Event Makeup and Custom Body Bronzing by Westi

Event Makeup and Custom Body Bronzing by Westi
Photo by Brandy Fine Focus Photography

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How to Clean Makeup Brushes and Stop them from Shedding

Since cleaning my brushes is something I do weekly and have experimented with for years, I thought I would share how I clean my brushes and what I use to keep them looking new and not shedding like a dog on a velvet couch. Here are the steps that I take to cleaning and conditioning my brushes.
Step 1.  Get some gentle or natural shampoo and conditioner that is appropriate for cleaning brushes. I use Johnson's Baby Shampoo to cleanse both my synthetic and natural brushes. I find that the gold baby shampoo cuts the greasy foundation on my brushes that most brush cleaners can't and is gentle so it won't damage my brushes. I know some artists use natural shampoo by various brands and those work great too but I find that this works best for me and tames my daughter's "Richard Simmons" hair so it is a multi-tasker in our house. I have also discovered the key to keep brushes from shedding is to condition them. Makes sense right? What happens to our hair when we style it and style it and then only shampoo it? Well, mine can become a serious disaster without some conditioner. I use the same conditioner at the moment that I use on my hair. It is from Rejuvenation Salon and is a silk protein conditioner. Amazing. You can use just about any conditioner for your brushes but this one works well for me and makes my brushes extra shiny.

 Here are two dirty brushes with foundation and good old Johnson's Baby Shampoo and Rejuvenation Silk Protein Conditioner from my friend's salon.  If you are at all interested in purchasing it you can call Rejuvenation at
(805) 778-1602.  
 Step 2. Take your dirty brush and squeeze just a bead of shampoo into your hand then wet the brush and swirl the brush into your hand to massage the shampoo into the bristles. When you work up a lather and see the color in your hand, then rinse the brush under warm running water. Repeat this step until the water runs clear. I also test the brushes by swiping them on a dry paper towel after the water runs clear to make sure all traces of makeup have been removed.
Here is my dirty brush before cleansing.

No, this isn't my grandma's hand. Haa haa. It is the winter and I have a toddler so my hands spend a lot of time in hot water and washing brushes is no different. I have tried using rubber gloves but like to feel the brushes when I was them and think it gets them cleaner by massaging them a bit.

Keep swirling and adding shampoo and rinsing until the water runs clear.

Whallah!! No traces of makeup. Sorry for the blurry shot. I just got a new camera so future blogs will be more clear.

Step 3.  Take a bead of conditioner into the palm of your hand and gently massage the brush into it and then swirl and rinse.

Step 4. I like to gently squeeze the brush into a washcloth or towel to remove any excess water and then lay the brushes on a clean dry towel to dry. I like to roll the towel on the side where the handles of the brushes will be laying so they will be at an angle so the water will not stay in the ferrule. This will also help keep the brushes from shedding since water in the ferrule can loosen the hairs or rot them.
Here are a few brushes shiny, clean and conditioned waiting for their next trip to enhance someone's beauty. Hope you can see that the brushes are laying at an angle with the handles elevated higher than the bristles of the brushes.

I am always experimenting with different techniques and shampoos and conditioners to make sure my brushes stay like new and in good condition. Nothing is more frustrating that hairs falling all over the face of your client when you are trying to apply makeup. I even had a wedding photographer standing over my shoulder waiting for me to remove hairs on my client's face before taking a close up shot and of course I felt a bit embarassed but this method has kept my brushes healthy and shed-free.

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