Sunday, 9 September 2012

How to clean your makeup brushes

How many of you don't wash your makeup brushes? If you're half-heartedly raising your hand, this post will teach you how to keep them clean, fresh and in good condition!

Not washing your makeup brushes regularly is just a recipe for breakouts and clogged pores so I make sure to wash my brushes once a week to get rid of any buildup of makeup (and bacteria... yuck!).

I actually learned how to wash my brushes from one of Michelle Phan's videos (which you can watch here) and have been using her techniques ever since! And since they work so well for me, I thought I'd share her method here and spread the clean makeup brush love!

Taken By Surprise Tutorial: How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes

1. Add 4 parts antibacterial dishwashing liquid to 1 part extra virgin olive oil on a plate with a lip (just in case it spills). The dishwashing liquid will kill any germs and draw the makeup off the brushes, while the olive oil will condition the hairs and keep them soft. Make sure not to use too much olive oil, or your brushes will feel stiff once they've dried.

2. One by one, swirl your makeup brushes in the mixture until the entire brush end is coated.

Check out what's already coming off!! 
3. Wipe each brush in the palm of your hand, which will help remove the makeup. Then lay the brush on some paper towel while you do the rest.

After doing all my brushes - that stuff on the plate could have gone on my face!
4. Rinse under warm water (not too hot, lukewarm is best to keep your brushes' hair in good condition) wiping the brush ends on the palm of your hand until the water runs clear. Lightly towel dry so they're not dripping.

5. Dry your brushes upside down (so the water will drip out and not settle in the base of the hairs - which can ruin the shape of your brushes and cause hairs to fall out). In Michelle's video, she uses brush guards to help keep her brushes upside down, but since I don't have those, I use masking tape to attach my brushes to the bathroom bench while they dry.

6. Wait overnight for your brushes to dry and they'll be ready for when you apply your makeup in the morning!

As for storing your good-as-new brushes, I like to keep them in a case instead of just throwing them in my makeup bag, so they're easy to find and kept away from potential makeup spills.

I bought this handy Artiste by Manicare brush holder from Priceline for $14.95 which rolls up just like holders for paintbrushes. It's compact and even has a flap that protects the brush ends, so it keeps them clean from dust when I'm not using them #genius

What's your most used makeup brush? Do you wash your brushes regularly? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. this has been the best make up post EVER! I've been meaning to wash my make up brushes but I find the make up never comes off properly (I use shampoo-not sure if thats good for them or not) but this looks like it might do a better job. question: do you I have to use olive oil? can any oil be used?


    1. I find extra virgin olive oil is the best, I wouldn't recommend other types, but that's just from watching Michelle Phan's video :) x

  2. i wash my brushes every night because of school haha you can tell that i am sick of this chore already :(

  3. THANKS for this! I've been buying the MAC cleaner, and it can get expensive when you've got a TON of brushes to wash every week!

    -Daisy Nguyen from PS BANANAS fashion blog:

  4. This is SOO helpful and you're so right about how it can cause breakouts to not clean them regularly. I really love how you show step by step because I didn't ever think to make a dish, I always get lazy and pour soap right on them. Thank you for sharing and I'll definitely be saving this post, so many good brush tips!


  5. I really should do this sometime ... I don't think it has ever been done!
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  6. ahh I actually bought a separate makeup brush washer liquid which I poor into a cup and then dip the brushes in. didn't know you could make your own lol. I've got to try this sometime! look at all that gunk coming off :D thanks for sharing!

    1. You're welcome, I'm glad you liked it! It's definitely cheaper than store-bought brush cleaner, although more time-consuming haha x

  7. Great post, I have to try it, usually I buy make up brush cleaning liquid.

    I'm following you now on GFC and Bloglovin'!


  8. Great post dear!!
    I'm going to try it! (:

    xx from

  9. nice post =)
    I'll be happy if you check out my blog too :)

  10. awesome post! going to follow these steps now :) xo Jess


Thank you for all of your lovely comments, I love reading them <3 Make sure to leave a link to your blog so I can come say hi! Otherwise look out for a reply on the post :) Love xx

© taken by surprise | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Developed by pipdig