Brush cleaning

Anyone who’s a makeup addict faces a problem- the PITA process that is known as cleaning your brushes. I have literally 20-30 brushes that I use (not all at once, obviously) and I am notoriously lazy about cleaning them daily. Usually you’re supposed to clean your brushes after every new color or every other day. I don’t. I have duplicates of a lot of my eye and face brushes that I use for different purposes- I have a crease brush for dark colors and one for light ones, a blush brush for pinks and one for peaches, etc. It cuts down on how often I have to clean them, but I still should be cleaning them at least every 4-5 days or so. Confession time: I don’t. I spray them with water from a spray bottle and wipe them with a paper towel daily, but actual cleaning? Nope, not happening. The entire process takes me about an hour and sometimes I just don’t have the energy for it.

The other day I broke down and decided it was time to do a mass cleaning. Because I’d waited so long to clean, I didn’t even do my makeup that morning like normal because I had almost no brushes clean (and no, I don’t use my fingers. Ew!) I thought I would document the process because I know it’s pretty funny and hey, you may as well have a laugh at my expense, right?!

So I gathered all my dirty brushes together and lined them up on paper towels (yes, I know, this is a lot of brushes. I’m not going to let it get this bad again, I swear)

IMG_1658 You can see the Sonia Kashuk cleaner I use, too. I love it which is why I pay $7/bottle for it instead of making my own cleaner with olive oil and dish soap. That is pretty straightforward and there are some good videos on Youtube on how to do it, but I cut corners sometimes so that I have time to do other things, like feed my kids or bake cakes :) It all works out.  Plus her cleaner is pretty bomb and smells like Lavender.

So you run a bit of warm water through the bristles of each brush (warm, not hot- hot can disintegrate the glue holding the ferrule to the bristles),spray the cleaner, rub it in, and run warm water again through the bristles until the water runs clear. Then set that brush down and clean the next one.

The biggest trick to getting clean brushes that last a long time is in the drying process. You never want to dry brushes with the bristles pointing up. The water can run into the ferrule and ruin it easily. You can lay them on their sides to dry (not the best option, but it’s better than nothing) or dry them with the bristles pointing down. The easiest way to do that is take chip clips and a coat hanger. You hang the chip clips from the hanger and clip the brushes into the clips, then hang the hanger up in the bathroom for a couple hours or until your brushes are dry, like this

IMG_1659I know it looks weird but it’s allowed me to keep even cheap ELF brushes clean and useful for a couple years. I would love some MAC brushes, since they’re awesome, but I’m not paying $30/brush. I just can’t. Even Sigma brushes (another great option, BTW) aren’t cheap and I have two kids in diapers right now. Ain’t happenin’.  One day I will amass an even better collection but for now I have a lot of Real Techniques brushes (which are actually pretty great if you take care of them and Ulta always runs BOGO 50% off + coupon), some ELF (hey their $1 crease and blending brushes are actually decent), and the brushes that came with my Urban Decay palettes.

So that’s it, until the next time I have to do a mass cleaning…

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