How To Clean Makeup Brushes forums

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Feb 22, 2006
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How to Clean Makeup Brushes and Tools
When it comes to makeup, hygiene is of the utmost importance. Not only should your makeup be fresh, the tools and brushes that you use to apply it should be cleaned on a routine basis to ensure maximum performance.

Powder puffs, foam eye-shadow applicators, and brushes all begin to collect makeup residue, oil, dirt, and bacteria that can cause pimples. By keeping them clean, you're much less likely to experience problems with blemishes.

How often you should give them a good cleaning depends on the frequency on which you use your brushes and the quality of your tools. Usually, two to three times per month is sufficient. Don't wait until you begin breaking-out to look for the culprit.

Easy Cleaning
Fancy solutions for cleansing are not necessary. You can use shampoo, dish soap, or facial soap.
  • First, hold your brushes under warm, running water. Don't soak them or you risk losing bristles and loosening the glue that holds the tools together.
  • Lather them up with soap of your choice and gently massage out makeup residue and dirt.
  • Rinse thoroughly.
  • Lay the tools flat and let them air-dry naturally, overnight if possible. If you wish, you can shape the brushes a bit to allow for easier drying and makeup application.
It's wise to invest in high-quality makeup tools and brushes. They'll last longer and be able to hold up to frequent cleanings. However, cheap brushes still work, they just won't last as long, nor will they give you the smoothest complexion. As with most products, you get what you pay for.

I always find that my brushes take FOREVER to dry in the winter after washing them. Maybe I use too much water...

my question- how do you rinse thoroughly without soaking them? now THAT's a stumper!

I do that for deep cleaning, but still have to find a solution for quick cleaning, maybe I will try baby wipes.

I like using Pink Soap from the craft store because it conditions the brush hair with drying it out.

When you are rinsing, don't let the brush sit in a bowl water, hold the brush under the tap and rinse. Some people rinse their brushes in a bowl of water which really is soaking. There is a difference. Think of it like this; Its like taking a shower versus taking a bath. Is there a difference? You bet!!

Thanks for posting!

Some people rinse their brushes in a bowl of water which really is soaking. There is a difference. Think of it like this; Its like taking a shower versus taking a bath. Is there a difference? You bet!! thank you! i really had no idea, hahaha..i kept thinking- if you are thoroughly rinsing, isn't that soaking?
I always soak mine and add soap to my hand and twirl the brush around so the soap gets all the color out. Probably shouldn't do that, but I want them completely clean.

also, if you don't mind me adding, make sure you have a GOOD QUALITY brush. I can't count the amount of times people's make up looks horrific just because they are using a crap brush

I'd never soak brushes, since that could damage the handles and/or ferrules.

I use a baby wipe to clean off my brushes every time I use them, and wash them every couple of weeks.

You really shouldn't soak them because it can ruin the handles. What I do is use soap & face cleanser, and swirl it in the palm on my hand until the water runs clean in the sink so I know there is no more residue on the brush, then shape it and let it dry. I try to do this at least once a week.

I wash mine with baby shampoo.I also dont soak them.I do sorta what Kam 621 does and it's been working for me so far.

i read a great tip and i forgot which makeup artist it was from but he uses Wet Ones Wipes in between shoots. I just picked up some and they work SOOO well. Theres no film that gets left on them (that way you don't have to wash them every day!)

I have made my own brush cleanser thanks to a tutorial from Enkore Make-up.

Very cost effective and that will literally melt off the dirt from the bristles.

I spent no more than 3-5$ for the ingredients.

I buy brush cleaner. Does anyone know if there is really a difference between using a brush cleaner and shampoo? It would be cheaper to buy the shampoo, so if the brush cleaner doesn't do anything I'd like to switch

I use isopropyl Alcohol you can get it from most Chemists or on ebay. You have to tell the chemist what your using it for as some are a bit funny with you because its pure alcohol. It completely sterilises and removes the grease from my brushes but again you need to be careful soaking them in it, so I empty it onto an old white towel and wipe them on it until they are completely clean of colour. It dries quite quickly as well which is a bonus. Be careful of the fumes you need to open a window whilst in use as it gives you quite a headache! Baby Shampoo or washing up liquid also works a treat.


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