Tips for Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes and Sponges

  • Feb 04, 2021
  • Words by Beauty Bar

Applying makeup is fun. The pretty colors, powders, creams, and liquid formulas, such as makeups you can find here in the Philippines is a fun way to express yourself as you get ready for the day. But the brushes and sponges you use to apply the products can get pretty gross. Dirty makeup brushes can ruin your makeup application, making it streaky, and eye shadow becomes more challenging to blend. What’s worse is that the product build-up mixed with exposure to air and the environment can cause acne and infections. We know cleaning your brushes and sponges can get a bit tedious, especially if you like playing with colors and really precise shapes that require different applicators. We’ve played with makeup long enough to have found a few tips to make cleaning your brushes a little easier.

The Cala Cosmetic Brush Cleansing Duo

The key is having a great makeup brush cleanser. There are home-made brush cleaner recipes on the internet that call for dishwashing liquid, oils, conditioner, sometimes makeup cleanser. They may work on the surface, but they may leave pigment and bacteria. The Cala Cosmetic Brush Cleansing Duo(Brush Scrub & Shampoo) is a great example of a brush cleaner that can work wonders. Not only does it deep clean your brushes, but it also keeps them nice and soft, thanks to all the Argan Oil in it. Combine water and brush shampoo mixture in a container that you can stand your brushes up in. We let the brushes and sponges soak in the mixtures for anywhere between a few seconds to a few minutes. Make sure that the liquid doesn’t go past the ferrule of the brush! (The ferrule is the metal/plastic cylinder that protects the handle/brush gluing point.)

Beauty Bar Brush Cleaning Mat in Pink

After a good soak, those new silicone mats really help get out the dirt and grime caught between the bristles. The Beauty Bar Brush Cleaning Mat in Pink has a great variety of textures that can help get into the hiding spots of products that you may have missed by using just your fingers to clean them. It also keeps your hands from drying out or pruning from soaking in the water. After rubbing the brushes on the mat a few times, run them under running water. It may take a few trips from the brush shampoo/water mixture to the rubber mat to the sink to get all the gunk out, but making sure the water runs clear is essential in making sure your brushes are clean. Gently squeeze out as much water as possible with your fingers once there is no more gunk in your brush.

Japonesque Conditioning Makeup Brush Shampoo

The sponges are a bit of a different story. Squeeze the sponge a few times while in the Japonesque Conditioning Makeup Brush Shampoo and water mixture so it soaks in and gets rid of the makeup that’s settled in the center of the sponge. You’re going to have an additional small batch of cleanser so that when you re-soak your sponge, it’s not into a mixture that already contains makeup from the other brushes that were in there. So, you’re going to want to massage the sponge under running water, making sure to pay attention to the parts where your foundation or concealer may have stuck. Again, repeat the process until the water runs clear! Some people will even recommend to pop your sponge in the microwave for a few seconds to kill bacteria. While there’s been no study about this, it doesn’t hurt you or your sponge, so if you want to be extra safe, why not? Just make sure it’s a WET clean sponge and only for 5-10 seconds!

While it’s preferable that you dry your brushes hanging upside down to keep the water dripping away from the glue that connects the bristles to the handle of your brush. If you do not have the ability to do so, lay it at an elevated angle on a clean towel, with brush hairs on the lower end. You can use a pencil, a thin book, or whatever you have lying around. Just make sure the brush hairs aren’t smooshed down so they can keep their shape when they dry.

Cala Brush Cleansing Pad

In cases where you just need a clean brush to switch between colors, the Cala Brush Cleansing Pad is helpful with that. Lightly rub the brush against the pad, and voila! Your brush is ready to apply the pigment of your choice without muddying it with the color you used just before. But this shouldn’t be a replacement for actually washing your brushes!

Make sure to wash your brushes regularly to prevent a pile-up! The longer you let your tools sit in the old makeup, the harder it is to wash off, and the higher the chances of leaving a stain. Wash your brushes every week, at least. Your sponges need to be washed more often… and replaced more often. Don’t wait for mold to grow on your sponge before you actually throw it out. Check in on it every 3 to 6 months to make sure that it looks, feels, and smells clean.

Remember to test everything that touches your face, and that includes the makeup brush cleaner you use! The ingredients in the cleanser may cause irritation, and we don’t want that either. But irritation and acne caused by dirty tools are just as bad, if not worse. So keep your brushes clean and make sure you find a makeup brush cleanser that works for your skin.

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