how to clean make-up brushes

The complete guide to cleaning your make-up brushes (and what NOT to do)

It's easier than you think

If you use them, even if it’s just one, then it’s absolutely essential that you understand how to clean make-up brushes properly.

Let’s be completely honest with one another, the chances are you probably can’t be arsed to clean out your beauty toolkit. But, as Australian model Anthea Page reiterated with photographic evidence last year, you should never skip washing your make-up brushes. Ensuring you have clean make-up brushes helps you avoid a whole host of skin problems – including infections.

The best make-up brushes deserve proper love and care, so we’ve broken down everything you need to know about cleaning them, from exactly how you should clean your tools to how often they need a wash. We’re sure you’ll know how to clean make-up brushes with your eyes shut in no time.

How often should you clean make-up brushes?

This will vary a little depending on how often you use your make-up brushes. If you use them on a daily basis, then you’re going to need to clean them more than if you use them a couple of times a week. But no matter how often you use them, brushes are a breeding ground for bacteria. We say give them a deep clean at least once a week, and ideally use a cleaning spray between uses to freshen them up.

We like either Bare Minerals Quick Change Brush Cleaning Spray, £10, or NYX Professional Makeup ON The Spot makeup brush cleanser spray, £9.

And, as any professional make-up artist will tell you, if you use your make-up brushes on other people they must be cleaned after every single use to avoid the spread of skin conditions or infections.

How to clean make-up brushes at home

Cleaning your make-up brushes is a lot easier than you might think – it can be done in the comfort of your own home (specifically, your bathroom). Start by rinsing under running water to get some of the excess make-up out of the brush. Then work ordinary shampoo into the damp brush head, and rinse. Hold your brushes downwards when rinsing so that all of the excess oil and old make-up washes straight down the sink. Once you’ve rinsed the brush head until the water runs clear, squeeze the excess out from the brush. Allow your brushes to dry naturally by sitting them over the edge of a table or shelf. It’s as simple as that.

Alternatively, ace brush brand Real Techniques have two products that make the above that little bit easier – the Brush Cleansing Gel and Brush Cleansing Palette.

Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Gel, £5.59 Look Fantastic

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Douse your brushes in this – it rids the bristles of oil, make-up and impurities – then work them over the nodules on the palette to really get rid of every last speck of dirt.

Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette, £10.39 Look Fantastic

how to clean your makeup brushes real techniques

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Or we’re all completely obsessed with The Apprentice winner, Tom Pellereau’s Styl by Tom Pellereau StylPro Makeup Brush Cleaner and Dryer, £40 Amazon.

how to clean makeup brushes

This super duper piece of technology cleans and dries brushes in seconds, meaning that you can get back to using your brushes faster.

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We bet you’ve never been so excited to go home and clean your make-up brushes.

Whichever technique you choose, just make sure you’re doing it regularly. That’s an order.

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