As a full-time, professional makeup artist, I cleanse and sanitize my makeup brushes several times daily. (Yes, this is what I do when I’m not writing). A clean and sanitary work environment is the number one rule of makeup pros.
I surprisingly still have the same makeup brushes that I started out with four years ago despite the repeated cleanings. In fact, I clean them several times every day. My brushes are still full and fluffy with all bristles intact. Today, I’m going to share with you my secrets on how to clean your makeup brushes the right way.
Why You Should Clean Your Makeup Brushes
Investing in professional quality makeup brushes adds up to a significant expense. Because high- quality makeup brushes are priced at $30 and up, it makes proper care of your brushes essential. It doesn’t take long to care for your brushes and in just a short time it becomes part of your makeup routine.
Perhaps more importantly than the expense of replacing makeup brushes, the bristles of dirty makeup brushes trap bacteria. Daily makeup brush care keeps your brushes free of bacteria that can cause skin irritation, breakouts, and infections.
Makeup Brush Cleaning Supplies
Taking care of your makeup brushes requires just a handful of supplies: a paper towel, makeup brush cleanser spray, makeup remover, and a spray bottle filled with a mixture of 50% isopropyl alcohol and 50% distilled water (I keep this mixed and handy in the makeup cabinet). You probably have most of these items on hand and can purchase the makeup brush cleanser at any department store makeup counter for just a few dollars. I like the Estee Lauder Makeup Brush Cleaner better than any other commercial brand that I’ve tried.
Start daily cleaning of your makeup brush by applying one or two pumps of the makeup remover spray to the bristles of your brush. Use a gentle paintbrush motion to run your brush back and forth across a clean paper towel until the makeup residue no longer rubs off onto the paper towel. Next, spray the clean back of the paper towel with the isopropyl alcohol and water mix and wipe down the handles only of the brush to sanitize. Do not spray the bristles of the brush with this alcohol and water mix–it can cause them to fall out!
Once monthly, a heavier cleaning is usually needed – this depends on how often you use your makeup brushes. For monthly cleansing, apply a pump of makeup remover lotion and very gently work the product through the bristles. Use a gentle hand, the motion here is a gentle massaging motion, so you don’t cause loosening of the bristles. Rinse the bristles with warm water until the water runs completely clear. Finish by cleaning the handle with the isopropyl alcohol and water spray as described in the daily cleaning instructions.
One final tip worth mentioning: after cleaning, DO NOT place the brushes upright and DO NOT dry them with a blow dryer. These actions will damage your brushes and loosen the bristles. Always allow the brushes to lay flat and air dry, flipping them over if necessary.
Following these makeup brush cleaning tips will keep you both blessed with healthy skin and your makeup brushes sanitary. Well cared for brushes will last you for years, making your investment in professional quality brushes so worth the money.