Let me ask you a question…

How long has it been since you last cleaned your makeup brushes?

Today I’m sharing my best makeup brush cleansing tips and techniques.

Need to know what to use, the reasons and methods behind cleansing your brushes?  Check out this article, ‘What’s Really Lurking in Your Makeup Brushes.’

Before we get started, there are some really important tips to keep in mind – these will protect and extend the life of your brushes:  

Makeup Brush Diagram - From Shelley With Love

[col1]PRO TIP: ferrule protection!
Never allow water or liquid to enter the metal ferrule of your brush.  This will weaken the glue and over time, destroy the brush.[/col1][col2]PRO TIP: no standing zone!
Never stand brushes in water or cleaner.  It damages the hairs and the integrity of your brush.  Only apply cleaner and water as needed.[/col2][col3]PRO TIP: wax on – wax off!
Use your fingers like a washboard when deep cleansing.  It will help to eliminate product build-up from deep within the hairs.[/col3]

Alway hold your brush pointing downwards
to prevent water from entering the ferrule and destroying the glue.

Hold your brush downwards


Follow these simple deep cleanse and spot cleaning steps to help prevent the transfer of bacteria, and prolong the life of your brush!


Method #1:  Deep Cleanse

You will need:

  • warm running water
  • baby shampoo
  • hand towel (optional)

How to deep cleanse your makeup brush1.  Shampoo
Apply a small amount of shampoo to your finger tips.  Take a dirty makeup brush and work shampoo into the hairs, using gentle circular motions.

2. Rinse and Repeat
Allow warm water to run over fingers and work shampoo into a light lather.  Continue to work hairs in circular motions until there is no remaining shampoo.

Repeat steps 1 and 2, using pads of fingers to gently massage shampoo deeper into the brush-head.

Rinse until water runs clear.

3.  Wring and Shape
Gently wring excess water from hairs by lightly pinching the hairs at the base of the brush head, between your thumb and index finger.

Slide finger over hairs, from base to tip, smooth and shape hairs into their original shape.  This is ensure your brush maintains it’s shape during the drying process.

4. Dry
Lay on a flat surface to dry.  For optimal results, place brush-head over the edge of a bench allowing air to circulate around the hairs. For even better results, use a hand towel to elevate the brush handle to ensure no water creeps into the ferrule.

Method #2: Spot Clean

You will need:

  • professional brush cleaner
  • paper towels
  • a small dish (optional)

How to spot clean your makeup brush1. Apply Solution
Apply a small amount of brush cleaner onto a folded square of paper towel.

*For a heavily soiled brush such as a foundation brush, pour a small amount of cleaner into a dish.  Dab brush in the solution before moving to step 2.

2. Gently Swirl
Using a light hand, gently swirl the brush in circular on the damp paper towel.

*Use back-and-forth motions for square brushes, instead of circular motions.  This will help to prevent damaging hairs.

Re-apply more brush cleaner as needed, until brush wipes clean.

3. Dry
Remove excess moisture by lightly squeezing brush hairs between a dry piece of paper towel.  Place brush on a flat surface to dry.

And that’s it! Delightfully clean makeup brushes.

How do you clean your makeup brushes?  Leave a comment below, I’d love to know.

With love and sparkles,

Shelley Cohen