Free Tip – Keep it Clean

brushes When was the last time you washed your makeup brushes? Not wiped them on a tissue to change shadow colors or even use a swab of makeup remover, but actually cleaned them? Not only will a good washing of your brushes keep them hygienic, it will help prevent breakouts from bacteria and miscellaneous crud being transferred to your skin, and also will help with the application and pigment level of your cosmetics.

There are some great precuts out there specifically for the cleansing of makeup brushes, but I use shampoo. A tip I learned when I worked in skincare is to occasionally switch out the gentle shampoo with an antibacterial wash (I use the Body Shop’s Tea Tree Face Wash) to give the brushes a gentle yet thorough cleansing.

Wet the bristles with warm water, trying to keep the water on the exposed bristles only. In the palm of your hand, mix a bit of shampoo or cleanser with water to form a soapy lather. Swirl the brush in your palm gently; you will see the lather become opaque or change colors as the makeup is lifting away from the bristles. Rinse, and swirl to see if any pigment is left. If so, repeat. Dry brushes flat on a towel, reshaping the bristles. If possible, let the bristles hang over the edge of your counter or table to help air flow through the bristles to prevent any mildew.

You will feel as though you have a new set of super-soft brushes and your makeup will go on so much more smoothly! Before you decide your blush, bronzer or foundation is starting to look dull and boring; wash your brushes. Often times, the problem isn’t the product or even your skin, but the applicator!


  1. May 7, 2008 / 1:21 pm

    Good tip, I don’t wear makeup every day. But I do try to replace my brushes every 4 months or so.

  2. May 6, 2008 / 8:05 am

    thanks!! this is really helpful. i received an ad from bareEsentuals recently about needing to clean your brush…. and they were willing to sell me a $14+ brush cleaner. this is a far cheaper, simpler means of doing the same task.

  3. May 2, 2008 / 5:55 pm

    Thanks for the reminder Allie!

    I try to clean my foundation brush every other week. I think any brush used with liquid/wet makeup should be washed more frequently. I use some of my facial cleanser to wash out residual makeup, and then lay the brush flat to dry on a clean towel or paper towel.

  4. May 2, 2008 / 5:32 pm

    This is a great reminder. I have been saying I need to clean my brushes and the past few days they have only gotten worse…

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