The Ultimate Beauty Brush Care Guide
It’s no secret that I’m somewhat addicted to makeup brushes and beauty blenders, and it’s a habit I’ve passed along to my children! It drives me crazy when I go to use one of my beautiful brushes on a nude shadow or BB cream and just as I sweep the brush over my face there’s an undertone of black eyeshadow or a way-to-dark foundation! Enter brush care 101!
Even without your kids playing around in colours you’d never wear, brushes and beauty blenders need a little love to keep them pristine and fabulous. Not to mention it also helps to avoid the build-up of bacteria and those annoying little breakouts that the bacteria can cause.
Although from what many beauty experts tell me most people don’t clean their brushes often enough! There are many options available that will suit all budgets, from big brand cleansers and cleaners to your everyday shampoo and makeup remover or a bar of beauty soap.
How often you should clean your brushes?
The longer you leave makeup on your brushes the higher the risk is of them developing bacteria. Liquid products like foundation and concealer have the highest risk of bacteria growth. Plus, the more buildup that’s on the brush the more uneven your makeup application will be.
The general recommendation is to clean your brushes weekly if you wear makeup daily or monthly if you only wear it a few times a week or just on special occasions. And always, after you have cleaned your brushes, gently squeeze out the excess water and lay them flat on a clean towel to dry.
Beauty Blender Cleaning 101
The Beauty Blender from Beauty Blender itself has an almost cult-like following, but regardless of whether you’ve invested in the original, or you have a budget-friendly KMART blender, it’s important to clean them properly. The product can slowly soak towards the middle of the sponge if you don’t.
Avoid using excessive amounts of spray brush cleaner, it can dissolve or tear the sponges. Instead, use a beauty blender dedicated cleaner to gently clean away foundation and bacteria like the beauty blender liquid cleanser. They’re quick, efficient, and can prolong the life of your blender.
Just wet the blender, squirt a little cleanser onto it and gently massage away the product. They also have a bar cleanser, gently rub the blender over the bar and massage away the product. Rinse, squeeze out excess water, and allow it to dry completely before putting it away.
And be gentle, remember a blender is soft and bouncy and you don’t want to be too rough and risk losing that soft bounciness.
If these cleansers are out of your budget you do have a few more options. First up, use a gentle beauty or face soap like the Dove Beauty Bar, they’re only a few dollars and work a treat. Your regular cleanser is another option; the same rules apply as if you were using a beauty blender specific cleanser. And if you just can’t budge those stains, you could always cut the blender in half…
Real Hair Bristle Care
If your brushes are made from natural hair, as many are, it’s a good idea to shampoo and condition them to keep the bristles smooth.
First up, add a few drops of shampoo to the bristles and gently massage it in, hold under warm running water until the water runs clean.
Then add a few drops of conditioner after shampooing and rinse well.
TIP: For hard to remove stains like red lipstick or waterproof makeup try using makeup remover.
Synthetic Makeup Brushes and Removing Stains
Synthetic brushes can stain quite easily with products like foundation, concealer and lipstick.
The best way to remove these stains is to hold them under warm running water to wash away the excess product, then lightly rub the brush over a bar of soap in circular motions to create a soft lather, rinse clean. For stubborn stains repeat as needed.
Pat dry in a towel while gently pressing the bristles back into shape then lay the brush on its side on a towel to dry.
Drying Your Beauty Brushes
It is important to make sure your brushes are completely dry, gently squeeze out excess water and leave them laying on their side on a towel to dry rather than standing up, this will stop any water running down the handle and causing damage.
Don’t be tempted to use your hair dryer on makeup brushes. The heat can damage the bristles and the melt the glue holding on the handle causing the brush to fall apart.
Cleaning Options at a Glance
- Pro Cleansing Fluid or Cleaning Bar
- Bar of Soap
- Makeup Remover
- Liquid Soap
- Sard – this was a tip from a Napoleon MUA on removing stains from synthetic brushes.
I’m addicted to the scent of this little disc, it also comes with a silicone disc to help clean away stubborn stains, or use it to sit your blender on while it dries.
Neat and easy to use, just push down on the internal cap to release the right amount of liquid. It has a natural soy base and smells great too.
If you prefer an actual brush cleaner over a bar of soap, the E.L.F brush cleanser is a great cheaper option.
Dove Beauty Bar RRP $3.95 (x2 bars)
Dove beauty bars are a great option to clean your brushes and I know a few beauty experts who use it regularly. Simply wet the bar, hold it in the palm of your hand, and gently run the brush over the bar in a circular motion. Rinse clean and dry as recommended.
Mecca Cosmetica Brush with Success RRP $24
Quick drying formula with antibacterial ingredients to maintain the bristles and extend the life of your brushes.
Mecca Max Brush Refresh Mist RRP $24
Spritz directly onto bristles and pat with a tissue. Quick drying, antibacterial and refreshes brushes between deeper cleans.
Napoleon’s cleaning spray prevents bacteria growth while cleaning away makeup. They suggest spraying it on a tissue and patting it on your brush to clean it regularly, follow up by shampooing brushes once a month.
While many beauty brands suggest you use a tissue or your fingers to clean your brushes The Body Shop has a silicone, hand-held cleaning tool.
Simply add a few drops of brush cleanser or shampoo and gently rub the brush over the grooves. Rinse and dry as recommended.