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Makeup Brush Cleaner 101

makeup brush cleaner
Makeup brush cleaner will extend the life of your brushes

Keep it clean

As a professional makeup artist I’m often asked by clients “How often should I clean my makeup brushes at home?” As often as you use them! Frequent cleanings prevent bacterial buildup (a potential cause of breakouts), ensures even color application and extends brush life. Do a bi-weekly brush washing with mild shampoo or cleanser. Between washings, try a spray-on or towelette cleaner such as Brush Off or Parian Spirits They do the job with just a spritz or a wipe.

Techniques to clean your makeup brush

Once you get in the habit of cleaning your brushes it will become part of your routine. When your makeup application is complete wipe or spritz your brushes with your cleaner of choice. They will dry almost immediately. Larger brushes can be wiped clean but require deeper cleanings bi-weekly as it’s difficult to get deep into the bristles without soap and water. To do this; wet your brush under warm water, add a mild detergent such as shampoo or hand soap to the palm of your hand and swirl your brush in it for a few minutes. Run under warm water until the water runs clear. Squeeze excess moisture out of brush with a clean towel and lay on the edge of a counter to air dry overnight. Avoid standing your makeup brush upright in your brush holder so as to prevent the moisture from seeping into the handle which can damage it over time.

Benefits of keeping your makeup brushes clean

Clean brushes equal smooth application! Besides the obvious benefit of hygiene, your finish will look smoother and the brush will feel like silk next to your skin. They will also last longer -possibly even a lifetime if cared for properly – and makeup brushes are expensive so why not take care of that investment in beauty. Not all brushes are created equal so make a good choice on a set and it’s likely to be the only set you’ll ever need to purchase.

makeup brushes in case
Quality makeup brushes are the key to a flawless application.

Buy a set of makeup brushes for keeps

Buying a new set of makeup brushes is a big decision and due diligence on quality is worth the time. If purchasing in person, gently twist the handle and the ferrule (the section holding the brush hairs). The slightest give in the handle is an indication that the two sections are not securely fastened. They could loosen further over time possibly separating completely. Watch out for dry, frizzy bristles that stick out from the other hairs. These will not improve over time. Buy the set that feels comfortable in your hand. Keep in mind, you’ll be using these tools everyday so get ones that you will enjoy using and brings a sense of beauty to the experience.

brush anatomy
Anatomy of a brush

Makeup brush must-haves and splurge specialties

Six must-have brushes

  1. Blush – Look for a slanted head, which will double as a contour brush, with loosely packed natural bristles to put down a soft finish.
  2. Powder – Go for a light and airy brush especially if you use powder all over your face. This will prevent a heavy, cakey look.
  3. Eye shadow – A combo of synthetic and natural hair fibers will achieve different results. Synthetic fibers deposit color accurately and natural fiber brushes with rounded bristles will blend colors with accuracy.
  4. Concealer – A small flat-headed synthetic brush is more likely to keep concealer on its target.
  5. Foundation – A flat top synthetic/natural bristle mix deposits color flawlessly and erases imperfections without a streaky application.
  6. Lip – A synthetic angled flat-tip allows for precision around the edges of the mouth and makes lipstick longer lasting.

Specialty tools rightly called task masters

  1. Silicone shadow brush – The silicone tip helps you pack on some intense color whether cream or powder.
  2. Sculpting brush – Large natural hair brush keeps blotches at bay when applying self tanners and bronzing lotions.
  3. Blending brush – Elongated oval bristles work to buff in powder or blush for just the intensity you want.
  4. Fan brush – A baby size fan brush can be used for clump-free mascara application and a large version works great to deposit a hint of powder highlighter atop the cheekbone.

Caring for your makeup brushes so they last a lifetime.

Treat your brushes like you do your favorite cashmere sweater and they will last a lifetime and take care of you too. Cleaning your makeup brushes regularly to remove buildup of oils, pigments and bacteria will prevent breakouts and eye infections and give you a lifetime of beautiful makeup applications.

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