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Curly Nikki

Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes

By January 27th, 202124 Comments
Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes
by McKenzie Renae of 
Do You Know How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes?

Great skin starts with a fresh base. Many things can contribute to skin
issues, like constantly touching your face, not washing your face at
night, and even dirty makeup brushes.

Foundation and concealer brushes should be washed at least once a week
to prevent buildup of product. Because these tools are used on your face
regularly, the cleaner, the better. Brushes used on and around your
eyes should be cleaned at least twice a month and all other brushes are
safe for once a month.
Most of us are guilty of
not cleaning our makeup brushes enough, but that comes to an end now.
Here’s how it’s done — I’ll even bet you will see a difference in your
skin and the way your makeup looks once it’s applied.
What You Need:
Gentle soap or brush cleaner. (I like Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo)
Your makeup brushes
How You Do It:
1. Wet the bristles with lukewarm water, cleaning one brush at a time.
Place a drop of cleanser into the palm of your hand, and gently massage
the tips of the bristles in your palm. (Try one part baby shampoo and
four parts water)
the metal base of the brush head away from the soap and water. This can
cause bristles to loosen and shed from the glue at the base.
4. Rinse the bristles and squeeze out the extra moisture with a clean towel.
Always reshape your brushes so they dry in their original form. Tip:
Hang the heads of the brush off the edge of a counter for maximum air
dry time, and to avoid any unnatural flat sides.
When To Get Rid Of Your Brushes:
the bristles start to fray, shed, or loose their shape. The right tools
are just as important in getting the look you want as the actual makeup
itself. They just won’t do the job if they are too pinched or

What are some of your favorite makeup brush sets?


  • seo.puritysalon says:

    You can learn to clean your makeup brushes through this post. Useful article
    mineral make up

  • watkinsabob says:

    thanks you for this. i was tempted to buy some stupid brush cleaning spray from ULTA for $12. #facepalm

  • Unknown says:

    When I do finally get into makeup, if I ever do, I'll keep this in mind, thank you

  • Unknown says:

    I just picked up some EcoTools brushes (powder and concealer). Will be washing the others tonight!

  • discount diva says:

    I like e.l.f brushes (although the quality was much better when they first came out, but they are still good for $1 or $3 for the studio brushes..great beginner brushes if you're new to makeup). Love Sonia Kashuk brushes, EcoTool and Face Secrets (sold at Sally). Crown brushes are nice, but are a little more expensive, however you can't catch them on Hautelook several times a year and they offer sets and single brushes at great discounts (that's how I got my first full set of brushes and they are wonderful). I clean my brushes with Dawn (orignal blue) and olive oil to condition them. I have also used baby shampoo and that works just fine.

  • Anonymous says:

    I like Ecotools and Ulta brushes and I wash them with my Lustrasilk neutralizing shampoo left over from perm days.

  • Abby says:

    I clean my brushes every day because I am very oily skinned plus acne prone and I realized that if I don't clean my brushes after each application, especially touch ups, I break out far more from bacteria buildup in the brushes. I exfoliate more often now too and find just simple face washing with soap doesn't get makeup buildup out of my pores which also will cause breakouts esp when I sleep without fully cleaning my face. The Oil Cleansing Method is better for getting makeup deep out of my skin.

  • Anonymous says:

    I purched some generic brushes at Target (not the fancier Sonia Kashuk ones) and have been satisfied with all of them, including the medium concealer brush.

    I use Bare Minerals and love their "flawless face" and "angled blush" brushes.

    I didn't like the $1.00 elf brushes, too stiff.

    I need to clean them – thanks for posting this!

  • luvnM3naturally says:

    I clean my concealer and foundation brushes at least once to twice a month depending on the buildup. I use the makeup brush cleanser from MAC, it last a long time and only require very little application per use. I love their makeup brushes!

  • Anonymous says:

    When I start to get into makeup, Ill try this lol

    Ashley L.

  • ar says:

    Same as previous poster – I use Dawn soap. The Sonia Kashuck line at Target makes some affordable brushes; there's a few that I bought that I've had for several years now. Essence of Beauty (sold at CVS) is good too!

