions of how and frequency remain.
As far as frequency goes, If you use your make up brushes everyday then you should be doing a daily and weekly wipe down with something similar to e.l.f.’s Daily Brush Cleaner. Just spray it on your brushes after you apply your makeup (this should only take a few seconds so don’t worry about it cramping an already tight morning routine). Then once a week you should use that same brush cleaner spray your brushes and wipe them off with paper towel. This is a little more time consuming, but it usually only takes about ten minutes. Once a month you should use brush shampoo and clean them. This will deep clean your brushes, which will keep them healthy and well maintained.
If you only use you brushes on special occasions then I recommend that you rinse them with water after each use and either every month or every other month (depending on how many special occasions you have) do a brush shampooing. I also highly recommend that you keep them stored in a makeup bag or airtight container so they are shielded from everyday dirt and bacteria.
I recently bought the Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette. It’s been wonderfully useful and I find that I’m getting my brushes much cleaner than my previous strategy of just using my hand. I only recommend getting this if you do use your brushes every day, because it will save you a lot of time and really get those brushes clean.
There are a ton of video tutorials out there, you can go check them out, and I will show you how I clean my brushes.
Here are two short videos about weekly cleanings:
Step 1: Spray the brushes.
Step 2: Swirl the brushes around on a paper towel, until they no longer leave color.
The monthly shampooing is slightly more involved (but not much).
1.) Gather the supplies- Real Techniques (RT) cleansing palette, all of the dirty brushes, and the brush shampoo.
2.) Grab a towel and roll it so that there is one side that’s higher, like this:
I do this so all of the water will drain out of the brushes. This is especially important if you have wooden brushes. If you let the water stay in there it will erode the glue and slowly break down your brushes.
This is how I store my brushes, I found that wooden holder at Value Village a couple of years ago for $5! It was such good find.
3.) Get the water running up to lukewarm temperature. If it’s too hot the glue in the makeup brushes will break down and if it’s too cold your hands will freeze. Then squirt some shampoo onto the palette. You only need to use a little shampoo per brush. If the brush is rather big or really dirty use a little more.
4.) Get your brush wet and swirl it on the palette. Note that the palette has different textures that can be used for different brushes. The more spaced out bigger nodes are better for larger brushes while the smaller surfaces will help get the tiny brushes clean.
5.) Now swirl! Once the suds are clear in the palette, rinse the brush in water until it is also clear of suds. Squeeze out the excess water, loosely reshape the brush, then set it on the towel with the brush part sloping downwards to dry. I usually let mine dry overnight, so make sure you do this when you have time to let your brushes dry.
RT has a brush cleaning gel and I received some samples when I bought the palette. I haven’t used them yet because I’m trying to use up all my e.l.f. brush shampoo before I buy more. I might be posting a future review of the RT cleaning gel, make sure you keep an eye out!
How often do you clean your brushes? What sort of shampoo do you use?