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How to Care for and Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Makeup brushes can become a breeding ground for bacteria if not cared for properly. Cleaning your brushes regularly is a MUST to avoid contaminating your makeup products and your skin. A dirty brush transfers dirt, oil and bacteria into your products and then onto your skin that can lead to breakouts and clogged pores.
There are two methods to cleaning your brushes; deep clean and surface cleaning. Deep cleaning requires you to wash your brushes with a mild cleanser. Surface cleaning your brushes is a quick way to remove oil and product on the surface of your brush using a brush cleansing solution. You can purchase cleansing solution from high-end companies such as M.A.C, the drugstore or DIY recipes.

Generally, it is recommended you deep clean face brushes (e.g. bronzer, blush, powder brushes) once a week. For eye brushes, you can opt to use a cleansing solution on a paper towel after each use. For foundation brushes, deep clean them after each use.

Deep Cleaning Your Brushes:

  1. Pump a small amount of gentle shampoo (like baby shampoo) and a drop of antibacterial soap into the palm of your hand.
  2. Use tepid running water and swirl your brush into the soap mixture, gently use ‘back and forth’ motions in the palm of your hand until the water runs clear. Be sure to use tepid water, do not use hot water.
  3. Gently squeeze out excess water and reshape bristles to normal shape.
  4. Lay a towel on a flat surface and roll one side towards you to prop up your brushes. Prop the brushes up and at an angle. The bristles should be facing down, into the towel. Allow to dry.

Never dry your brushes with the bristles facing upwards. Doing so will cause water to buildup inside the brush and eventually will damage your brush. The glue that hold the bristles together will breakdown, causing the brush to fall apart.

If your brush has a lot of buildup, olive oil works really well to remove the goop in your brushes. The amount of oil you use depends on the size of your brush. Generally, I use a quarter size amount of olive oil. Apply the oil into the palm of your hand and swirl the brush in the oil. Bristles should be lightly coated with olive oil. After this process, proceed to Step #1 – Deep Cleaning Your Brushes.

Surface Cleaning Your Brushes:

You can purchase a cleansing solution from MAC, the drugstore or DIY. Here’s a¬†link to Enkore’s recipe to make your own cleansing solution. Making your own solution will save you money and it’s really easy to make.

  1. Apply some cleansing solution on a clean paper towel.
  2. Gently swirl your brush and use gentle ‘back and forth’ motions until all product is removed from the brush.
  3. Lay brush flat on a towel and allow to dry.

Storing Your Brushes:

Store your brushes laying flat in a cool, dry place. It is not recommended to store your brushes in the bathroom because the humidity and heat can damage your brushes over time. It also becomes the perfect environment for bacteria to grow in your brushes. I also do not recommend storing your brushes upright out in the open. Dust and dirt settles on top of the brushes and when it’s time to use them, they’re not really clean. If you do store your brushes upright in the open (like on your vanity), use a brush guard or cover to protect it from dirt and dust.
Personally, I like to store all of my face and foundation brushes laying flat on a clean towel inside a drawer. However, I store all of my eye brushes in a container that sits on my vanity to protect it from dust.
Quality brushes are meant to last 10-20 years, sometimes longer. But the life of your brushes heavily depends on how well you care for them.
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