I get asked about my makeup brushes fairly often. Which brush I use for which area of the face, what solution I use to clean them, and if there’s anything else in addition to the cleaning solution that I use. So, I thought I would do a quick little post about some of my favourite brushes, including a new synthetic set of brushes I bought on Amazon, how I clean them, what I have tried in the past, and so on.
Most (if not all) of my makeup brushes are made of synthetic fibres. Some of my brushes I have had for quite a while and to be honest I don’t remember if they are synthetic or not but I always choose synthetic over animal hair. Not only for their performance but also because I shop cruelty free and vegan quite often. It is one of my goals for 2019 to have all of my makeup be at the very least cruelty free.
So, if you want to try cleaning your brushes in a very simple way like I do, you’ll need a few things.
- Blue dawn dish soap (the size in the photo is actually from the dollar store. I love the smell of this dish soap)
- A small bowl
- A silicone brush cleaning mat or glove
- Paper towels
- 70% rubbing alcohol
I tend to like to set up at my kitchen table to do this. I take each brush (maybe more than one if it’s my smaller brushes) and dip the top of the bristles, being careful not to dip them too far down, into the dish soap.
Then, I swirl the brush onto the cleansing mat. I actually got mine at Clare’s at the mall on a total whim for about $7, but there are lots of variations out there. This mat has a couple different ridge sizes for different size brushes which I like. For a brush this size, I might use both sides because it’s a fairly tightly packed brush.
Some people would swirl their brushes into an olive oil and dish soap mixture, which I used to do too- but I think I prefer cleaning my brushes without the oil because I find that it can leave an oily residue. Since I use my brushes on other people as well as myself, I do wash my brushes more often than other people probably do, so I may use a bit of oil to condition them every couple washes but I don’t like to do it every time.
I love seeing all the makeup come out when I swirl them on the mat. Then, I rinse the brushes under lukewarm water. Too hot or cold isn’t ideal for any makeup brush, so I like to keep it right in the middle. This will keep your brush bristles softer for much longer. I also rinse the cleansing mat after every one or two brushes depending on how much makeup I see sitting there.
After I have washed all of my brushes, I mold the bristles back the way they look when they are dry and lay them flat on a clean towel. Never store your clean brushes upright when they are drying because water will run down into the barrel of the brush which will shorten the life of your brushes. I usually use the paper towel to lay the dirty brushes down and sometimes if I’m only doing a spot clean on brushes I have only used on myself and will only use on myself until the next full brush collection wash, I’ll dip in the dish soap, swirl on the paper towel, rinse and lay out. This doesn’t happen nearly as often as me just washing all of my brushes though. Then, after they are all dry or mostly dry, I give all the brushes a few mists of 70% alcohol just to kill any leftover germs.
Right now, I am in the midst of trying and ordering new brushes so I will have to come and do another post in a couple months about some new brushes I am waiting on after I have had time to play around with them a little bit. However, these are two brands that I use constantly and absolutely love and they do not break the bank.
- Real Techniques- synthetic brushes that were created by two sisters from England on Youtube. Their original channel is called Pixiwoo. You can get their brushes at Walmart and Rexall in sets or individually and in the states I know that ULTA has a great variety as well. Of course you can also buy online through their online store. I have had most of them for years now. Going on 4 or 5 years. They clean easily, they don’t shed, and they are so multi functional. They also make their own version of a brush cleaning tile.
- E.L.F Cosmetics – I believe they do have synthetic and natural hair brushes but I have only purchased their synthetic brushes and I love them. They are so reasonably priced and you can find a wide selection of them at Walmart. That pretty clear and silver one in the photo above is one of theirs and I love it. I use it mostly for highlighting. They make their own version of a makeup brush cleaning palette too but it’s more like a brush cleaning glove.
Here is the set of brushes I bought on Amazon from Bestope. They felt so soft when I opened them so I was excited to try these! I washed them with this lot of brushes and they still feel just as soft and I haven’t noticed any shedding which is a good sign. This set was on sale for $14.99 when I purchased it! Can’t go wrong with that.
There was also a package insert that had suggestions for what to use each brush for, which is great for anyone just starting out with applying makeup or using different types of brushes for more advanced looks. Whenever I get new brushes, I play around with them and I use whichever brush works best for me for whichever part of my face I am working on.
They feel so soft on the skin and I would never guess that they are as inexpensive as they are. There is also a wide variety of brushes for eyes and face which makes it a pretty versatile set. I especially love picking up brush sets like this because I always need extra brushes- especially for the eyes. Bonus points if they feel like professional brushes but cost a quarter of the price!
What are some of your favourite brushes? I’d love to hear from you.