How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes (Vlog)

How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes (Vlog)

I clean my personal brushes at least every 3 months, if not every 6 weeks. The reason for that being that bacteria can grow in your dirty brushes, I mean, you are rubbing them all over your face every morning… picking up dirt and leftover grime, even dead skin, and that all can lead to a nice little breeding ground for the yuckies if you don’t wash your brushes.

When I do makeup one-on-one tutorials, the biggest skincare question I get is “how do I keep my face from breaking out?!”

My answer is ALWAYS the same:

  1. Wash your face morning and night.

  2. Make sure you’re not using old products on your face.

  3. Wash your hands before you apply your makeup daily.

  4. Last but not least, wash your makeup brushes every 6-12 weeks.

All that bacteria naturally on your face from drooling and sleeping overnight needs to be washed away AM and PM. Old products, the same as anything else, will start to fester and grow bacteria after so long. Check your expiration dates, and don’t use anything that you found open, in the dusty quarters of your back bathroom drawers. If you eat or drink or potty, then you need to be washing your hands, especially before you rub them all over your face, duh! And if you’re using makeup tools like brushes, sponges, or tweezers, they ALL require upkeep.

I wash my makeup sponge daily, because I use a damp beauty sponge to apply my foundation, concealer, and setting powder. This is easy for me because I just keep some antibacterial Dawn dish soap in the bathroom I use and wash my sponge right before I do my makeup so its clean, damp, and ready to blend my life out. I discard these personal sponges after 6 weeks, or if they just get to feeling, smelling, or looking dingy. I prefer Real Techniques sponges, and you can get a HUGE pack on Amazon for cheaper than you can find them anywhere else, though they can also be purchased at Ulta and Target.

Tweezers and other metal items like blackhead removers or lash curlers are easy… I throw mine in the dishwasher on sanitize about every 3-6 weeks, or more often, in their own little container so they aren’t touching other items. I love Tweezerman tweezers, this blackhead remover kit I got on Amazon, and the Sephora brand lash curlers.

Now onto the brushesMorphe Brushes will forever have my heart, and the original Jaclyn Hill favorites collection has everything you could ever want or need in a brush set, but they locked that one away in a vault when she came out with her collab collection with Morphe, which I have not yet used. It does however look like they set aside most of the bushes in the Babe Faves Face and Eye sets respectively, so I’d go for those. You do not need a carrying case, so don’t buy one. It’s better for your brushes to breathe and to sit them bristles up in a mason jar or vase when you’re not using them. You can search for the brushes individually if you want to see what you’re missing out on, but they’ll get a little more pricey when you’re not buying a set. Use code JACATTACK for 10-15% off your order, depending on when you use it. I exclusively use Morphe brushes, and adore the price and product. 10 out of 10 recommend if you’re just starting your collection. Either way, you’ll need to wash your brushes at some point… so here’s the answers to my most received FAQs:


How often should I wash my brushes?

Again, every 6-12 weeks for personal use. Don’t be gross guys.

Do I need special soap?

You do not have to use a special soap, though I recommend using an antibacterial soap or you’re just running in circles. I mix together Johnson’s baby soap and Dawn dish soap, but there’s also some really cool products out there for washing. I’ve used Real Techniques brush cleaning gel and liked it, but it’s pricey for a little amount.

Do I need a nifty brush spinning cleaner or a mat?

NO! For personal use you can rub your brushes in your hand. If you want the process to be quicker, you can buy a handheld mat like the Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette (I own this one), or any silicone mat with suction cups on the back for hands free help (I own this one from Amazon, as seen in my video tutorial above). These are not necessities though!

Do I wash synthetic and natural bristles the same way?

Yep, no special differences here! For either case, you don’t want to use any hardcore chemicals like alcohols or waxes, because over time they will either dry out or over saturate your brushes and cause them to apply your makeup inconsistently.

Will washing my brushes harm them?

Not if you do it correctly. Don’t let your brushes soak, it will ruin the bristles over time and could wear down the glue connecting bristles to the handle. Wash them quickly and dry thoroughly and you won’t have any issues.

Will the brush lose it’s shape after I wash it?

You can reshape your brushes after you wash them, and fluff them up again after they dry completely. So the answer here is technically yes, it will lose it’s shape while it’s wet, but once dry, it should fluff back up if you rinse out all the soap. If you find your brush is clumped together, rewash them, as you likely left soap or makeup in the brush.

Girl, Wash Your Brushes!

  1. Collect all your dirty brushes, your soap, mat (if you’re using one), and a couple wide glasses, bowls, or vases for the brushes to dry in.

  2. Clean out your sink and disinfect with the antibacterial soap. You aren’t doing yourself any favors if you don’t have a clean sink to start with and you lay your clean brushes in a dirty sink. Ew.

  3. Wet your brushes in lukewarm water. Be careful not to let your brushes just SIT in water. This will ruin the glue in the handle over time. Also try to keep brushes with the bristles down or sideways. Putting your brush bristles up in the water can tangle the bristles and ruin your brush.

  4. Add soap to the palm of your hand, or in your cleaning mat.

  5. FYI, I like to do my face brushes first and eye brushes in a second set of washing.

  6. Starting with your darkest or dirtiest brushes and working your way to the lighter brushes (example, wash your bronzer, then blush, then face brushes, finishing off with your setting powder brush, etc) making small circles, swirl your dampened brush around the palm of your hand, or on your mat. Take care not to press too hard.

    1. You can wash all brushes now, and rinse them all in the next step as long as you don’t let them sit too long or the soap will break down the glue as well.

    2. If you’ve got a really soiled brush, rinse and repeat the wash cycle here.

    3. Wash off your hands/mat as needed and add more soap until bubbles are running white, not brown. You want to make sure you’re getting them nice and clean!

  7. Bristles down, rinse out the brush in lukewarm water until the water runs clear and with no bubbles.

    1. Rinse all brushes here, one at a time for face brushes, but you can do a few at a time for eye brushes.

  8. Shake the brush into your sink to re-fluff the bristles. You can also use your fingers to shape definer brushes, or brushes that have a specific shape. Don’t worry if not all of the bristles separate, they’ll be fine then they dry.

  9. Sit brushes bristles up in your cup, bowl, or vase. Try to make them all separate (not touching) so they dry evenly.

  10. Repeat steps 3-9 for eye makeup brushes.

  11. Let all brushes dry at least overnight. Denser brushes may need more drying time. Do NOT use them until completely dry!

I hope this helps, and definitely take a peek at the quick video tutorial I made (above) to help with visual examples!

Happy washing!

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New Mom Necessities, By Moms, FOR Moms!

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