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How to clean your makeup brushes like a pro!

Updated: Jan 14

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How to clean your make up brushes like a pro, fairly frugal

How to clean your make up brushes like a pro!

Well, Hello there!

When was the last time you cleaned your make-up brushes?

We all know that cleaning our makeup brushes is important, but it is usually a long way down our priority list.

Did you realise that by using dirty makeup brushes you are smearing bacteria around your face?

These infections can be quite unpleasant (I’m talking about herpes or pink eye) so let’s look at how we can clean up our makeup brush act!

A study found conducted by STYLPRO found that 34% of makeup brushes contained more bacteria than the average toilet brush!

The advantages of regularly cleaning your makeup brushes

How to get clean colour's with eye shadow
  • Less oily reside and bacteria being spread across your face, meaning fewer breakouts.

  • Your brushes will last longer and will be easier to clean each time because you will have less old make-up built into the bristles. This is essential if you use high-end make-up brushes, which you consider an investment.

  • You are preventing dangerous bacteria growth; mascara wands and lip tubes are an ideal breeding environment for herpes and pink eye.

  • Your colours will be kept clear, this is important when going from bright to dark colours and you will get the effect you want.

  • You reduce the chance of skin irritation. Your brush bristles should be soft and smooth to touch. When your bristles are hard, you are risking skin irritation and redness.

  • Your application of makeup will be smoother. Dirty brushes lose their shape and you will get a combination of different pigments when you apply makeup. This won’t be the smooth finish you desire. Keeping your brushes clean means you get an even application without a ‘cakey’ finish.

How often should I clean my makeup brushes?

Ok lazy gals, you are not going to like my answer.

How often should I clean my make up brushes

Dermatologists recommend you wash your makeup brushes every seven to ten days.

I would apply this to how much you wear makeup. For example, I only apply a gentle layer of powder and blusher as my daily makeup routine because I spend a lot of time on skincare, so my skin is pretty good.

You can check out how I get clear skin in my step by step guide to dermaplaning, click on the image below to see how you can acheive glowing, youthful skin too!
How to get perfect skin

I wash the brushes that I use every day once every 2 weeks. I only apply my makeup (except lipstick) once a day. So, I feel like this is a reasonable time frame, especially as I might not wear any makeup at weekends.

Use your own discretion, but I wouldn’t go longer than 2 weeks. If you are a makeup fanatic who loves to play with different colours and styles, some sites recommend cleaning after every use.

Every seven days seems to be the sweet spot when I have compared articles online.

How do you clean your makeup brushes?

Anyone who has ever cleaned a makeup brush will know that it can be a slow process. It leaves brushes wet and unusable for almost 24 hours.

Here are my top three ways of cleaning makeup brushes, which are much quicker than the traditional way.

If you are one of the 44% of women quizzed by STYLPRO who have never cleaned your makeup brushes, this might be a good time to start!

Brush Cleaning Mat

These are designed to wash eye and face brushes and has a textured surface to ensure your brush gets a deep clean.

The silicone brush cleaning mat has suction cups underneath to secure to the bottom of your sink, so you can clean your brushes thoroughly. The brush cleaning mat surface comes with labels, so you know which part to use when cleaning your brush.

How to use a silicone make up brush cleaner

How to use

  1. Place the mat to fit in the up-right position in the sink and secure.

  2. Wet brush(es) using warm water.

  3. Wash (Face or Eyes Side) – Add a small amount of cleaning solution and water to the brush cleaning mat and swirl the brush on ‘Wash’ texture to begin deep cleaning the brush(es).

  4. Rinse (Face or Eyes Side) – Place brush under running water and sweep brush back and forth on the ‘Rinse’ texture of the mat to remove makeup residue and soap.

  5. Refine – Swirl brush on the ‘Refine’ texture of the mat for an added deep cleaning. (Repeat refine and rinse for a deeper clean)

  6. Rinse (Face or Eyes Side) – Place brush under running water and sweep brush back and forth on the ‘Rinse’ texture for a final rinse.

  7. Gently squeeze brush head with your hand to remove excess water.


  • Allows you to deep clean your brushes and help maintain their shape.


  • You still need to wait for your brushes to dry.

Don't forget to buy your cleaning solution. I use this vegan and paraben free one by STYLPRO.

Vegan make up brush cleaner

Felix Professional Makeup Brush Cleaner

For the quickest and easiest clean the Felix Professional deep clean offers a quick dry makeup brush cleansing solution.

The formula is designed to sanitize your makeup brushes and tools and is effective at removing oil, makeup residue and dirt. It is suitable for synthetic and natural brushes.

How to use

  1. Simply pour the makeup brush cleaning solution into a bowl.

  2. Dip half of the bristles, and wipe the brush clean with a tissue.

  3. Depending on the brush’s size, the cleaning solution will dry in minutes


  • Excellent for those of you who like to use lots of makeup and experiment with serval colours at once.


  • Only cleans the tip of the brush, so if your brushes haven’t been clean for a while, it might not remove all dirt.

STYLPRO Electric Makeup Brush Cleaner

This is my favourite. My brushes have never been cleaner, plus it is fun to use!

It cleans and dries brushes in less than 30 seconds and comes with 8 silicone collars that fit most brushes, including chunky foundation brushes to slender eyeshadow applicators.

How to use

  1. Using either liquid soap or our makeup brush cleanser, dunk the brush in the liquid and turn on the makeup cleaner for 10 seconds.

  2. Spin outside of the liquid for 10 more seconds and enjoy clean, dry brushes!


  • Quick to and easy to use.

  • Gives brushes a deep clean and leaves them dry and ready to use.


  • Battery-powered, so make sure you have some to hand.

  • Quirky brushes won’t fit, like mermaid fin brushes.

Mermaid make up brushes

I hope this little piece has encouraged you to take better care of your brushes! Let me know which one you prefer.

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A few words about Fair

Fair is a vintage gal on a journey to find financial freedom. She shares her best tips with you, so you can achieve the same goal, whether it is saving money or looking fabulous! Fair has featured in National and Local newspapers with her money-saving tips. If you would like to learn more about Fair and how she measures wealth by the number of socks she owns, click here. Fair loves mail! Send Fair a message here.

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