Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Make-Up Quickie (Blog Version): Brush Cleaner Recipes & Tips 'N' Hints!

I don't care if you clean your room, but you MUST clean your makeup brushes after every use.  However, it's not necessary to do a full wash every single day unless you are a professional makeup artist using your tools on others!  I usually wash my brushes (full scrubby wash with soap and warm running water) once a week if I wear makeup every day.

For between applications cleaning, I use a liquid brush cleaner which I spritz onto a clean white towel or directly onto the bristles and then wipe off my brush.  For stubborn or deep pigments (reds, blacks, some dark blues) I saturate the brush by dipping it half-way up the bristles into a small container with some cleanser and then squeeze the bristles in a clean towel or washcloth.

I'll tell you a secret.  Brush cleaners are EXPENSIVE and they're really no magic in them, so instead of using a commercial brush cleaner, I choose to make my own and spend my samoleans on MAKEUP!  Here are two of my personal favorite recipes:

Recipe #1: Krissi's First Brush Cleaner:
I've been using this recipe for months and LOVE it.

  • 1 Cup distilled or purified water
  • ¼ Cup isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol (70% or 90%)
  • 1 Tablespoon Dawn dish washing liquid
  • 1 Tablespoon leave-in spray conditioner (any brand)
  • 4-8 drops cold pressed lavender essential oil (do NOT use perfume oil or any other scented oil besides natural essential oil)

Pour water and alcohol into a clean glass dish.  Do not use unfiltered or tap water as bacteria could grow in that over time.  Add soap(s) & conditioner and stir gently with a clean utensil.  Add lavender oil until your preferred scent is achieved (lavender oil will act as an antimicrobial/antibacterial agent AND make your brushes smell pretty).  If the smell is stronger than you like, leave the product open for a few hours and the smell will dissipate.  Fill a small spray bottle (you will have LOTS of cleaner - just store the leftover in a clean container - I save my eye makeup remover bottles and clean them out).

Recipe #2: Gentle & Easy Brush Cleaner:
I found this recipe from Gina of Great Minds Shop Alike on YouTube - here is her original recipe:
  • ½ Bottle (8 oz.) Cetaphil (or Generic Version) - Cetaphil replaces both distilled water and leave-in conditioner
  • ¼ Cup Isopropyl (90%) or Ethyl (70%) Alcohol
  • ½ Tbsp. Shampoo
  • ½ T. Dish washing Soap
Mix in the same manner as previous recipe.  You may wish to put this in a spray bottle for daily use or, if the Cetaphil is too thick for your sprayer, in a pump bottle for convenience. I've been meaning to try this one out for a while and am making a batch TONIGHT!

January 9, 2011: UPDATE!  I have been using the "Great Minds" recipe and LOVE it!  It's my new HG brush cleaner.  However, I tweaked the recipe just a bit and keep it in a spray bottle (the original recipe was a bit thick for that).  

Recipe #3: Krissi-fied version of the conditioning daily brush cleaner

  • ½ Bottle (8 oz./1 Cup) Cetaphil (or Generic Version) - Cetaphil replaces both distilled water and leave-in conditioner
  • ½ Cup Isopropyl (90%) or Ethyl (70%) Alcohol
  • 1 Cup distilled or purified water
  • ½ Tbsp. Shampoo
  • ½ T. Dish washing Soap
  • 10-12 drops cold pressed lavender essential oil

Removing creams, concealers and stubborn piggies from synthetic brushes:  I know, I told you all to blend your NYX jumbo eye crayons and bases with a concealer brush, but didn't tell you how to get that junk OUT of your brush (especially if you've used black crayon - eep!).  Well, just put a little of your usual eye makeup remover (I like the 2-part oil-free kind from Neutrogena, myself) into a spray bottle and clean your 'greasy' brushes with this product first, then with your other brush cleaner.  That's a tip that seems totally obvious to me now, but I didn't figure it out on my own - I learned it from the fabulous Cora at Vintage or Tacky!

That's it!  For more makeup quickies, visit my makeup & hair page on Facebook.