How to: clean make up brushes

MAC Brush cleanser and MUS Brush cleansing soap

Makeup brushes are a weakness of mine. So nice, and fluffy and soft and they can help you so so much with makeup application…

It all started when I was a teenager and needed to do my face for dancing performances. One day I wandered into The Body Shop (which was the revolutionary store during my teens) and went home with a few of their brushes (including a sponge applicator, which started my longlife hate of sponge applicators!).

Since then, many years have passed and I have branched onto different brands. I have also become more demanding and I am slowly adding more high-end brushes.

Originally I had no clue on how to properly take care of my utensils, but in this area I have also learnt some tips.

First of all, artisan brush makers (sources 1, 2) do not recommend washing brushes after every use. If I am being lazy and using the same kind of neutral eyeshadows and the same powder and blush during 3 or 4 consecutive days, I will simply wipe them on a tissue between uses to eliminate excess pigment and skin cells and oils.

MAC Brush cleanser and MUS Brush cleansing soap

If I have used a very bright shade and I really need that particular brush or if it is my synthetic liquid foundation brush, I might spot clean with MAC’s  Brush Cleanser (325 mL, 12.50€) otherwise I will put the brush aside to wait for the next “Brush cleaning party!”. I try not to rely on this product though. As effective as it is, it is also true that it contains quite a bit of alcohol, which can damage the hairs of your brushes.

When I have a few dirty brushes, I will roll up my sleeves and give my trusted MUS Brush Cleansing soap its turn. As I explained in my previous post, I really love this solid soap as it cleans and sanitizes my brushes while being gentle. Plus, it is very easy to store in its plastic case with no mess at all and it lasts for a really long time!

Simply dampen your brush under the tap, and gently swirl the hairs on the soap. Massage the brush to ensure that the inner fibers too are cleaned and rinse. Then carefully squeeze water excess while you try not to push the water towards the ferrule (which you should avoid wetting) and let dry on a horizontal surface. The only applicator that I hate cleaning because I feel that it is never clean enough is the Beauty Blender. After the first use, it forever remains stained.

I must confess that right now my poor brushes are not stored in the most optimal way, as they are left to suffer the damaging effect of dust. However I have been eyeing MAC’s brush canisters for some time, and the next time I get to go to a town with a pro store I am going to snatch a couple of them!

Do you have any tips? Any help on how to properly clean the damned Beauty Blender?

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