Simone Cohen


It is really important to take good care of your make-up brushes and keeping them clean is an absolute necessity.

Regularly washing brushes will ensure you reduce the amount of bacteria you apply to your skin and it also will save you money — the better you care for your brushes, the longer they will last.


To hygienically care for your brushes, you should clean them in between every application. Make-up artists will carry an alcohol-based brush cleaner, which cleans the brushes between clients. Spray the cleaner on to a tissue and work the brush backwards and forwards to remove the product. Don’t spray directly on to the brushes as the harsh alcohol will cause the bristles to snap over time.


If you use your brushes every day, wash them once a week. Washing your brushes (depending on how many you have) can seem like a bit of a chore but once you realise how good clean brushes feel on your skin, you’ll be a convert.


Start with a small bowl filled to a depth of about 3cm of warm water (for shampoo) and a second small bowl of warm water (for conditioner). Any brand is fine as long as it is gentle.


I also have a third bowl of detergent in warm water — this is for synthetic brushes as they need something that’s more astringent than shampoo.


Separate your brushes into fluffy powder brushes and foundation/cream brushes. Fluffy brushes will rinse quickly but take longer to dry; brushes used for cream-based products will need to be rinsed several times before they are clean but will dry faster.


Dip the brush into the water and then into a small amount of shampoo (or detergent if your brushes are synthetic). Work the cleaner into the brush using the palm of your hand. Rinse the brush in the water and repeat if necessary.


Work in a small amount of conditioner then rinse in clean water. Squeeze out any excess water and work the brushes back into their natural shape; for example, if it’s a flat brush try to flatten it, if it is an angle brush, squeeze it into the original angle.


Lay all your clean brushes on a towel. I usually lie them over the edge of a surface to allow maximum airflow and faster drying time.


Don’t use a hair dryer on brushes as it will get too hot and could melt them.


If you have time, use a fine-tooth comb to comb the fluffy brushes once they are dry. Your brushes may moult a little after they have been washed — brushing them with a fine-tooth comb helps to stop the hairs from falling on to your face.


Good-quality brushes should last a long time, so take good care of them.


Simone Cohen runs SC Artistry


© The West Australian