How to wash makeup brushes: Best practice for blusher and shadow brushes

11 January 2019, 17:30 | Updated: 31 January 2019, 09:20

How to clean your makeup brushes
How to clean your makeup brushes? It's the question we're always asking. Picture: Pixabay

By Nicola Bonn

When should I clean my makeup brushes? And how often should I do it? Heart's Beauty Editor Nicola Bonn shares her tips for keeping your brushes squeaky clean.

Ladies, can we be honest with each other? Keeping your makeup brushes clean can be a total pain in the neck! Life is so busy and this definitely doesn't make it anywhere near the top of my to-do list. (I have been known to "forget" to clean my own brushes many a time)

The problem is that a dirty makeup brush is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. We touch them, we use them on our faces, we cover them with products that are often moist. Basically, leaving your makeup brushes unwashed is bit like forgetting to wash your hands after you go to the loo. It's a little bit yucky.

The pros recommend washing your face brushes about once a week at least. Apart from the bacteria issue, the build up of product makes good makeup application almost impossible, so the cleaner the better. I clean all my other brushes around twice a month.

Johnsons Baby Shampoo is mild enough to keep your makeup brushes clean and happy
Johnsons Baby Shampoo is mild enough to keep your makeup brushes clean and happy. Picture: brand or picture agency

When it comes to cleaning, the milder the product you use the better. If you use something too harsh it can ruin the quality of your brushes, especially if they are made with natural hairs.

While there are lots of tailor made products around, I often use good old Johnsons Baby Shampoo. I pour a little bit in my hand, wet my brush and gently swish it around in the shampoo, rinsing as I go. Once the brush is clear of product I give it gentle press with a towel to get rid of any excess water, reshape it and leave it to dry balancing somewhere so air is getting to the brush head which helps to reduce the risk of mould and mildew

This genius machine cleans and dries brushes in seconds
This genius machine cleans and dries brushes in seconds. Picture: brand or picture agency

If cleaning your brushes manually all sounds like a bit too much of a faff, then you might want to invest in a Stylpro Cleaner and Dryer. Winner of The Apprentice Tom Pellereau invented this genius product which basically spin cleans and dries your brushes in seconds. It's around £40 but I say it's worth every penny, particularly as the brushes will come out dry enough to use instantly.

Nicola interviewing Pixiwoo's Sam Chapman
Nicola interviewing Pixiwoo's Sam Chapman. Picture: Nicola Bonn

Having known Sam and Nic from Pixiwoo for years, I can tell you that any product that they put their name to is going to be a good one. I really like the Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette as it takes a lot of the effort out of the cleaning process.

You slip your hand into the palette and then add a squeeze of cleaning product and some warm water. Then swoosh your brushes around, rinse and leave them to dry in the handy brush holding area at the top.

this product from Solid is great for cleaning beauty blenders
this product from Solid is great for cleaning beauty blenders. Picture: Brand or Picture agency

My final recommendation is Solid Blendercleanser available from Cult Beauty. It's is not only great for cleaning your brushes but is a fantastic option if you use a beauty blender. I love the fact that this is solid so won't leak. All you need to do is massage a bit into your blender, foam and rinse. It is antibacterial which is a massive bonus and should get rid of all traces of makeup.

You can follow Nicola on Instagram @OutspokenBeautyPodcast and find out more about the Outspoken Beauty Podcast here.