Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How to Deep Clean Makeup Brushes

Hi everyone! I'm here today to remind you to CLEAN YOUR MAKEUP BRUSHES.
So much bacteria and dirt can build up in between uses, especially if you go awhile without washing them!
Today I took some time to deep clean my makeup brushes, and I figured I'd take you along with me through the process. This is how I clean MY makeup brushes. It's not the be-all, end-all, and I'm sure other people have different methods. But this is what works for me and has kept my brushes - especially my expensive MAC investments brushes - in tip top shape. 

This post is picture heavy, so I'll place the tutorial after the jump. 

Here we go!

Start with - of course - a dirty brush. This is my MAC 187, which sees a lot of use between liquid foundations, powder foundations, setting foundations, and everything else in between. The thing takes a beating. You notice the duofiber bristles are tinted the color of my foundation. 

Get your brush cleanser of choice. I'm working through my Beautyblender blendercleanser. I much prefer regular old baby shampoo most of the time, but this stuff gets the job done just as nicely! It's just a bit more expensive.

Seriously. Baby shampoo. It's a dollar. You're welcome.

Now we wet the brush bristles. Note that I'm holding the brush with all the bristles pointing down and trying to keep most of the water off the ferrule (metal part) of the brush. This is for good reason - moisture getting into the ferrule will cause it to rust, and if you hold your brush bristles up, the water will weaken the glue that holds the bristles in. 
For the life of your brushes, be sure to hold them this way. This brush is almost ten years old - trust me! 

Put a little bit of your desired cleanser into the palm of your hand.

Using the wet brush, swirl it into the brush shampoo/baby shampoo/whatever the heck you're washing your brushes with. Again, be sure to keep the bristles down. You'll see a lot of makeup come out on your hand at this point. You'll want to see white suds as they mean the brush is clean.

Then, rinse your brush bristles as you did when you were wetting them. Remember how brown/tan my duofiber bristles were? Look how beautiful and white they are now! 

Shape your brush the way you want it to dry (the MAC 187 expands as it dries) and lay it down on a towel. 

This is my MAC 217. One of my all-time favorite brushes and a true workhorse in my book. I need to get another one of these because it's that good. You can see the makeup residue at the tip of the brush. It's important to try to clean brushes regularly because with a blending brush like this, it doesn't work as well if it's dirty. 

LOOK AT ALL THAT GUNK. Seriously, this was after I had washed it out a couple of times!

And it's good as new!

When was the last time you washed your makeup brushes? What method do you use to get them really clean?


  1. i just washed mine yesterday with some Crown brush cleaner i bought on Hautelook. it seemed to work pretty good. i didn't think to keep the bristles pointing down, though, so thank you for the helpful hint!

    1. I have heard good things about the Crown brushes and the cleanser too! Hope my tips help extend the lives of your brushes like they have mine! They're an investment!

  2. I clean my paint brushes every time I use them, so I don't know why it never occurred to me that my makeup brushes should get cleaned too. Thanks for the tips!

    1. Anytime! These were long overdue, but I try to deep clean them once every couple of weeks.


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