Tedious Beauty: Make-up Brush Cleansing Routine

The thought of cleaning my make-up brushes results in me letting out a huge sigh. It takes me back to my childhood when my Mum would ask me to do something that I really couldn't find the energy to even comprehend doing the task, let alone actually following it through. I'm sure I am not the only one who puts off this rather tedious task, actually I know I'm not. As my collection of make-up tools grows, I dread the task in hand even more. I often feel very ashamed of myself when I look at the state of my brushes; the congealed, manky nastiness that embeds between each bristle. It's actually rather disgusting. Last weekend I gave myself a stern telling off and decided it was time to rid the grime that had built up. I am fully aware of how often I should wash my brushes because of the bacteria, and how it increases the chances of spots, but then again I know I should do a lot of things in life that I simply avoid. On this occasion, I knew it was time to put my trust in the professionals, something a little more hard hitting than my usual ritual of baby shampoo. In this case, I turned to the Barbara Hofmann Special Brush Cleaning Soap (£6.95)*, which - if I am being honest - had been accumulating dust in my draw for a good few weeks. So, if you want to go all Kim and Aggie on your brushes, keep reading...

a picture of Barbara Hofmann Special Brush Cleaning Soap
I was really intrigued by this product when I was first introduced to it, I had only ever heard brief commentary on a solid brush cleanser prior, and new it was something I had to try, even if it didn't turn out how I expected. In fact, truth be told, it exceeded all expectations. My first thought when I processed the notion of cleaning my brushes was, how the hell do I use it? I had never used a solid brush cleaner before, so it was time to rely on my common sense, which in this situation proved fairly competent. I simply wet the soap under the tap and kept it in the tin, before grabbing my brush and swirling the bristles over the top. Because the soap was in the tin it could rotate in motion with me swirling the brush. This then created a lather which I could rub in with my fingers and wash off under the tap. Most brushes were sparkly clean within one session, but some did take another spin and rinse. It really is a genius way to brush cleanse, and the soap doesn't diminish much, meaning it's going to last for quite a while. Double result I say!

Now for the up-keep. Anyone would think I was talking about human hair... but no, brush hair needs taking care of too y'know (soon there will be brush conditioners... or maybe there is already, I don't know). In between uses (when I am not in a rush, or feeling particularly lazy), I turn to B.'s Make-up Brush Cleanser (£4.99), which I actually picked up a long time ago and it's still full, which again emphasises my lack of dedication to brush hygiene. I simply spray this onto a large oval cotton pad and wipe off the excess from my brushes... this also ensures I don't mix eyeshadow shades. Just the other day I went to put a pink shadow on my eyelids and got an extra helping of gold shimmer from the previous day's eye look. This prompted me to never miss this cleaning step again. I find you need quite a few sprays of this for one brush as it soaks up really quickly, thus I wouldn't recommend it for a full on cleanse.

How do you clean your brushes, and honestly, how often?


  1. I try and do mine every 2 weeks but that's not always realistic! I don't have a dedicated cleanser for them, I might have to try out the one from B! Great post.

    Christie x

  2. I really need to wash my brushes more. Can I just say that your photos are beautiful :)

  3. I love the Barbara Hofmann brush cleaner it's so quick and easy to use
    : ]