  • stephanie says:

    I like Real Techniques brushes by Sam Chapman of Pixiwoo on you tube. They are affordable and very effective. I love those second to my MAC brushes. I have collected those over the years and they are a great investment.

    I use Dr Bonner's soap on my brushes and I will have to advise, all makeup brushes should be deep cleaned once a week and spot cleaned with a brush cleaner to alcohol per use. Especially eye brushes! The eye area is prone to bacteria and twice a month isn't enough. Just as aware of keeping our face brushes clean for healthy skin, we should be mindful about the eye area as well

  • virender sangwan says:

    This is very interesting information for me, please keep it up.
    Brazilian Blowout

  • Kimmie0810 says:

    I use the original Dawn dish detergent per Sam Fine. I used to use baby shampoo but Sam recommends Dawn b/c it's antibacterial and it cuts grease/oil.

    I also have a Smashbox spray I use to quick clean brushes. Usually my shadow brushes b/c I don't the brush filled with one color when I go to use another color. I read recently about spot/quick cleaning with rubbing alcohol but I don't know how that affects the brushes.

  • Anonymous says:

    Ops I clean my brushes after each use!

  • Anonymous says:

    Great reminder. I need to wash my brushes this year. I only use them about once a week, but it's time for a cleaning.

    Nicol C.

  • Annie L. says:

    I use Dr. Bronner's fragrance-free liquid soap as a cleanser, works for oil and water-based MU. It cleans perfectly, is easy-to-use and doesn't dry out my tools. For brushes, I cleanse and rinse by applying water and soap on a cloth to avoid wetting the ferrule as McKenzie notes.

    I love the stippling and airbrushed look of the Beauty Blender, as well as the savings – it has multiple uses, a long lifespan, is travel-ready and I've never had a problem with bacteria. The downside is sponges can absorb more product (re: money) if you're not careful.

    I've liked Eco tools brushes, they have quality ferrules and soft (sometimes too soft) bristles with sturdy and comfortable handles, especially their multi-use bamboo bronzer blush. The downside is they still don't have a lot of variety. Japonesque brushes are generally wonderful IMO. If you find them on sale at Ulta grab them, the travel sizes are more affordable and easier for smaller or less-experienced hands as well. Chanel brushes are also amazing, but expensive!

    If you're against animal hair being used, I'd stick to brands like Eco Tools, Alima, ELF, Everyday Minerals or sponges. Also, only buy from reputable sources! There are tons of counterfeit or 'damaged-out' brushes from the companies' plants that are sold by schuysters on eBay and Amazon that give some brushes a bad rap. And check with makeupalley for the reviews.

  • Kinkikw says:

    I use the smaller foundation brush from Lancome. I got it fr so I probably won't purchase another one…too expensive!!! I try toclean my brushes at least three times a month, although lately I've been waiting until my foundation brush filled up with foundation…

  • T Monique says:

    I love Sephora

  • Jada07 says:

    Great tips. I also add a bit of olive oil or leave in condish to brushes after to help them stay soft.

  • Anonymous says:

    Like Kimmels,
    I'm not big on make up! But as I'm getting "a little older". lol I'm using more than I ever did…which still isn't that much!

    I'm going to go to CVS and check out the bamboo set I saw over there. They looked kinda nice! I will also look up the sigma brushes that Ashley is talking about as well.

  • Ashley says:

    I love sigma brush set, the brushes are high quality at a reasonable price.

  • Unknown says:

    This is exactly how I clean my brushes(just not as frequently as I should. I'm not that big on make up but my favorite brush set is the bamboo set from ELF and I LOVE their Kabuki brush. I don't really use foundation only a little bit of powder and that brush is great for the amount of powder I use.

  • Anonymous says:

    Speaking of brushes, I was just at my favorite counter (MAC)last week. I was inquiring about their EXPENSIVE arse brushes! Of course I couldn't afford them. The make-up alone kills my pockets! I digress, but the nice make up girl did tell me to come back in during the winter months. When they go on sale! #soundsbetter

    But cool…now I will know how to properly clean and care for them. Exspecially, since their professional brushes, want to preserve them!

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