Surprisingly, this is one of the questions I get asked quite a lot. I’d have given you a different answer depending on when you asked. I decided to finally tackle this blog post because I have been using these products weekly and I don’t see myself changing it anytime soon. For most of you, like myself, cleaning makeup brushes is a laborious and tedious task. As much as I would rather be spending time with my kids or catching up on series, I know it needs to be done. I store my brushes upright in a brush holder and because it has no lid, it is a catch tray for dust and bacteria.
A year ago I was very lazy to clean my brushes. I would use a brush egg and a DIY recipe for brush cleaner which worked well but was a mission to store if I made too much or annoying that I had to stop midway while washing my brushes to make more (I’ll list the recipe down below if you’d like to try it). It took me over an hour to wash the 50 odd brushes I had so I only did it once a month (well most of the time anyways).
I mentioned in this post that I purchased the SwiitchBeauty Express Brush Cleaning Glove and how it cut my washing time in half. Paired with that, the purchase of the Blvd. Cosmetics Brush Shampoo & Conditioner makes it a winning combo. The soap is housed in a round, plastic container with a screw off lid. In the lid is a piece of material similar to velcro which has grooves and can be used to clean and twist your brushes on. I prefer not to use it this way because while it is a nifty idea, I find it awkward to hold and difficult to clean my larger oval brushes with the raised sides. I swirl my brush twice on the soap to create a lather, then rub it on the brush glove which I leave resting in the sink. Just make sure you don’t leave the soap itself under running water as the product will dissolve much faster. I’ve used mine over 10 times already to wash hundreds of brushes and it hasn’t even made a dent in the pan. The formula removes all dirt and makeup in the first wash including any discolouration. It doesn’t leave any residue behind which I have found with other brush cleaners where I have to rinse it out multiple times to get rid of the oiliness or stickiness. The formula is made with natural oils and has antibacterial and conditioning properties to keep the brushes soft and in tip top shape. It keeps the bristles healthy and long lasting. It’s also scented with Lavender so the brushes smell absolutely fresh, clean and amazing. I’m now washing my brushes on a weekly basis and it takes me 15 mins max while also saving loads of water. It also comes in Lemongrass and an Unscented version as well as a larger size for Pros. I picked up mine from Muse.SA for R350.
Since I know Blvd. Cosmetics is not readily available, I decided to list some alternatives that have worked for me in the past and stood out among the rest. The MAC cosmetics brush cleaner retails for R210 and cleans, disinfects and conditions the brush fibers. The liquid BeautyBlender cleanser also has a subtle lavender scent and removes germs and tough stains with sea salt to absorb toxins. This retails for around R360 upwards and can be found at Placecol stores or third party sellers.
For travelling I keep my Rubybox Fresh in a Flash Brush Cleaner to spot clean my brushes as an alternative to using alcohol. I picked up 5 bottles when it was available and this is the last bottle which I’m almost out of. If you can recommend any other spot cleaners that you might know of as I am so scared that using too much alcohol on my brushes will cause shedding.
Once I clean my brushes, I leave most of them on my Benjabelle Daisy brush tree which has 14 holders but I sometimes insert two or three smaller ones as it dries faster. Since I wash more brushes than that at a time, I roll up one side of a towel to create a slope and leave my brushes slanted downwards so no water gets into the ferrules. I only learnt this trick a while after I had washed some brushes so the entire brush heads had come off some of my wooden ones. If you ever have this problem, you can use some nail glue to attach it back on and it will be good as new.
If you’re on a budget and would like to create you own brush cleaner, here is a quick recipe which will clean and condition your brushes.
2 tablespoons baby shampoo
1 tablespoon dishwashing liquid
1 tablespoon olive oil
Just make sure you don’t add too much olive oil and rinse the brushes well.
Always be sure to hold your brushes away from running water, only let the bristles get wet (bristles facing downwards) as the water loosens the glue in the ferrule and can cause shedding or permanent damage to your brushes. That’s another one of the reasons I love my Real Techniques brushes, because the ferrule handle is much longer and does not have a second opening for the water to seep through.
Hope this post helped and gave you some new ideas to cut down on the much loved brush cleaning time (enter sarcasm here). Let me know how you wash your makeup brushes?