Unlike makeup products, makeup brushes do not have an expiration date. After interviewing numerous artists, the resounding sentiment is that if you take good care of your brushes it’s entirely possible to keep them for years—30 years in some cases. The key, of course, is that you have to clean them well.
To keep her brushes super clean, makeup artist Gucci Westman relies on Parian Spirit’s non-toxic, … [+]
Like washing your face at night, though, it’s a step that many would rather avoid or put off. But just as you’d expect this is not a great idea. Leaving makeup caked onto your brushes can lead to build-up and bacteria that weakens bristles over time and can irritate your skin (which might be the reason you’re breaking out or experiencing sensitivity). Keeping your brushes clean and tidy also ensures that anything you apply—foundation, blush, highlighter, eye-shadow—glides on better.
Cleaning your brushes well is not as simple as running them under water. Makeup particles are designed to cling and often feature ingredients not easily dissolved by water. For that reason, you need a more strategic approach. The best method is to do a quick clean daily and then a thorough deep-clean once a week or every few weeks, depending on how much and how often you wear makeup—applying a quick sweep of foundation doesn’t require nearly as much de-griming as a 10-step contouring routine involving multiple layers of product, for example.
Here, two top makeup artists—Gucci Westman, co-founder of Westman Atelier, and Soul Lee, founder of Beautiful Soul Makeup Studio—share their personal brush-cleaning routines, including the products that make the job easier and more efficient, so you keep your tools in pristine shape and get better results from every stroke.
How To Clean Makeup Brushes: Quick Daily Routine
Trust A Professional Spray For All Brushes
“My favorite formula is Parian Spirit, which is made from citrus oils and food-grade solvents that disinfect and condition,” says Westman. “If your brushes just need a quick touch-up, spray the solution directly onto the bristles until they’re damp.”
Next, “lay out a clean white cloth or paper towel and swirl the damp brush head back and forth against the towel to remove product residue. Do this for about a minute, or until you don’t notice any more makeup particles coming off on the towel,” says Westman. “Then, lay your brushes horizontally on a flat surface to dry—not standing up straight because that affects how the bristles dry.”
Try A No-Stain Option For Expensive Brushes
“I’ve been using Cinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner for many years,” says Lee. “It’s a disinfectant with anti-microbial properties and dries really quickly without any oily residue so my brushes stay fluffy. It also doesn’t need to be rinsed off so it’s great if you use your brushes …….