Brush Care 101 :: How to Make Your Tools Last

If there’s ever a topic that comes up more often than smokey eyes in my chair, it’s how to care for your makeup brushes.  Whether you’re spending $5 or $45 dollars on a brush, it is extremely important to take care of it like a newborn child.  Ok maybe not that gentle but, somewhere along those lines.  Bottom line – the better you care for something, the longer it lasts. 

Here is a tip to make sure your brushes are getting cleaned every week which can be an easily forgotten chore…

Wash your brushes every Sunday for the week ahead and then lay them out to dry before Monday morning.   This way, you know every week they are getting cleaned and you don’t have to remember the last time you washed them, whether it was last Tuesday or the Wednesday before that.

For all of my time sensitive friends who are strapped during the week and month to keep clean brushes – clean your foundation brush 2-3x a week and keep a bottle of brush spray cleaner with tissues at your makeup station.  You can either hand wash your foundation brush with mild soap and water, or you can clean it with a daily brush cleaner and tissue.  You can then wash all your other brushes you are using like eyeshadow brushes and blush brushes with just the cleaner and tissue.  Because these types of brushes aren’t usually used with a liquid/cream product it’s easier to get away with just using the spray. Simply saturate the tissue with a moderate amount of cleaner and swirl your brush into the tissue until no more product comes out.  Squeaky clean.


Clever tip – you can even use Isopropyl Alcohol in a clean spray bottle if that’s easier for you but do not use it very often on your liquid brushes, it’s too harsh.

If you are doing your deep wash Sunday cleaning, you will point the brush under warm running water and pump a drop of mild (preferably natural) soap into your opposite hand.  Do not use antibacterial soap, it is too harsh and strips the brush of it’s softness.  Swirl the brush into the soap and create a large lather.  I add a little water to the soap while I’m doing this and continually swirl the brush in my hand. Depending on how dirty the brush is, I do this a few times and then rinse the brush as much as possible with clean water.  At any point that you are washing brushes, do not dip the brush upside down and do not let water run into the ferrule where the adhesive sits, this will wear the brush down very quickly and the hair will begin to fall out.

Clever tip #2 – you can also occasionally wash your brushes with your hair conditioner after you’ve cleaned them.  This makes the brushes superbly soft and is a must-do if you’re using a dry hair brush similar to the ones bareMinerals makes.  Just be sure to rinse it well and don’t use too much conditioner.  If you do it can prevent you from picking up any product once you’re ready to use it.

I then lay all of my brush out to dry on a flat surface on top of a clean towel.

As I’ve mentioned before in my “Top 3 Brushes That Will Save Your Life”  post, the preferred brush spray cleaners that I use are from Sephora brand and Sonia Kashiuk.  Below is the link to to both brush cleaners.





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