Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Article: Proper Makeup Brush Care

When people have allergies to makeup, one of the first questions I ask is if they clean their brushes regularly. While allergies can arise from sources such as animal hair on brushes, they are often due to using the same brush for months on end, without regular cleaning. You might think you can get away without cleaning your brushes if you aren't experiencing allergies, but your makeup applications could be suffering. Using the same brush for multiple colors of eyeshadow, day after day, can lead to muddy looking colors. For precise applications and a healthy face, follow these tips to clean and care for your brushes.

How to clean makeup brushes:
Methods vary on how best to clean brushes, but I highly recommend watching this video for a full tutorial. Instructions for my (very similar) method are below.
  1. Pour out dish soap and olive oil on a plate or other shallow dish (I use clean plastic peanut butter lid). Use a ratio of about 1 tbsp dish soap to 1 tsp olive oil.
  2. Swirl brush in soap/oil mixture, making sure to mix in both liquids.
  3. Wipe the brush back and forth in your clean palm.
  4. Rinse brush in warm (not hot) water until water runs ckear.  If pigments still remain, repeat steps 2-3.
  5. Do not dry your brushes standing up (bristles up, ferrule down) or the moisture will loosen the glue over time. Instead, you may use one of the two methods below.
  6. Method 1: Ideal Method - Slip a brush guard over the brush, slightly past the bristles. Place ferrule-down in a clean cup, allowing the brush guard to support the brush (not the bristles). This is the best way to keep moisture out of your brushes and maintain their ideal shape, but the brush guards can be a bit of an investment.
  7. Method 2: Quick and Easy Method - Place a long, 1/2" tall object (shaped similar to a box of spaghetti) under one end of a microfiber cloth. Dab the bristles on the lower end of the microfiber cloth to remove excess moisture. Then prop the brush up to dry by placing the ferrule on top on the "step" and the bristles resting against the lower end of the microfiber cloth. This allows the moisture to seep downwards, but I rotate brushes regularly using this method so they don't become misshapen.
Keep an extra set handy in case you need
clean brushes in a hurry.
  • Buy only vegan brushes to ensure no animals were harmed.
  • Always wash brushes used for creams and liquids after every use, even if only with water. When on the job, I clean slick brushes by soaking them in a gentle makeup remover, rinsing with water, and drying with a clean tissue.
  • Keep an extra set or sets of your favorite brushes on hand if you don't have time to wash brushes as often as you'd like. For budget picks, check out brands such as Eco Tools and E.L.F..
  • If you don't have spare brushes on hand, a brush cleaner can help with quick changes of color or in a pinch. However, brushes filled with powders (for example, a foundation powder brush you've been using all week) will likely need a full wash if you want to use it for a clean application of another color.
  • For more tips on sanitation and for brush cleaner recommendations, check out my post on sanitizing cosmetics.

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