Thursday, June 16, 2016

Get Your Makeup Brushes Really Clean, Finally!

Ok, I’m done. Done with being Joe-Jentle with my makeup brushes. I’ve been suffering from a bought of dermatitis brought on by bacteria in my makeup brush. Mind you, this has never happened before in my 20+ years of using makeup brushes to apply makeup.

The culprit? My beloved Artis Oval 8. Yes, everyone is bowing down to these brushes like they are Gods, and they are, but have you heard anyone discussing how to clean them? I know cleaning brushes is not that popular a topic besides the standard, “I need to clean mine more often,” however, I don't think the brands that make these brushes are being very informative on how to take care of them.

I noticed the ones shown here were performing as well as they could after a while and were due for a cleaning and not just a light cleaning. I’m pretty religious about cleaning mine but these denser ones are for sure more of a challenge. 


I tried cleaning them in the Brush Pearl since I had it on deck to try and it didn’t work at all so I looked on the Artis website and saw their, “cleaning system.” It’s a cleaning foam and a brush pad. The instructions are to squirt some foam on the pad and then rub the brush back and forth after each use to keep it clean.

So $80 later, I thought I was taking care of the brushes and that their system was getting them brush fully clean even though part of me felt they were not performing as well as when I first got them. Well I just got my brows done by Anita Sun and since she’s an Esthetician, she nailed exactly what the irritation was on my skin. One of these makeup brushes was contaminated with bacteria and it needed a serious cleaning if I was to continue using it. Her advice? A serious smack down with dish washing liquid and scalding hot water! Her ground was that the purpose of any soap was to remove oils and contaminates from brushes, right? What better way than with the hardcore stuff, dish washing liquid!

Besame-Cosmetics-Artis-and-MAC-brushesShown here from L to R: BESAME COSMETICS Boudoir Short Hair Contour Brush ($48 @, ARTIS Oval 8 ($65 @,, MAC Oval 6 Brush ($42 @

My eyes widened at the thought of this and how I would probably ruin the brush and the hairs would fall out, blah, blah, blah. She assured me this wouldn’t. If I wanted to continue using the brush, I kind of had to do this or continue the irritation of my skin.

So when I got back home from my appointment, I grabbed the Dawn, flipped the hot water handle on high and filled up a small bowl with it. I then put my three brushes in and hoped for the best. After about 5 minutes, I changed the foundation-colored water, fill the bowl up again and soaked them for another 5 minutes. It took a little work to get all the foundation outta each brush but I was able to get it all out.

After drying overnight, my brushes total feel like new again! I think if I just use the mat and foam cleanser after each use, that will keep the surface clean but I plan on doing this super cleaning at least once a month. And if in the end this procedure ends up ruining my brushes, so be it. I really couldn't keep harboring dirty brushes anymore.



Yes! Dawn breaks everything down!


Hi Sheila, yes, and it got my brushes clean. There was a lot of foundation trapped in the bristles! Yuck.

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