Ultimate Guide to Sparkling (and Clean) Brushes & Sponges; So You Have No Excuse
Having to clean your make-up brushes and beauty sponges can be a taxing thought. You always envision yourself cleaning after every use—a little work each day rather than a snowball effect of beige-smudged brushes—alas, it never quite works out. However, with Covid changing our standards of hygiene, and for the optimum results with your cosmetics, here are some of the best ways to cleanse your beauty tools and form a sustainable routine. (These tips are for personal use only and not for professional artists working on multiple faces).
Clean As You Go
One tip for having a lot less build-up of product is to clean the brushes as you use them, especially when using powders. Keep a microfiber cloth on your lap and gently rub the brush bristles against the cloth to remove the excess product. Once you're only using these brushes on yourself, and not on other people, this technique keeps your brushes relatively clean for a longer period of time.
Cleaning your blenders and sponges is one of the easier tasks. A cleanser that promotes a lot of foaming is always a good choice—and so satisfying—when choosing your product. We recommend the Dr. Bronner Baby Unscented Pure-Castile Liquid Soap (£2.39). This cleanser is fragrance-free, so less chance of any skin irritation, and can also be used as a body cleanser. You can literally do this as you shower; there's no excuse.
A Gentle Cleanse
Cleaning your brushes thoroughly isn't necessary after every use. If you give your brushes a mild cleaning regularly, deep cleaning will be less regular. For this we recommend the MAC Brush Cleanser (£12.50). Simply apple this cleaner to you microfiber towel and gently run your brush over the damp surface until the make-up stops distributing pigment.
Deep Cleaning Your Brushes
If you're using your brushes for foundation, strong pigments or other stubborn make-up, this is necessary. Giving your brushes a deep cleanse is important to do every three to four weeks. Simply dampen down the brush and apply a small amount of cleanser. We recommend the same Dr. Bronner soap. Massage the bristles in a gentle circular motion and rinse thoroughly.
The technique you apply to clean your brushes is crucial for both optimum results and for ensuring no damage to your brush. You should always cleanse in a circular motion, or rubbing in downward movements. Think of it as your hair—you don't want to tangle your wet and vulnerable hair with abrasive motions—you always want to keep a steady gentle rhythm. When rinsing the product away, always let the water rinse with the direction of the bristles and never against.
Words by Luke Nolan
Graphics by Lucy Gifford