Friday, March 6, 2009

Two More Ways to Wash Your Brushes

Hello ladies,

As I mentioned earlier on Monday about the significance of having clean makeup brushes (and President Obama happened to agree with me, I think), I also told you there are more ways to wash your brushes than just using the brush cleanser. Depending on your situation and amount of time available, one of these two methods may work for you better than the brush cleanser way.

1. Wash with shampoo and conditioner

What I use: Rush Sensories Full shampoo ($4 USD at drugstore) and Aveda Brilliant conditioner ($18 USD)

I hear you groan from the distance already. "What's so new about it?" you may say. Well, to be honest with you, this is not a novel method at all. However, before you totally disregard it, let me explain its significance to you. It only takes a few minutes, much less if you're a fast reader, I promise .

This method works very well on brushes because the products you use to clean and condition them are the same to use for your hair! If you haven't washed your brushes in a while, I would suggest to start with this as the shampoo clearly rinses out all the dirtiness well and the conditioner softens and conditions your brushes back into shape.

To wash your brushes with this method, you need to use water that is in room temperature. Hot water may ruin your brushes while cold water may send shivers to your bones! If your brush is made from natural fiber (ie goat, sable, squirrel hair), you need to shampoo and condition it. However, if it is made from synthetic materials (ie taklon, nylon), you only need to shampoo. The conditioner makes your synthetic brushes feel a bit icky after they are dried.

While it is a great method to deep clean your brushes, it is also a very time consuming process. Washing 30 brushes may take more than an hour and drying thick brushes may take 2-3 days! However, I highly suggest you to deep clean your brushes once a month or more often if you use them frequently.

2. Quick clean with a Wet Ones Antibacterial wipe
A travel pack of Wet Ones (~$1 USD)

When I heard about this, I was like "Huh? Wet Ones? Is it even safe to use?" A thousand of questions danced through my head but at that time, I desperately needed to wash my brushes without using water so I went to Target and bought a travel pack to try. While the ingredients are not that desirable to be used on my face, Wet Ones wipes in fact clean and sanitize my brushes well when I am away from home. Imagine trying to clean a kabuki brush on vacation where the place is hot a humid: the poor brush would not completely dry before becoming damp again. And we all know bacteria likes to grow in damp, moist places, right?
Active Ingredients: Benzethonium Chloride (0.30%).

Inactive Ingredients: Water, SD Alcohol 40, Propylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis Gel, Glycerin, PEG-60 Lanolin, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance.
Benzethonium chloride is an antiseptic that is widely used in many industries. Water helps dissolving some water-soluble particles while the alcohol dissolves the organic non-water soluble compounds. Alcohol also disinfects the brush and helps to dry it faster.

To clean your brush with a Wet Ones wipe, simply open the pack, take out a wipe and lay it down. Then move the fibers of your brush back and forth on the wipe until it looks clean to you. You may change the wipe and repeat the process until nothing rubs into the wipe anymore.

Since it has glycerin and aloe gel, I would not use it on a daily basis as the brush will feel tacky. However, for travel, this is a great option to keep your brush clean. Also, you can finish a pack when you are away from home and do not have to carry anything back home.

I hope you are going to wash your brushes frequently. Caring for them will keep them in good shape for you to use in many years to come. I wish you a nice weekend and please spend time to wash your brushes if you haven't already done so.

Take care and stay gorgeous,
Your Makeup Blogger

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  1. WET ONES is my HG for brushes. They clean and sanitize it at the same time. Im going to have to look into these cleaners!

  2. I had never though of using conditioner to wash my brushes! I usually use only baby shampoo and it has always worked well.

  3. I ended up buying my brush cleaner from an art supply store - it's like a block of lemony-scented soap. I just wet the brush then swirl it on top of the soap. Gets all the makeup out, and my brushes are also conditioned.

    Also, it's super cheap! You can buy a 1-oz block of it for around $4. I wash my all brushes at least once a week (some brushes get washed more) and I still have like 95% of my 1oz block left, after a month :P

    I've tried washing with shampoo before, but I honestly find the art-store brush cleaner to be a lot better. It's the only thing that gets the white fibers on my 188 and 187 as white as freshly-fallen snow :P

  4. Hi IsaLeise,

    You have such a nice name, where are you from? I reserve Wet Ones for trips and such because of the liquid limitation thing on the airlines. They work great, I have to say.

  5. Hi Gio,

    You should try shampooing and conditioning your brushes made with natural fibers. They are going to be a lot softer than just using shampoo. That's how I endure some of my cheap brushes.

  6. Hi May,

    Thank you for reminding me about that! I used to wash my brushes with soap when I painted. The soap does remove everything and keep the brushes clean. And yeah, a block lasts for a very long time.

  7. Have you heard about the latest Canadian dermatologist to create his own skincare line? I don't normally ever write on these blogs but if you suffer from dry or dehydrated skin this new line built on the "hydration concept" is a FIVE STAR PRODUCT LINE!! Seriously, its filled with potent anti-oxidants that have changed the way my skin looks and feels and other makeup artists across North America are raving about it since he works on sets to assist top artists when needed! You can order it on-line at or thru select spa's and medical clinics. Good luck! Devan, Vancouver.

  8. The wipes is a good idea! :) I never thought of wet ones... hehe~

  9. Hi Devan,

    Thank you for letting me know.

  10. Hi Alyssa,

    Please give it a try. It's good for quick cleaning and handy to use when you travel. For deep cleaning, I still prefer the other two methods.


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