This post is long overdue, I think, can't have a beauty blog without there being a post on how to properly care for and maintain makeup brushes. Right?!
One of my most asked questions at work, or just in general, is 'How do you clean your makeup brushes?' and 'How often do you clean your brushes?'. The former is easier to answer than the latter, the second question obviously depends on how often you use your brushes and what type of skin you have. The more you use your brushes and the oilier your skin, the more often you should wash your brushes.
Now because I use my brushes and makeup almost everyday, I tend to wash them more often, and certain brushes more often than others. I have mostly Sigma and MAC brushes with some Sephora, Hello Kitty and Tokidoki brushes, along with 4 Beauty Blenders. I tend to wash my foundation and powder brushes more often as I feel these need the most care, and because I have so many shadow brushes I am able to rotate them - not having wash them so often.
The brush cleanser that I like to use most is the Beauty Blender 'Blender Cleanser' Liquid or Solid Soap. I feel this one is the best, gets all the makeup off and returns brushes to their original colouring. It's strong enough to cleanse and make brushes white again, but still conditioning enough to keep the bristles soft. Other cleansers that I've used don't lift the stains from the brushes and I find liquid dish soap to be too drying for the soft bristles. I wash my brushes every week or once every two weeks, dependent on the usage. I also clean them before and after every makeup client I have.
I wash my brushes over the kitchen sink and lay them out to dry on a towel spread across the counter. This is the best place for me because of the amount of room I have. I use warm water; not cold and definitely not hot, either. If the water is too cold, (first of all - you'll be too cold to finish washing your brushes) the extreme cold won't help lift makeup and stains. If the water is too hot, you risk adding water contaminants like lead and chlorine to your brushes. Also, the heat strips away moisture - leaving natural bristle fibers too dry.
Always wet and rinse your brushes facing down, never up against the water flow. This will just mangle the bristles and drive the makeup deeper into the base of the brush. You also risk loosening the glue that holds the brush head to the handle. Also, NEVER soak or dunk your brushes into a sink or tub filled with water. Again, this will seriously damage your brushes, possibly leaving them unusable.
When the lathering is done, I rinse the brush really well, making sure that there's no soap residue left over. You can already see that the soap has removed all the makeup and the bristles are back to their original colours.
Once the brushes are thoroughly rinsed and cleaned, I use my fingers and shape the brush into its orignal shape. This is so that it dries and keeps the original shape. This also keeps the bristles closer together so that there are no random, stray bristles.
And voila, fresh and clean brushes ready for use!
I love how good they smell and how soft they are when they are freshly washed, one of my favourite things - even though washing them is not a favourite past time at all!
Hope this post helped all those who are confused or need some more guidance on how to wash your brushes. Everyone does it differently, this is just how I do it and the tips and tricks that I've learned from the trade. It works for me, so I hope it will help and work for you as well!
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Gonna go dirty up these babies! ;)