The Best Strategy for Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes

I have been obsessing over makeup lately! Well, I should rephrase, I have been re-obsessing over makeup lately! I used to be totally into makeup, different techniques, applications, fun eye looks, but I lost that over the last few years. Reason being, my eyes used to tear CONSTANTLY! I’m talking just a constant dripping, huge fat tears welling up and dripping down my face. As you can imagine, watching all my pretty makeup and hard work drop right down my face too was no fun. So I went more basic, and something that could be touched up 42,000 times a day!

When I went to the doctor recently and was diagnosed with dry eye (I know, but I was tearing?!) and given drops to counteract this, it was like I was magically cured. All this time dealing with annoying tearing and I could have been using over-the-counter eye drops to help myself! It was magical, but I was also mildly annoyed that no other eye doctor was able to diagnose me, it really does pay to have the right doctors! Anyway, back to makeup, now I am totally back into makeup and all of its wonders, and I’ve grown my collection of brushes! I have had some for a few years now, and have been able to keep them in tip-top shape by properly cleaning, drying and storing them! I will tell you how I do it, so check out my strategy for cleaning your makeup brushes! 

Now you may be thinking that strategy is a strong word, but, trust me on this one, when you’re trying to clean all of your brushes at once, you need to be prepared. No one has time to wash brushes for hours, but if you’ve got 10 minutes, you’re good to go! Less if you have less brushes! (I can’t be the only woman in the world to have this many brushes right?!)

First, you will want to gather all your brushes, and sort them into large brushes, usually face and body, medium brushes, for more precise application, and small brushes. The small brushes will be your shadow, crease, blending and lining brushes. Throw your eyebrow brush and spoolie, tweezer and lip brushes into this category also.

Second, gather your cleansing and drying materials. I lay out my towels on a flat surface so I can lay the clean brushes to dry. Never stand them upright to dry, as the water can seep down into the handle and eventually wear away the glue holding your brush together. I like to use a combination of a liquid and a solid cleanser, as well as a silicone brush scrubber. If you’re cleaning items like a tweezer and eyelash curler, have some alcohol and a cotton pad on hand too to wipe those items down. Here are the cleansers and tools I swear by!

I work in stages, large than medium and last small brushes, and set up an assembly line. I set up my cleansers by my sink, and get my brushes and scrubber ready. Here are my cleansing steps:

  1. Starting with the large brushes, wet each brush head thoroughly under your faucet and then squirt some liquid cleanser onto the head. 
  2. Massage the brush gently with your fingers to get off the majority of the color.
  3. Swirl the brush into the solid cleanser, working up a nice lather, then swirl it on the brush scrubber to really remove any dirt, oil and makeup from the brush.
  4. Run the brush under water to rinse. If the water isn’t running clear from your brush head, apply a bit more liquid cleanser and swirl again. The brush should return to it’s original color and water should run clear under it.
  5. Repeat these steps for the medium and small brushes, this time taking 2-4 brushes in your hand at once for all of the cleansing and swirling. Also, don’t forget to clean off any beautyblender or makeup sponges that you have using this same method, minus the scrubber, since the sponges are a but more delicate!
  6. Rinse off your tweezers, eyelash curler and any other non-brush tools that you use with a bit of soap and wipe them down with a cotton pad doused with alcohol.
  7. Once dry, store your brushes upright in jars or cups, think outside the box, you can find a lot of options at the dollar store!

There you have it! My strategy for cleaning your brushes! If you didn’t want to splurge on the beautyblender brand cleansers, you can use a combination shampoo and conditioner, or an antibacterial soap. I have used these items in the past, I just really like the beautyblender brand, and the sizes I liked above last a realllllly long time!

Do you love makeup as much as I do? Do you have this many brushes or am I a looney person?!

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