Laura McCarthy

Brush Up, Look Sharp!

Out with the old and in with the new! It’s time to sort out your make-up bag for a brand new year!  Bin any odd bits of make-up that no longer serve you, deep clean your brushes and refresh your products ready for a FABULOUS 2018.  Think of it as cleansing your make-up bags aura and why not make it a new year’s resolution to clean your tools more often too? I’ve been guilty in the past of neglecting brush hygiene before training as a make-up artist.  In fact, I don’t think I ever cleaned my brushes- eeeek!!! So it’s with this education that I feel compelled to pass on the importance of keeping them clean to the dreamingless reader. 

So, how often should you clean your brushes? I recommend cleaning them once a month but really you can clean them whenever you see fit. It depends how often you apply make-up and what products you use. Foundation brushes should be cleaned more often than a powder brush for example as liquids are a breeding ground for bacteria. Don’t leave brushes to clog up with product for months on end and continue to use them anymore. Here’s why: 


Killing Germs & Breakout Prevention:
Whenever you use your make-up brushes they pick-up everything that is on your face, namely; oil, dead skin cells, dust, old make-up and anything else clinging to your skin.  This is a recipe for disaster (or rather, acne)! Every time you use a dirty brush you’re wiping this disgusting combination all over your face and clogging your pores as a result. Fresh brushes means a fresh face – cleaning them is worth every penny!

Better Colour Application:
Re-applying colour with dirty tools diminishes the effectiveness to create the desired colour. With old build-up caked on your brushes whether that is a naturally blended contour or a dramatic eyeshadow the colour won’t be as fresh or as vibrant as it should be.

Maintaining Soft Brushes:
Brushes become more abrasive as they become saturated with product and debris from your face. The strands stick together if they aren’t cleaned regularly and it is detrimental to a brushes purpose. Cleaning your brushes keeps them soft enough to stop facial irritation and allows them to function at their best. You don’t want a bristly buffing brush for instance! 

Brush Durability
When you clean make-up brushes you’re preserving them. The more frequently you clean them, the longer your investment will last. Simple!


There’s a number of brush cleaning products on the market from sprays to gels to foams! Here’s my top three and some must buys to keep them spick and span:

1. Sigma Spa Express Brush Cleaning Matt £20.00 teamed with Sigmagic Brush Shampoo £11.50 is my favourite. Sigma have nailed brush hygiene! This was an early Christmas present to myself :


The cleansing foam is soft and ethically sourced containing palm oil which dissolves product build-up, oil residue and harmful bacteria.  The matt is designed to fit onto the bottom of your sink and is covered with nubs and ridges. The procedure is simple; wet your brush, apply soap, swirl the brush over the appropriate section (they're helpfully marked) although I personally think the areas aren’t necessary you can just swish any brush all over the soft pad. Then rinse thoroughly.  After a round of cleaning my foundation brush left no trace of make-up residue when I swept it over a clean tissue. It’s amazing! 

If you want to go all out on brush hygiene then why not invest in Sigma’s Dry’n Shape Spa, £24.00 where you can clip all your brushes in an upright position so they can dry out naturally. Brush luxury!

2. Pro Hygiene’s Make-Up Brush Cleaner, £10.00. Mild but very effective this cleanser was created for professional make-up artists and was recommended when training. It’s an easy-to-use formula for beauty enthusiasts too fitted with a spray function which works best when sprayed onto kitchen roll (it’s a bit more hardy that tissue). The spray is antibacterial and promises to kill 99.99 per cent of germs. Run the brush heads over the paper and continue until you see no product residue.

3. MAC Cosmetics Brush Cleanser, £12.00 - A renowned brand everyone has heard of and notorious for its pro-quality brushes, it makes sense that this cleansing solution is of the same standard. This gentle but powerful cleanser is designed to extend the life of your brushes by conditioning the fibres whilst also promising to disinfect and clean them thoroughly. Housed in a clear plastic bottle, the baby pink liquid can be poured into a container or onto tissue. I would use a container as you can end up using more than needed - there’s no stopper. Pour a suitable amount into a cup, swirl your brushes in circular motion in the solution, wipe with tissue, repeat and rinse. A little goes a long way! 

What are you waiting for ladies make one of these your first beauty purchase of 2018! Until next time… xoxo

Zoe Michelle