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How to Clean Makeup Brushes - The Ultimate Deep Cleanse!

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How to Clean Makeup Brushes - The Ultimate Deep Cleanse!

on Monday, 23 January 2012. Posted in Makeup Guru Musings

How to Clean Makeup Brushes - The Ultimate Deep Cleanse!


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I’ve had many clients ask me the HOW TO’s in terms of maintaining and cleaning their makeup brushes.  I know I spend good money behind my brushes, and look to make sure to maintain their quality and treat them like an investment! Here's some great tips on cleaning and maintaining your brushes.

makeup brushes

Because I’m a busy makeup artist and I know hygiene is imperative to my clients, I look to deep clean my brushes at least 2 times per week.  This always does depend on how many clients I have during the week, and I make sure to use brush cleansing spray products on the go when working through multiple events. I also ensure to have an extra set of brushes on hand to use while the others are drying.

This deep cleansing process below for your own brushes, can be done once a week or every two weeks, depending on how often you use makeup brushes for application.

You’ll need the following items:
- Baby shampoo
- Olive oil
- 2x small bowls
- Paper towel
- Drying towel
- Clean sink and running water

Here some step by step processes for deep conditioning cleanse for your brushes:

Step 1:  Put a few drops of olive oil in a bowl, take a brush and swish it around in the oil, so that it coats the brush hairs.  Then on some paper towel brush out the oil, this will help breakdown all the product/residue in the brush.

Step 2:  In the other bowl put a few drops of the baby shampoo, and again swish the brush around for at least 20 seconds, so that it is well coated and creates soap suds. By this time you should see a lot of the residue leaving the brush. 
Baby shampoo is great to use for this process because it’s gentle enough on brush hairs, and will ensure to get the entire product out of the brush.

Step 3:  Take the brush and run under slow flowing lukewarm water, until water in the sink runs clear of any colour.  At this point you can use your fingers as well under the water to help get the soap out of the brush.  Make sure to hold the brush downwards, so that water does not touch the handle of the brush.  As most handles are made of wood, ideally no water should seep inside the handle as this can cause mold in the brush.

Step 4:  Pat dry the brush on a plush towel, and set aside to dry.  Best to dry on an angle pointing downwards again, so that the water does not trickle into the brush handle.  This step does take the longest in the process and usually about 24 hours to dry completely. 
I’ve recently come across another product released by Sigma Brushes called “Dry n’ Shape” that I’ve found helpful in the drying process.  It actually has helped cut down drying time for some of my brushes to less than 6 hours and does help keep the shape of brushes as well.  Not too sure how it works, but for a busy makeup artist on the go – it’s worked wonders for me so far!  My only complaint at this stage is that it doesn’t hold as many brushes as I would like to dry at one time, but would work well for someone who has a smaller collection of brushes.

makeup brush dryer 

So that’s it for tips and tricks for this specific way of cleansing brushes, I’ve been doing this for the last few years and have really found benefit to ensuring that my brushes last long and stay clean.  For in-between cleans, I would suggest to keep a brush cleaner in your kit with you that you can spray and wipe, then use.  I’ve used Smashbox and MAC products as show below, these are great to use between deep conditioning cleans!

brush cleanser

Any queries, as always feel free to contact me at shakereen@makeupguru.com.au – I’d love to hear from you!

That’s it for now…Until next time my fellow MakeupGurus! =)


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Shakereen Chowdhury | Tel: 0422 284 023
e:shakereen@makeupguru.com.au