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Nov 21, 2017

Back in June of last year I posted about a quick and easy way to clean your makeup brushes using rubbing alcohol. Since that time I have acquired several new brushes and have made some changes to the way I clean them, so I decided it was time for an update.

In my last post I suggested using alcohol as a quick and easy way to clean makeup build-up from your brushes. There were lots of you who suggested that this might be too drying on a regular basis. Well, I can admit when I’m wrong! While I still think alcohol is a good idea for a quickie cleaning once in awhile…for deep-cleaning there are several better options.

I decided to try two of them. First, an expensive Brush Cleanser made by JAF and old ol’ Dawn Dish Soap .Results? Both worked great! I didn’t notice any difference after the cleaning. Of course I DID notice a difference in my pocketbook, because the Dawn option was MUCH cheaper! :-)

Let’s talk cleaning method:

First, JAF’s Brush Cleanser. Pour 2 parts water to 1 part cleanser into a small glass, swirl the brush in it, being careful to only get the bristles wet.

cleaning makeup brushes

Gently massage the bristles between your fingers, starting at the base and working to the tip.

cleaning makeup brushes

If you’re like me and have waited longer than you should to clean your brushes, the solution will start to get really dirty, really fast! Yuck! Repeat the swirling and massaging the brush until it looks like no more make up is coming off of it.

Then press the brushes against a towel to dry……

cleaning makeup brushes

……..and reshape the brush between your fingers.

cleaning makeup brushes

Lay brushes flat on a towel to dry. Always lay your brushes flat to avoid water getting into the handle and ferrule (which can cause rust or deterioration of the brush).

cleaning makeup brushes

Second, Dawn Dish Soap.  If you use Dawn dish soap, liquid hand soap, or shampoo, begin by wetting the brush you want to clean with lukewarm water and dip into soap. Brush the brush back and forth to absorb the soap and start to work up a lather. After you’ve worked the soap into the brush, gently run it under water and repeat the back and forth brushing motion until the water runs clean and suds are gone. Gently squeeze out any excess water, reshape the head of the brush, and lay flat on a towel to dry.

cleaning makeup brushes

A few more tips on cleaning and caring for your makeup brushes:

  • Allow at least 8 hours for your brushes to dry completely.

  • Plan to wash your brushes once a week, or more often if you suffer from acne or very sensitive skin.

  • Never blow-dry or use direct sunlight to dry your brushes, as it can cause permanent damage to your brushes.

  • Fill a shot glass (or something small like that) with rubbing alcohol and swirl your brush in it – it dries VERY fast that way and is disinfected.

  • For heavily soiled brushes that use oil based products like lip brushes and concealer brushes, use olive oil first to break down the oils in the makeup then follow with baby shampoo.

  • A gentle shampoo is better to use than clarifying shampoo if your brushes are natural hair as it doesn’t strip the natural oils from the hair.

  • Take a ramekin full of baby powder (the cornstarch kind) and swirl your brush in it until it’s well coated. Then tap the brush firmly on the edge of the sink until nothing more comes out of the brush. This gets enough of the buildup out of the brushes that following up with alcohol or shampoo is much easier and doesn’t have to be done as often.

  • If you are pressed for time, opt for an alcohol-based cleanser and spray or dampen a paper towel and then sweep the brush against the paper towel until it’s clean.