How to Clean Makeup Brushes With Shampoo and Olive Oil

Cleaning makeup brushes is one of those things that most of us have good intentions to do, but don’t get around to doing. Reminding yourself that cosmetics brushes are an excellent breeding ground for bacteria might encourage you to clean them more often, but if you’re like me, you might be more diligent about it if you consider that every time you use a makeup brush that hasn’t been cleaned in months, or even years, you are in fact re-applying your own dead skins cells to your face.

Yes, those same cells that you exfoliate regularly to keep your skin glowing. Yuck… talk about two steps forward; one step back.

Supplies Needed to Clean Your Cosmetic Brushes

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • High quality paper towels
  • Gentle shampoo (baby shampoo works fine, I use organic shampoo for my brushes)
  • Water
  • Towel

Instructions: How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

  1. Take a small clean towel, fold it and place it on a table or counter top where you will place your cleaned brushes.
  2. Put some olive oil onto a folded paper towel and swirl your makeup brush in a circular motion pressing slightly into the oil. The olive oil will soften the brushes and loosen old makeup residue. You may notice quite a lot of color from the brush bleeds into the paper towel (see photo below).
  3. Rinse the brush under running lukewarm water. Work the bristles gently with the tips of your fingers. Take care not to let the water reach where the wood on your brush meets the top metal part of the brush (see photo below) or the water might disturb the glue, causing your brush to come apart.
  4. Put a small amount of shampoo in the palm of one hand and with the other hand, swirl the brush around in a circular motion. You may notice color bleeding once again from the brush onto your hand (see photo below).
  5. Repeat Step 3.
  6. Using an absorbent paper towel, gently squeeze excess water from the makeup brush and reform the bristles with your fingers.
  7. Lay the brush down on the clean towel so that the brush bristles lay just over the folded edge but not directly on the counter or table (see photo below). Do NOT stand the brushes back into their container to dry.
  8. Let dry completely.

Quick and Easy Daily Cleaning for Makeup Brushes

Try a little eye makeup remover on a cotton wipe to give your eye shadow and eye blending brushes a quick clean on a daily basis. Use baby wipes to give your larger powder and blush brushes a quick daily clean.

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