If you want to get the best performance and longest life out of your makeup brushes and sponges, then it’s important that you try and clean them on a regular basis. However, it’s something I’m reluctant to fork out a lot of money on, so here are my cheap alternatives to some seriously pricey brush cleaning equipment.
What you choose to wash your brushes with is a personal choice, I like to use a solid cleanser as it’s a lot less messy and you use less product to get your brushes clean. I really like the Revolution sanitising solid brush cleaner, it’s £5 from Superdrug and you barely use any of it even when you wash loads and loads of brushes!
I’ve seen solid brush cleansers being sold for £14, which is CRAZY pricey.
If you don’t know what it is it looks a bit like a cleansing balm, but it’s harder and more soapy. I use mine by wetting my bristles and wiping them into the solid cleanser then using my silicone brush cleaning tool (more information on that later) to work the cleanser into the brush, then rinse.
For my makeup sponges I prefer to use a liquid soap because it soaks in a bit better, but I recommend you don’t buy a specialist brush shampoo – they can be so expensive, up to £10 for a small bottle! However, don’t be tempted to totally cheap out and use washing up liquid, as it’s really bubbly, hard to wash out and can dry out your brushes and sponges, instead go for any baby shampoo. It’ll only set you back one or two quid, and you know it’s going to be really gentle.
My biggest tip for making cleaning brushes much quicker and easier is to buy some sort of silicone cleaning device, scrubbing at bristles with your fingers is no fun and it takes ages. You can scoop up the one I use for £2.79 on eBay, it’s cute and heart shaped and it’s a total bargain.
I use each different texture on the heart for different brushes. The stripes are really good for longer bristled brushes (blush/contour/powder brushes), I use the little crosses for medium length bristles like my eyeshadow blending brushes, the taller dots for spoolies, and the teeny tiny dots for short bristles – smudger brushes, eyeliner/lip brushes.
I feel like most people would only need a small one like I have, (I only wash one brush at a time, idk about you), but the Sigma brush cleaning mat (£25), is huge and it sticks to the inside of your basin, which is pretty smart. Don’t shell out for it if you can’t afford it, there are £4.65 dupes available on eBay that I’m sure work just as well.
Extra tip: to dry the brushes out fully I lay out a tea towel and lean the brushes so that the bristles point down (here I used a rolling pin). In around 24 hours the brushes are totally dry. Easy!