Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How To: Clean Makeup Brushes

Cleaning your makeup brushes is a bit like flossing. We all know it’s important, but we don’t do it as much as we should. As a busy makeup artist, part of my job is maintaining clean tools. Makeup brushes can become dirty with makeup residue alone. Add body oils and dead skin, and they turn into havens for bacteria. Not only will that decrease the life of your brush, but can affect the makeup application and cause skin problems, including infection. I recommend that cleaning be done after each application, but let’s face it...unless you’ve got extra time in your morning routine (and who does), the once a week/once a month rule is probably more do-able.

Once a week, use a brush cleaner spray to maintain your brushes. I like to use the environmentally friendly, Parian Spirit. It thoroughly and gently cleans, while conditioning and disinfecting brush hair, leaving behind a clean citrus scent.

Step 1: Spritz paper towel generously with with cleaner.

Step 2: Swish brush back and forth on sprayed paper towel until it wipes clean, adding more cleaner if needed.

Step 3: Lay brush flat to dry

Step 4: Repeat until all brushes are clean


Run the tips of the bristles under warm water. Pour a little baby shampoo into the palm of one hand. (For synthetic brushes I prefer to use dish soap) Holding the brush in the other hand, swirl the bristles around in the baby shampoo. Rinse the brush in warm water until water runs clear. (Tip: Be sure not to submerge your brush to the base of the bristles. This can break down the glue that binds the bristles together.) Use a towel to wipe the brush clean; then lay it flat on a clean towel to dry. Approximate drying time is 12-24 hours.

Good brushes can really make a difference in application, but they’re expensive, so protect your investment by keeping them clean.

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