Thursday, 5 November 2015

Makeup Brush Cleaning 101

Washing makeup brushes is a bit of a chore, but a completely necessary one. I always find that after cleaning my brushes, they apply makeup much smoother and feel so much nicer on my face and eyes. I found a quicker way of cleaning my brushes which I wanted to share with you, and its all thanks to a couple of cheap and cheerful mini face massage mitts, one from Soap & Glory at Boots, and a slightly larger one from good old primark. Here is my technique in a little pictorial, which I'll summarise in 9 simple steps at the bottom of this post.

  1. Get your equipment together. I've used a small-ish towel, 2 flannels, 2 face mitts and a mild mini shampoo/body wash. You can also use cosmetic brush cleaner but mild shampoo's work just as well, imo.
  2. Run yourself a bowl of lukewarm water and add some of your chosen soap/cleaner and mix. You needn't fully fill the sink as you won't be submerging the brushes totally underwater.
  3. Now's the time to get all of your dirty brushes together and put them near the sink so you can grab them easily. Then dip the bristles into the water and gently swirl it in circles, making sure you get absolutely no water on the part where the brush joins the metal, called the 'ferrule'. If you do get it wet by accident, use one of the flannels to dry it off.
  4. Grab the face massage mitt and rub your brush backwards and forwards, in circles, and whatever other motion floats your boat. Its fascinating to see how much makeup comes out of the brush whilst doing this.
  5. After you've finished cleaning with the mitt, squeeze the bristles a few times with your fingers (I wear gloves as I'm a nail tech and like to protect my gel nails haha!).
  6. Again, making sure you only get the bristles wet, run under lukewarm, clean water and squeeze the bristles a few times. You'll notice the brush looking very clean and good as new by this stage. Reshape the bristles if required.
  7. While you clean the remaining dirty brushes, lay the clean ones out on a flannel.
  8. After you've finished them all, find a flat surface (I used the top of a cupboard) and create a 'see-saw' with a round item and a towel. I used 2 micellar water bottles, but depending on the amount of brushes you own, you might only need one bottle or maybe even more! Put the towel over the bottle like I've done in the picture.
  9. So the dampness doesn't soak into the ferrule (which makes the glue dissolve eventually and the bristles come loose, essentially ruining your brush), put the brush handles on the edge of the towel-covered bottle so the brushes are sloping downhill slightly. I find some brushes dry in a day including eyeshadow brushes and my angled brow brush, where as others such as kabuki and bronzer brushes take 2 days or more. Try not to use them until they are totally dry.
It's definitely personal opinion as to how often you should deep clean your brushes, and it also depends on if you use them every day. I don't wear makeup every day and I have loads of brushes so when some are in need of a clean, I can use others. Personally, I do this routine I've described above fortnightly. I know some people do it weekly but it really depends on lots of factors.

Hope you found this useful. Comment below and tell me how you clean your brushes.


 Lauren xo


  1. I use that primark cleansing pad, I recently posting my brush cleaning routine on my blog!
    Charlotte //

  2. Its good isn't it! Love a cheap product that has multi uses :) xo