How To Properly Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Monday, November 5, 2012


Since the hurricane, we've been trying desperately to get back to some sort of normalcy around here.  School is still closed, so I've been keeping busy with my little girlies and catching up on some much needed organizing.  One of those tasks, that I have been putting off for too long, is cleaning my makeup brushes.  In fact, I've received a few emails from some of you asking how to properly do this and thought I'd share it with the rest of you.  I took full advantage of the fact that my sister (who lost power and stayed with me all week) was here since she's a runway certified MAC trained make up artist!  Who better to help me out here right?  So here it goes!

Here's what you'll need:
  • Mild Shampoo (I prefer baby shampoo because you certainly can't get any milder than that!)
  • MAC Brush Cleanser - It's the best one I've tried!  (Ok it's the only one i've tried... but that's why it's the best!)
  • Hair Conditioner - I'm using a sample.  Don't discard those little sample size conditioners.  If you don't plan on using them on your hair, you can use them on your fluffy brushes!
  • One terry cloth towel to lay the wet brushes on.

Step 1: Wet the hair of the brush being careful not to wet any other part.  You don't want to damage the wood portion so use caution when doing this.

Step 2:  Place a pea size drop of mild shampoo on the palm of your hand.  Gently massage the wet brush on the shampoo in circular motions.

Step 3:  Rinse the Brush (again making sure to only wet the hair of the brush).  Remove access water.

Step 4:  ONLY ON FLUFFY BRUSHES! You can skip this step on smaller brushes such as eye shadow brushes.  Apply a pea size drop of conditioner on the palm of your hand.  Gently massage the brush hair in circular motions to soften it's hair.   Rinse the brush.  Squeeze away any access water.

Step 5:  Lay the brushes flat on a terry cloth towel and allow ample time to dry.  CAUTIONdo not place the brush upright (ex. in a cup) as the water will travel on to the wooden portion of the brush and cause substantial damage.  It's best to lay them flat. 

This next step applies only to fluffy brushes.  If you've just washed an eyeshadow or foundation brush, you can skip the 'conditioner' step.

This next option is for either 'in-between thorough cleanings' OR for cleaning eyeliner brushes.  In fact, this is the ONLY way to clean eyeliner brushes as water and soap alone will not completely remove the gel liner residue. 

Step 1:  Apply a generous amount of MAC brush cleanser solution on to a thick paper towel. 

Step 2:  Gently massage brush on to solution in circular motions until the brush looks clean.  The tips of the bristles on this brush are suppose to be white, so i can always tell when it's clean because this product is excellent at bringing this brush back to its proper color.   

When you finish cleaning the brushes, gently place them flat on a terry cloth towel and allow them to completely dry. You'll notice how soft they feel, and depending on the products you use, you'll also notice how wonderful they smell!

I hope this was helpful.  I would recommend washing your brushes often (as in every few weeks) because they can accumulate a ton of dirt and bacteria.  Lets face it, do you really want all of that extra yuckiness on your face?  Of course not!  If you clean your brushes using a different method, please share!  I'm always up for learning new tricks!  XOXO, Carla


  1. I hope you are all doing well! It's always good to know how to properly clean your makeup brushes. I just gave mine a thorough clean yesterday and I'm much happier!

  2. Hi Carla, I hope you are doing well! I am so lazy when it comes to clean my brushes lately! This was very helpful! It motivates me to do the same! kisses chris

  3. thanks for sharing this and showing us how easy it is to clean our brushes!! definitely important to make sure to regularly clean them, gotta do that tonight so thanks for the reminder

  4. Hii pretty :) thanks 4 visiting! of course, i would like follow you, so i do. BTW, nice blog and nice tricks haha hope read more about you soon :) xx

  5. Very helpful blog! I've checked your different posts, they are amazing especially I like about uncurly treatment!
    I've followed you now to keep in touch:) will be happy if you would do back:)

  6. Lovely post<3 I hadn't a clue that you could use conditioner 0_0 Perfect~


  7. Great post, I'm always so hopeless at maintaining my own brushes LOL! No excuses anymore!


  8. great tips!
    thanks for your sweet comment! following you now!
    hope to see you again on my blog sometime!

  9. very nice post. thanks for the tips!

  10. A lot of work, but it's all worth it!
    I love J&J Baby :).

  11. Lovely blog, very colourful <3
    I'm your new follower, please follow me back if you want :)

  12. hi, thank u for stopping by my blog and lovely comment you left, it means a lot to me) Glad to meet you! Your blog is awesome and it will be great to follow each other! I'm following you right now, hope you will do same!
    Have a happy time!

    Best wishes, Alex

  13. Thanks for your comment! Great Blog!! I use facial cleanser to clean my brushes, it's always worked well for me! These are great tips!

    P.S. I'm now a loyal follower ;)

    xo Katie

  14. lovely post,good clues also! xoxo,

  15. Perfect clues, So many people need this post!

    You asked if we could follow each other, I am now following, please dont forget to follow back at

  16. Great tips! I'll have to try to get that MAC cleanser!

  17. Useful tips!thank you sweetie for stopping by!of course we can follow each other!following you and hope you'll follow back.Let's stay in touch!!!!kisses Coco

  18. great tips , I've been thinking about cleaning my brushes but never knew how to .
    now , i must clean them soon .

  19. i really like your blog :) if you want we can follow each other ;)
    by the way: i follow you now!

  20. Like your blog, this post is so great ! I follow you, do it too :).

  21. wow! i actually didn't know that there's a brush cleaner. i am just using shampoo in cleaning my brush. good thing you posted something like this. thank you

  22. Great tips!!! Do you clean new brushes that were in a package in a store?

    1. Hi there, no i don't. If they're packaged, then i don't see a need. I only clean my brushes when they start to build a lot of product. I have to say i've really enjoyed using my brushes this week, they're so nice and clean! Thanks for stopping by :) xoxo

  23. Great tips!!

    And thanks for the nice comment on my blog!


    And yes let's follow each other!

  24. Great ideas ! Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog. I follow you since now !


    ♥ ♥

  25. I'm okay to follow each other bacause I love your blog! :)