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Six lazy ways to clean your makeup brushes

No need to buy anything fancy. Here are some quick-fix ways to clean your brushes on the fly.

We all know that washing your makeup brushes is important for hygiene reasons. A while back, I thought a new foundation I bought was causing my skin to break out but after giving my foundation brush a much-needed clean, the breakouts stopped. It was my brush that was causing all the spots. Gross.

Regardless, clean brushes also give your makeup a better finish and ensure that product application is even. So washing brushes is something we all need to do more often.

Since no one ever seems to have enough time in the day, here are six lazy ways to wash your makeup brushes with ordinary products you probably already have in the house. No need to head to the shops to buy fancy tools.

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1. Use an oil-based cleanser and your fingers

There's a reason many eye-makeup removers feel oily: oil dissolves makeup. For a super-quick way to clean your brushes, use a bit of any oil-based cleanser you own ( I use the Napoleon Perdis Rebirth of Venus Cleansing Oil), pour a small amount into your palm and massage through your brush. Rinse well until the water is clear and pat dry with a paper towel.


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2. Wash with baby shampoo and a bowl

Most regular shampoos are too intense for the delicate bristles of your makeup brushes, but baby shampoo works just fine. Add a tiny squirt into a bowl of water and dab and swirl your brushes. Rinse with water until the soap is gone. It will take you less than five minutes.


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3. Use an alcohol spray

If you're super lazy (like me), you can actually buy a spray that you can spritz on your brushes to sterilise them between or before use. This is great for eyeshadow brushes because waiting for these to dry is a real pain. I like this one from MECCA. This method takes all of two seconds but you will be required to head out to the shops and buy it first.


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4. Or go for a rubbing alcohol

If you've got some rubbing alcohol in the house, pour a bit into a small bowl or glass or put it in a spray bottle. Dip your brush in or give it a good spritz, then swipe clean on a paper towel. It will dry almost instantly.


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5. Coconut or olive oil works too

If you don't have any of the other products around the house you'll at least have a bit of coconut or olive oil. Massage the oil through the bristles and rinse clean.


Things to remember

If you're going to speed up the drying process...

Blow drying your brushes can shorten the life span of your brush and destroy the bristles if you do this regularly. It's all right once or twice if you're in a rush but avoid doing it all the time.

There's a difference between disinfecting and cleaning

Oils and oil cleansers will clean your brushes of excess product but won't kill the bacteria. Alcohol and alcohol spray will kill the bacteria but won't remove excess product. You should try to regularly clean off the excess product and kill the bacteria to keep your brushes in tip-top condition.

For best results, you should use a proper brush cleaner

The above tips are quick fixes, and any kind of cleaning is better than nothing. However, to keep your brushes tip-top – and your skin too – you should invest in a proper brush cleaner. You can buy them at MECCA and Sephora.


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Mia Steiber

Mia Steiber is the Editor of the Shopping section at finder. She has a serious shopping habit and an addiction to gold jewellery. Her talents include tracking down one-off or almost sold out pieces and knowing the sizing charts for just about every brand.

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