An important part of your beauty arsenal, these tools are often neglected. Here’s how to get the most out of your brushes.
How to take care of your beauty tools
R ecently, a friend pulled out one of her make-up brushes to ask me why it was not giving her the results she wanted. She just couldn’t get it to blend her eyeshadow properly. I looked at the brush and gasped – it had been reduced to a stubby mess, with fibres sticking out haphazardly.
What was once a nice, fluffy brush had been reduced to a chewed-up mess. When I asked her what she had been cleaning it with, she replied, “Cleaning it?!”
There are a couple of important reasons to look after your make-up brushes. Firstly, if you invest in good quality brushes, which I highly recommend, you want them to last forever – and they will, if you take care of them.
The second reason, and arguably the most important, is hygiene. Any time you touch your face with a brush, you are transferring bacteria to the brush. After a while, unwashed brushes become a breeding ground likely to cause breakouts, irritations and even infections.
There are a couple of quick and easy ways to keep your brushes clean. As a make-up artist, I need a good brush cleaner on hand at all times and I clean them between every use. But for personal use, shampooing your brushes every few days is perfectly fine. Remember to allow plenty of drying time before the next use. Mix ingredients together in a glass jar, and transfer to a small spray bottle. Spray onto your brush without over-wetting and gently wipe the product off onto a tissue. Voilà! You’re good to go again. Even if you use a brush cleaner, it’s still important to shampoo your brushes every few uses.
Synthetic or Animal Hair?
In the past I always went for animal hair because the function was superior. There are companies that claim to gather the hair humanely, without harming any of our furry friends. I would love to believe this, but I’ve yet to find out if this is a reality.
In recent years, synthetic brushes have made quantum leaps and developed to completely mimic animal fibres, even down to having a cuticle that allows for better pick-up of product. They also claim to be more hygienic and probably are safer for those with sensitivities.
My quandary is that animal-free fibres are made from various forms of plastic. I’ve yet to find conclusive evidence that these are biodegradable, but I’m working on it.