Every artist in the world knows how important it is to take care of their brushes. Cleaning paintbrushes properly is crucial to their craft. The same can be said about makeup artists, enthusiast, and wearers.
Think about it for a second – bacteria, old makeup, dust and dirt; these things all accumulate on your makeup brushes. Do you want to push bacteria around your face every morning? I didn't think so!
Lots of companies sell brush cleaner but there are a lot of simple options you can find or make at home. You can wash your brushes with the same cleanser you use on your face. If it's gentle enough for your face, it should be gentle enough for your brushes. Don't use anything with acne fighting medications, exfoliators, or other harsh ingredients. It's important to use something gentle and simple. I've never used a bar soap, so I cannot attest to if that works in the same way or not.
Baby Shampoo is a very popular brush cleanser, but I personally can't stand the smell. Is that weird? Instead of baby shampoo you can use a gentle, conditioning shampoo instead. Something with little to no fragrance is best. I'm currently using my Earth Science Fragrance Free Shampoo to clean my brushes.
You can also make your own brush cleanser by combining natural liquid dish soap (I use Seventh Generation) and olive oil. Just mix them together (more soap than oil) and saturate damp brushes with the mixture. The soap cleans the brush while the olive oil conditions.
Once you have found your preferred cleaner, all you need to do is get the bristles of the brush wet under warm running water. Make sure to hold your brushes down. You only want to get the bristles wet. If water gets in to the metal part, the ferrule, it can cause rust, mold, mildew and other bad things. No one wants that! Once the brush is wet, work your cleanser into the bristles, kind of like how you shampoo your hair. Rinse until the water runs clear again. Once all of the cleanser is rinsed out, reshape your brush and lay flat to dry.
You should clean your brushes at least once a month, but doing so more often ensures a flawless makeup application, longer lasting brushes, and cleaner skin! Keep in mind that some brushes can take quite a while to dry, so don't try this hours before a big event. I always let mine dry for 24 hours, just to be safe!
If you want to quickly santitize your brushes in between deep cleanings you can spritz a little witch hazel or rubbing alcohol onto the bristles. Once wet you can wipe the brush on a towel, gently, to get rid of the makeup. Let them air dry and once they are finished they will be cleaner and sanitized.
Do you have any other brush cleaner recipes or tricks? I'd love to hear them! Send them my way if you do!