Our writer tries a range of brush cleaning products to improve her makeup hygiene.
Okay everyone. The gloves are off, the truth is out, and the fact is that many of us would hate to admit that our makeup brushes are pretty damn gross.
Considering the long list of things we’re ‘supposed’ to get done each week – laundry, cleaning, recycling – washing makeup brushes sits very far down that list.
Another factor is that brushes are expensive, so you probably don’t have heaps of the same ones, and if they’re out of action from washing – how are you going to get glammed up in the morning? *eye roll emoji*
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Excuses aside, I was inspired by the launch of celebrity makeup artist Karla Roccuzzo’s newly launched beauty brand ‘With Karla’ to take the plunge and finally clean my brushes.
The new line includes a *delicious smelling* brush cleaner, of which I tried the Caramel Sundae Brush Defence flavour (which is made locally and vegan). It comes in the most gorgeous spray bottle that looks like a perfume and the formula inside it removes 99.9% of bacteria build up.
The remover includes vanilla oil, which provides the remover with a delicious scent but also softens the brush hairs so that they never become dry and hard to use. I pair the remover with The Base Towel with Benefits, a microfibre towel which you can clean the brushes on.
Hint: you can also use a clean Base Towel with Benefits to remove your makeup using only hot water.
The best part about the brush cleaner though, is that you don’t need to actually wet your brushes.
You simply spray it 1-2 times and then wipe the makeup off it on the Base Towel until it’s clean. The brush needs no longer than a minute and it is once again completely dry and ready to use. Negligible down time.
Having used other no-rinse cleaners in the past that left my brushes brittle and less-blendy, I was really impressed with the condition my brushes were left in. They didn’t feel overly dry, smelt delicious and felt super clean.
I was also in COMPLETE SHOCK about how frigging dirty they were. I have included pics of my shame for your amusement.
I give it a 1,000/10.
If you’re interested in trying out the brush cleaner, you can choose between Caramel Sundae, Strawberries and Cream or Lavender Love on the website here.
But for all those who might want to clean their brushes RIGHT THIS INSTANT while it’s in the mail, there are also a few home remedies that I’ve tried on your behalf.
I would also say it can’t hurt to do a really big deep clean of your brushes under water every month or so as well.
Shampoo – 8/10
If you’re in the market for an at home remedy, I would recommend using shampoo. Yep the same that you use on your hair.
Try to pick one that isn’t overly stripping but also doesn’t have anything funky going on. For example, I have a protein shampoo that I tried and while it felt nice, I think the protein would probably not be a good move longer-term.
To use simply wet your brush with the bristles down. You shouldn’t turn the bristles to face the roof as water can run into the barrel of the brush and mess with the glue holding your bristles in. This can cause shedding and ultimately ruin the brush.
Add a bit of shampoo into your other hand and swirl the bristles around your hand. You can use your fingers a bit to remove any stubborn areas. Rinse until the water comes clean, gently squeeze out the water and wait for them to dry (annoying, I know!).
I have used a hair dryer on its coolest setting before to dry my brushes and it’s always been fine, but I only ever do that with the ones I don’t care about and only if I’m in a rush to use it because I worry that it’s probably not the best for the aforementioned brush barrel situation.
Oil and dish soap – 7/10
Oil and dish soap is also an effective home remedy, but I wouldn’t recommend using too much oil because you don’t want to leave any residue on your brush. Extra virgin oil works well.
I have put this down one point because once I used way too much oil and it just meant I needed to rinse them again!
I like a 1-3 ratio, using the same swirling and rinsing method as the shampoo, and leaving them to dry.
And there we have it. No more excuses not to clean your dirty face brushes!