DIY – Cleaning your makeup brushes

Sooo I see people ask all the time “How do I clean my brushes?”. Well this is how I do it!

  1. Assemble items: dirty brushes, dish soap, olive oil/grapeseed oil, a small bowl, towels or brush guards and jars.
  2. Prepare drying station! Now this all depends on whether you are going to be using brush guards for drying or towels. If you’re using towels then I suggest laying out a hand towel on the counter, then rolling up a hand towel and placing that at on one end of the other hand towel, then take a wash cloth or two depending on how many brushes you’re going to be washing, roll that up and place it further down on the hand towel from the other rolled up towel. This provides a downward angle for your brushes to dry so water doesn’t get into the ferrule.
  3. Select a brush and wet it making sure you keep the bristles pointed down.
  4. If you’re like me and you have a giant costco sized container of dish soap you can pour some into a small bowl and dip your finger in to add soap to your hand, if not then just pour a little soap about the size of a pea into your hand and just a few drops of oil.
  5. Now you may take your wet brush and swirl it around your hand until the bubbles are nice and dirty.
  6. Once you’ve sufficiently swirled your brush around and dirtied your bubbles you may now rinse your brush. Again make sure you keep it angled down to avoid any water damage to the glue inside the ferrule. I like to rinse off my hand at this time and swirl the brush around my hand a little bit to make sure it gets squeaky clean.
  7. Once you’re done rinsing squeeze the excess water from the brush from the ferrule down to the bristles. If the water isn’t clean when you squeeze it out simply repeat step 5 and 6 until the water squeezes clean.
  8. Now that you’ve squeezed the excess water from your brush you’re ready to dry! If you are choosing to use brush guards simply slide on the brush guard from the tip of the handle towards the bristles and place the brush guard down in a cup or jar to dry. If you’re using the towel method simple lay your brushes bristle down on the wash cloth and handle up on the rolled up hand towel. This gives your brushes a slight downward angle so water doesn’t drip back into the ferrule and damage the handle or glue causing bristles to fall out.
  9. Just rinse and repeat for all your brushes!

And uh that’s it. It’s pretty easy!

Now how often should you clean your brushes? Honestly? Every day is ideal, but most people don’t take the time to do that. I keep on hand several essence shadow and liner brushes, they’re cheap and work really well. This way I can rotate out without having to wash them as often. My other brushes I try to wash once a week but here’s a handy guideline:

Foundation Brushes – Foundation brushes really should be washed at least once a week, if you suffer from acne it’s more beneficial to your skin if you wash them daily. If you’re not up to that then I suggest keeping several foundation brushes on hand so you can rotate.
Finishing Powder, Bronzer and Blush Brushes – Clean these at least once a week.
Eyeshadow Brushes – Unless you’re rotating them out I’d really recommend cleaning them every two – three days.
Eyeliner Brushes – These should be cleaned after every use, especially if you’re using a foiling medium or sealant.

Now why is it important to keep your brushes clean? Washing your brushes on a regular basis helps keep them free of old makeup, dirt and debris, bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells. It’s even more important for those who suffer from acne or other skin problems. Keeping your brushes clean helps take care of your skin. It also increases the life of your brushes, meaning over time you spend less money on replacing them. Keeping your brushes clean also helps prevent excess oil, bacteria and such from getting into your makeup[1. I know mineral makeup is very unlikely to breed bacteria unless say water is introduced, but let’s be on the safe side shall we?]. And on that note, please don’t share, and please don’t use the icky testing stations at Sephora and other places… It’s a breeding ground for infection and really gross. :SICK:

Next DIY installment will be on how to keep your makeup sanitary!

About me

I run this blog! This blog is a personal blog for all things beauty related. I love swatching, reviewing and hosting giveaways. I've been blogging since I was 16 years old... That's uh a long time. I am now 34! Sometimes I like to blog about my life and what is going on, but not often anymore. I hope you enjoy my blog posts!

  • Awesome post, and these pictures are GREAT. By the way, finally accessing your blog via a computer… your new layout is SO NICE!! I am itching to redesign my blog a bit, just not even sure where to start! @_@

    • Aww thanks! I’ve wanted to change my blog up for months and months now and just now got the inspiration to do so.

  • I was just wondering how to do this, now that i have some nice brushes–thanks hon!! xoxo

    • Yay glad it was helpful. I’ve been meaning to post it for literally months.

  • This is great info! Thank you very much!

    • Glad it was liked. :)

  • Kharizma McAnulty

    Holy! I have never bothered cleaning my brushes. Just buy new ones. But then I get cheap ones and haven’t actually used brushes in forever, except for foundation. And occasionally with some of my new shadows. I really need to get a dressing table to do more honor to my make-up routine and self. You are a make-up inspiration!

    • haha! don’t worry I’m trying to get you into makeup! ;)