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How to: Clean Makeup Brushes

Hello, hello! So everyone knows that all media must annoyingly fixate on one holiday per month and since January just ended, this blog will belatedly ride the "new year" train. Choo, choo!

Greet the new year with clean makeup brushes! Here's something funny: I didn't know you were supposed to wash makeup brushes. As a kid, I never noticed my mom doing it. It looks funny too, like you're shampooing little anorexic dolls. And how would it get dirty, all the  brush ever touches is the makeup (which is clean enough to put on your face) and your face, which should be clean, you nasties! But find that Tyra episode where she gets random stuff checked out under the microscope. Ew.

You should definitely wash your brushes if you:
  1. bought a new brush (you never know what residue is left on those things, especially natural fibers,)
  2. do heavy make up,
  3. use liquid forms of make up,
  4. USE A MAKE UP BRUSH!!!
Reason #5: Please don't judge. I don't kow why my powder brush came out black, either.

Since I mostly use light powder makeup, I wash the whole set about once every quarter (but seeing all that radioactive sludge makes me think I should wash it every two months.) I do two kinds of cleaning. The first is like a "general cleaning" and the second is a quick "in-between."


Here's what you need:

 Top L-R: tabo, olive oil, mild detergent
Middle L-R: container and Parian Spirit brush cleanser
Bottom L-R: brushes to clean, old facel towels and brush cleaning wipes

General Cleaning:

This is a must and you should always take the time to do it. Brushes tend to get so nasty no matter how lightly or infrequently you do your makeup.


A month's worth of powder on my alternate powder brush
Three months' worth of blush

Make a mixture of diluted antibacterial dishwashing soap. The ratio I use is 1 part water per 1 part detergent. Add about 5 drops of olive oil per 100ml solution. I never used to add oil, thinking it was nasty but when I did try it, my brushes came out so much softer :)

You can use pure soap or a 2-in1 shampoo and conditioner. I just dilute because it becomes suuuuuuuch a pain to wash out completely when I'd accidentally pick up too much dishwashing soap.

Take your brush and wet the ends, pointing downwards, under a slow stream of water. You could also swirl it around an old glass making sure to wet only the strands. AVOID getting water inside the ferrule (the metal bit that holds the brush fibers.) Water up there can destroy your brush from the inside and cause a serious case of NASTY. My concealer brush grew mold after just the second washing because I wasn't careful :(

Rinse the brush

Dip the brush in some soap mixture and work out all the goop onto your palm. You could probably do this on a sponge or a clean rag but the grime comes out really easily when I use my hands.


Best way to clean your brushes

Rinse (again, AVOID getting water into the ferrule,) squeeze out excess water, shape and repeat! You could also get rid of significant excess water by wiping the brush on clean rags.

Shape your brush to get that fresh, store-bought look again 

I set everything to dry on these old face towels that I used to use as handkerchiefs in elementary and high school. I keep the ends rolled and set the brush on the low side to make sure that the remaining water doesn't creep up inside the ferrule.

Line up your brushes to dry on rolled up, old face towels.

DO NOT blow dry. Synthetic fibers will shrivel up and melt together. I let them air dry overnight and that's usually enough, even with the big brushes. Don't use them when they're wet or still damp. You'll just provide a "cool, dark, damp place" for the bacteria to thrive.


In-Between Cleaning:

A quick means of cleaning brushes is useful if you need to work on a number of faces or would like to switch colors without having to buy 3 of the same brush.

Just take a brush cleaner in spray form. I use Parian Spirit and it's really effective. Spray it 6-8 inches away from the brush, making sure to rotate the brush so that the cleanser will be effectively distributed.




Wipe off the stain on paper towels. I was given these special cleansing sheets with my purchase of Parian Spirit from Suesh. They're a lot like wet ones wipes, but they're dry. I feel like this is better than ordinary paper towels because it doesn't shred easily.



The stain from my eyeshadow brush:



My clean brush. It's almost dry already, too. 


My clean eyeshadow brush

And there you have it, my makeup brush cleaning routine :)


Next post is on the eyebrow stuff I got before that whole disaster with Benefit.


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