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Our Guide on How to Clean Makeup Brushes

It's important to clean makeup brushes and sponges effectively, to ensure you achieve maximum makeup results. Learn about how and when to clean your makeup brushes.

How to Clean Makeup Brushes

If you want your makeup brushes to look, feel, and perform their best, then a little bit of housekeeping is in order. By taking the time to clean your makeup brushes properly with the right products and technique, it can be a quick and relatively easy process.

Over time, a build-up of leftover makeup on your brush can gradually turn into bacteria if not taken care of. This can impact the function of the brush, leading to uneven application when it comes to your daily routine.

For those who have noticed a daily build-up on their foundation brush or even beauty sponge, read through our helpful guide below to understand more about how and when to clean your makeup brushes effectively.

How often should you clean makeup brushes?

To prevent any kind of product build-up, you should aim to clean each brush at least once a week. A quick soak can go a long way, especially for brushes used directly on the face. If you’re aiming to soak or soap your makeup brushes regularly, this also works to extend the life of hair bristles and provide a cleaner makeup application. The hairs on each brush are absorbent, which means they hold onto oils and bacteria, making blending quite difficult if there is long standing residue.

When it comes to the eye area, each brush should be cleaned at least once or twice a month. However, cleaning becomes a little less lenient for foundation and concealer brushes or sponges. If you find yourself using the same brush regularly, with wet-based products, you may also need to clean your brushes between use.

How to clean your makeup brushes

It’s important to note that there’s a difference between properly washing your brushes and giving them a light spray. The most thorough way to clean your tools requires only a few simple steps, with the addition of water or a preferred brush cleaner for a targeted clean. For an effective cleanse on different types of makeup brushes, read our steps below.

First, wet the thistles

The first step is to gently wet each brush with lukewarm water, which will loosen any build-up without damaging the synthetic hairs on your brush. The trick here is to resist the urge to be rough with the brush, instead just delicately wet the hairs with warm water.

Soak the makeup brushes

The next step is to soak the brush heads in warm water. First drop in a pea size amount of cleaner and be sure to follow the instructions of each product. Gently swirl the brushes around the bottom of the bowl, being extra careful not to press down too hard. This only takes a few minutes. Using a cleaning product for your brushes will help to remove more build-up, in comparison to only relying on water.

Drying makeup brushes

The final step in the process is drying the brushes, specifically the brush heads. It can be tempting to be firm with the brushes when drying them, but this can damage the synthetic hairs and undo all the good work you’ve done up to this point. If you’re wondering how to dry makeup brushes properly, gently squeeze the extra moisture out with a towel and let the brush dry on a flat surface. Avoid drying them out on a towel, as it will causes the bristles to build mildew.

How often should you change makeup brushes?

There are certain signs that can cause concern when prolonging the use of makeup brushes or beauty blenders. When it comes to determining whether your tools are working effectively anymore, it’s important to focus on the actual shape and brush strength. Even though a frequent cleanse can help to extend the life of each brush, if you notice the shape has changed or the thistles are frayed, it’s probably time for a replacement.  

If you’re accustom to using a makeup sponge, like beauty blenders that are microbial-resistant, these can last for up to four months. These sponges can also build up bacteria and should be cleaned at least once a week. For foundation, concealer brushes and blush brushes, the lifespan can differ depending on the bristles and amount of upkeep. Whether the bristles are synthetic or natural, they can last up to one to five years. If you notice the handle is loosing wear, or the bristles lose their structure, it’s best to switch up your tools.

The benefits of a clean makeup brush

No matter how seamless your makeup application is, if your brushes aren’t clean, the results may be uneven or even streaky. To take it one step further, the bacteria that builds up on makeup brushes can even result in clogged pores or a breakthrough of blemishes.

For a smooth finish, using a foundation brush with our Teint Miracle Foundation works well for a lighter coverage, whilst the Teint Idole Ultra Wear provides full to medium coverage finish. The aid of a foundation brush, whether it be a flat brush, contour brush or a buffing brush will help give you a streak-free finish. The same goes for concealer, work with an under-eye concealer brush by following the contour of your eye and then pat gently on the skin to seal it in. The Teint Idole Ultra Wear All Over Concealer is breathable and provides 24 hour hydration for medium to full coverage. The shape of the contour brush should be flat and compact to best target small blemishes.

Loved our tips for cleaning makeup brushes? You’ll love our guide on how to choose the perfect foundation.


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