Best way to clean your makeup brushes

Updated: Mar 14, 2020

New to the world of makeup, or perhaps even a seasoned professional, but you want to know how to not only properly clean your makeup brushes but get the most out of them? Then read my latest blog below

How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Looking after your brushes is an extremely important part of any professional or ameatures process in ensuring long-lasting, flawless makeup applications. Having clean and makeup free brushes will help with the colour payoff, design and application of your makeup, but also prevent colour transfer and bacteria growth in the bristles of the brush.

Using un-sanitised brushes is like using a used tissue from a stranger, you have no idea where it’s been and what possible infections you’ve let yourself open to! Not to mention gross, am I right?!

Sadly I hear it a lot from professional models and everyday clients, how makeup artists previously haven’t had the duty of care to look after their clients/models needs and used dirty brushes on them. As a professional makeup artist, I can honestly say my daily priority, besides food, water and a walk haha is ensuring my makeup kit and brushes are cleaned, sanitised and ready to use on any client There's more to my job and profession then just making sure my clients look and feel their best, it's ensuring I act and take care of my makeup and brushes before, during and after any makeup applications

There’s an easy to way to clean them... But first of all, my advice is to tell you, don't be lazy and wait until all your brushes are dirty before you clean them, you're just creating more time to fix the problem and worse habits for yourself by leaving it all last minute. Would you rather spend 30 minutes once a day taking the time to clean your brushes, or wait for them all to accumulate into one massive pile and spend three hours, maybe more, cleaning them, eating into valuable time and potential time or client loss

Follow my easy-system, and you'll be thanking yourself you did in the long run...

For spot cleaning (cleaning makeup brushes after each use, freeing it of product) I would recommend using a Makeup Brush Cleaner and Isopropyl Alcohol.

I use the Daiso Makeup Brush Cleaner image found here: https://www.ebay.com.au/p/1730558935?iid=352475894283 Buy directly from the store if you can though, it's only $2.80, some people are cheeky and try to sell it for $10.00+ on third party sites...

This stuff is seriously like a magic eraser for your brushes, its absolutely incredible!

And Diggers Isopropyl Alcohol to disinfect and kill germs found here: https://www.bunnings.com.au/diggers-500ml-isopropyl-alcohol-cleaner_p1560549

To deep clean, this is something a professional artist should do once a week of all their used brushes, personal use I would recommend 2-3 weeks apart as they're only touching your own face. I personally use a fragrance and paraben free liquid soap, dermalogically and hypoallergenic too to cleanse the brush hairs, again a step I take in ensuring I am looking after my clients needs. It's called Dr Bronners Liquid Castille Soap found here: https://www.drbronner.com.au/products/baby-unscented-pure-castile-liquid-soap?variant=21573710282837 How to deep clean your brushes:

Start by running your tap on a luke-warm setting on a light stream. Let the water trickle through your palm, then gently wet the brushes hairs on your palm. Follow by lightly dipping your brush hairs onto a lathered bar of soap next to your sink or dipping the very ends of the bristles into the liquid soap, I put mine in a ceramic bowl. Next, in circular motions, gently clean the makeup brush hairs against your palm under the running water. Repeats as desired until clean. Ensure you gently wring out as much water as possible from the brushes hairs. Lay them flat on a clean towel on a flat service over night. Or if you’re anything like me, roll the end of the towel up, and rest the end of the brush (where there’s no hairs) and ensure the bristles are laying softly on the ends of the towel. This will create a slight decline for your brushes to sit as an angle on and help prevent moisture seeping into the glue and ruining your brushes.

When dry in the morning, before packing them into my kit, I then spray the hairs all individually and handles with isopropyl alcohol to further disinfect and ensure they’re all sparkling clean and ready for my next client!

If you take care of your brushes, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t last you at least 10 years or more with proper TLC!


If you're visual learner, I've got you covered. Click and watch these links below on how to clean your brushes The first video is by Shaaanxo, one of the og beauty influencers and YouTubers who creates super easy to watch videos found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WCu0vkcgZY And another from one of my favourite beauty influencers and YouTubers Desi Perkins, found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehYvrutRefM

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