How to: Deep Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Did you know that cleaning your makeup brushes is one of the most important things you can do to make sure your makeup looks flawless? If you don’t clean them every other week all sorts of oil, dirt, and bacteria can build up on your brushes. The result?  Your attempts at a modern vintage beauty look or a bronzed beauty look  may end up less than stellar.  And while one GoJane girl confessed to throwing her brushes away when they got dirty, we have another method that’s far more preferable: deep cleaning your brushes.

You’ll need: olive oil, makeup brushes, antibacterial soap, paper towels, and a plate 

Tip: Olive oil works for deep cleaning because most makeup has some oil component and oil removes oil far better than water alone does

Pour equal parts olive oil and antibacterial soap onto a small dish

Rub your brushes around in the olive oil and soap mixture

Tip: Do this gently- you don’t want to damage your bristles or the glue holding the brush tips together

Run brushes under warm (not hot) water and rub against the palm of your hand

Tip: Don’t face brushes up towards water- you don’t want to get the head of the brushes soaked because it could weaken the glue. We like holding them facing downwards. 

Remove brushes from water and gently squeeze excess water out and shape brushes as you do this

Place brushes, bristle side facing down, on a flat cloth or paper towel

Tip: You want to dry your brushes at a downward angle- we used a magazine to add extra height

Let brushes dry 

Tip: It’s best to let your brushes dry for at least a day

Have you deep cleaned your brushes? How did it go for you?

17 thoughts on “How to: Deep Clean Your Makeup Brushes

  1. Pingback: Clean your makeup brushes! | dermlove

  2. Pingback: How to: Do a Burgundy Smokey Eye (Like Kristen Stewart) « JANE SAYS…

  3. Also another excellent way of cleaning ure brushes is in plain surgical spirits. The alcohol removes the make up trapped in the brushes efficiently as well as kills any bacteria lurking in the brissles. The drying method is the same


  4. Pingback: Tip Quicky « Blush. Style. Base

    • Yes, I know! I used to use MAC makeup cleaner before this method and I actually found the olive oil to be more effective (as well as far less expensive).


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