The Most Efficient Way to Wash Your Makeup Brushes

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As discussed at length on my Instagram, I am not (nor will I ever be) a fan of washing my makeup brushes. Is it a good way to help keep your face clear? Yes. Is it a pain in the butt? Yes. Will I ever abide by the monthly reminder on my phone to wash them? Probably not. If you can relate, you’re probably like me, stubborn and a little procrastinate at times. Buy hey, I got into beauty to enjoy the finer things in life, not necessarily for the nitty gritty.

So until there is a drive-thru stop where I can hand someone a bag of used and abused makeup brushes and come back to pick them up in an hour shining like new, I’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to get your makeup brushes squeaky clean in minimal time.

Pre-wash. You’ll know it’s time to start cleaning your face brushes when the bristles clump together or you can see product caked down deep.

Pre-wash. You’ll know it’s time to start cleaning your face brushes when the bristles clump together or you can see product caked down deep.

Post-wash. Brushes are fluffy and free of product.

Post-wash. Brushes are fluffy and free of product.

Step 1: Find the perfect brush cleaner.

I constantly rave about Beauty Blender’s Blender Cleanser Solid. For someone who hates washing their brushes, I literally hoard this stuff. I’ve never found another brush cleaner that even comes close to cleaning brushes and sponges as well as this stuff does. What will take you fifty sprays and fifteen minutes of washing one brush with some generic cleanser will take you two minutes with this. I’m constantly keeping it on hand and restocking it whenever there’s a sale.

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Step 2: Use a cleansing mat or mitt.

To help you get right in the thick of things, I love employing my Sigma Express Brush Cleaning Mat. A lot of brushes will have makeup caked deep into their bristles, and swirling them around on this will help in distributing the cleanser and getting out all those deep gross bits. The mat will kindof get caked with makeup at the end, so you’ll want to try and clean it off when you’re done each time, but don’t expect it to look brand new after a couple of washes. It’s on the front lines.

Step 3: Clear off your counter.

I always find it’s easiest for me to work through this process when I have a clean space and towel to set my brushes on once I’m done. After that, everything kind of becomes an assembly line.

Pre-wash. When your sponges have residue caked on the outside or when you squeeze them and they kind of stick together before bouncing back to their shape, that’s when you know they need to be washed.

Pre-wash. When your sponges have residue caked on the outside or when you squeeze them and they kind of stick together before bouncing back to their shape, that’s when you know they need to be washed.

Post-wash. All makeup residue will be gone and the sponge will expand to it’s full size due to the water.

Post-wash. All makeup residue will be gone and the sponge will expand to it’s full size due to the water.

Step 4: Work at night.

Lastly, my best advice for the most efficient cleaning is to do it before going to bed at night. Brushes take awhile to dry, and if you leave them out overnight you will have them nice and clean for when you need to get ready in the morning. This combined with all the other steps above will ensure you’re not wasting any of your precious time on this annoying, yet necessary, task.

Any tips or tricks you love to use when washing your brushes? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!