Bellas, question time – how often do you clean your makeup brushes?

C’mon, you can tell me! Here’s my embarrassing, shameful but true confession…I don’t clean my makeup brushes nearly often enough! I use them daily and I’m honestly embarrassed to tell you how often I take the time to deep clean my makeup brushes thoroughly. It’s a problem. I should know better and do better…but instead all I do is know better and do nothing. Right now it’s been about two weeks.

clean makeup brushes

Clean, beautiful makeup brushes. Mine don't look like this right now πŸ™


I actually stopped myself the other day, while about to film a makeup video for my YouTube channel. Why? Because then people could see how dirty my makeup brush was at the time. (The fact that I just stopped myself from using it in the video and didn’t immediately take the time to oh…I don’t know… WASH IT, speaks volumes about how my mind works. SMH at myself).

I know what Sam Fine uses to wash his brushes. But if you want to give your brushes a little more TLC, allow me to suggest a one-two-three punch that will leave your brushes deeply clean, soft, and smelling fabulous.

Olive oil + brush cleaner + baby shampoo = clean, bacteria free brushes you will LOVE.

Johnsons Baby Shampoo

What I reach for when I need to deep clean my makeup brushes

Johnson’s Baby Shampoo remains my standard go-to baby shampoo, and they recently sent me some samples of their classic items to re-familiarize myself with their efficacy. Johnson’s Baby Shampoo works GREAT! If you’ve got a different preference, you can use any baby shampoo you can find. I happen to love that gentle “baby” product fragrance, but not everyone does. So you can use whatever kind (or lack of fragrance) you prefer!

Generally it’s recommended that you keep your make-up brushes clean on a daily basis by wiping them off on a clean towel or paper towel — see Makeup Geek for a tutorial on when you should be cleaning your brushes. At department stores, employees at makeup counters use cleaner after each use (at Chantecaille, they use rose water!). And weekly it’s advised that you deep clean your brushes. For myself, my goal is to not go any longer than 10 days without deep cleaning my brushes from this point on. Because at that point, it’s already ridiculous and you’re putting your skin at risk for skin problems like acne. No bueno!

The brush-cleaning method I’m currently finding the most useful originated with Enkore Makeup. I hope you’re familiar with him! Enkore Makeup is one of THE most helpful makeup resources on the internet. If you don’t already subscribe, I highly recommend that you do! I had the pleasure of meeting him during The Makeup Show Chicago and he was such a sweetheart!

I only use olive oil to break down the product on my foundation and lip brushes, then I spritz on brush cleaner, then I wash the bristles gently with diluted baby shampoo and warm water. Or you can use dish washing liquid and warm water, depending on your preference. I use a standard brush cleaner, (ULTA’s in house brand is affordable and effective) or if you’re more ambitious you can make your own makeup brush cleaner for about three fiddy (love the name of that blog! LOL). Make sure you’ve rinsed out ALL the cleansers when you’re done, and lay your brushes flat to dry afterwards. I prefer to wash my brushes at night so they’re dry in the morning when I need them!

To keep your eyeliner/lip pencil sharpener clean, I’ve been told to use rubbing alcohol, Q-Tips, and orange sticks (yes the kind you use on your nails!) Worst case scenario, use an eyeglass kit for the teeny screwdriver, and unscrew the whole thing to thoroughly (and carefully) clean.

The point is, love your makeup tools. Care for your brushes well, and you’ll save money and quite possibly save your skin. Don’t be like me. Keep your brushes clean!

How often do you clean your brushes, bellas? Feel free to tell me off in the comments! I know I’ve been bad about it!



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