I’m not going to lie to you; cleaning make-up brushes is the least favourite part of my job. It’s mind numbingly, gouge your eyes out with a spoon, boring. But it is essential. Not only in professional make-up artistry, to ensure the safe, hygienic practice of make-up application, but also for you too, in your every day beauty routine.

Like anything that comes into contact with your skin, make-up brushes are a breeding ground for bacteria. Add to this a build up of product, dead skin cells, dirt and natural oils and you have the recipe for a spotty face, dirty skin and ‘grubby’, imprecise make-up application.

In terms of personal use, you should be washing your make-up brushes at least 2-3 times a week, without fail, and here’s how: -

  1. Get yourself a daily use, mild shampoo either a slightly medicated one or baby shampoo, works fine. You don’t want anything too heavy, as it’ll build up on your brush.
  2. In a small bowl pour a small amount of shampoo.
  3. Add a couple of drops of tea-tree oil, which acts as a great natural anti-bacterial agent.
  4. Wet your brush and dab it in the shampoo (you only need a tiny amount on the tip) and gently swirl it around in the palm of your hand to lather it.
  5. Rinse under warm water then repeatedly lather and rinse again until the all the product is gone.
  6. Be careful not to get too much water in the shaft of the brush as it’ll affect the glue that holds the bristles in place and your brush will start to molt. For the same reason don’t sit your brushes head down in water.
  7. Squeeze the water out of the brush.
  8. With kitchen paper or a towel gently pat the remaining water out of the brush then very gently swirl it in a circular motion over the towel/paper to fluff the bristles.
  9. Reshape the brush by running your fingers down over it.

10. Lay it flat on the side of a table with the head dangling free over the side.

11. Allow to dry completely overnight, ready for use the next day.

If you use make-up sponges or a beauty blender you can also wash them exactly the same way.

There are brush cleaners out there which promise a quick ‘spray, wipe and go’ method but in my opinion shampoo not only cleans more effectively it also conditions your brushes leaving them beautifully soft.

Until recently shampoo was my go-to product (and is a perfectly fine method) but I have to mention a new product on the market developed for professionals: The London Brush Company’s Brush Cleaner. If you’re up for a bit of a splurge it’s well worth the investment and will last you ages. It can be used in exactly the same way as shampoo, you just literally wet the brush, swirl it over the product and lather. It rinses out quickly and cuts through foundation and cream based make-up like nobody’s business. Which when you’re returning late from a job with a mountain of brushes to clean, is an absolute Godsend.



Posted on: August 16th, 2013
Posted in: Beauty, brushes, latest news, make-up, skin care