How I Wash My Brushes

how i wash 3This post will show you how I wash my make up brushes. It’s the first in a “how I do it” series focused on the basics, designed primarily for beginners. When I was just starting out, brushes were one of the things that most intimidated me. I didn’t know which ones I needed, I didn’t know what to look for when buying them and I didn’t know how to properly take care of them. Now that I’ve developed a good set of brushes, my make up applies so much better!


I use two products from Sephora for washing my brushes. The first is their natural citrus brush cleaner, which is a spray made by the brand Parian Spirit. It has a strong citrus smell and can leave bristles just a tiny bit greasy, but it gets the pigment out and dries super fast. I only use it for occasional spot cleaning. The second product is Sephora’s solid brush cleaner, which is a bar of soap with a little silicone scrubby pad. I used it for deep cleaning and it does a great job. My white brushes stay white, even when I use them with dark eyeshadows. This has a nice light vanilla-y smell that I really love, too. My brushes smell sooo good after I use it. Honestly, I like this so much that I actually stick to a once a week brush washing schedule, just because I enjoy using it and like the way my brushes smell afterwards. Before, when I was using dish soap and olive oil to wash my brushes, I didn’t enjoy the process and would always delay washing my brushes as long as I conceivable could.

brush cleaning 1

I spot clean my brushes when I want to reuse a brush in the middle of the week. Honestly, this isn’t something I do very often. Most of the time I just rub my brush against a piece of tissue until no more color rubs off. However, sometimes I want to use a brush that’s full of bright or dark pigment, and that means spot cleaning. To spot clean, I spray 1 or 2 little squirts of the cleaner directly into the bristles of the dirty brush. Then I hold it upside down between my palms and rub it back and forth, like I’m trying to start a fire with a twig. I rub the bristles onto a piece of tissue until no more color comes out. Then I let it dry for a few minutes before using it.


When I deep clean my brushes, I do it in this order, starting with my eyeshadow brushes, then my blush and powder brushes, with my concealer and foundation brushes last. On the very rare occasion I attempt to use a lip brush, it goes at the end. I work my way from powder to cream products, starting with the ones that were used for the lightest colors and ending with the darkest.

I try to deep clean my brushes every week or week and a half at most. I like the process now that I’ve switched to a solid cleanser, so that doesn’t feel too burdensome to me. It only takes me about 15 minutes to wash about two dozen brushes. But if I go much longer than a week in between washes, then my foundation brush gets gross and starts leaving streaks on my face instead of blending nicely.

brush washing 2I deep clean my brushes using a slightly different method than the one suggested in the instructions. First, I get the bristles wet by holding the brush at a downward pointing angle under running water. It’s important to keep it pointed down so that water doesn’t get inside the ferrule (the metal part that connects the bristles and the handle). If water gets inside the ferrule, the glue that holds the brush together can deteriorate and the bristles can fall out. Then I rub the damp brush on the dry bar of soap. If it’s a big brush I make sure to rub it back and forth until there’s enough soap worked in. Then comes the fun part! I rub the bristles around in little circles on the pink silicone pad, which causes the soap to foam up. I keep rubbing it back and forth and in circles until the foam doesn’t have any more pigment coming out into it. Then I rinse the brush, keeping the bristles pointed down. I pinch the bristles to make sure all the soap is out. Sometimes I’ll brush the brush against the back of my hand to make sure it’s all rinsed. Then I gently squeeze any excess water out, shaping the bristles into the position I want them to dry in and lay them down on a towel to dry overnight. I also rinse off the pad and leave the container the soap comes in open overnight, so the bar has a chance to dry off too.

DSCN3091Ta da! Nice clean brushes. Seeing them laid out all nice and pretty and clean makes me happy.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s