Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Importance of Cleaning Makeup Brushes

Okay, so you made a huge investment and bought high quality makeup brushes but how often are you cleaning them? Noticing a few blemishes here and there on your face? It may actually be the transfer of bacteria, dead skin cells and pollution from your makeup brush to your skin.

Washing and cleansing your makeup brushes on a frequent basis is of extreme importance. After all, you only have one face and anything you put on it should be clean, germ and toxin free. Makeup brushes should ideally be washed once every two weeks but if possible on a weekly basis would be best. Our makeup brushes can transfer germs, old makeup, bacteria and dead skin cells. Especially when you use on your face to touch up after you have been walking around the city or running errands.  If you have blemish prone skin, then washing brushes is a must because if you have acne or blemishes, every swipe with a brush can be transmitting bacteria from one location of your face to another.

Using a daily brush cleaning spray is a good way to maintain brushes clean every day in between washes. My brush cleaner of choice is Sephora Daily Brush Cleaner. You simply spray a paper towel and lightly swipe your makeup brush back and forth. It is great to do after applying your makeup so the next time you are ready to use the brush, it is clean and ready to go.

Now, for a deeper cleansing of your brushes, a little more time is needed and some patience depending on the manner in which you opt to wash your brushes. Many people have various methods in cleaning and disinfecting their brushes. Baby shampoo or regular shampoo is a popular method but to me, it is not an ideal form of cleaning them because most shampoos are not antibacterial. Others opt to use water and vinegar. I am not a fan of the smell and it really doesn't remove all of the makeup nor condition the brush hair, synthetic or natural.

Dawn dishwashing soap is also a popular favorite. I like this method because just about everyone has this product at hand in their home. It cleanses, smells great (especially the green apple scent) and disinfects while cleaning. I like to add a bit of Dawn on the palm of my hand and dip the tip of the brush bristles into the dawn. While the water is running I place my hand under the water and swish my brush back and forth in a gentle manner and in a circular motion. I make sure not to get the handle wet and never place upright under faucet because this will trap water inside the handle, loosen the glue attaching the brush to the handle and also loosen brush hairs. I continue to rinse and then gently press excess water. Lay your brushes over a towel on a flat service, preferribly the end of a table or desk and make sure to have the hair end of your brush overlapping the end of the table so they dry evenly. If you are opting for this method, it is best to do before going to bed, this will allow brushes to dry over night.   (You can do this same exact thing with Philosophy's Purity Made Simple face cleanser.)

My absolute favorite brush cleaning method is a little more expensive but a lot quicker and easy to do. I use Monda Studio Professional Makeup Brush Cleaner. With this cleaner,  you simply pour a small amount into a bowl, dip brushes then wipe on a paper towel, and place on a table to dry. They are dry and ready to use in about thirty minutes or less! This is my absolute favorite brush cleaner. My clients always tell me that my brushes smell nice. Another one of my top picks in regards to makeup brush cleaners is Parian Spirit. This is a popular pick for makeup artists because it removes dried latex, acrylics, spirit gum and other adhesives.

Another benefit besides the hygiene pros of regularly cleaning your brushes, is also the more flawless makeup application a clean brush gives, no streaks and easier to blend makeup. Now beauties, although it may be a bit time consuming and a hassle, make the time to clean and wash your brushes. Your skin will thank you. If you are a pro MUA, clean brushes speak on behalf of you as an artist, always be sure to clean your brushes and let them speak of your hygiene practices.

***Brush photo taken from & Monda Brush Cleaner photo is copyright of Maria Ortega Makeup***


  1. It grosses me out when I see makeup artists with dirty brushes

  2. OMG! Me too. It is so gross and sad. I feel horrible for the models/clients they do makeup on.

  3. is there anyway i can find the ingredients on the monda brush cleaner?


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