Here’s the thing about makeup: it’s only as good as what you’re putting it on with. It doesn’t matter how much you spend on product of your brushes are dirty. Ideally you’d be washing them every day, or at the least, once a week. I never, ever do that. It’s my dirty little secret, quite literally. But in fairness, everything I’ve ever read about washing brushes basically says that you use hand soap and warm water and voila, your brushes are like new. Except that every time I tried, I was waiting two full days for them to dry out again, and when they were, they were still full of gunk. So I decided to bring out the big guns. In this instance, that’s a brush cleaning machine from Amazon. Before we get to that, though, let’s get down and dirty about why washing your makeup brushes is non-negotiable.
Brushes are breeding grounds of bacteria. This is especially true for any brush you use with liquid makeup. The buildup – dead skin cells, dirt and old makeup – is a combo that will clog your pores, dull your complexion and cause major breakouts.
Brushes don’t work as well when they’re dirty. That same buildup gunking up your bristles dampens down a brush’s flexibility and fluffiness, so it’s not going to distribute product as well. A brush with hardened bristles is more abrasive and rougher on your skin, especially in the eye area.
Brushes won’t last as long if they’re not washed. If you have to do a super-deep clean – really scrubbing hard and digging in there to get heavy buildup out – you’re going to loosen bristles, deform the brush and probably never really get it fully clean. It’s going to give out a lot faster than if you’re cleaning regularly.
Like I said, though, washing them by hand is time-consuming, and totally unrealistic to do every day. It also doesn’t work that well. So I invested $8 in this brush soap from Sephora, and $15 in this brush cleaning machine from Amazon. It spins the soapy brush in the water, then spins the water out. I’d say that it took about a minute per brush, and then about an hour to totally air dry. Will this be the life hack that breaks my bad brush hygiene habits (and breakouts) forever? Time will tell. But this is the most promising progress I’ve made yet.