Brush Cleaning 101

Blush and Brie - Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

It is so important to clean your makeup brushes.  Shampooing them or using professional brush cleaner gets rid of unwanted bacteria and oil that can cause breakouts or other skin issues.   Regular cleaning also gets rid of makeup build-up which can interfere with how the brushes feel on the skin, as well as with your makeup application.  Proper upkeep of your brushes will help them last longer, making the initial investment more worthwhile.  I have had a few of the brushes in the above photo for years!

Shampoo vs. Brush Cleaner

As a makeup artist I am constantly cleaning brushes, often being asked how and when they should be cleaned.  I always answer this question the same way.  Powder brushes used on yourself should be cleaned on a weekly basis, and anything with liquid on a daily basis.  When using brushes on someone other than yourself, you should clean them after every use.  So this leads us to the question: Should you shampoo or use professional brush cleaner?  Use a combination of both. For brushes that you need to clean more often, use brush cleaner for a faster drying time.  Then shampoo your whole brush set bi-weekly or monthly.

How to shampoo your brushes…

Step 1: Squeeze a drop of shampoo into the palm of your hand.  With your brush dampened, gently swirl the brush hair in your palm creating a lather with the shampoo. 

Step 2: Rinse the brush thoroughly.  Shake off any excess water.  Repeat Step 1 + 2 for brushes with excess makeup build up on them.  *Never submerge the entire brush into water, as this can lead to water going into the brush barrel, loosening the glue and ultimately ruining your brush.

Step 3:  Reshape the brush hairs.  Then place your brushes on a towel with the brush hairs hanging slightly over the counter edge.  This will allow the air to evenly dry them from the top and bottom, and will also speed up the drying time.

How to clean with brush cleaner…

Step 1: Spritz brush cleaner onto your brush hair. 

Step 2:  Very gently wipe the brush back and forth on a paper towel in the same direction the brush hair naturally flows.

Step 3:  Reshape the brush hairs and put away.  * Most brush cleaners are fast drying.  If your brush hairs still feels damp, place them on a towel with the brush hair hanging slightly over the counter edge and allow them to dry before putting them away.

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Katie is a makeup artist based in Vancouver BC, represented by Lizbell Agency. She has been in the Vancouver beauty scene for 10 years, and in love with makeup for most of her life. When she is not painting faces she writes for her blog and is a contributor for Fashion Magazine.