This isn’t the most exciting lesson, but it’s important nonetheless! Because we must clean our brushes so we can stay on top of bacteria and other offenders that we don’t want to end up on our face. Think of it as basic hygiene. For brushes that you use daily (and don’t share), I would aim for at least once a week (every Sunday perhaps?) or twice a week if you really love makeup and apply it often. There are two ways to properly wash your brushes depending on your personality and time constraints: heavy duty (for those of you that want instant professional strength cleaning agents to annihilate everything) or gentle (for those of you who have more time and prefer to keep it simple). Here’s how:
- Pick up a professional brush cleaning spray from a your local or online beauty supply (the Cinema Secrets spray above is perfect for professional makeup artists who need to clean their brushes repeatedly throughout jobs but this aromatherapy cleaning spray is my favorite to use on my clients because it leaves an amazing smell on the brushes). Starting with your foundation and cream blush brushes (these have the most product residue and need the most attention), spray it directly on the brush heads to completely soak the bristles.
- Rub the brush head back and forth over a paper towel or tissue repeatedly until there is no more product coming off.
- Spray the rest of your brushes one at a time (i.e. eyeliner, lip, eyebrow brushes).
- Rub these brushes back and forth as well, noticing that they will come clean much faster than the first ones. This solution dries within minutes so it’s great on the go.
- Pour a tablespoon of any baby or organic shampoo (or this brilliant brush wash formulated specifically for this) into a small bowl then add warm water from your faucet so it gets nice and bubbly. One at a time, dip your used brushes into the solution, gently swirling them across the bottom of the bowl to release the product. Keep the brushes in the water as you add each new one.
- After washing, let the brushes have a quick soak for 5-10 seconds, no more and no less.
- One by one, hold each brush under cold water to rinse any remaining product and seal the hairs.
- Re-mold each brush if necessary by pressing the hairs between your fingers until it’s back to its original shape.
DRYING STATION: You don’t want to dry your brushes in an upright position because the water settles into the glue that’s holding the bristles together at the base of each brush head and starts breaking down the glue over time, causing the hairs to come off when you swipe the brush against your face (so annoying). So you can either lay your brushes flat or even better, make this quick little drying station in two steps!
- Grab a hand towel, a paper towel or a dinner napkin like I used above. Fold it in half three times, to make it smaller and to create a “crease,” then unfold it once. Where your crease was, slide anything cylinder shaped under it to create the base of your see-saw. I used a big powder brush that was dry and not washed this round but a round magic marker works great too.
- Balance each brush across the crease so that the brush head is pointing down, but not touching the napkin. It’s much easier to balance than it sounds, I promise! Now let them dry completely for a few hours (or overnight) and return them to their home (my work brushes live in this amazing brush roll, while my personal brushes live upright in my favorite Mary Poppins mug).