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The Cheap (& Easy) Way to Clean Your Make-Up Brushes

Full disclosure: up until about 2 years ago I had approximately 2 make-up brushes, and washed them…hmm, lets see…NEVER.

This whole “being a proper girl thing” is something I’m a little late to the party on, but alas, here we are!

I knew that it was recommended to wash your brushes, but I also didn’t see it as a huge problem not to do it. Then I started to take my skincare a little more serious and realized that if I was going to be paying more for better products, I probably need to start doing the little things right.

If I’m paying $80 for a face mask that exfoliates all the crap off my skin (seriously it’s amazing, totally recommend), but then I’m smearing months of old make-up, dead skin cells, and other dirt back on to my face with my make-up brushes then what’s really the point?

Now days, I try to wash my brushes a couple of times a month. I’m usually pretty good at sticking to that, because after a little while, they start to look disgusting and the thought of wiping them on my face kind of grosses me out. Which in turn motivates me to clean them.The Easy and Cheap Way to Clean Your Make-up BrushesMy brushes probably don’t look too bad from this angle, but lets just tip them a liiiittle bit to the front….The Easy and Cheap Way to Clean Your Make-up Brushes…..Ahhh, yes! There we go! Pretty nasty and dirty.

Overly dirty brushes typically don’t apply make-up as well, and they have a tendency to cause breakouts. Again why buy quality make-up if your applicator is sub-par?

I really only wear a full face of make-up when I’m on TV. Then I wear literally all the things (trust me: studio lights are not forgiving. at all.)

A lot of times when I’m roaming Sephora or Ulta – true life: I’d never been into either of those stores until about two years ago. Told ya I was new at thi – I’ll see these fancy brush cleaner products on the shelves. I’m sure those are great and work super, but I’m not in a hurry to spend $25 on a brush cleaner product.

My method is super easy and cheap, and I guarantee you have everything you need right in your home already.

PS – are you Beauty Blender fan? Those can and should be washed often as well!

What You’ll Need:

  • Dish Soap
  • Warm Water
  • Paper Towel

The Easy and Cheap Way to Clean Your Make-up BrushesThe Cheap (& Easy) Way to Clean Your Make-Up Brushes

  1. Wet the brush briefly
  2. Squirt some dish soap on the top of the brush
  3. Begin to rub the brush. TIP: make sure you’re getting the soap all the way to the bottom of the brush, not just on the top of the bristles. For denser brushes this will take a little more work.
  4. Once you’ve rubbed the brush and really gotten the soap sudsy you can start to rinse the soap out. Keep rinsing until all of the soap is completely out of the brush.
  5. Once it’s all rinsed you’ll be able to see if you’ve gotten it completely clean. Most of my brushes only take one round, but my foundation bush always takes at least 2 or 3 rounds of this process before it’s completely clean.
  6. Once your brush is as clean as you want it, take a paper towel and squeeze any remaining water out of  brush.
  7. Take a hand towel or paper towel, reshape, and lay your brushes flat to air dry. Most brushes will be dry in 12 hours. Denser brushes will probably take 24 hours to fully dry. TIP: I flip my brushes over at least once or twice every couple of hours while their drying. This just helps them dry more evenly.

NOTE: Maybe you’ve already figured this out, but don’t do this when you’re going to need to use your brushes soon after. Like I said above: it’s going to take 12-24 hours for the brushes to air dry. Do not use the brushes before their completely dry.The Easy and Cheap Way to Clean Your Make-up Brushes

Lets take a look at the final product!

BEFORE                                                                        AFTER

The Easy and Cheap Way to Clean Your Make-up Brushes Not perfect, but pretty dang good!

Being loyal to this process will make your brushes last longer and make your make-up application muuuuch better.

You’ll still have to replace your brushes occasionally. When your brush starts to shed, loose its shape, or just feel icky on your skin it’s time to let it go to make-up brush heaven and upgrade.

I’d love to hear if you have any tips or tricks for cleaning your make-up brushes!

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