This post was prompted by a request from a friend, and from when I did a consultation over the weekend.  I spoke about this briefly in an earlier posts titled, A Few basics…Enjoy! My client recently purchased a set of E.L.F makeup brushes, and brought them with her to her consultation this weekend because she wanted to learn what to use each brush for.  She came to the consultation ready to use the brushes, but, they were NOT washed! 


Washing your makeup brushes is an extremely important part of your makeup routine.  Her explanation for not washing them were that “They are new, and are covered.”  Yes, the brushes are new, but you don’t know if dye’s or anything else were used on the brushes, and washing them rids whatever dye that may be on the brushes off, as well as dust particles etc.


Cleaning your makeup brushes not only helps rid your brushes from bacteria, thus saving you from breakouts, it also helps to ensure proper makeup application; your brushes will not be contaminated with oils from your skin, skin cells, and old, oxidized makeup colors from prior makeup application.  Cleaning your makeup brushes regularly will save you money since by cleaning your brushes your brushes will last  longer.   Also, using dirty brushes in your makeup contaminates your makeup.  I would suggest investing in Beauty So Clean’s Cosmetic Sanitizer Mist. I purchased mine from Alcone Co.

How to clean your makeup brushes:
**Use luke warm water and baby shampoo if you do not have a brush cleaner.***

1. With the tip of your brush pointing downward, hold your brush under the running luke warm water. Be sure to not get the shaft of the brush wet (this will loosen the glue & your brush will come loose over time, & eventually fall out). Also, never leave your brushes soaking in water or cleaning solution – this will damage your brushes as well.

2. Apply a small amount of brush cleaner into the palm of your hand & GENTLY swirl the brush around.

3. After a lather has formed (see how much makeup comes out) rinse the brush off under the running, luke warm water (tip of the brush pointing downward) until the water runs clean. Repeat if necessary.

4. Gently squeeze excess water out (use a towel) & re-shape the brushes.

5. Lay the brushes flat on a clean towel (NEVER STAND THEM UP WHILE WET IT WILL DESTROY THE BRUSHES!)

 Repeat these steps at least once a week, especially if your brushes are being used on people other than yourself.  Bi-weekly cleaning is recommended for brushes used for personal use.
***Any brush used on a liquid cosmetic (lip gloss, lipstick, concealer, foundation) should be cleaned EVERYDAY***

For Daily Brush Cleansing, I recommend the following products:
1. Beauty So Clean Conditioning Brush Cleaner – Spray onto brush bristles, & wipe bristles on a tissue to remove makeup.  Price: $20 4.2oz bottle Alcone Co
2. Clinique Makeup Brush Cleaner – Spray on brush, wipe off with tissue. Let dry 1-2 Minutes. Price: $13 at Department Stores.
3. MAC Brush Cleanser – $11 MAC Cosmetics or Department Store Counter

This is what I use for regular cleaning.  I am almost done with this bottle & it’s discontinued .:sad face:. It makes my brushes so soft!
Nu Brush Professional Makeup Brush Cleaner & Conditioner Price: $19.99 Artistry
I have a youtube video explaining how to do this as well.  Check my youtube channel.

Do you clean your makeup brushes? If so, how often & what do you use?

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21 comments on “Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes”

  1. You’re welcome. The towel helps with your brushes drying time. If you just lie them on a flat surface, the water will pool, and take longer to dry.

  2. Thank you so much for the info!!!! I have been wondering about this, since I just got into makeup. I have been doing the swirling part right, but I’ve been using Dove. lol

    Welp, back to the grocery for some baby shampoo!

  3. @sunny Dove should be safe since it’s a mild soap. I’d recommend dove for the lip brushes since those are the hardest to clean.

  4. Ew I never thought about old oxidized products, contaminated oils and skin cells being on my brushes D: now I feel gross for being so lazy lately

  5. @AfroSofy I believe you because I’ve seen it. One of the hairstylists at the salon I go to got her makeup done by a “professional” MUA and everythign in her kit was dirty! Gross

  6. Thanks for your tips. I clean my brushes about 3-4 times a week, it’s very important. BTW, would you like to take part in my contest on lipstickonthecup.blogspot.com? 🙂

  7. You know what else is good? Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner. I use Pantene Pro-V Relaxed & Natural Shampoo and Conditioner and it works great!

    bobbybeauty.blogspot.com

  8. You mean standing them up with the brush part pointing up is bad for them? Huh? Why is that? (I’m curious because my brush storage is a cup I stand the brushes up in, and I don’t always have counter space or a free towel to lay stuff out on, so I usually just wash them and put them back)

  9. @Witchwords Standing them up while wet damages them because the water trickles down into where the brush is attached to the handle; therefore, loosening up the glue.

  10. Ahhh. That makes sense! I will have to clear some counter space to lay them out then. Thank you for the clarification!

  11. Are u saying its advisable to clean ur brush even when thry haven’t been used? That’s great to know. Please can u give me more tips on coutouring? Thanks so much.

    • Clean your brand new brushes before using them. You never know what they came in contact with while in the factory. Also, some brush heads have residual dyes that need to be washed off as well.

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