High-quality makeup brushes are an investment — one that, if cared for properly, will leave your face looking flawless for years to come. How you care for your tools is just as important as how you use them. Contouring is cool, but trying this technique when your brushes are covered in blemish-causing bacteria? Gross! Cleaning your brushes should be a weekly part of your beauty routine. But when soap and water won’t cut it, what are you supposed to do? There are a myriad of brush cleaners on the market — from natural liquids to convenient wipes to handy tools — not to mention tons of DIY tutorials. With all of the various formulas and videos, it can get confusing. We’re here to simplify things. Below, find out the best ways to keep your brushes (and sponges) squeaky clean and bacteria-free, just like the pros.
1. Japonesque Mini Solid Brush Cleanser with Scrubbing Pad ($10): This dynamic duo — a solid brush cleanser and textured washing pad — dissolves makeup, dirt and grime to deep clean and condition your brushes. The travel-friendly size and mess-free formula are great for the girl on-the-go. Now you have no excuse for not washing your brushes, no matter how often you travel.
2. beautyblender liquid blendercleanser ($18): Makeup pros and novice beauty junkies alike love beautyblender. The best way to keep it clean? This paraben, sulfates and phthalate-free liquid cleanser! It combines lavender, demineralized water and natural sea salt to purify and detoxify. To use: Wet your beautyblender (until damp), and distribute cleanser onto the surface of the sponge. Lightly squeeze and work into a lather; repeat if necessary. Rinse until all cleanser and makeup is gone. Gently squeeze to remove excess water and place sponge in a clean area to dry.
3. Sephora Collection Brush It Off Cleansing Brush Wipes ($8 for six): There’s a reason we love makeup-removing wipes. They’re fast, convenient and effective. Thanks to Sephora, now brush cleaning is that easy. This set of 18 individually wrapped wipes are saturated with a non-alcohol-based formula that removes dirt, debris and caked-on makeup, so your brushes stay hygienic and ready to use whenever.
4. Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Pure-Castile Liquid Soap ($11): Looking for an eco-friendly method to sanitize your brushes? Give ‘em a bubble bath with Dr. Bronner’s (we love Gimme Some Oven’s super simple tutorial for washing away grime, au naturel). Fans of this all natural formula include celeb makeup artist Jodie Hazlewood.
5. Artis Brush Cleaning Starter Set ($30): With such packed schedules, it can be hard to find the time to fit in a lengthy brush cleansing ritual. Not to worry! You’ll love this fast-acting foam formula and patent-pending cleaning pad. The bubbles and antimicrobial microfiber cloth cleanse, detoxify and sanitize bristles — and help them dry ASAP (literally within minutes).
6. AOA Brush Cleaning Egg ($1): Don’t let its adorable shape fool you. This cute little egg is a game changer when it comes to keeping your brushes germ-free. It’s the same idea as the Sigma brush cleaners, but instead of being a mat or a glove, it’s a compact, silicone egg. And did we mention it’s just $1!? To use: Simply slide your middle and index fingers inside, swirl your brush back and forth on the grooves, rinse under running water and lay flat on a towel or brush tree until dry. Want to see it in action? Watch KathleenLights’ YouTube video.
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