Usually every Sunday, my Instagram and Twitter feed is awash with people giving out about having to do my most loathed chore in the history of life. Sometimes I'm right up there with them. If you say that you don't mind it or like it, have a whiff of the air surrounding you because I bet your pants are on fire. I'm talking about cleaning makeup brushes. Even typing that gives me the bleurghs. But it has to be done and every time I'm procrastinating and finding other things to do that are obviously way more important than washing eleven million (slight exaggeration) brushes, that little voice in my head stands on it's tippy toes and shouts above all of the "Aw man, I hate doing this, why do I have to do this, so what if I want to go for the muddy makeup look" and reminds me of that feeling when it's done. It's like going to the gym. Once it's over, it's grand. Until the next time. It's a constant cycle.
So in an effort to make me do it over the weekend, I figured I'd kill two birds and write about what I use to clean my brushes. Let me preface that I have a lot of brushes. I pretend I'm a collector, but in actual fact, I just buy more so that I don't have to clean them. Then when they're all dirty, it's either buy more or clean them. So since it's January, I might as well save money and clean 'em.
Look at all those dirty brushes, tormenting me... And that's not the full collection. These are just the ones I use most days and badly needed a deep clean. I've three products that I use for cleaning brushes and sponges, so let me talk you through them.
For deep cleaning my brushes, I use the Dr Bronner's Liquid Castile Soap in the Citrus Orange scent. I bought this in TK Maxx last year and you can buy it in health food shops like Down To Earth and online too. It'll set you back about €8 and that link will give you the ingredients, but it's €8 well spent because it has so many different uses - 18 in total, from washing your body to washing your hair, your pet, your clothes and a little goes a long way. It's quite liquidy in formulation and I'd expected it to be thicker like shampoo, but a few drops in the palm of my hand works wonders at getting rid of all the grime and makeup from my brushes for a really deep clean that doesn't strip the bristles. It works better and quicker than what I was using before, Johnson's Baby Shampoo and watching all your makeup go down the sink is very satisfying and scary. How dirty were my brushes!
For spot cleaning, especially if I'm filming a video or doing a few blog posts that involves me using a lot of brushes, the Cinema Secrets Professional Brush Cleaner is the business. You can buy it online here and prices vary from €9.49/2oz to €53.49 for a massive 32oz bottle. The one I have is 4oz, is €16.49 and has lasted me for ages. This stuff is fantastic and I mainly use it for eyeshadow brushes. I pour some into the cap, dip my brush in, let it soak up, wait about 10 seconds and then rub the bristles into a dry clean towel in circular motions to work the makeup out of the brush. I rarely have to go back for a second dip and I think I'll have to bite the bullet and get a new bottle very soon.
The last thing I use is for my sponges and it's the Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser that I got as part of a set in New York. You can buy the cleanser on it's own from Cult Beauty for £14 and as I've only used it a few times, I'll report back on whether I'd repurchase it again. It makes quick work of cleaning my Beauty Blender and the true test will be when I use it to clean my Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. That stuff has dirt and makeup down to the core of it's being, so stand by to hear how I get on with that. I've also used this with brushes and it works great at removing eyeshadow and rinses out well. I just wonder about product waste having to rinse it under the tap all the time. Sure we'll see how I get on in the long term and the one I have is only small, so I'm hoping it'll last a few months at least.
Right now I have a little army of makeup brushes on my makeup unit, ready to help make me look lovely tomorrow! Seeing them all lined up like this is great. I still hate cleaning them though. But it's done for now....
Unless you are the owner of self cleaning makeup brushes, in which case, call me, what do you use to help minimise the pain of this chore? Am I alone in my brush cleaning pain? And if you don't mind cleaning your brushes, tell me how you make that happen!