Spot Cleaning your Makeup Brushes

Brush cleaning is nobody’s favourite beauty chore, but is crucial for eradicating germs and prolonging the lives of our makeup tools.

If I were doing someone else’s makeup, my top priority would be cleaning my brushes before the appointment for sanitary reasons. But many of us (myself included) are perhaps a little less consistent than we should be when it comes to deep cleaning the brushes we use on our own faces. 

Spot cleaning is a method that will be second nature to makeup artists. It’s absolutely necessary in an environment where your brushes are constantly coming into contact with different products and faces. But it’s also something that can be done at home to help keep bacteria and breakouts at bay. 

It’s simply an efficient way of removing most (but not all) of the leftover product, dirt, residue and/or colour from your brushes without involving water (and therefore without requiring overnight drying). It’s particularly handy for cleaning smaller brushes like those for winged liner and eyeshadow, especially if you’re using different products and colours in one sitting.

Unfortunately, it shouldn’t replace your *ahem* weekly deep clean (..sorry), but it should make the ordeal a little less painful and keep your brushes, makeup and skin happy in the weeks days in between. 

Spot cleaning can be done as often as you like, and there are plenty of products on the market to choose from. The two I’ve been using recently are by MAC (RRP £12) and Kiko (RRP £5.90).

For me, the MAC Brush Cleanser seems to  do a better job at stripping leftover makeup from my brushes, but I prefer using the Kiko cleanser as it comes in a spray bottle, meaning that there’s less wastage and leakage.

The method I use is simple: wet a cotton pad with the cleanser and gently swirl the brush around until clear. As the key disinfectant ingredient in these products is alcohol, which can be harsh on the skin, it helps to swirl the brush in a dry pad once clean to remove any excess cleanser. The brush should be dry and ready to reuse in just a few minutes. 

If anything, spot cleaning makes me realise how vital it is to deep clean my brushes more regularly. When you see all that product come off in one go, the thought of leaving it all to fester amongst the bristles and end up back on your face is harder to stomach. So, that said, tonight’s agenda = brush cleaning like there’s no tomorrow.

But, then again, I have a thousand other things to do today and.. there is always tomorrow.