Happy Memorial Day, Americans! Everyone else, Happy Monday!
I’ve been completely remiss on this blog, again. Last week was my last week at my old position at work so it was a bit overrun with last minute activities and finishing up final projects and such. But today is the first day at my new position, so it’s pretty much best first day ever as it’s a holiday and I’m at home instead of at work. So we’re back on the wagon today with the blog.
Today’s topic: Brush cleaning!
This is crazy important, especially if you’re a clean freak. I’m not especially OCD about it but the idea of putting a dirty brush into my clean product onto my freshly washed face does gross me out. I try to deep clean all of all of my brushes used on a weekly basis and then I do spot cleaning of my most heavily used brushes daily with a spray. I also clean any brush which was used to apply a cream/liquid product that day, as that stuff really tends to deposit, especially if you’re dealing with longwear foundations and such. The great news is that most of the products used to clean the brushes you probably already have at home or you can get pretty cheap. I’ve tried quite a few things, which I will list below so you can try for yourself!
It’s really simple and quick to deep clean your brushes. Get the brush hairs wet, dip the brush in the product, swirl it around a bit on the palm of your hand, rinse under water and squeeze out the excess until the water runs clear, then set them up to dry. Always remember to keep your bristles pointing down as getting water down into the ferrule (the metal part of the brush which connects the handle to the brush hairs) can loosen the glue holding it all together and ruin the brushes.
Olive oil and Dawn Dishwashing Soap
I originally tried this from watching Michelle Phan’s video. I never really get the proportion between oil and soap correct I think, because especially with denser face brushes and stuff they always felt a little too oily. But the olive oil really does help condition natural hairs. Not as necessary for synthetic fibers, which I tend to use, as they clean up better, IMO.
Before I found the newest product which I love, baby shampoo was my go-to for brush cleaning. It’s gentle on the hairs but does clean them. Again, as with the oil/soap option, it doesn’t quite deep clean the foundation brushes as much as I would like, but it works really well for all the eye brushes and powder face brushes.
I picked a lavender-scented one at Target not too long ago, upon recommendation from a makeup blog. I bought the solid because I think I tend to use less product with the solid rather than the liquid (this is based on a gut feeling more than scientific proof). I probably should have tried the liquid upon reflection, but I like this product to clean the brushes. My only complaint about this is that I don’t really like the scent of lavender so I should have bought a different one, but I like peppermint even less and they didn’t have a solid version of the orange one in stock. It did clean the brushes well though and since it is an oil-based soap, it also conditioned well (the origin of castile soap is pretty interesting, as a side note). It’s also cruelty-free, which I’m making a conscious effort to seek out.
Benjabelle Organic Cleansing Balm
This is the most recent product I’ve tried and I love it. It’s also cruelty-free and is made from natural ingredients. I bought it on a whim when I ordered my Sunflower Brush Tree from them and I’m glad I did (I also love the brush tree which I may make a separate post about later). I cleaned about 30 brushes this weekend and they all cleaned up beautifully with this product, even the foundation brush. It’s as white now as the day I bought it. The only negative I’ve found is that it’s an online only company right now so you have to order it, I haven’t found it locally anywhere else.
I just put the cleanser in a little spray bottle I got from the travel section and then spray on the brushes and wipe off onto a tissue or washcloth.
DIY Brush Cleaner
One of my favorite makeup gurus to watching on YT, emilynoel83, once pointed to a video for Enkore‘s homemade brush cleaner, which is cheap and works great for spot cleaning.
- 1 Cup Distilled Water
- 1/4 Cup 90% Alcohol (you can use 70% instead just as well)
- 1/2 Tablespoon Dish Soap
- 1/2 Tablespoon Shampoo
- 1 Tablespoon Spray Leave-In Conditioner
This works great to clean the brushes, especially eye brushes. The only thing to be aware of is that the alcohol can really dry those hairs out, so remember that deep cleaning/conditioning is a must to keep the hairs in peak condition.
MAC Brush Cleanser
Honestly, I think MAC doesn’t always live up to the hype it gets all the time but this product is worth it to me. I dilute this and put it in the spray bottle as the other one and the bottle lasts me forever, even with pretty much daily use. I also feel that it doesn’t dry out the brushes as much as the DIY one above does but I’m sure the ingredients are fairly similar.
Whew, that’s a lot of cleaning products! In a pinch I will also just use my face wash – Cerave’s Foaming Face Wash – but that’s all the kinds I’ve tried so far. Now get to cleaning those brushes!