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Cleaning your brushes is one of those chores we all hate. So, how do the pros clean all those makeup brushes on a daily basis and not lose their mind? Here’s my tips for makeup enthusiasts and pros to keep your makeup brushes clean.
Clean as you go
The simplest way to clean your makeup brushes is to clean as you go. Nowadays every one can access specialist brush cleaners which are anti-bacterial and have a nice scent to them. An even cheaper way that makeup artists use is to buy a big bottle of Isopropyl Alcohol* (at least 99%) to disinfect their brushes on the go.
This is how we cleaned our makeup brushes between sessions at the makeup school, and it means the brushes are clean enough to use between sessions until you can clean them properly. Just spray the brushes or pour a little alcohol out in a bowl, swish the brushes around on a piece of tissue paper (I recommend kitchen towels) or even better a small hand towel, and let your brushes dry as normal.
When using alcohol it might have a smell, but this will dissipate after a few minutes. With a specialist brush cleaner, it’ll have a slightly nicer smell, my favourite one is the Makeup Revolution one which is cheap and does the job just as well more expensive ones.
Cheap and Cheerful Method
One of the cheapest ways to clean your makeup brushes is with fairy liquid, shampoo or even hand wash. All you really need is some kind of cleaning agent, even a dedicated bar of soap will do. Dampen your brushes at the bristles and ensure no water gets into the handle, swirl the brush in your cleaning agent and then scrub until product comes out. Once the product comes out, you can put it on the side while you wash the rest of the brushes.
This video by pro makeup artist Zukreat shows how to deep clean your makeup brushes like a pro.
Pro Makeup Artist Method
Pro Makeup Artists deal with a lot of brushes on a daily basis, and if they’re lucky they will have an assistant to clean their makeup brushes for them. I’m not that lucky, so I have to figure out how to clean a lot of brushes without going crazy or standing up for hours on end.
Here’s my method for cleaning brushes with some game changing products you might never have heard of.
This soap has literally changed my life and got my makeup brushes so clean, cleaner even than fairy without stripping the hairs at all. I saw this featured on Miss. Mai’s channel and it’s a well kept secret amongst makeup artists. It’s quite inexpensive and depending on how often you clean your brushes with soap, it can last up to 6 months or more. I’ve had mine nearly 4 months and it’s still going strong, only reaching the halfway point now.
So, my step one is to pour a little bit into my oven mitt and then start swirling brushes.
I’ll say this a lot, but OMG a cleaning glove has really changed my makeup cleaning game. The one I bought was from eBay and took about 3 weeks to arrive, but I found this one for 50p (with a £1 postage fee, but still £1.50!).
With a specialist cleaning brush, you can really get into the grooves and get all that nasty gunk out that you can’t do with normal cleaning methods. Have a look in your local pound shop as you might find something similar there.
Once you’ve got all your makeup brushes clean, you should make sure all the water drains out so that they last longer. I have been using a makeup brush stand for a couple of months now and I couldn’t be without it now.
I used to just leave my makeup brushes hanging off a ledge, but this doesn’t always get all the water out. I tend to leave my makeup brushes hanging upside down in this stand overnight to get all the water out and retain their shape.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Did you learn anything new? Let me know how you clean your makeup brushes in the comments below.