Monday, September 14, 2009

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Dear Brush Junkies (Part 2)

We should and need to clean our makeup tools on a regular basis. Research studies have shown that an unwashed sponge is even dirtier than the toilet, meaning that there are millions of germs on it for sponges and brushes are the perfect places for these bad guys to grow. 

Dear Brush Junkies is a two part blog post in which I talk about how to maintenance and clean your makeup tools such as brushes and sponges. I recommend that you check out part 1 first before reading this second part.

To clean makeup brushes for both synthetic and natural hair: 
  1. Wet the brush with lukewarm water and put some baby shampoo on the hair part. Do NOT use a separate conditioner afterward because the conditioner will smooth the hair so much that it will affect the brush's ability to grab onto powder products. 
  2. Do NOT rub the brush very hard. Just gently rub it back and forth following the hair's direction.
  3. Use paper towel to squeeze out excessive water.
  4. Air day or blow dry. Do NOT leave the brush under direct sunlight becasuse the uv rays will damage it. Really big/thick brushes should take at least 2 days to fully air dry. Smaller/thinner brushes should be fine just over night.

The above tutorial works with most makeup brushes; however, certain ones such as lip brushes need special attention. Do NOT let your lip brush touches water because the bristles will lose elasticity. Instead, use lip balm (NOT too waxy kind) or lotion to clean it.
  1. Dip the lip brush in a lip balm and gently brush it back and forth.
  2. Wipe off excessive lip balm with paper towel. Then dip it in lip balm again. Repeat this process until there is no more product on the brush.

Some people clean their lip brushes with olive oil, but the problem is that we have to wash it afterward with water to get rid of the oil. This is NOT good because our lip brushs' bristles should not touch water.

So far, we talked about how to deep clean our brushes. Deep Cleaning should be done at least once a month and should be more frequent depends on how often you use your makeup tools. However, it is a time consuming process, and most of us simply do not have the time to do this everyday. This is when spot cleaning comes in. Spot cleaning is mostly used by makeup artists at work when they need to clean brushes immediately between clients. I also use spot cleaning when I need to use the same brush for another color, so I don't mix the shades. Remember, spot cleaning can NOT completely clean your brushes. This is just a quick alternative when we don't have the time to wash our tools.

There are different brush cleansers that can be used to spot clean. I use the MAC Brush Cleaner ($11). 

More about the product : This one product will clean, disinfect and condition the brush fibers so that brushes will last longer. It is convenient to use and is specifically designed to extend the life of high quality brushes. Brush Cleanser leaves your brushes smelling fresh and clean, and helps shorten their drying time. 
It is a very popular choice among makeup artists and beauty junkies; however, many are not using it correctly. A lot of people just spot clean the brush with the MAC cleanser and use it after the brush is dry. But, the MAC cleanser is NOT meant to be used as dry cleanser, meaning it needs to be rinsed afterward. An experienced makeup artist will say the same thing. And if you read the back of the MAC cleanser package, it does say "Rinse well". Alternatively, there are also brush cleansers out there that don't require this.

Everyone has a different way to clean their makeup tools. As long as we follow the general rules, we should be fine. Remember, these tools will be with you a lot longer than makeups, so please take good care of them. A well maintained brush and sponge help you create that flawless look. And always remember that moderation is the key. Over washing and under maintenance are both very damaging.

6 Responses to “Dear Brush Junkies (Part 2)”

Olive Tree Guitar Ensemble said...
September 14, 2009 at 8:01 PM

Hi, it's a very great blog.
I could tell how much efforts you've taken on it.
Keep doing!

Shanghainese Dumpling said...
September 14, 2009 at 11:10 PM

Thank you for sharing those info, they're so helpful also about MR Xiao Kai!!! :)

Angela said...
September 14, 2009 at 11:48 PM

Thank you guy for stopping by.

Shanghainese Dumpling, I guess you can read Chinese?

Shanghainese Dumpling said...
September 26, 2009 at 7:16 AM

Yeah I do :) Yeahhh!!!!

coffretgorge said...
October 19, 2009 at 11:11 PM

Oh no! i just washed my brushes with tsubaki shampoo then used the conditioner afterwards, why is that bad? i thought it was good because it made the brush hair softer. :(

Angela said...
October 28, 2009 at 2:18 AM

@coffretgorge: conditioners tend to make the bristles too soft and slippery to stick to powder. It isn't anything really bad but makeup artists tend not to do it especially if they have to use the brush a lot at one time because a really well conditioned brush doesn't grab onto powder products as much as the not so soft kind.