Brush Cleaning 101
If you are breaking out, there's a good chance you are skipping this one very important step: washing your brushes on the reg. I know. I know. All you need is one more thing on your to do list, but I am going to share a few tips with you to make this as easy & painless as possible.
Tip #1: Separate your dirty brushes from your pristinely clean ones.
This doesn't have to cost you any money. Keep it simple, ya'll. I present to you a used candle jar & one of the countless vases I had cluttering my cabinets. The tall one holds all my clean babies and when I don't leave my brushes strewn about my vanity, I put them in the squattier candle jar. Then you know exactly what needs to be washed and you're not wasting your time washing the clean ones that are just dirty by association.
Tip #2: Use a daily brush cleaning spray in-between full washes.
Here are two options I keep on my vanity:
e.l.f. Daily Brush Cleaner $3: shopstyle.it/l/hyIX
coco lavish Brush Cleaner (this shop is temporarily closed due to Hurricane Irma)
This is the perfect way to clean your eyeshadow and powder brushes in between uses. I like to keep a small white towel on my vanity to use with these sprays and then just switch it out once a week.
Tip #3: Wash your face brushes separately from your eye brushes.
The cream products we apply to our face: foundation, concealer, etc can breed bacteria growth. These tools should be at the top of your brush washing to do list when you are short on time. They also take the most effort to wash because the product really adheres to the bristles and makes it's way down into the full length of the brush head. Here's the part you are not going to like--it is best to wash these brushes WEEKLY. At the minimum. Ouch. Your skin however, will thank me.
Eyeshadow brushes take much less time and effort to get clean because the powder sort of just sits on top of the bristles versus clinging on for dear life. I dread looking at my jar of 1200 brushes and knowing they all need to be clean, so it really helps me to categorize them.
Tip #4: Treat yo'self to a brush cleaning tool.
I use the Sigma Spa Express Brush Cleaning Mat shown above. From their website:
"The PATENTED Sigma Spa® Express Brush Cleaning Mat is an innovative device featuring 7 patented textures to wash both eye and face brushes. The mat includes suction cups on the backside for secure placement on flat surfaces. Uniquely designed to fit most sinks at 32% smaller than the original Sigma Spa® Brush Cleaning Mat. Small, convenient size. Ideal for modest brush collections. Secure suction cups. Time-saving results."
Once upon a time I would use the palm of my hand and dread the task even further. I asked for this for Christmas last year, and have dreaded brush washing less ever since. I highly, highly recommend you check out a brush cleaning mat. Here is where I got mine: http://shopstyle.it/l/hyKW
I also spotted this one while out shopping. It was $5.99 at Macy's Backstage, although if you don't have one of those in your area, check out Ross, TJ Maxx, or Marshall's. This particular mat looked a little flimsier than my Sigma, but if you are on a budget this may be a good option for you.
Tip #5: Use proper soap.
Dr. Bronner's Rose Pure-Castile Liquid Soap: http://shopstyle.it/l/hySe
This is concentrated, biodegradable, versatile and effective. Made with organic and certified fair trade ingredients and packaged in a 100% post-consumer recycled bottle. This option is best if you are concerned with the efficacy of your products, but may not be able to tackle some of your more stubborn brushes.
Dawn dish soap is gentle enough to clean wildlife, but also tough enough to remove grease so this may be what you want to reach for during those short on time brush washing sessions.
Zote soap is dirt cheap. Like 99 cents and crazy effective. HOWEVER--this can be a little drying on your natural hair brushes and it can sometimes be difficult to wash out. So, if you have more time than you do money, this may be one for you to try.
The How To:
1. Use lukewarm water. Any hotter and it could potentially loosen the glue that holds it all together and ruin your brush!
2. Apply soap of choice and swirl brush onto cleaning mat or your palm. Repeat until clean.
3. Rinse well.
4. Shape the brush so that it doesn't dry all sprawled out everywhere.
5. Let the brush air dry with the end of the brush tilted higher than the bristles so that no water seeps back into the ferrule (the metal part of the brush that clamps the bristles on).
How often do you wash your brushes? This is a judgement-free zone.
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Two-time cancer survivor & beauty addict.
Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.
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All content is my own unless otherwise stated. Some links that I include for your convenience may be affiliate links which will pay me a small commission with no additional charge to you.