I remember the first time I searched “how to clean your make up brushes.” I felt a bit stupid that I had to ask how to do something that seemed so simple. However I soon realised that tons of people were asking the same question – which made me feel a whole lot better! Now, after lots of different attempts and using various products, I think I’ve found the best and fastest way to do a job that, let’s face it, we all hate!
What You Need to Clean Your Make Up Brushes
- Dirty make up brushes (unfortunately)
- A sink (not a bowl of water as I once read)
- Some kind of cleanser (more on this in a minute)
- Something to rub your brushes on (yep, I know that sounds weird – bear with me)
- A Towel
Ok, so after a lot of experimenting the above list is what I think you need to have in order to clean your make up brushes quickly and efficiently. Sure, you can just use a bowl of warm water and soap and hope for the best, but you really won’t be doing yourself any favours, and your skin won’t thank you for it!
Before I go into what I use now, I thought it might be worth mentioning about a couple of products that I used to use – which I have now sacked off!
Mmmm. I’ve had a couple of these, and at the time I made myself believe that I was being a good girl by cleaning my brushes regularly. Who was I kidding? I think the only place these sprays belong (maybe) is in a make up artists bag, if they need to de-sanitise an already clean brush. (And thats if they even have antibacterial properties in the first place).
I always thought it to be the easy route. When actually, you end up spending AGES wiping that damn brush on the tissue hoping that the make up is going to stop showing up!! Don’t be like me and come to rely on these sprays to clean your brushes – this is how you end up with spots! I will say, I have kept this in my cupboard to use if I need to clean an eye brush. If I run out of clean ones whilst doing an eye look, this does come in handy.
This cropped up in a lot of the posts I read. Its nice and cheap and easy to get hold of, so of course I went out and got it. I used this to clean my brushes for a long time, and I was happy with it. However, since using the Liquid Blender Cleanser, I now realise that this wasn’t that great. That being said, it does do the job, and it is a lot easier on the bank balance than the BB liquid. So if you’re on a budget this will do just fine.
Just a quick note – I have also used the Real techniques cleaning fluid and the Beauty Blender soap bar and I don’t rate either of these.
As I mentioned above, I now use the Liquid Blender Cleanser, and it has changed the way I feel about cleaning my brushes! I picked it up on a whim when I was in a Sephora in Boston this year, and I’m so glad I did. This stuff is magic. It has cut my brush cleaning time in half, and my brushes are so soft afterwards, I have to stop myself from stroking them! Seriously.
At £15 a pop (or £23 for the big one) it is on the pricey side. However, it does go a really long way, so if you can afford the splurge you won’t be disappointed. I recommend you go for the smaller £15 bottle – the pushy down thing to get the product out is really helpful in controlling the amount you use, and for some reason the big bottle doesn’t have this.
Side note – I feel I should mention that I do clean my Beauty Blender with this too, and as with the brushes, it clears away all that make up so much quicker than the baby shampoo or the BB soap did. It also brings it up so much cleaner too – my Beauty Blenders always looked a bit grimey even after they were cleaned!
Finally….How I Clean My Brushes
Ok, so I know I went into a lot of detail there, but I felt that it was important to let you know why I think this is the best way to clean my make up brushes.
Gather all your brushes and head on over to the sink. Have your towel set up ready somewhere close by. I do my face brushes first, one or two at a time – depending on how big they are. With eye brushes I’ll grab 4 or 5 at a time making sure they are all of a similar size. Wet the brushes, making sure to stay away from the base of the bristles. (Get them too wet and overtime the glue will dissolve leaving you with a load of bald brushes!)
This is where my “brush rubber” comes into play. Ok, so I think its called a Brush Cleansing Palette, but my name sounds better. Anyway, I use this Real Techniques one, and it works like a charm. After you’ve wet the brushes, pump out a little BB liquid, smoosh it over the brushes, and get to rubbing! I like to have the tap running at this point because it gets pretty messy, so just keep doing this until the water runs clear. Honestly, it takes about 10 seconds for this to happen, whereas I’d be there for a good 40 seconds with the baby shampoo.
Once thats done, give the brushes a good squeeze out – I also like to rub them on the towel a bit too. Next, (and this is important) make sure to reshape your brushes before laying them flat on a towel to dry. And voila! Your brushes will look and feel as good as new! You should really do this once a week to keep all those nasty germs (and therefore spots) away. Do I? Ummm……no, but I’m working on it!
I also wanted to say, if you don’t want to splash out on the BB liquid, you can most certainly use this process with the baby shampoo or any other replacement cleanser you want to use. However I really do recommend a “brush rubber” to make sure you are getting all of that dirt out.
Now go clean your make up brushes!!