caring for your brushes

Some may be thinking "Duh, I always wash my brushes." Others may think its a-okay to never wash them. When I did my sister's makeup recently, I cringed when she said "Wash them? I've never washed my brushes." Sorry Linz :)

It's important to wash your brushes and take care of them. As cheesy as that sounds. Cleaning them gets the bacteria out, which is good for your skin, and it will give you a more flawless makeup application. It will prolong the life of your brushes. And if you're like me and have invested in good brushes, a longer life is necessary. 

There are tons of brush cleansers out there, but I prefer using good 'ole Johnson's baby shampoo for a few reasons: it's a very gentle cleanser, a large bottle lasts a long time, it's cheap, and it gets the job done.  

So, here are the steps I take to give my brushes a good deep clean:

Washing your brushes is the same method as washing your hair. First, get the water to a good warm temperature. Then lightly wet the bristles and pour some shampoo on your fingers. Then  just massage the bristles into the shampoo for a good lather until you see most of the product coming off. I usually repeat this step a couple times for the denser brushes like the one in the photos. Small brushes usually only require one shampoo. Just use your own judgement. Once the water runs clear, the brush is clean. Mold them into their proper shape if you see that some bristles have gone astray, and then lay them flat on a towel to dry. I let my brushes dry overnight. 

You'll notice above that I always keep the brush pointed down. There's a reason for that. 
You never want to let water get into the ferrule. 
A little makeup brush anatomy: 
Always keep the brush pointed downward to prevent water from dripping into the ferrule. The reason for this is the glue that holds the bristles to the handle is inside the ferrule. If water gets in there, over time it will ruin the glue and can cause the handle to break away. No bueno. Basically, never turn that brush upside down... ever. Don't even dry your brush with the bristles facing up. Laying them flat on a towel is your best option. 

You should wash your brushes once a week. However, I get lazy and usually get around to doing it after two weeks or so. I have quite a few though, so I never use the same foundation brush for 2 weeks straight. I usually inter-change them until they're all dirty. If you only have a few brushes, once a week is a good routine to get into. 

Something extra...

What I have above is the Sigma Dry N' Shape. It's made for dense brushes that have a specific bristle shape that need to stay in place, and it helps them dry quicker than if you just left them on a towel. Dense brushes can take a long time to fully dry. The Dry N' Shape dries brushes in 4-6 hours. 

The brushes I've shown in this post are the Sigma Sigmax collection. I use these for foundation and concealer. Sigma offers many different brush collections. 
If you use code DEC2012 through Dec 31, you get 10% off your order. 

I hope this post helps you out a little when it comes to caring for those precious brushes. 
Clean brushes are the foundation of good makeup application. 

Do you have a different method for cleaning your brushes? Let me know! 

xo, Mal


  1. This is a great post, the photos are so thorough! I use baby shampoo to clean my brushes too! The Sigma contraption looks really useful :)

    xx Ellie

  2. This was so helpful! Thank you for sharing with us. I usually wash my brushes with the MAC brush cleaner, but I'm definitely going to try Johnson's Baby Shampoo.


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