February 25, 2012

How to Clean Makeup Brushes

Cleaning your makeup brushes regularly removes dead skin cells, oils, bacteria, old makeup, dirt and debris. Have you ever noticed when you don't wash your makeup brushes your skin tends to break out? It used to happen to me when I didn't wash them weekly. No, I didn't say bi-weekly or monthly, I said weekly ladies. Unfortunately it does tend to be a bit of a chore, but by cleaning your makeup tools you will have softer brushes which will lead to better makeup applications!

What you will need:
  • Mild shampoo or face wash (I use Aveda's Rosemary Mint Shampoo)
  • Paper towels

Here is a before shot of my makeup and brushes. You can tell from this picture that they have seen better days.

Take a look at the before of my eyeliner sharpener. I can't stand the excess that creeps out of these suckers and attaches itself like glue to the outside. I have yet to find an eyeliner sharpener that doesn't open up randomly and spills out all of the contents.

Now that you have seen my embarrassing grimy looking makeup let's get to cleaning!

Step 1: With the brush pointing down, wet the brush with warm water. (Pointing the brush upward will ruin your brush where the handle and the bristles meet).

Step 2: Take your mild shampoo and lather into brush.

Step 3: Rinse and repeat if necessary until the water runs clear. (Keep brush pointing down).

Step 4: Gently squeeze out excess water and lay out flat to dry on a paper towel.

Step 5: Reshape the bristles to their original state.

Step 6: Allow to dry.

Here are my brushes all squeeky clean!

Here I am cleaning my Kabuki brush. Don't be surprised if you have to wash and repeat. These brushes tend to hold a lot of old makeup in them.

Apply Soap


Rinse Clean

My concealer brushes tend to hold a lot of my foundation in them. Spend some extra time on these.

My eyeliner sharpener is always a hot mess along with some other compact items. Take some mild all purpose cleaner (I use Mrs. Meyer's Lavender All Purpose Cleaner) and a paper towel and wipe off the outside of these containers.

An extra tip: I put my eyeliner sharpener in a plastic baggy. This way I know for sure I won't have a catastrophic mess in my makeup bag if it decides to open up!

I like to have a container for all of my brushes to keep them away from the other products in my makeup bag. Take some of your mild shampoo and with warm water clean the inside and outside of this container.

This might seem weird but I also wash with warm water and mild soap my misc. products, such as my mascara and foundation bottle. These items can get dirty over a weeks time just from applying makeup.

Depending on what kind of makeup bag you have you may have to adjust how you clean it. I take mild shampoo and with hot water clean the inside and outside of it. Think about it, your makeup is sitting in here all week long, of course it is going to get dirty. If you don't have a washable bag like this, take a damp towel and with a mild soap clean the inside and outside of the bag. Then dampen a cloth with just water and do the same getting the excess soap off.

TA-DA! You have yourself clean makeup brushes and supplies. With clean brushes you are definitely going to notice a difference with how your makeup looks on your face. Not only that you are going to notice how your skin loves you back!

Parties I am linking to:


  1. Thanks so much for sharing this! I'd love to have you link this up to my party at http://scrapbookingez.blogspot.com/2012/02/anything-goes-linky-party_16.html. Thanks again!

    1. Thanks! I linked up to your linky party and checked out Digital Scrapbooking Made Easy! Newest follower : )

  2. I'm not sure which I need more - a makeup brush cleaning tutorial or having you come over to give me a makeover! Makeup is one of those areas where I could use a lot of help!! Thanks for linking up!

    1. I will do a makeup tutorial soon! : ) I like quick and easy when it comes to makeup! Thanks for hosting your linky party!

  3. Omg I totally need to do this...thanks for the tutorial!!

    1. You're welcome Rachel! I feel so much better after I have clean makeup brushes : )

  4. As a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant, this is one of the things I stress to my customers over and over again! Thank you so much for tutorial. I will be linking this on my Mary Kay FB page.

  5. Thank you for the important reminder!

  6. Wow! such a nice tutorial. Thanks foe sharing this post. I'll try this now :)

    Makeup Brush Set


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