One of the things clients often ask me is how I clean my brushes.
Surprisingly, not a lot of people are aware of how or how often one should clean their brushes. Some clients and friends are so unsure of this that they no longer bother to even clean their own tools.
Cleaning your tools, especially your brushes, is a must! These are the babies that touch our skin and are used to transfer product from pan to face — unless you want to have a breakout or allergies, please clean your brushes.
My mentor gave me the tip of having at least two sets of brushes. So that you easily have a clean set every single time. I find that tip to be expensive, so I just make it a point to regularly clean them instead. It is a hassle, yes, but that is better than encountering a made up face that gets an unwanted reaction from your dirty brushes. (Eew.) I also find that having too many brushes confuses me and will eventually give me more stuff to clean and keep track of.
Cleaning in between uses can easily be done with brush cleaners like the one from MAC, Cinema Secrets, or (my personal favorite) Parian Spirit. Parian Spirit is my favorite because it leaves the brushes with a citrus-y smell. It also feels very clean afterwards. MAC leaves a sort of sticky residue with some products which I do not like.
In between use cleaners can be sprayed onto a piece of paper towel and you swirl your brush bristles into the wet towels until the brushes are clean. You know they’re clean already when no more product is being deposited onto the wet towel.
Deep-cleaning should be done every week for personal brushes, so you need to allot some time for it because it involves shampooing and conditioning the bristles. A lot like how one used to wash the hair of their Barbie dolls. Except those weren’t meant for washing, and these brushes are.
For deep-cleaning, wet your brush heads with cool running water. Do not soak in water or use warm water. Soaking in water or using warm water will loosen the glue that holds the bristles together. That will make your brushes shed and destroy them.
Afterwards, swirl into some shampoo and then lather. I use a Brush Egg or textured silicone pad to help get the grime out of each hair strand. Rinse and repeat the process with conditioner this time in order to give it that softness.
To make things easier for me I use a soap specifically made to clean brushes. I’m currently finishing this tub of Crazy Merman Lavender Basil brush soap because I like the scent. I also have a stash of Product X by Xeng Zulueta as a reserve which is a good local alternative.
I wash brushes often for work so anything that cuts the time down to wash all my brushes is a good thing. But soap and conditioner works just fine. For non-animal hair bristles, Joy and other dishwashing soaps are a good alternative to strip the greasy product off the bristles.
Lastly, I just lay them out on a towel to air dry or hang on a brush tree. I usually let them face a fan to help speed up the process. If I am in a rush, then I use a hairdryer set on cool for more air. And your brushes are clean again for use.
Make sure to care for your brushes and they will last you for years. My current set of mostly MAC brushes has been with me for the past 6 years. Regularly used for work, too. Apart from getting a good brand of brushes, how you care for them also matters. It does not only affect application, but also how long they will last you.