Lesson Learned—Here's How to Properly Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Lesson Learned—Here's How to Properly Clean Your Makeup Brushes

FYI, a good, durable set of makeup brushes can be quite expensive. That's why it's imperative to learn how to take great care of them, i.e. how to properly cleanse your brush kit. I, unfortunately, learned the hard way and ruined about twenty brushes before I landed my first gig in the beauty department of a national magazine. It was my first editor who showed me the error of my ways.

And now I'm passing all that great knowledge on—you can purchase a brush shampoo (I like Sephora Collection Purifying Brush Shampoo, $14), or you can quickly DIY your own. Here's how to do it—and properly use it!

MOVE FROM HOT TO COLD. Soak your brushes in hot water for 15 minutes before rinsing them with cold water. The hotter the water temperature, the better the suds reaction you'll get. (More suds means much cleaner brushes!) When it's time to rinse your brushes clean, use cooler water because it repels suds so the bristles come out completely makeup- and soap residue-free. 

USE A MILD SOAP. Antibacterial soaps are far too harsh on the bristles. Use something gentle but equally as effective, like Ivory Bar Soap ($1.99) or Johnson's Baby No More Tears Shampoo in Calming Lavender ($4.29). Bonus: It makes your makeup brushes smell really, really good!

ADD IN A COUPLE EXTRAS. Along with the cleanser, a splash of your go-to makeup remover ensures that every stitch of product is removed, and a capful of olive oil will help soften the bristles—it acts like conditioner in comparison to the soap (a.k.a. the shampoo). 

AND A LITTLE ELBOW GREASE. Simply soaking is not enough. Make sure you rub the bristles back-and-forth against the bottom of the cup to give your brushes a thorough, deep cleansing session.

LIE THEM FLAT TO DRY. Squeeze the bristles between your thumb and forefinger to release excess water, then promptly lie the brushes flat on a paper towel before hanging the bristles off the edge of the sink or the counter. They'll air dry within six hours, and the bristles will remain firmly intact. If you stand the brushes up in a cup to dry, water will drip down into the well and loosen the glue that hold the bristles in place. (That'll keep them from shedding all over your face!)
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