How to clean Make Up Brushes

One of the most common questions I get asked from clients & friends is:

“What is the best way to clean my make up brushes?”

I finally have some time to write a detailed blog post to show you the best way of doing this. After buying and trying lots of expensive brush cleaners from all the top brands I quickly learned that these do not clean my brushes thoroughly enough. I noticed that especially on my foundation brushes the bristles would be still stained from the foundation!

Luckily some years ago I discovered the best brush cleaner on the market in my opinion is My trusty fairy washing up liquid!

20131106-113839.jpgA cheap & inexpensive product that leaves my brushes absolutely sparkling, especially with foundation brush bristles they are left Snow White,  best of all the bristles are lovely and soft, my clients always comment on how soft my brushes are when I am applying their make up.

I find that the fairy brand in the original green liquid is best and a little goes a long way. I wouldn’t recommend using any other washing up liquid brand, only fairy. It will 100% remove all cream product, gel liners, waterproof product etc that can be hard to get out of your brushes. I sometimes also use a gentle baby shampoo such as Johnson’s on some of my smaller brushes that I use for powder products.

As a make up artist I clean my brushes after each client using a disinfectant such as cinema secrets, this works very effectively as a quick clean in between clients, then at the end of each day I give my brushes a deep wash & clean using the below method, this is very important to ensure my brushes are clean & free from bacteria.

If you are just using your brushes on yourself once or twice a week is sufficient to clean your brushes depending on usage and once you store them correctly in a clean place.

Here is my deep brush cleaning method:

1: Slightly dampen the bristles of your brush. Try not to get the water to much on the handle of the brush.


2: Apply a pea size amount of fairy liquid to the palm of your hand. Use smaller amount for smaller brushes.


3: Put the brush into the liquid and gently rotate so that the bristles are fully covered in the liquid, it will foam up.


4: Rinse brush bristles gently under the tap, until the brush runs clear and no trace of fairy liquid can be seen. I usually use cold or lukewarm water, not hot. I sometimes repeat step 3 now if some stubborn product eg. Foundation still remains. 20131106-115439.jpg

5: Gently squeeze the brush bristles, keeping it in its natural shape to remove the excess water. 20131106-120044.jpg

6: Now gently dry the brush bristles using kitchen paper. It is important to keep the brush in its natural shape and to make sure the brush handle is dry. 20131106-120050.jpg

7: Lastly leave your brushes to dry, in their natural form along a flat surface. Always make sure that the brushes are slightly out from the edge of the surface so that they will fully dry and remain in shape. I always leave my brushes drying like this overnight. 20131106-120428.jpg20131106-120612.jpg

With the proper care and attention your make up brushes should last you for years! The main thing to remember is to keep them as near as you can to their natural form/ shape as much as possible throughout the process. This process is time consuming but essential also!

I hope you enjoyed reading this post, if you have any further questions please just ask.

Karen Xxx

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