One of the most dreaded makeup-related tasks in my book is washing my brushes. I hate getting my hands wet in general (they get dry very quickly) and it takes a good enough chunk of time that I need to set aside 20 minutes to complete it. That being said, it is one of the important parts of makeup as tools are extremely important, and they can build up bacteria and all sorts of nasty things that you do not want all over your face! You can normally go a bit longer without washing your powder brushes, but brushes that work with cream products, especially foundation, should be cleaned at least once a week.
Things you need: a clean sink/kitchen surface, water, dirty brushes, and a gentle cleanser.
While you can buy a specific brush cleanser, you can also just use plain ole baby shampoo! My favorite to use is the Burt’s Bees Baby Shampoo because it is gentle and all natural, yet effective. I tried the Johnson’s Baby Shampoo but it didn’t really lather up very well and took me twice as long to get all the gunk out of my brushes.
So, first I turn the water on to a medium stream, lukewarm temp. Then, I take the baby shampoo and pour a small dollup into the palm of my left hand (more for foundation brushes, less for eyeshadow brushes). Then I take a dirty brush into my right hand and get the bristles wet. Take care not to get the barrel of the brush wet – the water can seep up into the barrel and loosen the glue that holds it to the wooden handle. From there, I swirl the damp brush into my palm, as shown below, to create a soapy lather! I swish the brush around in the soap for a few seconds, then rinse it out under the water.
For larger face brushes, I usually wash them one at a time, however with small eyeshadow brushes, I wash up to three at the same time. I go through the same exact process as above, but hold three together at once, killing three birds with one stone you could say I guess. Some denser brushes, such as my kabuki brush I use for applying foundation, require a couple repetitions of the whole swirl-in-shampoo-rinse-repeat action, as they have more product wedged between the bristles.
After your brush is clean but still damp, store them in a well-aired area to dry. Be careful to either lay the brush down flat with the ends hanging off, like in the picture above, or at an angle with the brush head tilting down to avoid water damage in the barrel.
Some brushes take longer than others to dry – natural hair brushes usually dry much faster than synthetic ones, but it really depends on the individual brush and how wet they were when you laid them out. For instance, my Real Techniques brushes dry amazingly fast, but some of my denser Sigma ones take hours. To speed this up it helps to brush your makeup brushes on a dry towel, which will absorb some of the water lurking in between bristles!
How do you clean your makeup brushes? Have any tips for me, ladies?