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How to Clean your Make-up Brushes

Make-up brushes go through a lot in their little furry lives. They help us to achieve a flawless smooth finish on both foundation and face paint, they help to cover our eyelids in beautiful shades, paint our lips with the perfect outline, create the ideal flick with liquid eyeliner, draw intricate designs on our cheeks and use them to carefully place special FX glue on our skin.

They’re a vital tool of any make-up endeavour – special FX or every day and if you don’t look after them properly, they will get ruined and can be expensive to replace! Because of this, we’ve put to get a short guide on how to clean your make-up brushes properly and in a way that will make them last and why it’s so important for your skin also.

As disgusting as it is to think about, your skin is full of bacteria. Even if you’re one of those lucky people to be totally spot and blemish free and look like something out of a L’Orealadvert, your face is still covered in bacteria – especially after a day out and about. During the day, you encounter huge amounts of dirt and bacteria – most of which you can’t see. This dirt settles on your clothes, your skin, your hair and your face, which is why it’s so important to wash your face well every day.

All of this bacterium on your face is moved around when using make-up brushes and is also transferred onto them. This bacteria isn’t all bad but when built up and left on your make-up brush, it will continue to fester and build over a period of time and this is then transferred onto your face every day which unfortunately, usually ends in some sort of break out. This is why a deep clean of your brushes is so important, rather than just giving them a quick run under water.

When it comes to special fx make-up, the paint used is often thicker than cosmetic foundation, making it harder to remove from brushes so we suggest cleaning them after every single use to avoid damaging the brushes and potentially causing some spotty antics on your face when you next use them. Cleaning your brushes every day for normal everyday make-up is not really realistic (although in an ideal world this would be the case!) but we definitely recommend doing a deep clean of your brushes every week.

So, what’s the best way to do this?

  • Run your brushes under water
    Start by running your brushes under lukewarm water, using your fingers to wash off all left-over make up. These will mainly be on the bristles to ensure you concentrate on these parts, rather than the bottom part which will rarely, if ever, touch your face anyway. 
  • Fill a bowl with water 
    Fill a clean bowl with lukewarm water and mix a bit of shampoo in with it and swirl your brush tip in it. We suggest using shampoo rather than other cleaning products as it’s skin friendly and gentle on the bristles. You can also press your brush against the edge of the bowl to push out any residue. 
  • Swirl your brush on your hand
    To build up a lather that will help with the cleaning process, swirl your brush in the palm of your hand and alternate between having it in the bowl and using your hands.
  • Rinse brush
    Take the brush out of the bowl and hold under running water again, using your fingers to massage the dirt/make-up out of the bristles
  • Leave to dry
    This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people just bundle their brushes back into their make-up bag wet! Make sure you leave them out flat on a clean towel or kitchen roll until fully dry.
  • Repeat
    Repeat this process until the water runs clear when massaging the bristles. Ensure to do this individually for each brush and clean the water each time to avoid putting brushes in dirty water.