Hair and Makeup Brushes – How to Clean Them

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How to Clean Your Hair and Makeup Brushes

hair and makeup brushes

Bacteria is everywhere and hair and makeup brushes are no exception. While we take care of our personal hygiene we rarely think to clean our makeup brushes, hair brushes and combs regularly. Every time you use a brush on your face or hair they pickup and store moisturizer and makeup, as well as deposits left behind from shampoo/conditioner and styling products.

You don’t need anything special to keep your brushes clean. In fact you probably have what you need in your kitchen and bathroom already.

Cleaning your makeup brushes daily is easy and deep cleaning your brushes once a week or at least twice a month will suffice. Never soak your brushes and try not to get too much water in the metal for any length of time. This will cause glue to break down and rusting.

How to clean your hairbrush

Remove all hair from brushes/combs. Boil a pot of water, turn the heat off and steep for about 10 min. Chances are you will see a white pasty film appear on them. What you are seeing is oil from your scalp and hair products. This cleans off easily with an old toothbrush and a little dish detergent. Rinse and you’re good to go.

How to clean your makeup brushes daily

Simply use a facial cleansing cloth. Moisten cloth to active cleanser, swipe brushes, rinse and lay flat or hang to dry. I cut several cloths into 4 pieces and keep them stored in a pretty container on my vanity for quick access.

Deep cleaning makeup brushes

It is very important not to use harsh chemicals found in many brush cleaners. Not only are some products toxic but they also break the glue down holding your brushes together. You always want to buy natural dye free brushes. If properly cared for they will last for years.

Pour a small amount of olive oil in a paper towel and swipe your makeup brush back and forth removing most of the makeup. Moisten brush with water, add a small amount of facial cleanser in the palm of your hand, swipe back and forth, rinse and swipe on clean paper towel. Repeat until brush swipes clean. Shape bristles, lay flat on a clean towel or hang to dry as shown in photo. Your brushes are now clean, moisturized and once dry they are soft and supple.

How to buy makeup brushes

Good quality makeup brushes are a good investment and you don’t have to spend a lot of money if you shop for them wisely. As a makeup artist myself I have close to 40 brushes that I have collected through the years. It’s really important  to determine what you need.  I personally use the following each day –

  • Kabuki brush for loose powder
  • Soft but firm eye shadow brush
  • Angled eye shadow brush
  • Angled blush brush
  • Angled fine eyeliner brush when I want to use shadow as eyeliner
  • Eyebrow brush/comb combo
  • Metal eyelash comb

Notice I didn’t mention foundation or concealer brushes? I use them professionally, as well as sponges, but they soak up product so I don’t use them at home. I tend to use 3 colors of shadow at a time so I have multiples of the same brush. This keeps my shadow color true as I apply it.

Stores such as ULTA and Sephora, to name a couple, have a good selection. If you don’t already have store cards at beauty stores I recommend you get them. They often run special sales and send coupons. ULTA always has $3.50 off coupons, but they also mail or email $10.00 off or 20% off coupons. If you have any questions about cleaning your hair and makeup brushes, let me know.


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