Makeup 101: Clean Your Brushes

When we think about makeup, it’s usually about the best new product or how to re-create a look recently worn by your beauty muse. Unfortunately, this means we often overlook the basics. For these Makeup 101 posts, we’ll be looking at the building blocks of getting it right!

We’re starting with brush care. Cleaning your brushes will not only give you a smoother makeup application but will also help keep your skin clear by removing all the leftover residue and bacteria from your tools. It will also help prolong the life of your brushes if done correctly. There’s 3 methods that I employ, each with a corresponding product and specific use.


The Deep Clean: Brush Shampoo
If you’re a regular makeup user, you should be shampooing your brushes every few weeks. I use the brush cleaner from Sephora, but you can use whichever is convenient for you.

  • while wetting the bristles, keep the brush head pointed DOWN since any water that gets into the connection point of the brush can loosen the glue that holds it all together
  • I like to squirt the shampoo into a small bowl or juice glass and swirl my brush gently until it foams up. Alternate rinsing and lathering until the water runs clear.
  • To dry, reshape the bristles and lay your brushes flat or even angle them slightly handle up – again, you REALLY don’t want any moisture getting into the glue.


The Daily Swipe: Brush Spray
Day-to-day you need a quick and easy way to clear your brushes of grossness inevitably picked up from the bottom of your makeup bag. It’s also great if you’re using liquid or cream formulas that tend to build up on the brush hairs. I’ve used both the Sephora Daily Brush Cleaner and the Mary Kay Brush Cleaner.

  • Spray directly onto a clean rag or paper towel, then swipe your brush lightly across until the bristles are cleared of goop.
  • You can do this either at night or just before you apply your makeup in the morning – just be sure to give them a few minutes to dry!
  • It might be time to designate a better spot for those brushes you use most often, like your medicine cabinet, so they stay safe from bag smooshing.


The Mid-application Swap: Color Switch
This is the newest product to hit my makeup tool kit, and I’m hooked. I don’t have a huge array of brushes, so sometimes I want to re-use the same brush on more than one color, especially with eyeshadow. To keep my colors from getting all muddy and mixed together, I’m using the Color Switch by Vera Mona to clear the color off my brush.

  • Swipe your brush gently against the textured sponge until it’s clear of color.
  • If you’re unsure, swipe the brush against the back of your hand to see if there’s any product left.
  • Move along to the next gorgeous shade!

Between all three methods, you should be able to pick which you need to keep your brushes – and your skin – in top shape.

Makeup 101: Clean Your Brushes! Click To Tweet
Prone to distractions. I spend my time making playlists for every mood and researching new beauty/fashion trends, if I’m not too busy working. Usually found wearing blinged out headphones and bright lipstick, chair dancing and singing too loud. I take my LIAM with a side of Niall.

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