How to wash makeup brushes - read this guide
Posted on November 01 2019
Every once in a while, I encounter someone’s filthy makeup brush collection and it makes me want to scream.
You'd be amazed to know (or maybe not?) just how many makeup users, and even makeup artists AND makeup stores, don't bother to clean their beauty tools.
But really, washing your makeup tools is a chore that you don't want to skip. Here are some really good reasons why:
Cleaner brushes perform better.
Dirty brushes and sponges can grow mold and bacteria, which may cause reactions and irritations to your skin, such as new acne pimples.
Using the same brushes on few different people can transfer diseases and infections.
Dirty brushes and sponges STINK.
Clean brushes are simply more fun to use.
Now that you understand why it’s so important to keep your makeup tools clean, we can move on to the next step: the actual cleaning process!
What you need to clean makeup brushes
SOAP - There are many cleaning solutions on the market. Cleaning spray, for example, is a great option for a quick cleanse between customers, or when you want to use the same brush for two completely different colors.
For really dirty brushes and sponges, solid soaps seem to perform best. These soaps will melt away any makeup residue and leave your brushes and sponges clean and soft.
My personal favorites are the BeautyBlender Solid, and the Sigmagic™ Scrub from Sigma Beauty. In this post I'm explaining what is so great about each and everyone of them.
Some people prefer using liquid soaps, and these are great too.
For me, I always prefer an anti-bacterial soap made specifically for cleaning makeup tools, rather than dish soap, for example. The reason for this is simple: it is usually much easier to wash the dirt out of brushes and sponges with a soap that has been designed to do just that.
CLEANSING MAT - Today, the market is filled with different kinds of cleansing mats. Do you really need them? Probably not. However, they are wonderful to have and they will make the process faster, more efficient, and generally more fun.
DRYING PLACE - You also need to consider where you’ll leave your brushes to dry. You can always use a towel, of course. But what if you need to move it from one place to another?
It's much more convenient to have a makeup brush drying rack that has been specially designed to hold makeup tools. However, while there are many such tools out there, I find most of them too complicated to use, too time-consuming, and, perhaps the most common problem, they’re unable to hold all of my makeup tools at once.
That’s why I would very biasedly recommend a rack such as Rivanli's. Our unique drying rack can fit a large quantity of makeup tools of any shape or size. It's also moveable, practical, easy to use, and gorgeous, if I'm allowed to say that.
So, before you get started, make sure that you get yourself the necessary tools and are in a good mood, then get stuck into it!
How to wash your makeup brushes:
Step One: Soaking
- Fill a wide cup with about 1.4'' of water (not too warm but not too cold either)
- Add about 2 tbsp of liquid soap (if you have one).
- Place all of your brushes inside the cup with the brushes submerged in the water, of course.
- The soap in the water will start to break up the dirt, which will begin to slide off the brushes. It means the brushes will be much easier to wash later on.
-Make sure that the brush's ferrule-handle connection is higher than the water level - you want to avoid any water reaching this part. The water might penetrate the ferrule and damage the brush.
Step 2: Shampooing
- If you are using a liquid soap, put some of it onto your cleaning mat (or on the palm of your hand, if you don't own one).
- If you are using a solid soap, work directly from the soap.
Grab a wet brush and swirl it around on the mat until the soap starts to foam and the makeup begins to ‘melt’ away. You can also continue massaging and shampooing the bristles with your hands, until you can see that the brush is clean.
For very stubborn makeup, such as foundation and concealer, you might need to wash the brush with water and repeat the same step again.
Step 3: Rinsing
- Wash the soap out of your brushes, making sure you don’t wet the connection between the handle and the ferrule in the process.
- Ensure that you wash your brushes when they are facing down, so as not to let any water penetrate into the brush's head.
- When you are done, give the brushes a really good squeeze - this will make them dry much faster and will help to keep their shape.
Step 4: Drying
Put your brushes out to dry. You want to leave them at an angle of anywhere between 90 and 180 degrees, with the bristles facing downwards.
Sound too complicated?
Here is a short video tutorial which may demonstrate the process a little better:
Ok. Now you know it. Go wash your brushes!