I recently posted a video on my personal Facebook page, urging people to wash their makeup brushes. A young woman contracted a staph infection on her eyebrow after failing to clean the spooly brush end of her brow pencil. I got many comments on it, and I was surprised to see how many people didn't know what to clean their own brushes with, or how often. So here is some info on cleaning your brushes AND tools. Tools are just as important!
As a Makeup Artist, staph infections or any kind of conjunctive eye infections are my worst nightmare. I have been known to wash the brushes left out in a bathroom of say, a friend or sister, if I spot some dirty brushes. My friend even named me "The Brush Cleaning Fairy" and I couldn't be happier about it! The thought of a friend or client getting any kind of infection from a dirty brush is a real threat, so I need to be super vigilant about using clean brushes on every single person. You would be surprised what I have seen in my years working beside other Makeup Artists. Horrors. Also, -bonus!- your brushes work so much better clean.
Well, so how often should I wash, you ask? I tell clients for powder brushes that you use for face powder, eyeshadow, blush, etc., at LEAST every two weeks. For a concealer, creme eyeliner, or lipbrush, wash after every use, not just for sanitary purposes, but the brush won't work as well with crusty makeup already on it. For a Beauty Blender sponge or something similar- after EVERY use. It's a sponge people! Think about the bacteria.
When I am washing 100 brushes a night after a long day of doing makeup, I use good ole' fashioned dish soap. Yep, this works great and gets the brushes squeakier than a dog toy. Here's the thing though, it has to be the traditional kind, NOT the natural kind, such as 7th Generation or similar. You need all the solvents to breakdown the makeup and really wash away the bacteria. I find that the naturals don't work nearly as well.
This solid brush cleaner works amazingly! It was originally made for washing paint brushes, I found it randomly in an art store. I have been using it for years. It gets into all the nooks and crannies, and washes the oil based products away in a snap. Just get your brush wet, rub it into the solid cake, then swirl in your palm to get all the makeup off.
Important! After cleaning your brushes, gently squeeze out the excess water, reshape the brush into it's original shape, and lay flat to dry. Do not put in a cup upright to dry, the water will drain into the handle and loosen the handle from the top of the brush.
Now for tools!
Eyelash curlers- Use 91% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol and a cotton pad, when you can start to see any makeup build up on the eye pad. Usually about every two weeks.
Tweezers- Use same method as above, every two weeks.
Disposable eyebrow/face razors- Use once, and toss. Trust me. I met a model once that told me about a horrible ordeal she had, getting staph from using one of these a few times.
What do you use to wash your makeup brushes? Comment below and let me know!