My beautybagg: makeup tool cleansers

I could be way off here, but I feel like the notion of cleaning your makeup brushes/tools regularly is something of a little-known, makeup aficionado piece of knowledge.  I have 50-75 brushes (some lying dormant in miscellaneous makeup bags), and none of them came with instructions that said, “Hey, clean this every now and then, and oh yeah, if you’re using liquid products and don’t clean the brushes then it could spawn a microcosm of bacteria.  Enjoy.”

my beautybagg: makeup tool cleaners (via Instagram)

I decided to do a blurb here as I was cleaning my brushes recently (latest batch pictured above), because if you use makeup brushes or other non-disposable tools to put makeup on your face, then you really should clean it every once in awhile.  As a note – I am very diligent about cleaning my brushes/tools not because I’m a germaphobe (I’m not – well, not a hard-core one at least), but because I don’t like the idea of dragging harbors of bacteria all over my face, which I spend quite a lot of hard-earned dough to take care of.  So anyway, here are my personal rules on makeup tool cleaning frequency:

  • Foundation brushes/Beauty Blender (pink sponge in picture) – I clean these every 1-2 uses, because I’m using them to apply liquid products all over my face.  And I don’t want to break out.  Right now my favorite brush to apply liquid foundation with is the Sigma F80 (flat-top kabuki with handle), and I have rediscovered my love for the Beauty Blender.
  • Brushes for cream/gel products (cream blush/highlighter/eyeshadow) – I clean these after every 2-3 uses, depending on how often I’m using the brush.
  • Eyeshadow brushes (used with pressed powder eyeshadows or pigments) – If I’m wearing makeup regularly, I’ll clean these weekly, or I’ll spot clean it with a brush cleaner spray if I need to use the same brush to apply different colors.  This usually doesn’t happen because I do have a lot of brushes for just this purpose (oh and because I like to acquire beauty products, can’t forget that).
  • All others (blush/powder brush, etc.)clean weekly

I’ve been using the Beauty Blender Cleanser for the Beauty Blender and the Bobbi Brown brush cleansers for brushes, but after I run out of them I’m just going to go with Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap, which is fair trade, bio-degradable, and packaged in 100% post-consumer recycled bottles and labels.  I use this soap for a bunch of stuff but never thought to use it for my makeup brushes.  I remember reading that Tali from The Gloss Goss (love her blog!) uses this as her brush cleanser, so I’m going to give that a try.  I’ve heard of other people using baby shampoo, regular shampoo, and face wash, so you definitely don’t need a separate cleanser to do this.

Do you clean your brushes regularly?  If so, how frequently and what is your favorite cleaner?  Or have you never cleaned them before?


  1. mimishih

    omg i totally never clean mine i’m sooo lazy about it. i always wonder if that is harming my skin!

    judy – would love to see pics on how you keep your makeup organized!

    • beautybaggblog

      It’s a good idea to give them a good clean once in awhile! You definitely don’t need to do it as often as I do (I’m rather anal about this), but I’d recommend once/week for liquid foundation brushes and at least every other week for brushes you use with powder products!

      Happy to work on a makeup org post! I’m happy with the way mine is currently =)

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