Aren’t eye shadow brushes just a god send? They come in so many shapes and sizes, various ranges of softness, and just generally improve the time you spend looking fresh.
But be honest with yourself here, how often do you actually clean your eye shadow brushes? Think about your makeup and eye shadow brushes. How many colours do you blend for that smoky eye?
How often have you used some tissue paper to clean in between colours and told yourself that was enough? No judgement here, I am as guilty as the next person. The truth is we know how much we should be cleaning our beauty tools, it’s just not fun, am I right?
It’s a tedious job, almost like beauty admin work, the grease trap cleaning of makeup, no one wants to do it, but it needs to be done.
So, that is why today we’re going to talk about why it’s so important to clean your eyeshadow brush, and the most hassle-free way of getting it done!.
We’ll give you 4 easy steps to clean your eye shadow brush, show you why it’s important for the health of your skin and show you some tools that can make the process even easier. Before we start here are some brush cleaners we love.
What makes an eyeshadow brush dirty
Unclean eyeshadow brushes are unhygienic. In fact, they are practically a fun fair for bacteria. The oil, dead skin cells, and makeup residue these brushes trap in their super fine bristles create the perfect environment for bugs and bacteria to go crazy.
The ferrule, handle and bristles can all hold bacteria but the bristles are the place where all the dirt and grime can hide away easiest.
Now remember that those brushes go near our eyes and nose, and that we often share them with friends.
Why cleaning an eyeshadow brush is important
Simply put, exposing your skin, especially around your eyes and nose, to unclean eyeshadow brushes are some of the major causes of breakouts, rashes, and skin irritation.
You could be doing everything right: having a perfect skincare routine, and sticking to it, drinking enough water, staying healthy, etc.
However, you might still be experiencing spots, allergies, and skin irritation because your face is directly being exposed to the dirt and grime of your eyeshadow brush.
Under a microscope, makeup brushes have been found to have the remains of mites (extremely tiny creatures living on our eyelashes). Additionally, bacteria such as e-coli and fungus have been found there too. Now, don’t worry too much. Generally, these are all harmless and necessary, but too much of anything is a bad thing.
4 steps to clean an eyeshadow brush
So now we know, not cleaning our eyeshadow brushes is kind of nasty and not great health wise. However, we still need to get it done. If professionals can clean their makeup brushes after every use, we can manage that once in a while, am I right?
Step 1: Lather up
The battle has begun, it’s nice to have you on this makeup brush cleaning journey with me.
- You’ll want lukewarm water and anti-bac soap (not dishwashing liquid).
- Get your makeup brush wet in warm water and then work a little bit of soap in with your fingers.
- Keep doing this for a good 2 minutes to get all the bacteria to release their hold. This bacteria holds on really tight so be sure to massage the brush firmly but don’t use all your power and break it.
I’ve seen a few very keen eye shadow brush cleaners snap their brush and lose the fight against dirt and grime before they’ve even reached step 2.
You might have heard people say you should use alcohol, shampoo, dish soap and vinegar to clean your makeup brush, but I believe lukewarm water and anti bac soap work best and won’t make your brush smelly after you’ve finished.
Think of this as a loving brush massage, take your time, feel the sensations and pay attention. Get this first step right and the next 4 steps will be a breeze.
Step 2: Rinse it out
Well done, it’s nice to see you’ve reached step 2. If you followed the first step your eyeshadow brush should be all lathered up and looking like it’s had a bubble bath.
- Bring the soaped-up brush back to the lukewarm water and gently rinse out all the soap. And I mean all the soap. All of it!
- That brush needs to be soap free, so once you think there’s no soap left, you rinse it just a little longer to be extra sure.
Step 3: Repeat if necessary
Now you have reached step 3 and it’s been a long journey. For you first time brush cleaners this step might seem like I’m just trying to give you some extra work to do but it’s important to make sure all that effort has worked and that the bristles are sparkling clean, the ferrule that connects the handle to the bristles is shiny and the handle is smooth and not sticky.
- If there’s still some grime or dirt on your eyeshadow brush, just repeat steps one and two until your eyeshadow brush is clean enough for reshaping surgery.
Step 4: Reshape and dry
Now it’s time for brush surgery! Your brush might look a little messed up now that it’s gone through at least one round of thorough cleaning.
- Just press the bristles down gently with your fingers to reshape them into their original look and leave them spread out on a paper towel or thin towel to dry.
Now that wasn’t so hard, was it? This is totally doable. One last note, make sure to dry the makeup brush out somewhere nice and airy.
By this stage you should have a clean brush ready to apply some beautiful eye shadow from popular eyeshadow brands like Natasha Denona and Pat Mcgrath.
How often should you clean eyeshadow brushes?
How often you clean your eyeshadow brushes really depends on how often you apply eyeshadow. A lot of us like to wait until the bristles start to change colour and look dirty but by this stage it’s often too late. I apply eyeshadow daily and like to clean my brushes once a week. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes and it’s well worth the effort.
The more often you clean your makeup brushes the less time it takes each time because the grime, oil and makeup residue hasn’t taken hold as deeply in the brushes bristles.
Why you should clean eyeshadow brushes between colours
It is a good idea to clean your eye shadow brush if you are changing your eye shadow palette or using a wide variety of colour shades. The bristles on an eye shadow brush or surface of makeup sponge hold product and residues from your eye shadow powders.
Whether you are using matte, satin, metallic, frost or another eyeshadow finish, they can all leave some shade of colour on your brushes bristles. When you use the brush to apply a different colour shade and the brush isn’t cleaned between colours it
Eyeshadow brush cleaning tools
The tools in the table above are some of my favourite tools that can help you clean your eyeshadow and makeup brushes more easily.
The steps above are simple but if you are a lover of tools that help make your life a little easier and can sometimes improve the quality of your brush cleaning, take a look at these.
Final thoughts about eye shadow brush cleaning
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning how to clean your eye shadow brush. Cleaning a makeup brush only takes a few minutes of your time and doesn’t only make your eye shadows colours looks cleaner and clearer but it also helps keep your skin around your eye lids healthy and free of bacteria.
Cleaning your eyeshadow brush regularly stops the build up of those unwanted oils and bacteria and can be a relaxing experience if you don’t look at it as an inconvenience.
We all spend hours choosing the perfect foundations and refining our makeup routines every morning so why not spend an extra few minutes once a week cleaning eye shadow from your makeup brushes. Your brush will look like new and your eye lids will have a nice clean layer of colour applied to them.