As much as I claim to be a neat/clean freak, I would be lying if I told you I clean my makeup brushes regularly. In fact, I only cleaned them just to take this photo! Let's face it, it's an arduous task no one looks forward to, and while we may have gotten into good habits of removing our makeup and double cleansing every night, we all have our bad beauty habits too - me being a culprit of infrequent brush cleaning. I'm lucky that I don't break out from dirty makeup brushes, though there comes a time when they really aren't looking or performing their best and you know you've just got to get it done. A squeaky clean foundation brush that actually blends the product into the skin, and an eyeshadow brush free of layers of different eyeshadow colours really makes all the difference!
I don't tend to spot clean my brushes all that often. It isn't thorough enough and I feel like if I'm going to make the effort to clean them, I may as well do it properly. However, if you really need to use a specific brush right at that very moment, spot cleaning is a great quick fix and you only have to wait a couple of minutes for your brushes to dry. I use the MAC Brush Cleanser, pouring a little amount onto a folded up paper towel (for better absorption) and then taking my brush, I swirl it around until all product has been removed and it shows up clean on the paper towel. It's not really an effective method for face brushes as they're large and hold in a lot more product, but for smaller brushes made for the eyes, it works really well. I still recommend deep cleaning all your makeup brushes and I'll always choose it over spot cleaning, but hey, a spot cleansed brush is better than a dirty one!
I've used the Johnson's Baby Shampoo in the past for deep cleaning my makeup brushes and while it was good, it was time to see what the fuss was all about over the Dr Bronner's Pure Castile Soap. It seems to be the soap for squeaky clean brushes everyone swears by and I have to admit that while I was initially skeptical, I'm a convert now. In the lovely, sweet Rose scent, I don't know what is in this magical liquid, but it seems to have cut my brush cleaning time in half! Using Castile soap is great for makeup brushes because not only does it thoroughly clean them, but will keep your brushes soft and conditioned.
To deep clean, I first wet the brush under running water and pouring a tiny amount (you really don't need a lot with Dr Bronner's!) of the soap into my hand, I swirl it around until it lathers up and squeeze out the old makeup (ew) until every trace is removed, before going on to rinse them clean. For face brushes, especially my foundation ones, I'll need to repeat this process twice. I don't really need to with my other smaller brushes, but I like to, anyway, just to be sure that they're super clean. When I was using Johnson's Baby Shampoo, I'd sometimes do this step up to four times! When I'm cleaning my eye brushes, I clean two at a time since they're small, which saves time, water and soap! I don't use any fancy brush washing glove because they still seem a bit gimmicky to me and I just don't know whether I want to part with the money for one, even with the cheaper alternatives. I'm sure they work just as well as everyone says they do, but I don't mind the momentary prune-y looking hands!
Once they've been washed and rinsed, I squeeze out the excess water, making sure that the bristles are facing downwards. If they aren't, water can get up into the ferrule, which weakens the glue, therefore making the brushes shed. I then towel dry them and place them over the edge of my bathroom bench top to dry overnight.
So, there you have it. Clean, freshly washed makeup brushes! Like all good habits, once you get into cleaning your makeup brushes regularly, you won't think anything of it. It's still a task I'll always dread, but once it's over, I've found myself surprised by how little time it actually took! You know what they say, it always seems impossible until it's done.