How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes (And How Often You Should Do It)

Happy Thursday everyone! I am SO ready for the weekend! For some reason I have been super tired this week and it just feels like the week is dragginggggggggg. If you’re feeling like me, just hang on! We are almost there! Now let’s talk makeup brush hygiene. I’ve recently shared with you my everyday makeup routine and my cleaning routine, so let’s combine the two.

I don’t know about y’all, but cleaning my makeup brushes didn’t sit very high on my cleaning to-do list. I just never really thought about it! We wash our face and bodies everyday, wash our hair a couple of times a week, but when it comes to makeup brush hygiene, that seems to take a backseat even though these tools are touching our faces almost everyday. The truth is though, after using your makeup brushes just a few times, your skin’s natural oils, the makeup itself, and other dust or dirt from the air starts to build up on the brush bristles. Gross!

Now, I’m not gonna lie and act like I’m a model of makeup brush cleanliness, but I make sure to clean my brushes at least once a month. My GOAL is to wash them every two weeks. Sometimes this happens, and sometimes it doesn’t. But I at least do it once a month! If you think that’s excessive, certain makeup artists think that you should wash your foundation and concealer brushes at least once a week because of the potential buildup of product and the fact that, again, they are touching your face. I think that right there should show you that you should be cleaning your brushes regularly.

I can’t stress enough the importance of cleaning your makeup brushes regularly! These things are touching your face for crying out loud! Not only does my makeup apply 100 times better when my brushes are clean but it also helps prevent blemishes and other skin issues by making sure I don’t keep re-spreading the same germs and bacteria over and over again on my face.

So, now that I’ve got you all worried and concerned about the condition of your brushes, want to know my secret for keeping them clean with household items you already have?

Let me tell you, I hate cleaning my makeup brushes. I DREAD it so much! Standing over the sink for 30 minutes washing out nasty, old makeup? No thank you! I’d rather be watching Netflix and eating ice cream. But like I’ve said, this is a necessity we have to do and my method is easy, effective and can be done in minutes. You will be amazed at how clean and soft your brushes will be! Here we go!

What you’ll need:
– Bowl
– Clean towel
– Silicone brush cleaning mat or glove
– 1 cup of warm water
– 1 TBSP of white vinegar
– 1 TBSP of dish soap

What you’ll do:
1. Add the Dawn dish soap and white vinegar to the warm water and stir until the ingredients are mixed together. I use Dawn dish soap because it really helps cut through oil and makeup that gets built up into my brushes.

2. Gently massage the bristles of your brush into the mixture to loosen the makeup. Just swirl, swirl, swirl and tap, tap, tap your brushes in the bowl. You will immediately see the makeup start to melt off of the bristles effortlessly.

3. Once most of the makeup is removed, rub the brush on your silicone makeup cleaning mat or glove. The ridges and grooves of this tool will massage any final traces of makeup out of the bristles. Do this step before you rinse the brush. The leftover cleaning mixture on the bristles will work together with the cleaning mat/glove perfectly. Then rinse the brush under warm water.  

4. When your brush is clean and the water runs clear, give the bristles a final rinse. Squeeze any excess water out using your hand and reshape the brush head. Lastly, lay the brush on your clean towel to dry overnight. I like to put something under the brushes so they rest at an angle, with the brush head facing up. This allows air to circulate around the bristles so they can dry properly.

What you’ll also need to know:
– Since I have a lot of makeup brushes, about half way through cleaning them, I will dump out the solution I am using and start over with a fresh batch. This way I’m not cleaning the second half of my brushes with dirty water. And typically, I do a third fresh batch just for my beauty sponges because they absorb SO much makeup!

– For my beauty sponges, I follow the same steps as the makeup brushes except I squeeze the sponge in the cleaning mixture, and I don’t use the cleaning glove. After cleaning the sponge in the mixture and rinsing it with water, I take a bowl and fill it up halfway with water and put the beauty sponge in it. I microwave the beauty sponge for about a minute to a minute and a half. This helps sanitize the sponge and kills any germs and bacteria on it. This step is SO important! Be careful because it will be very hot! I let that sit and cool for about 15 to 30 minutes, squeeze out the water and let it air dry. Done!

I hope this helps you get into a super cleaning mood after reading this. If so, make sure to check out my cleaning schedule. There’s nothing like cleaning and getting organized before the weekend so you can relax and enjoy it!


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