I don't know you guys, but I tend to use at least 5 to 10 brushes every time I do my makeup. And that is in the weekdays, when it only takes me 15 minutes. After a while, I realized that my brushes were starting to make me break out, and I assumed the bacteria built up in them was to blame. When I thought about it, I realized that I didn't wash them often enough and maybe not well enough. Since then, I made it my goal to wash my brushes, at least once a week (as well as rotating my makeup, but more on that later), although I use some antibacterial gel in between.
Finding the right way to wash them has been time consuming, but for me, it has been worth it. Now I don't break out as often and my brushes are very clean!!
So, let's get to it...
1. What you need
Baby Oil or Olive oil, or any other kind that you like
To clean my brushes, although I've used some brush-cleaning solutions in the past, I find it that simple shampoo and baby oil do the trick, and they are more affordable. As for the conditioner, I love this one because it smells great, but if you prefer another one, that's your choice.
2. Separate your brushes
I usually separate my brushes in two groups. The first one with brushes that have been used to creamy products, and the second one with brushes I use for powder makeup. In my experience, creamy makeup, specially foundation, is really hard to remove, and therefore, it requires a different treatment compared to powder.
3. Start with brushes with powder makeup on
I always start with the easy part. This kind of makeup removes rather easily. It's very simple, just take a small bowl or plastic container. Put a small amount of shampoo, add warm water on top, and put your brushes in, for a few seconds. I always count to 10, as recommended by The Beauty Department girls, and take them out, rinse them under cold water.
It's also a good idea to swirl them around. It's pretty gross to look at the water, and you won't believe the amount of makeup that was there! To be honest, sometimes it takes more than ten seconds, and in that case, I'd rather take them out, rinse them, and go again. Leave them over a paper towel or put them on the edge of the sink, so that excess water falls down. (Be careful, they might fall down in the sink!). If you think they need further shampooing, do it as many rounds as needed. Maybe you've heard that you shouldn't let the metal part that holds them together to come inside the water, but to me, it's almost impossible. I try to avoid it, but it doesn't always work. The reason for this is because hairs can come off the brush, as the glue dissolves slightly in the water. In my experience, this happens with brushes of poor quality. and after squeezing them really hard.
4. Continue with brushes that have cream makeup
Regardless of what kind of makeup they contain (foundation, blush, eyeshadow, cream liner...), they need something else. I realized, after trying to wash my foundation brush with the procedure described above, that shampoo alone was not doing it. It was too much product and I needed something else. After a few tries I realized that oil, any kind of oil, helps remove that overly creamy makeup that it's so great to apply, but can be headache to remove. I blend equal amounts of oil and shampoo, either in my hand or in the plastic container's cap. I blend it with the brush and you'll see all the makeup come out. Every brush needs a new blend, as so much makeup comes off, but in my experience is the best thing. After rinsing with water and repeating if necessary, I like to squeeze the brush to see if all the makeup is gone. Afterwards, I put the brushes in the shampoo bowl just to make sure they are squeaky clean and I can move on to the next step.
I recently visited a makeup store and asked the makeup artist there, how to make my brushes look nice again, as my fluffy brushes looked a little tousled, even after I've reshaped them. She advice me to use conditioner, and I have to say, I really like the results. They not only smell great, but they recover their original shape and, in my opinion, they are softer when they dry. Rinse the conditioner very well.
6. Let them dry
Where? That is your choice. Things to consider: if you let them dry in vertical position, water from the hairs of the brush can go to its base, and according to my research, as I mentioned before, that can eventually cause your brush to break, as the glue from the base might dissolve. I have not verified that, but I prefer to leave them horizontally in a paper towel, after using a dry towel (or paper towel as well) to remove overall excess water. You can also use a hair dryer to speed things up, or you need your brushes right away.
And we're done!!
7. Other makeup brush cleaning ideas
About makeup brush cleaners, I find them very expensive, in comparison to the products I normally use. In between applications, some brushes need to be cleaned. For example, if you use eyeliner and you want to switch colours, you could also use a makeup brush cleaner or, another favourite, antibacterial gel. However, it won't help a lot if you're trying to get off foundation or something heavier
|Left: Cleaning with Antibacterial gel. Right: Cleaning with a makeup brush cleaner|
I don't use sponges so frequently, only a new Beauty Blender dupe I found. It's the hardest one to clean!! I followed the advice of one of my favourite beauty bloggers, and put the sponge in the microwave. Still, I had to shampoo, rinse and microwave a bunch of times, and I am really not looking forward to do it again.
If you have any other tips or tricks I didn't include, please comment below.
I hope it's useful