How much time do you have?
Not a lot? Story of our lives. It’s little wonder cleaning cosmetic brushes has become a chore. It’s tedious and not a job that can be done half-arsed, so if we’re going to the trouble, you’ll bet we want our brushes so clean they’re basically brand new.
Makeup artist Jasmin Lo recommends cleaning your brushes as regularly as once a week (just hear her out), not only for your skin’s sake but for your product’s, too. Y’see brushes pick up residue oil from your skin and transfer it onto your powder products, forming that shiny, caky layer on top that make powders harder to pick up and apply smoothly. In short: when you don’t clean your brushes, you’re actually reducing the effectiveness of those expensive palettes you buy.
Maybe if the process were quicker, we’d do it more often? That’s the theory we’re testing out with Lo’s guide to cleaning your brushes no matter how much – or how little – time you have to spare. OK, let’s see how we go *rolls up sleeves*:
WHEN YOU HAVE NO TIME AT ALL
When you need a clean brush AYYYYY-SAP, lightly mist brush bristles with an alcohol-based spray. Lo’s personal fave? Scotty’s Studio Brush Steriliser. “Scotty’s is the best alcohol-based cleanser I’ve tried as it doesn’t leave any residue on brushes where other brands can leave an oily finish that makes it hard for the bristles to pick up product afterwards”. Wipe your brush clean on a tissue and it’s ready to use in two minutes.
WHEN YOU HAVE A BREAK IN YOUR SCHEDULE
Here’s one you can do while you’re on the couch watching Netflix: soak a cotton pad with an alcohol-based brush cleanser (we love: Mecca Cosmetica Brush With Success) and swirl brushes clean, making sure you get in between each bristle. You’ll know when the brush is clean when the cotton pad comes out clean. Pat dry and its ready for use in 15 minutes.
WHEN YOU HAVE SO MUCH TIME YOU’RE ROLLING IN IT
When she’s got time to burn, Lo washes her brushes with a bar of fragrance-free, gentle goats milk soap from the chemist. “I’ll soak the brush under warm water, swirl it on a soap bar, then swirl it in the palm of my hand, making sure it cleans all the hairs right to the middle (not just the outer edges!) and then rinse thoroughly, ” she explains. “To dry, very gently push out any excess water and pat dry with a towel, leaving them overnight laid out on a table with the bristles hanging over the edge so they dry evenly and in shape.”
Bonus tip: Got a sizeable collection? Lo wears silicone dishwashing gloves so she doesn’t get crinkly fingers from being in warm water for too long.
Go forth and clean those brushes!