After what felt like a painfully long winter, spring has finally arrived. I find it funny how we instinctually find ourselves turning over a new leaf in the lead up to the warmer weather. We promise to detox from all the ‘comfort’ food we have shovelled into our mouths throughout winter, we renew our gym memberships and we ‘spring clean’ our wardrobes to make room for all the pretty dresses we’ve had our eye on. With all these good intentions though there is one thing that we makeup lovers tend to overlook. And this is something we forget to do all year round, not just in our ‘I’m-going-to-be-more-organised-and-healthy-from-now-on’ moment. We don’t clean our makeup brushes nearly as often (if at all) as we should.
To be fair, I’m sure there are those of you out there who religiously do and I applaud you for that. I am, ashamed to say it, guilty of being one of the former. But I pledge to be lazy no more and if, like me, you lack a little motivation I will list the reasons (or scare tactics; sometimes that’s what it takes) why we need to make the time to clean our beloved brushes.
1. We take such care ensuring that the product we put on our face won’t clog our pores leading to break outs, provide us with a flawless complexion and give us the confidence that we look our absolute best. Therefore, what is the point of using said products if you go and use a brush crawling in bacteria? Let me put it this way. Would you eat off the same plate over and over without washing it in between meals? Me neither! So when you think about it, we are kind of doing that with our brushes. Pretty gross when you think about it, huh!
2. Good quality brushes can also be on the pricey side so why wouldn’t you want to take care of them to ensure they produce the best results every time? Isn’t that why you forwent those gorgeous (if, ahem, unwearable) 6 inch heels in favour of brushes that would guarantee a professional application, instead of those el cheapos that leave annoying hairs on your face? I’m sure you call your brush set an ‘investment’ and rightly so. If the proper care is taken with them there is no reason why after many moons the furry friends in your makeup bag won’t provide you with application perfection use after use.
So now I have educated you on the reasons why we need to take the time to show them a little TLC, what is the best way to clean them you ask? Let me tell you how.
1. Using warm water, wet your brush.
2. Into the palm of your hand squeeze a small amount of shampoo. Gently massage the brush into it creating lather. Take care not to get the metal part of your brush wet.
3. Thoroughly rinse with warm water (and watch in amazement at the large amount of product build-up that comes flowing out). This, you will find, takes quite a long time but it is imperative to make sure every trace of product (along with bacteria) is removed. You may need to repeat these 3 steps twice if it has been months in between cleans.
4. With a clean towel or paper towelling, blot your brush gently, making sure not to disturb the original shape of it.
5. Lie the brush flat on a clean towel and leave it to air dry. Never use a hair dryer even as tempting as it may seem. This is a sure fire way to loosen the hairs making them fall out. If your brush is not quite dry the next day, resist using it. Instead, opt for a makeup free day or make sure you have a back up one that you can use.
Cleaning your brushes is something you should do regularly, about once a month. This might seem like a lot but trust me; it is worth the time spent. On top of this, you really should spot clean in between as well. A brush cleaner should be present in your makeup bag at all times. Mineralogie have a great one that will remove bacteria and has a lovely scent to it. It also helps to remove the build-up and is great to get rid of colour, especially when using several eye shadows. Simply spray onto a tissue and wipe the offending brush until colour is no longer appearing on it.
Storing your brushes in their own little spot is also a great way to keep them in good nick. Mineralogie has a Professional Brush Kit (below) that includes 9 must have brushes to create any look and they come housed in a nifty brush roll.
So the next time you go to apply your makeup, ask yourself this question. When was the last time I cleaned these brushes? If you honestly can’t answer, the time would be right then and there. Your brushes (and your face) will love you for it and in return you will achieve the application you desire, over and over.