How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

If you know me, you know that I have a huge passion for makeup. There was a year of my life where I lived at Sephora. And as much time as it takes to do your makeup, you also need to take the time to take care of your products – mainly your makeup brushes.

I don’t do this nearly enough as I should. And as I’ve elected to go mostly makeupless the last three weeks at work, I haven’t been using my makeup brushes much anyway. But that doesn’t matter guys, because I can’t even remember the last time I cleaned my makeup brushes. I think it may have actually been before I moved to the UK so that’s just gross. I need to be better at it. And I’m sure there’s some people out there who are in the same boat as me. So let’s use this post as a reminder and get it done this next weekend. Or, maybe you could even go makeupless one day at work while your brushes are drying at home. Whatever you choose to do, clean your brushes!

If my super aggressive tone didn’t convince you enough right there, here are some benefits to cleaning your brushes regularly:

  • you’re getting rid of all the dead skin cells, dirt, bacteria, and excess makeup that sit on the bristles of those brushes
  • you will actually use less makeup as the brush will work better at applying the makeup on your face when it is clean
  • you will be less prone to breakouts as you’re not rubbing 1st bullet point all over your face
  • your makeup brushes will last longer as you’re taking care of them and keeping them healthy

Therefore, to make sure you are achieving all of this on the reg, the first thing you need to do is invest in makeup brush cleaner. You can find this anywhere – Sephora, Boots, or any makeup store usually. I have the BareMinerals** one as it came with the BareMinerals brushes I got years ago. It works as a kind of shampoo and I feel like it really gets all the makeup off. I also have the Sephora daily spray*** which is obviously supposed to be used daily. Anyway, find one that works for you and buy it. It’s not that expensive and I’m sure you paid a billion dollars for the brushes anyway.

Step One:

Get out all of your brushes, the brush cleaner, a towel, and get near a sink.

P.S. Look at the cool Harry Potter wand eye shadow brushes the boyfriend bought me for my birthday! They’re my favourite!

Step Two:

Put some brush cleaner on the bristles, and run it under water. Try to make a lather and scrub the brush gently but effectively. I hope common washing sense would kick in now and you’d be able to work out that you need to keep cleaning until you don’t see any makeup left on the brush. Add more shampoo and water and keep going. Try to let the water run down and work with the “grain” of the bristles so you’re not getting rough and pulling them out. *Tip: I actually form a lather in my hand and swirl the brush around while adding water to it. Notice all the makeup that’s come off the brush onto my fingers in the second picture. I have to do this a few times with the bigger brushes that hold a lot more excess makeup.

Step Three:

Rinse the bristles and squeeze the water out of them, form them back to what the brush design and gently place them standing up, bristles down, on a towel to dry.


Photo Jan 28, 12 32 53 PM (1)

Step Four:

After a couple hours, I tend to flip the brush around so the tip doesn’t dry bent, but that’s not mandatory. *Tip: you do want to make sure you are putting the bristles down on the towel as you don’t want the water leaking further into the brush. *Tip: I know you can’t help it when it comes to double ended brushes, so I would make sure to alternate those, but know going into this that they will take longer to dry.

And now you’re done. All your brushes are basically like new and ready for your next application. Take notice of how well the makeup glides on the next time you use it. Remember that feeling and make note to clean your brushes on the regular so you’re not rubbing gross shit all over your face too often 😛

Photo Jan 28, 12 19 34 PM (1)

Accio Tarte Matte Eye Shadow Palette! Oh my god, I am such a nerd….

Hope this helps! Tell me if this post made you go and clean all your makeup brushes? Or are you all like “Sam, you’re too pushy. I’ll live my life how I want to. I like my face all dirty and stuff! Leave me alone!”

Much love



**Mine looks different to the one I linked because I bought it years ago and obviously they’ve changed the design of it. Also, it says it works best with BareMinerals brushes, but it can be used on any brush. I’ve never noticed any kind of problems with any of my brushes!

***This is the one the makeup artists in Sephora use between clients when doing makeup. So if you’re doing other people’s makeup, this would be a good cleanser for your brushes. Or if you want to be extra effective at getting the best possible application every day, you could use this spray daily. I’ve never used it daily. But you do you, people!