How to: Clean your make-up brushes

How to clean your make-up brushes

Any make-up artist will tell you that brushes are one of the most important and expensive investments in their beauty kit. Without their brush collection, and a clean one at that, they are left feeling bare. By looking after your make-up brushes you may never have to replace a good quality set. We asked celebrity make-up artist for Elizabeth Arden, Gina Myers, to share some of her cleaning tips with us.

Gina cleans her brushes every day as she uses them for professional use, but suggests washing your brushes once a week. “This keeps them clean and helps prevent bacteria build-up,” says Gina. Your tools and brushes accumulate oil and product, and can lead to skin breakouts if not washed regularly. With clean tools you can create a much more even and consistent make-up application too.

Remember not to over-wash, and in-between washes, tap off excess powders and wipe off extra make-up with a tissue. 

How to clean your brushes: 

  • First rinse your brushes in warm (not hot) water in the basin or in a bowl.
  • Try not to get the base / handle wet as this may loosen the glue that’s binding the bristles.
  • Gina suggests applying a small amount of baby shampoo (or a gentle shampoo) onto the bristles and working up a gentle lather, as you would with your actual hair. You can also buy brush cleansers that are designed specially to clean your brushes.
  • Be sure to rinse the shampoo off properly as you don’t want your brushes to be left sticky.
  • Rinse them again under running water. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear.
  • Once a month, try adding a tiny drop of olive oil to your brushes, but yet again be sure to remove it all, as you don’t want oily brushes. “It will improve and maintain the quality of your brushes, “ says Gina.
  • Before you place your brushes down to dry on a towel or on the edge of a counter, return the bristles to their original shape. Never heat dry.


Other articles you may be interested in:
How to apply blusher
Ten make-up brushes to invest in
How to apply bronzer like a pro
Contouring with Elizabeth Arden
Optical illusions

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29 Responses

  1. This is brilliant… as i never knew what to use, in case i damaged my brushes.. so after a while would just replace them.. Now i can prolong the life of my brushes….very handy

  2. I seriously need to start cleaning my make-up brushes. I don’t have many, but they certainly need a wash. Will get on it asap.

  3. This is great . For some reason I have been cleaning mine with alcohol. Will def try this

  4. Cleaning my brushes has become a weekly routine especially in summer with the increase of bacteria. Love the olive oil tip!

  5. Such useful advice and information to prevent grime from building up on your brush and passing bacteria to your face.

  6. Awesome tips! Especially the olive oil on maintaining and improving the quality of your brushes. Going to try that for sure!

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