• Victoria Marley

How I deep clean my makeup brushes


I have a love/hate relationship with the cleansing of my makeup brushes. Although at times the constant cleansing/drying/cleansing/drying routine is enough to make me want to read a dictionary backwards for a bit of light entertainment, there is something quite pleasurable about seeing my little beauties all lined up in a row, drying out, re-fluffing themselves and getting ready for their next round of beautifying!

I have been asked numerous times how I clean my makeup brushes, so I thought I'd do a little blog on the process.

Cleaning brushes between clients-for example when doing a bridal party or when I am working on clients back to back in the salon-is a different process to the deep cleaning that I do at the end of each working day. Obviously it would be impossible to do a deep cleanse inbetween clients as you need a good 12 hour drying time for the brushes. This is where a good spray bottle of isopropyl alcohol comes in handy.

I simply spray the alcohol onto a clean towel, rub the brushes in a swirling or side to side motion (dependant on the shape of the brush and density of the bristles), and this removes any product and sanitises the brush ready to work on my next client.


Isopropyl alcohol can be bought easily online, is pretty inexpensive and will last a long time! I have had the bottle in the picture since Novemeber 2016 and as you can see I am only just running out!

So, for a deep clean, you will need a towel, a mild baby shampoo (I use Superdrugs baby shampoo which is cruelty free) and I occasionally use a silicone makeup brush cleaner:


The process is pretty simple:

1. Moisten the brushes with a little warm water, taking care not to submerge the brushes in past the ferrule (the metal part) as this can soften the glue and cause the bristles to fall out.

2. Add a small amount of shampoo either into the palm of your hand or onto the silicone cleaner.

3. Swirl the bristles of the brush into the shampoo and rinse (I often do 2-3 brushes at once if they are the same type)

4. Repeat until clean!

5. Squeeze out any access moisture/pat gently with a clean towel

The best way to dry makeup brushes is with them hanging upside down by the handle, so the water doesn't run down the ferrule and into the handle. However, I personally don't really find this practical and I just lay them flat and allow them to air dry. I periodically mould the bristles back into their usual position when walking past them etc, as this helps to keep their shape.

If I have been lazy and got in late from a job and dont clean by brushes until the next day, I do find that gel products (eg eyeliner, eyebrow gel etc) have pretty much stuck to my brushes for dear life. Therefore I like to put a little shampoo onto these brushes first, clean the rest of the brushes, then come to them last. This way they've had a little time to soak and clean a little easier.

I guess the main points are the donts- DON'T soak your brushes in alcohol (surefire way to ruin your brushes); DON'T submerge the full brush in water; and DON'T FORGET TO CLEAN!! Especially if you are a makeup artist, you MUST deep clean your brushes after each session. If you are just cleaning your own brushes, I would recommend cleaning your brushes at least once a week. Just think, each time you put your brushes on your skin you are picking up bacteria, dead skin cells and a whole host of other nasties. Would you reuse the water and cleansing products you used on your face this morning time and time again? I didn't think so. So please, don't forget to clean your brushes. Just bacause you can't see the grime and bacteria doesn't mean it isn't there. Your brushes will reward you with longevity and optimum performance!

So, to finish here is a picture of my littles beauties all drying in a row...


I hope you found this useful- I'd love to know!

Love, Vic xx

#brushes #babyshampoo #superdrug #bridal #alcohol

© 2017 - 2020 Victoria Marley 

The North East Makup Acadey
Britsh Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology