Thou Shalt Clean Thy Brushes And Blenders
“With a good makeup brush, every woman can be an artist” - Unknown
Okay, so this isn’t going to help you actually create the look but let’s be honest, make up brushes are the bare basics and when you don’t get the basics right, the rest is bound to go south.
The first hack you need to know about? Learn how to properly clean your bushes and your beauty blenders. This is so so basic but so so important. Dirty brushes spread bacteria and let's be honest, bacteria isn’t a good thing at any time!
First things first, it’s a good idea to invest in good quality brushes from the get-go. You’ll find a huge difference in your makeup application if you spend just a little more and purchase a set of brushes that allow you to really explore the wonderful world of makeup in more detail. Sure, you can opt for cheaper versions but sometimes the quality just isn’t there. You can’t blend properly, the product sticks rather than moves, and the end result is all just a little bit blah.
We don’t have time for ‘blah’.
So, first things first, buy some great quality brushes and secondly, you need to learn how to keep them clean.
- Dirty makeup brushes and blenders don’t apply product to the skin as well as clean ones. They’re clogged up with old product and all manner of nastiness and they’ll give you sub-standard results.
- Bacteria can easily climb in and dwell on those dirty brushes and blenders, causing spots and even infections. Not cute, right?
- Your blenders won’t last very long if you don’t keep them clean and brushes can easily become past their best if you allow them to become clogged to the point of no return.
I get it, cleaning your brushes and blenders isn't the most exciting of subjects, but sometimes we have to cover the basics to get to the good stuff!
When buying your brushes, I recommend you go for the following:
- At least one beauty blender, but a few will serve you well
- Foundation brush
- Concealer brush
- Powder brush
- Bronzer or blush brush
- Contour brush
- Fan brush
- Eyeshadow brush with a blunt, tapered edge
- Fluffy eyeshadow blending brush
- Medium eyeshadow brush
- Eyeliner brush
Of course, you can buy all manner of other brushes in shapes and sizes but these tend to be for professional makeup artists who need various shapes to create a range of different looks. The above suggestions will more than serve you well and will allow you to look your very best, day after day.
You can buy good quality brush sets; Sigma are one of the most high quality producers of makeup brushes, but they will set you back a good amount of cash. Simply go for what you can afford but remember that you often get what you pay for.
So, how do you get them clean?
You should give your makeup brushes a good clean at least weekly. Yes, it’s work but it’s worthwhile!
- Take your brushes and wet them with water that is lukewarm in temperature - basically not too hot and not too cold, somewhere in the middle
- If you’re using brush cleanser, take a small blob of it into your hand. If you're using dish soap, you only need a very small amount, so a pea-sized blob will do
- Take one brush at a time and place the bristled part into the palm of your hand, working the soap or cleanser into the bristles carefully
- Repeat until you’ve cleaned all brushes this way
- Give all your brushes a good rinse, working through the bristles with your fingers to make sure there’s no leftover soap lingering anywhere. Make sure that you get right down to the base of the bristles. The water should begin to run clear
- Take a clean towel and squeeze the bristles, to get rid of any excess water
- Take each brush and work the bristles back into their original shape - they can sometimes become misshapen or bent unless you do this
- Allow the brushes to air dry on the edge of table or ledge, with the bristles hanging over the edge. This will ensure they retain their shape and don’t become flat underneath.
And that’s how you clean brushes! But, what about blenders?
Again beauty blenders need to be cleaned weekly.
- Soak your beauty blender under running warm water - again, lukewarm is best
- Take a small amount of antibacterial liquid soap or regular dish soap and lather it into your palm
- Transfer the soap onto the beauty blender and work it around, squeezing the blender to get the soap into the middle section. Really work this in, it might take a while but there is likely to be lot of product lurking in the middle
- Rinse the blender in lukewarm water again, squeezing and wringing it out until the water runs clean and you don't have anymore suds
- Leave the blender out to air dry completely
Alternatively, if you have less time to spare you can try this:
- Soak your beauty blender in a bowl of warm, soapy water
- Place the bowl into the microwave (make sure you’re using a microwave safe bowl) and use a low setting for one minute
- Remove the bowl and let the water cool
- Take the blender out of the water and give it a good squeeze, to remove all water
- Leave it out to air dry
Knowing how to clean your brushes and blenders will spare you a lot of time and will give you better results when applying your product. It also means you’re less likely to be literally painting bacteria onto your face with a dirty brush - unpleasant, for sure.