Ask Ashley: Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes | Bellingham Makeup Artist

“Dear Ashley,

Can you give me some tips on how to clean my makeup brushes? And how often should I do it?

– Vincy”

Thanks for asking, Vincy! This is a great question and one I am excited to talk about, mostly because it is SO important! Makeup brushes over-time can grow and harbor bacteria and germs, so it’s important to clean them on a regular basis. Doing this will prevent potential breakouts, stye’s, or catching virus’ such as pink eye. Cleaning your brushes will not only keep your face and eyes healthy and safe, it prolongs the life of your brushes too! It’s a simple step that will only take a few minutes of your time but will be well worth the minimal effort.

How Often Should You CleaCleaning Makeup Brushesn Your Makeup Brushes?
As a professional, working artist, it is vital that I clean my brushes in between every single client that sits down in my makeup chair. But for personal use, cleaning them that frequently is not necessary; how often you put makeup on will probably determine how often you clean your brushes. At a minimum, you should be cleaning your brushes at least once a month, which is probably ideal for those of you who only wear makeup a few times a week. If you wear makeup on a daily basis however, it is best to clean them weekly. For my personal brushes, I only wear eye shadow and liner once a week or so, so those brushes I will clean about once a month. But I use my foundation brush and blush brush daily so I clean those once a week. Since foundation is such a heavy product, I often even clean that brush twice a week sometimes! One other thing you may notice about cleaning your brushes (and part of why I do it so frequently) is that you will get a cleaner application of the product. My foundation always goes on better the first use or two after I’ve cleaned it. Even just for that reason alone it’s worth to keep up on your brush cleaning! If you ever drop a brush on the floor or in the sink, those are other times you will want to be sure to immediately clean your brush  and wait to use it another day.

Step by Step: How to Clean Your Makeups Brushes
Cleaning your brushes is not only easy-peasy, but it’s fast! I’ve laid it all out in 5 quick steps which will take you from start to finish in a matter of minutes.

Step 1: Fill a small bowl with lukewarm water and a pump or two of brush cleaner; stir.brush
Step 2: Rinse the brush under lukewarm water, rubbing out the product that easily comes off.
Step 3: Swirl the brush in the bowl of soapy water.
Step 4: Rise under lukewarm water once more, gently rubbing out the excess product and soap.
Step 5: Gently squeeze out the excess water and lay flat on a towel to dry, or hang upside down to dry. (Do lot leave standing up to dry, as that will allow the water to seep down into the base of the brush, creating the possibility for breeding mold/bacteria through the excess moisture.)

If you’re in need of a good brush cleaner, there are quite a few out there! This one that Sephora carries is affordable and great, but most drugstore brands you will find at Target and Fred Meyer will also have their own that should work just as good. If you have to clean a brush and are in a pinch, a gentle soap or facial cleanser can do the trick if needed too!

Follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way to having a healthier face and happy brushes. Cleaning them can be hard to remember to do regularly, especially if you’re not used to it. I’ve decided to make Sunday my brush cleaning day and clean whatever brushes I need to for the week on that night! If you notice yourself getting out of the habit, don’t be hard on yourself or put it off longer, just jump back in and clean them as soon as you remember! Your face will thank you for it!



*Have a question you’d like answered? Email me!

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