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How to: Care for your makeup brushes

I definitely don’t clean my brushes as often as I should, but I’m making this one of my resolutions for 2012. (And yes, I’m already working on a list of resolutions even though it’s only October!) Cleaning your brushes will help them last longer, perform better and keep them from holding on to the natural oils they pick up from your skin, which can cause unfortunate breakouts. I have two techniques to share with you.

Makeup Brush Quick Clean (once a week):
What you need: Distilled water (or water you’ve boiled and let cool), tea tree oil, natural or organic shampoo, small spray bottle, old towel.
To make: Mix 1 c. distilled water, 2 tbsp. tea tree oil, and 1 tbsp. shampoo, without making suds. Once combined, pour into a spray bottle.
To clean brushes: Spritz a few times on both sides of your brush, then wipe the brush on an old towel until the brush leaves no makeup behind. Store flat to dry. (Note: You can also purchase a ready-made brush cleaner, like this one from Jane Iredale.)

Makeup Brush Deep Clean (once a month):
What you need: Bowl, distilled water, natural or organic shampoo, old towel.
To clean brushes: There’s no recipe here, because it’s basically a technique. Swirl your brush in the water. Keeping the tip down (so the water doesn’t wash back into the glue that adheres the bristles to the handle), swirl the brush into a pea-sized dot of shampoo in the palm of your hand. Return brush to the bowl for a rinse. Wipe the brush on the old towel, and store flat to dry.

Are you good about keeping your brushes clean? I’d love to hear about your tips+techniques! —Aleigh

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