Fellowers, I’ve got a confession to make. I am a make-up junkie. I own more make-up than a woman who likes the “natural” look should ever even think of owning. I also own more brushes and sponges than is reasonable. But these things make me happy. They bring me joy. So I continue buy and use them. I love them.
Because I love my make-up and brushes, I like to take care of them. I wouldn’t say I’m obsessive about keeping my brushes and sponges clean, but I do clean them weekly, and have back-ups to use when my favorites are drying. I have drugstore and higher end brushes, and I love, use, and care for them equally.
If you’re not one who cleans their make-up brushes, you’re definitely not alone. But I’m hoping to convert you. If for absolutely no other reason, your brushes perform better when they’re clean. If you’ve ever gotten a brush that you loved at first, but became less impressed with over time, it might just need a good cleaning to be restored to its former glory.
I don’t want to creep you out, but super gross things happen when you don’t clean your brushes. Like, really gross. Think bacteria, infections and acne. The Bustle explains it all in this blog post, but let me just say, please clean your brushes.
The question is, what’s the best way to clean your brushes? First of all, use a gentle cleanser that isn’t going to ruin the bristles. The other most important thing to remember? When you’re done cleaning, don’t stand them upright to dry. The water will break down the glue that holds the bristles in place, and you’ll shorten the life of the brush. Here are some easy steps to keep your brushes clean:
- Dampen the bristles (or sponge) with lukewarm water.
- Place a drop of brush cleaner or baby shampoo in the palm of your hand or a special cleansing palette, like the one I use from Real Techniques.
- Gently massage the tips of the brush into the soap, never using too much pressure.
- Rinse the bristles or sponge until the water is clear of makeup and soap residue.
- Gently squeeze out the water with your fingertips, then follow up by squeezing with a dry, clean, towel.
- Reshape the brush head to its original shape.
- Let brush dry by either balancing it on the edge of a counter or table or using a brush drying rack. I’ve seen people rig their own racks by using hair ties to secure brushes to a towel rod. The important thing is to not dry them upright, as mentioned above, or on a towel, because mildew and mold can grow.
Easy peasy! I also like to use the It Cosmetics Brush Spray to clear off highly pigmented products between deep cleanings. Spray a little on your brush, wipe it with paper towel, and say goodbye to that dark eye shadow that’s muddying up your look.