Chances are that at this point, your nothing short self-taught makeup pro. You know which brush to use for what, you can create a perfect smoky eye with only a moment’s notice, and – let’s be honest – all your gal pals have been coming to you for beauty advice. The one thing, however, that makes your makeup ability less than its best: your unfamiliarity with the best practices of cleaning makeup brushes.
Before we get into the brush cleaning basics, there are a few things you should know as to why washing your makeup brushes is a vital part of any beauty routine. When you get dolled up for the day your brushes take quite the beating. Regardless of the brush you’re using or the makeup you’re applying, small amounts of makeup, dirt, oil and bacteria become embedded in the bristles of the brushes. No big deal, right? Wrong! Over time all the debris trapped in the brushes can lead to clogged pores and cause all kinds of breakouts and other infections. In addition, the gunky build up in the brushes can lessen the brush’s ability to properly apply and blend your makeup, not to mention it can be problematic to the integrity of the bristles themselves which will ultimately shorten the life of the brush.
Fortunately, you can prevent the spread of bacteria and encourage the longevity of your brushes by cleaning them on a regular basis. Some makeup experts recommend doing a quick clean after every use of the brush. You can do this with a daily brush cleansing spray, being sure to give the bristles a spritz after each use. If you’re interested in a more natural alternative, simply mix two parts rubbing alcohol, one part witch hazel, and five drops of tea tree essential oil to a small spray bottle. Give it a good shake and you’ve got yourself a natural daily brush spray.
Of course, giving your brushes a quick spritz if a good preventative, but you should also be giving them a deep clean every one to two weeks (depending on how frequently you wear makeup). Doing so is easy! All you need is a small bowl (perhaps a spice dish), baby shampoo, and a lint free cloth. In the bowl mix together one part shampoo and one part warm water. Begin by getting the bristles of the brush wet with lukewarm water. Be sure to focus on the bristles only, as the water will weaken the glue inside the handle, causing the brush to shed, and even break over time. Once the bristles are damp, swirl the brush around in the shampoo, then twirl it around on the palm of your hand to give it a good lather. After a few moments, you can rinse the bristles under water again; you may notice that the water does not rinse clear. If this is the case, you should repeat the shampooing process until the water does rinse clear. Finally, give the bristles a good squeeze and lay them flat on the cloth to dry.