How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes

What if I told you that in ten minutes or less, I could save you from muddy makeup, pink eye, ripped-out eyelashes, and breakouts? I would sound like a terrible MTV infomercial and also be totally correct. Washing your makeup brushes is the quickest, easiest way to clear up a bunch of skin issues you didn’t even know you had.

Do it once every week or two and I promise that the satisfied humming of my gentle OCD heart on your face will thank you.

Round up all your brushes, give them a quick bath with one inexpensive product, and just try not to marvel in horror at the glittery debris leftover in your sink.

You’ll need the following:

  • A gentle detergent (suggestions to follow)
  • A clean hand towel or tea towel
  • A shallow bowl or cup, preferably glass so you can see your gross results
  • A sink

Your cleanser can be anything skin/food safe meant to remove oil. My all-time favorite is Suave Clarifying Shampoo, which costs $1 for a gigantic bottle that will last you the next five years. Other cheap and cheerful picks are baby shampoo or natural dish soap. If you use standard dish soap, add a few drops of olive or coconut oil to your mix to recondition the fibers of your brush. Dish soap is super drying but will work in a pinch.

Obviously, you can also use brush cleaner, but we’re doing this the cheap and cheerful way. I also feel that those “disinfectants” are like hand sanitizer and no substitute for giving brushes an actual bath, especially for ladies with sensitive skin.

Pour a half teaspoon or so of detergent into your cup, fill two inches deep with warm water, and dunk in your brushes. Swirl around to loosen up the grime.

Try to avoid submerging the ferrule (the metal bit where the bristles connect to the handle) in water.

Take the wet, soapy brush out and swirl it against your palm to remove dirt and makeup. If it’s really caked with foundation, you may need to swirl in a little more soap. Rinse under lukewarm water until the bristles feel totally clean.

Spread out a clean hand towel. Blot out excess water from your brushes and reshape their bristles, paying special attention to odd shapes like pointy creases and contour brushes.

Lay brushes flat on a hand towel to dry. You don’t want to stand them up (not even kabukis) because water will run down into the handle, where it can loosen up the glue and shorten your brush’s life.

You’ll be shocked how much better your brushes look and feel when cleaned regularly. I don’t even care if I sound like a Bossypants because I’m a Leo, and bossy is kind of our thing. A clean face is a happy face.

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