Since it’s the New Year – and we’re all focused on keeping our New Year’s resolutions (at least for a few more weeks) – I thought I’d kick things off with a beauty-related resolution I made for 2015. I desperately need to get better at regularly cleaning my makeup brushes.
Dirty makeup brushes can sabotage your skin. The more you use them, the more oil, dead skin, bacteria and old makeup build up. And that can translate to breakouts, blackheads and other skincare setbacks. No one wants that, right??
Plus, your grimy brushes are also undermining the performance of your makeup. Think about it: when you dab your brush into a blush and apply it to your cheek, a little color gets left behind on the brush. The more colors you use with the same brush without cleaning it, the muddier your makeup will get. It’s like mixing a ton of different shades of paint together; the more shades you mix, the more likely you’ll end up with brown or grey.
In a perfect world, we should all be deep cleaning our brushes every two weeks. Do I follow that rule? Nope (and thus the New Year’s resolution). If I’m lucky, I do it every three weeks – and even that’s a stretch.
When it comes to deep cleaning your brushes, a gentle shampoo – like baby shampoo or a “pure” shampoo – works just great. And if you want to splurge, I also love MAC’s Brush Cleanser. (As an aside, I recently tried out a recipe for a homemade MAC cleanser, found on Pinterest. Let’s just say that it didn’t knock my socks off … Don’t you just hate it when the stuff you find on Pinterest doesn’t work out?)
A great way to maintain your brushes in between deep cleans is by using a daily spray brush cleaner. While I’ve never tried these sprays before, it seemed like a great way option for sticking to my resolution. You can buy these sprays in stores, but since I’ve been on such a Pinterest kick lately, I thought I’d try a super simple, two-ingredient recipe I found pinned from the Liz Marie Blog.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Thayer’s Witch Hazel. The recipe called for the lavender scented witch hazel, but they make a variety of others, including a rose-scented one that’s also divine. If you’re sensitive to fragrance, they have an unscented option.
- Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castille Soap. I followed the Pinterest recipe and used the Unscented Baby-Mild soap, but there are a variety of other scents.
- A small, empty spray bottle
Pour the witch hazel into your spray bottle, leaving a little room at top. My bottle was pretty small so I didn’t use the full bottle of witch hazel. Then, add a few drops of Dr. Bronner’s. This soap is very liquidy, so be careful because it can come out fast. You don’t need much; in fact, if you add too much, it could leave your brushes feeling a little filmy.
Screw the top on your bottle and you’re ready to go! To use it, simply shake the bottle to mix it up, then spritz a little on your brush after you’ve finished applying your makeup. Then gently rub the brush back and forth on a paper towel or other lint-free cloth (I don’t recommend using Kleenex).
You can see the color of my blush transferred onto the paper towel. Make sure you don’t smush the brush into the paper towel, but rather just rub it in a back and forth motion. That will help keep the shape of your brush intact.
Once you’ve spritzed and wiped all your brushes, you can let them air dry in your brush holder. I’ve been using this spray on my brushes for the last few days and I’m quite happy with it. I’ve found that it works best on powder-based makeups like blush and eye shadow. For the brushes I use to apply liquid, gel and cream products, it does help get some of the product off, but there will be a little product left behind. But, it’s better than not cleaning them at all!
As an added benefit, witch hazel is a natural astringent, and it’s great for your skin (especially if you’re acne prone). In fact, if you have any witch hazel left over from this recipe, you can use it as a toner. Just dampen a cotton swap and apply it to your face after cleaning. It leaves your skin so soft!
How often do you clean your brushes? And what do you use to clean it? Share your favorite brush cleaning products in the comments below. And if you try this recipe, tell me how you like it!