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Loving Your Brushes! Quick Tips on Caring for & Maintaining Your Make Up Brushes



Maintaining your beauty is a delicate aspect of overall wellness but I have come to realize that when you don’t pay attention to every detail that concerns your beauty or skincare, you do more damage than good. Our make up brushes are tools we use everyday that we need to take care of.

It’s like a plate; when you eat off it and fail to wash it soon after the dirt dries off and sticks to it. Over time you could decide to eat off it again and again without washing and you might still be okay, emphasis on the ‘might‘. Give yourself a little over a week and it will eventually start to tell on your health through stomach aches, stomach infections etc.

The same goes for your make up brushes. Over time if you fail to wash them it will take its toll on you and your face. The brushes or applicators acquire cosmetic particles as well as dead skin cells & oils over time and create the perfect living environment for bacteria. Without proper cleaning and maintenance the dirt can cause skin irritations and infections, not to mention that the brush wouldn’t last long. For better ways of taking care of your make up brushes here are a few tips to help you out.

Caring For Your Brush –  Caring for your make up brush requires attention to detail and using proper methods that will give them care without damage.

  • After every use apply some anti-bacterial wipes/ wet wipes/ facial wipes to clean the brush. This takes away excess oils and bacterial accumulation from the brush.
  • There are several products that can be used to clean your make up brush and the prices could be a bit steep. A convenient alternative is to use hair shampoo that doesn’t contain conditioner to clean them.
  • Once a week or every two weeks (depending on the frequency of usage) wash the brushes with baby shampoo and tea tree oil. The baby shampoo acts as a less chemical wash and washes out the residue of make up while the tea tree oil acts as an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent. To wash see the instructions below…

What You Need
– Tea Tree oil
– Baby shampoo
– A Lint-less cloth

Fill a bowl/ sink with warm water and add the baby shampoo and 3/4 drops of tea tree oil. Place the brushes inside the mix and rub gently wish your fore finger and thumb or spread & twist across your palm for about 2 minutes or more. Rinse until water is clear and shape them back into their original shape if disfiguration has occurred. Finally place them on a lint-less cloth and let them air dry.

Brush Maintenance

  • Do not boil make up brushes. Boiling your make up brushes will not sterilize your brushes, it will only ruin them especially if the handles are made from rubber or plastic.
  • Always keep used make up brushes away from new ones during storage. The residue of dirt and bacteria could be transferred from one brush to the other making even your new brushes dirty. You could try storing them separately like in a roll up bag or a glass jar.
  • Keep your make up brushes away from direct sunlight. The heat could damage them.
  • Classify your make up. Keep the brushes used for liquid make up away from those used for powdered make up.
  • Sharpen your pencils; sharpening at least once a week prevents bacteria from settling on the used lead. After using any make up pencil be sure to replace the cap and .

There you have it! Easy and practical steps that could help you prolong the lifespan of your make up brushes and get your face that much closer to perfection. Remember to share some of your tips with us.

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Jennifer is the Beauty Editor & Style Representative of Get in touch - Send an email to: beauty(at) or style(at) | Follow us on Instagram: @bellanaijabeauty OR @bellanaijastyle | Follow us on Twitter: @bellanaijastyle


  1. Blessing Ogaba

    March 27, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    I am a makeup freek and so much inlove with make-up brushes, i have the 32 piece makeup brush set and they are very nice i got mine online from from here:
    now i know how to care for them properly, thanks BN

  2. cynthia

    March 27, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    thank you for the tips… Very importnat because I get infections when I dont take care of my make up esp my eye pencils.

    But I must say, that this is such a stupid quote… “A woman’s greatest asset is her beauty” – Alex Comfort.

  3. Just Saying

    March 27, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    I would NOT EVER recommend washing your make up brushes in a sink. Any sink at all.
    Reason being that most research shows that while a bathroom sink could easily be infected with bacteria spread from brushing and flushing toilet bowls, some kitchen sinks actually contain more bacteria than a toilet bowl.

    Make up brushes are the instruments that get closest to your skin as much as possible. Wash them in a transparent, white or light coloured bowl washed which you sterilized by placing for about 3 mins in the micro-wave. Where there is no microwave, run hot water inside and outside the bowl.

    Also, wash and thoroughly rinse your hands before washing your brushes. And after washing your brushes, it is always best to rinse them under running water.

    • Sonia

      March 27, 2013 at 10:09 pm

      So, just wash ur sink

  4. Ok o

    March 27, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Ok o

  5. HABBA

    March 28, 2013 at 12:47 am

    please before you give out info research on it. if you are a professional makeup artist you SHOULD NOT WASH BRUSHES IN YOUR SINK! please. now if it your personal brushes you can wash it in your sink. IF YOU ARE A PRO and do for weddings and stuff go and buy a bucket and wash it in there. and let it sun dry.

  6. makeup by DEB

    March 28, 2013 at 9:53 am

    No 1. The only brushes you can wash are brushes made from goat hair, horse tail&high tech fibres&not cheap synthetic brushes becaues they will all fall out.(For me MAC has the best brushes, pricey but worth it)
    No. 2 There are brush cleaner that do not need water application, u can find in Tara&Mac brands.
    No 3. There are shampoos&conditioners for brushes&if you cant reach them you can use a conditioning shampoo (some people use shampoo&conditionerd in mild concentrates)
    No 4. Please wash all brushes in a clean bucket, by whisking inside warm water which already has a shampoo &repeat same for rinsing without shampoo

  7. Emily

    March 28, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Mkmegastore in ikeja has a brush cleaner that is fast drying and eliminates makeup residue from brushes to provide proper hygiene.

  8. Pchilling

    March 29, 2013 at 6:45 am


  9. Omalicha

    March 31, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Ok oh! We don hear

  10. Titi

    April 1, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Sephora has fabulous make-up brush cleaners, and it’s so easy to use!!!

  11. Labelle

    April 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    You can wash your brushes AT the sink, not immerse them IN the sink. You shouldn’t immerse your brushes in any pool of water ,don’t let the water touch anywhere above the ferrule because this will cause the glue that holds the hairs together to come undone and eventually, the brush hairs start to shed. You can wipe down the handles with an anti bacterial wipe (u can use WetOnes, I find them at Medplus) .
    As a daily brush cleaner, E.L.F has a really cheap and effective one. Baby shampoo is finenfornandeepmlean once a week. You can use a white plate, add a drop or two of olive oil on it, add a bit of baby shampoo and mix them together with the dirty brush , rinse on the plate and you’ll be able to when all the dirt has left the brush. The oil not only conditions the brushes, it also help remove cream product build up which is harder to remove with just soap and water .

    MAC has good brushes, but they certainly are not the best, to me anyways . I think Hakuhodo brushes are some of the best . The Real Techniques brushes are also very very good. Okay, let me carry my kaya and go.

  12. Labelle

    April 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Fine for a deep clean* excuse my typos.

  13. The Fairy GodSister

    April 18, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    So are we washing the brushes or not? Too many of you giving differing views…

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