When I first stared wearing makeup in High School I NEVER cleaned my one, single makeup brush. I used the same weathered, old kabuki brush for everything! Foundation, powder, blush and bronzer. Although I only had one makeup brush I had no idea of the importance of washing it regularly... and I wondered why I had a constant flow of new pimples!
Now, I'm no scientist, but I know for a fact that makeup brushes can hold a lot of bacteria. Which is then brushed directly onto your skin. Every day. When you really think about it, it's disgusting, leaving your makeup brushes to fester and collect makeup, dead skin, dust, oil and dirt month after month... or for some, year after year. Its not until you wash a foundation brush for the first time that you realise HOW MUCH product and gunk is actually collected in your brush!
Anyway, I'm going to give you a quick rundown on how I clean my brushes.
Step 1 - Collect all of your dirty brushes, a hand towel and a brush cleaner of your choice. You can pick up brush cleaners from your local Sephora, Mecca or online beauty supplier. Or if you're like me and don't believe in spending $40 on fancy soap here are a couple of other products - Stain remover laundry soap or baby shampoo. They do the same thing and work just as well as the expensive stuff but will cost you a quarter of the price!
Step 2 - Wet your first brush. Add some cleaner. Swirl around in the palm of your hand (watch all the built up makeup wash down the sink). If the brush is still dirty, repeat this step again. Extra dirty brushes or ones that haven't been cleaned in months may need a few goes!
Step 3 - Repeat for all of your brushes. Make sure you're careful with your brushes, swirl them gently. Once you've rinsed the soap out, swirl on the hand towel to remove excess water, reshape your brush and lay flat on the towel to dry. DO NOT stand them upright! This can let the water soak into the glue of the brush and can ruin your brushes!
Step 4 - Once all of the brushes are washed and laying flat on the towel, leave them overnight to completely dry (bigger face brushes will take longer).
Step 5 - Once all of your brushes are dry they are ready to use!
If you wear makeup every day I recommend cleaning your brushes every 1-2 weeks. You can pick up alcohol based brush sanitizing spray from makeup stores to keep them clean between washes. At the moment I am using the Mecca Brush Sanitizing spray to clean my brushes in between clients.