How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Don’t you dread when it’s time to clean your makeup brushes?  I did and sometimes even slacked until I finally bought a bottle of Cinema Secrets Professional Brush Cleaner.  Before this blue stuff came into my life, cleaning my brushes meant water everywhere, a sink stained with makeup that only Ajax or Comet could remove, and wet brushes that took hours to dry.  Using the Cinema Secrets cleaner doesn’t replace the need to fully detoxify and shampoo my brushes but I don’t need to do it as often.  Instead of cleaning my brushes a few times a week using shampoo, I do it once a month.  I don’t know the official rule on frequency but this has worked for me and I use my brushes five days a week.

Cinema Secrets is very popular and it’s a fast and easy way to clean my brushes and have them dry in less than 30 minutes!  Not only are they dry, they seem as clean as when I purchased them but reality is, a deeper cleaning is necessary to get all makeup and residue off the brushes.   My only complaint with the Cinema Secrets solution is the vanilla scent is a little strong and lingers on my hands but it wears off quickly.   My bathroom does smell like vanilla for two days.  For 32 ounces, cost is $36 which isn’t cheap.  I’ll provide some alternatives below but cost is comparable for reliable products. Cleaning your brushes properly is more important than you think because makeup brushes collect dust, oil from your skin, dead skin and can harbor bacteria which can lead to infections (Ewwww!).  Also, your brushes won’t last and good makeup brushes are rather expensive!  Using a solution such as Cinema Secrets will keep brushes in excellent shape but every few weeks,  I still do a full cleansing of my brushes with shampoo.

Easy steps to clean your brushes with Cinema Secrets:

  1. Fill the glass bowl with the Cinema Secrets solution (add just enough to cover about 1/4 above the brush tip
  2. Dip the tip of the brush into the liquid and swirl around fora few seconds
  3. Wipe exceed solution off on the inner side of the bowl
  4. Remove loose makeup and extra solution by wiping the brush on a paper towel
  5. Optional (but recommended) Wipe the excess solution off with a paper towel and then swirl the brush on a lightly textured dish towel to get it completely clean and nearly dry
  6. Set the brush flat on paper towels or a cloth to completely dry
  7. The brush will be ready for use as soon as it is dry (it took mine less than 20 minutes)

I really liked the fact there was no rinsing involved and the brushes dry so quickly.  Here are some photos and video of the process.  If you have white bristles, this solution can eventually tint them so keep that in mind and consider a different product if that concerns you.

Step 6 - Lay flat to dry
Brushes cleaned and drying

Here are the results and ready to use in less than 30 minutes!

cleanMakeupBrush - Copy
Clean brush (Yes, it is the same brush!) Amazing isn’t it?
Dirtymakeupbrush - Copy
Dirty brush (1 week of use to apply concealer) My holy grail Sephora brush


Parian Spirit –  Citrus scent.  Colorless liquid is a plus.

Ben Nye Brush Cleaner – Another option but slightly more expensive than Cinema Secrets.  Similar blue color.

Kryolan Brush Cleaner – No scent.  Colorless liquid.


 Complete Cleansing and shampooing your makeup brushes:

  1.  Mix 1 part shampoo to 4 parts warm water.  I use Bumble and Bumble Sunday shampoo.  It is meant to use on your hair once a week to remove product build up.  I use it on the makeup brushes about once a month to remove product build up.  Other high quality salon grade shampoos intended to remove product build-up would also be suitable.
  2. Dip the brush into the shampoo solution and gentle massage the shampoo into the brush
  3. Rinse the brush with warm water
  4. Reshape the brush if necessary and lay it flat to dry on paper towels or a dish cloth
  5. Note:  For natural bristle brushes, prior to deep cleaning, these brushes should be conditioned by rubbing a small about of joil into the brush, letting it sit for a few minutes, and then applying a small amount of shampoo directly to the bristles.  Using a little water, lather up the shampoo and rinse the brush well and allow it to dry flat.  Since I don’t use my natural brushes everyday and only use my brushes for my personal makeup application, every couple of months I condition the brush and that has been sufficient. There are different products to use such as jojoba oil, olive oil, argon oil, etc but I suggest following the manufacturer directions as there are many different types of natural brushes and the frequency and product you use to condition the bristles may vary.

Janine -XO Abeautifulwhim

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