You’ve put it on your New Year’s Resolutions list for the past few years, and despite the fact that you know dirty makeup brushes have the potential to cause breakouts (among other icky skin situations), you put off washing them, day after day after day. Procrastination and zits aside, the pros will even tell you that not giving them a good scrub down affects the way your makeup applies to your face, interrupting the very purpose for the tools’ existence!
So this year, you’re making it a priority—but really—and need some quick tricks that will help you get the annoying chore done. You’re in luck, because we enlisted the help (and hacks) of a few pro makeup artists so we can all have a clean contour brush in 2017.
The first step is to find a brush cleaner. While some makeup artists use dish soap on brushes that apply emollient-rich formulas, if you're unsure how that will interact with your skin, stick to a product made specifically to sanitize brushes. Aidan Keogh, a makeup artist for Honey Artists, admits that at home he'll use the shampoo he uses on himself for his natural hair brushes.
One super popular product among our pros? beautyblender's beautycleanser solid, of which both Honey Artists makeup artist Suzy Gerstein and makeup artist Neil Scibelli swear by. "I leave one on my countertop, as I would a bar of soap, and that way remember to give my brushes a quick rinse after every makeup application so they're waiting, clean and dry for me the next day," Gerstein says. "The formula gets even the most stubborn grease out, and the container makes it handy for travel. It also has a little nubby attachment that helps scrub the strongest pigment out of brushes."
A few other options from our pros include Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner, which Keogh prefers, and Sephora Brush Soap, a favorite of makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes.
After applying soap, several of the pros we talked to said they like to whirl the wet bristles of their brushes against the Sigma Express Brush Cleaning Mat, which is a textured surface that helps remove the pigments and dirt from the tools. Another option, according to Scibelli, is to use the palm of your hand.
One thing is for certain though. In order to keep your brushes in the best shape possible, and to prevent the bristle from loosening. You'll want to rinse so that the water drips off the tip of the bristle and does not settle in the base of the brush. You can do this, according to Hughes my squeezing out the bristles and hanging them upside-down on a brush tree to dry.
There's not always time to go through the entire wash-and-dry cycle, though, which we get. The faster option, according to a few of our pros, is to use a makeup wipe to remove the product from the tip of the brush.
While you don't want that to be your only form of cleansing, it's better than nothing.
Now go forth and set your NYE makeup... but obviously don't forget to wash them the next day.