Cleaning Make Up Brushes


Makeup and your brushes are a breeding ground for bacteria and other nasties so its important to get into the habit of cleaning them, I usually just add this to my to do list of cleaning at the weekend. Brushes really are an investment and dirty brushes can lead to break outs and bad skin so it is really important to take care of your brushes and make up.

Firstly you should be aware of how long you can keep make up for make up for, generally things like liquid and emollients go bad quicker than powders, if you have a look at the underside of a product you will see a little pot that has a number and an ‘M’ next to it, this is an indicator for how long you can keep things for, for example 24 Months. To be honest I probably keep things longer than I should because lets face who wants to throw away cosmetics that have been barely used. But if the texture, colour and smell changes you should definitely throw it out.

For things like powders, paint pots and palettes I dab some rubbing alcohol on a make up pad and give them a gentle wipe, the rubbing alcohol eliminates any bacteria without damaging the product.

I will run you through how I clean my brushes. Here’s what you will need:

Paper Towel

Mac Brush Cleaner – (or any kind of brush cleaner there are loads on the market)

Rubbing Alcohol ( you can find these in most pharmacies)

Mild Detergent ( I use baby shampoo)


  • To deep clean my make up brushes I rinse them under lukewarm water to get rid of any residual makeup, dirt or grease, I then lather in some baby shampoo to give it a good clean, I use a conditioning shampoo to soften my brushes as well, I opt for a two in one just as a time saving method some people may prefer to do it separately.
  • Next I rinse all the shampoo out and re shape my brushes, a lot of my brushes have wooden handles so to prevent the wood swelling I roll up an old hand towel and lie the brushes on an angle so the head is facing down.
  • Once they are dry I pop them back in their containers, I use toothbrush tumblers I found these cute ones at my local warehouse store and they cost next to nothing.
  • I know it can be hard to find the time but try spot cleaning throughout the week, I use my MAC brush cleaner on a bit of paper towel I just swivel the brush around and because of the high alcohol content it dries really quickly.
  • Some times if I need a clean brush and don’t have time to wait for one to dry I use the same method as above but with rubbing alcohol which has a much higher alcohol content so that it dries quicker, I wouldn’t recommend using rubbing alcohol all the time as it can dry out your brushes leading to damaged bristles.

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