If you have always wondered what the best way to clean your makeup brushes is, this simple and thorough tutorial is for you. Makeup brushes are likely the top investment in your beauty stash; this cleaning method complete with DIY makeup brush mat will protect your investment!
Is anyone else a little bit (or a lot a bit if I’m being honest!) of a makeup brush hoarder? Of course, I love what they can do, (they’re like magic, I’ll spare you any before pics! 😉 ) but I also love the experience of applying makeup with brushes. It feels so luxurious and I always feel a little bit better after putting on my makeup with some good makeup brushes!
I admit that I have sometimes been guilty of not caring for my brushes as well as I should, but I promise I have reformed since committing to my Top Ten New Year’s Beauty Resolutions. Were you around for those? Do you remember what #9 was? Mmmm hmmm that’s right… wash your makeup brushes. I’ll spare you the lecture I soap boxed in the resolutions. 😉 In all seriousness though, more than likely your makeup brushes are the highest priced investment in your makeup stash. They can have major staying power, but also have the potential to go rogue (aka lose their hair or have bristles that all have their own bad hair days) if they’re not properly cared for. Not to mention that the oil and makeup build up that accumulates in the brushes + your skin = not friends!
Here are a couple of tutorials for cleaning makeup brushes to help them help you; a deep cleaning option as well as a quick spot cleaning option:
HOW TO DEEP CLEANING MAKEUP BRUSHES:
You should deep clean your brushes at least every 2 weeks. If you’re skin is oily, deep clean your face brushes once a week. I’ve been intrigued with Sigma’s brush cleaning mat for awhile but never bought it. Then it happened one night… I was making coconut chicken bites with my pyramid pan and it struck me! This thing (the pyramid pan) could totally be a brush cleaning mat dupe!
As you can see above, the idea of the brush cleaning mat is that the textured surface breaks up and works out the caked in makeup that lives in the thousands of bristles in the brushes. It’s directions demonstrate the “wash”, “rinse” and “refine” textures on the mat to get the brushes thoroughly clean. Well, my pyramid pan (at half the price and double the function mind you) has 1 texture, but it’s soft silicone pyramids work out the gunk beautifully, and for rinsing, I just use the good old faucet.
So here we go, get ready to see your brushes return to their original beauty!
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- Pyramid pan (we will refer to the pan for the remainder of the tutorial as your brush cleaning mat. 😉 )
- Olive oil (need not be your finest cooking oil)
- Dirty makeup brushes
*By the way my absolute favorite makeup brushes are made by MAC, Morphe and Sigma. The quality is top notch and they have been so good to me.
Gather your supplies. Did you know olive oil has natural antibacterial properties? Yet unlike many antibacterial products it’s conditioning. Also oil breaks down oil, which works wonders for the knocking out the products that have taken up residence in your brushes. Baby shampoo gently cleans the bristles, cleaning out any residual product that the oil didn’t evict. And it smells so good!
Place the brush cleaning mat into a large sink. Pour a small pool of olive oil onto the left side your mat, and a small pool of baby shampoo onto the right side. You may need to add more as you go depending on how many brushes you have.
Work your brushes really well into the olive oil pool in the mat. Be careful not to use a mashing motion, as it will ruin the shape of the brush, but rather a swirling back and forth motion. Then repeat the same process on the right side of the mat with the baby shampoo, adding a bit of water to the brush to lather up the baby shampoo.
Thoroughly rinse. Hold the brushes under running water, working the lather out with your hands until the water runs clear. Make sure to always keep the head of the brush facing down so that water doesn’t get into the base. When water gets into the base, it loosens the glue that holds the hair together, leading to gradual shedding of the brush (and leading to you looking like you forgot to shave off your few random facial hairs. 😉 )
After your brushes have been thoroughly rinsed, firmly squeeze the brush head to remove all excess water.
Lay down a couple layers of paper towels on a dish or bath towel and lay the brushes flat on the paper towels. Allow to dry overnight (or about 3 hours if you need them sooner).
STEP 7 (OPTIONAL):
Spend an awkward amount of time petting your ridiculously soft, beautifully pristine makeup brushes. Trust me. You will want to.
HOW TO SPOT CLEAN MAKEUP BRUSHES:
This is a great method if you don’t have a clean brush and want to use a completely different color (i.e. you want to use a light shadow and your eye brush was used last night for a smoky eye), and you need it clean immediately.
Lay down a few layers of paper towel on the counter and pour some brush cleanser on them (I like to use MAC’s brush cleanser for spot cleaning).
Swish the brush back and forth on the brush cleanser until the old color is gone, remember not to mash or jam the brush’s bristles.
Sweep your brush in the same back and forth motion on the dry section of the paper towel to speed up dry time.
Use that bad boy!
I promise, if you take care of your makeup brushes they will take care of you! I fully anticipate that some of my makeup brushes will outlive me. Some of them were born before me. Ok, not actually born before me, but some of them were in play before I ever used makeup brushes and were handed down to me. They’re just as magical as they were when I first got them.
Thanks for the tutorial. I hope I can revive my brushes.
My pleasure Jeny, I hope so too! 🙂
You have to clean your make up brushes? I had no idea..I just keep using them but maybe that’s why they are so clumpy.
Thanks for the heads up and great tips!!
My pleasure, you’ll be amazed how much better they perform for you once they’re clean! 🙂
Can I clean the brushes using oil and baby soap but no mat? I don’t have one.
Hi Bonnie. Absolutely! You can use the baby shampoo and oil and work it through the brushes thoroughly with your hands. Thanks!
Sara Myer says
Oops I’ve never deep cleaned my brushes! Thanks for the tip!
Great tutorial! A friend of mine was having acne breakouts and figured out her dirty brushes were causing them. Thanks!