• Thu, Feb 20 - 4:00 pm ET

Don’t Be Gross: How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes

how to clean makeup brushes before

What if I told you that in ten minutes or less, I could save you from muddy makeup, pink eye, ripped out eyelashes, and breakouts? I would sound like a terrible MTV infomercial and also be totally correct. Washing your makeup brushes is the quickest, easiest way to clear up a bunch of skin issues you didn’t even know you had.

Do it once every week or two and I promise that the satisfied humming of my gentle OCD heart your face will thank you.

Round up all your brushes, give them a quick bath with one inexpensive product, and just try not to marvel in horror at the glittery debris left over in your sink.

You’ll need the following:

  • A gentle detergent (suggestions to follow)
  • A clean hand towel or tea towel
  • A shallow bowl or cup, preferably glass so you can see your gross results
  • A sink

Your cleanser can be anything skin/food safe meant to remove oil. My all time favorite is Suave Clarifying Shampoo, which costs $1 for a gigantic bottle that will last you the next five years. Other cheap and cheerful picks are baby shampoo or natural dish soap. If you use standard dish soap, add a few drops of olive or coconut oil to your mix to recondition the fibers of your brush. Dish soap is super drying but will work in a pinch.

the only brush cleanser you'll ever need

the only brush cleanser you’ll ever need

Obviously, you can also use brush cleaner, but we’re doing this the cheap and cheerful way. I also feel that those “disinfectants” are like hand sanitizer and no substitute for giving brushes an actual bath, especially for ladies with sensitive skin.

how to clean makeup brushes eye brushes

Pour a half teaspoon or so of detergent into your cup, fill two inches deep with warm water, and dunk in your brushes. Swirl around to loosen up grime.

how to clean makeup brushes foundation

Try to avoid submerging the ferrule (metal bit where the bristles connect to the handle) in water.

Take the wet, soapy brush out and swirl it against your palm to remove dirt and makeup. If it’s really caked with foundation, you may need to swirl in a little more soap. Rinse under lukewarm water until the bristles feel totally clean.

this could be on your face

this could be on your face

Spread out a clean hand towel. Blot out excess water from your brushes and reshape their bristles, paying special attention to odd shapes like pointy crease and contour brushes.

Lay brushes flat on a hand towel to dry. You don’t want to stand them up (not even kabukis) because water will run down into the handle, where it can loosen up the glue and shorten your brush’s life.

how to clean makeup brushes after

You’ll be shocked how much better your brushes look and feel when cleaned regularly. I don’t even care if I sound like a bossypants because I’m a Leo, and bossy is kind of our thing. A clean face is a happy face.

 

Share This Post:
  • Samantha Escobar

    What are those pretty branch-y brushes?!

    • Mandie

      They are cheapie Sonia Kashuk brushes from like, 2007. I feel like Ariel with her dingelhoppers when I use them.

  • Lindsey Conklin

    WHOA!!! will definitely incorporate this ritual to my life!!! haha

  • charlie

    So I just used a makeup-removing wipe to clean an eyeliner brush. Is this okay, or am I going to get ALL THE DISEASE?

  • Nadia

    Effervescent denture/retainer cleanser tablets are the best. Just drop one in a small glass of warm water and swirl your brushes around in it for 30 seconds–maybe a minute at most, if they’re really grungy–and then rinse well. Brushes are good as new.

  • Lea

    You’re not bossy. You’re the boss.