Deep clean, that is. I must admit, shamefully, that I was one of the many who neglect to clean makeup brushes until well after they are obtained. The importance of doing so cannot be over estimated! Seriously, when I first washed the brushes I got for my prom makeup -- an embarrassing amount of time after I obtained them -- they were literally so filthy that they washed out black.
I had been touching my face with that crap? One of them was so far gone, I had to toss it. Vom. So now, I try to do a deep clean once a week to make sure nothing terrifying is going on.
Up top, we have the brush soap I use, Sephora Makeup Brush Shampoo, which has lasted me ages, so good $6 I spent there. I don't feel like it's exceptional or anything, but it gets my brushes more than clean enough. A couple of them were quite expensive (like, literally two of them, the Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush and the Sephora Pro Allover Powder Brush #61), so I guess I'd rather err on the side of pretty effective versus stripping. I just get some soap in my hand, wet the top of the brush under lukewarm water, and swish it around in my hand. To rinse, and this is the most important part, run the bristles under water until the water runs clear, making sure not to get the water up into the handle. This will cause the glue holding your brushes together to stop doing so, and then you will have created an expensive problem for yourself. Then just lay them out of the edge of a counter so as not to interfere with the shape of the brush.
I like to reshape and turn them a couple of times during the drying process, just to make sure they look all pretty in the end, and leave them overnight to dry. Most of mine are just wonderful in the morning, but my powder and kubuki brushes need a little extra drying time on account of size. Side note: I'm looking for a good brush spot cleaner, so I can swap colors more easily between deep cleanings, any suggestions?
These aren't all my brushes, just the ones I've used this week. The other brushes up there that I haven't already mentioned are by Eco Tools, Real Techniques (on sale right now at Ulta, the Core Collection is worth it for the Buffing Brush alone), and a MAC special edition. I hope you've enjoyed this little cleaning treatise!
MAC Brush: MAC
Real Techniques Brushes: Ulta
Eco Tools Brush: drugstore.com
Eyeliner Brush: Bobbi Brown
Powder Brush: Sephora
Brush Cleaner: Sephora