How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Cleaning your makeup brushes is one of the most important things in doing your makeup. You must work with clean brushes not only for sanitary reasons but to make sure you’re not mixing colors so you use the true color of your makeup products. If you take care of your brushes they will take care of you! I’m going to walk through how to clean your brushes properly so they can last you years like mine have.

Why Clean Your Brushes

You should be cleaning your brushes as often as you are able. Ideally after every makeup application. But I know that can be unrealistic, so I suggest once a week! This will ensure that your brushes don’t get too coated in product and your brush hair will last a very long time. Also, if you don’t clean your brushes your brush hair will become hard and won’t hold product anymore. This makes it so you would just be putting old makeup on and that’s not good for your skin. It could make you break out in a few pimples. Let’s talk about that a little more.. Cleaning your brushes is good hygiene. If you don’t clean them, then you are possibly putting expired makeup on your face and makeup that has not been properly cleaned either. So, it could make you get a pimple or 2 and you might blame the makeup, but really it could be your brush all along.

Cleaning Your Brushes

I treat my makeup brushes like my own hair. Even Steven knows my special way of cleaning them just in case I’m super tired and he wants to be nice and clean them for me LOL. I shampoo them, condition them, disinfect them, and then hang them up to dry overnight. I clean my brushes after every client. But if I’m doing a bridal party, I do not have time to go to the skin and wait for them to dry so I do a quick clean that gets the job done faster.


In order to clean my brushes and give them that deep clean that they need, I use a Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Mat. This mat really helps get in the brush hairs for that extra clean.


When looking for a shampoo, I just use regular shampoo from Ulta that could go on your hair as well!! I personally like to use the Wella Shampoo on my brushes. It really seems to get all the product out really well, and I like the smell it gives off. I use gentle circular motions on my mat and never press down too hard to fray the hairs. Once the hairs are all white and the shampoo is white, I rinse thoroughly until there is no more soap coming out.

*Tip: When washing your brushes, never point them up to the ceiling; always point them down so you do not get a ton of water where they are glued to the brush. It will loosen the glue and you could see shedding of your brush hairs while you do makeup.


When I condition, I take the tiniest amount of conditioner and just massage it gently into the brushes’ hairs and then I rinse thoroughly.


Once I’m all done with cleaning and my brushes don’t have any more product on them, I squeeze them out a lot. I do not want there to be any water dripping from them. So I squeeze them until they are damp. Then I hang them with the brush hairs facing down to dry overnight. This will ensure that the hairs will not get frayed and they dry faster and in the right shape every time. 

Quick Clean

In between clients I usually don’t have time to do all of these steps. So I use Cinema Secrets brush cleaner. It is fast drying and it disinfects so I have that good clean in between clients. I just take a paper towel and put a little of the brush cleaner on it and rub the brush in circular motions until it no longer has product coming onto the paper towel. 

*This cleaner is not good for every time you clean your brushes. You must deep clean your brushes thoroughly at least once a week. This quick cleaner is just a time saver for a working artist or if you want to use the same brush in a look that you’re doing.


In order to keep your skin happy and healthy, make it a routine to start cleaning your makeup brushes at least once a week! Washing them can prevent you from putting old makeup on your skin, maintain the quality of your brush hairs, and they will last longer too! You should treat your makeup brushes just like your hair with shampoo, conditioner, and letting them dry overnight. That gentle clean will keep your skin from possibly breaking out and keep your brushes in good shape!


For more information on makeup tool hygiene, check out my blog about why I HATE beauty blenders here!

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