How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Isolation or not, cleaning your makeup brushes somehow ends up at the bottom of the to-do list, every.single.time…but despite the bacteria build up we know is happening; which in turn can contribute to skin congestion and breakouts, we just can’t seem to get it done. 

We enlisted Mia Hawkswell, editorial and celebrity makeup artist to see how often you should really be cleaning your brushes, what products you should be using and why it’s not as daunting or as difficult as you originally thought. You can thank us later. 

How often should you be cleaning your makeup brushes?

“Professionally, I clean my brushes after every face, with a pro cleaning solution. At the end of every day, my brushes are thoroughly washed and dried and ready for the next job.

Personally, I wash my brushes the same way, approximately once a week or fortnight, depending on how often I’ve been wearing makeup,” says Mia.

So, how do you actually clean your brushes? 

“I mostly use Sard Wonder Soap [pick up a 125g bar for AU$2.65, thank you Woolies], moulded into a petri dish. For products that aren’t easily removed by this, I will use either dish liquid or a brush solution to remove grease-based products.

First, I dampen the brush and soap. Gently collect the soap in the brush, the same way you’d [collect foundation or eyeshadow in said brush when using it] – no stabbing EVER!,” says Mia. “Then use circular motions and little wiggles as you drag the brush along the soap,” while making sure to keep the bristles all facing the same direction, she explains. Clean until the water runs 100% clear.”

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When it comes to drying your brushes, we’ve seen some pretty innovative brush-drying solutions over the years, but as Mia explains “not removing all the water can damage the glue [holding your brush together]”, so it’s a crucial step.

To dry, squeeze and ‘flick’ excess water out, and then lay to dry. “I lay my brushes over the edge of a bench, so the air can circulate the entire [brush], which prevents bacteria forming.” 

PRO TIP: Make sure to wipe excess ‘wet’ product off your brushes immediately after you’ve used them, such as foundation and liquid formulas like highlighter and blush. Excess product build-up can shorten the life of your brushes, as it can break down the glues, as well as acting as a breeding ground for bacteria. 

So, there you have it. Between isolation and a $2.65 cleaning product, you have no excuse for dirty brushes. If you are looking for something a little more heavy duty, here are Centennial’s favourite professional brush cleaning solutions: Morphe Brush Cleansing Balm + Scrubber – Eucalyptus Chill, MAC Cosmetics Brush Cleanser, Beautyblender Liquid BlenderCleanser

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