Makeup brushes are pretty essential to your makeup collection and using the correct ones can completely change your makeup application. I remember way back when I was a teenager and was using my fingers to apply pretty much my whole face. Or using the cheap little brushes that often came with the product. *facepalm*
Some of my friends often tell me how confused they get with all the different types of makeup brushes and ask me what brushes I use most. And I get asked a lot how I clean them. I'm still shocked when people tell me they've never, or hardly ever cleaned their brushes. Ew. All that dirt, bacteria and makeup build up. But hey, admittedly, I was the same years ago!
I thought I'd do a post featuring my top 5 favourite, most used makeup brushes and then show you what I use to clean them.
It was pretty tough choosing my top 5, as I use quite a few every single day. But I chose 5 favourites from the brushes that I use every day without fail, whatever look I'm going for.
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (£5.99/Boots)
A dupe of the Beauty Blender, this is a multi-functional sponge for applying liquid foundation. I've been using these for about a year now and love them. I haven't tried the original Beauty Blender so I can't compare, but Real Techniques are a brand I trust and I love the flawless finish I get using these, I'd never go back to using a brush to apply my foundation.
Anastasia Beverly Hills 12 Synthetic Duo Brow Brush (£14.00/BeautyBay)
I use this every day with my dipbrow, I brush the brows through before and after with the spooley and the sharp angled brush is perfect for precise application. It works perfectly with the ABH Dipbrow, it applies beautifully and is really easy to blend.
Real Techniques Eyeshadow Brush (part of Starter Set 1406 £21.99/Boots)
I've had this brush, from the eye brush set, for years and still use it every single day. I'm a huge fan of RT brushes as they're great quality, clean really well and are reasonably priced. It's soft, applies my eyeshadow well and blends beautifully.
Blush Brush [RT Bold Metals dupe] (£7.99 for set/Amazon)
These bold metals dupes are so good! They're a great budget price, lovely and soft and clean up nicely! It's my favourite blusher brush right now. I use it every day to apply blush and highlight.
Powder Brush [RT Bold Metals Dupe] (£7.99 for set/Amazon)
As I mentioned above, I love this set. I use this powder brush to apply face powder & bronzer every day. It's beautifully soft! I agree that good quality brushes are important, especially if you want them to last years. But that said, I actually prefer to use this over my more expensive brushes! And at such a good price, I wouldn't mind re-purchasing after a year or so if needed. I've been using these since Christmas and still loving them.
How I Clean My Brushes
It's so important to keep your brushes clean and sanitised. No matter how often you use them, dirt, oils and bacteria will accumulate on the brushes. Think about it, you remove your make up at the end of the day, wash your face and add skincare products in the morning, then apply your makeup with dirty brushes full of old makeup and bacteria to your freshly clean skin. Ew. I mean, I'm the first person to admit it's a bit of a chore to clean my brushes. But needs must. Continuing to use dirty tools will result in clogged up pores, spots and ruined brushes.
There are many products you can use to clean your tools, but I'm going to tell you what I use.
You should probably be cleaning them after every use. But I don't have the time to that, I'm lucky to get my 10 minute face on every morning before my screaming toddler turns his room upside down.
This little beauty is great for 'cleaning' eyeshadow brushes in between colours. If you're using the same brush to apply your eyeshadow, just swirl the brush into the doughnut after each colour, to remove the product before using the next colour. GENIUS RIGHT? You're welcome. And everyone has a hair doughnut or 2 lying around after the doughnut bun days! ;)
Obv this isn't going to thoroughly clean the brush, but removes the majority of product from the brush so you can use another colour without worrying about the brush still containing the previous shade.
Halfway through the week, I spot clean my brushes with a quick and easy brush cleanser such as this one. Another favourite is the MAC Brush Cleaner, in fact it's probably my all time favourite for spot cleaning, but I'm trying out cheaper versions and I'm currently testing the B.Makeup Brush Cleanser (£3.32/Superdrug) I take an old cloth [I actually use old baby cloths/flannels] pour/spray on a little clean cleanser and swirl my brushes in to cleanse and condition the brushes.
Then weekly, I'll deep clean them with baby shampoo. It's super simple to do, holding the brush downwards, run under warm running water being careful not to wet the area where the handle meets the head too much as too much water can loosen the glue and you may lose some bristles. Squeeze some shampoo into the palm of your hand and swirl the brush around creating a lather before rinsing under the running water until water runs clear. Squeeze the bristles slightly to remove excess water and leave them to dry on a towel.
I do want to get my hands on one of those brush palettes to use instead of my hand, I think I'll be purchasing one of those soon.
What about you, how do you keep your brushes clean and in good condition?