Tools of the trade


The Gulf Today - Panorama - - FRONT PAGE - By Sarah Young

Be hon­est, when was the last time you cleaned your make-up brushes?

If it wasn’t in the last cou­ple of weeks, or even months, then it’s time to get ac­quainted with a cleanser.

It might be one of those mun­dane tasks that none of us re­ally want to do, but tak­ing the time to clean your brushes prop­erly is es­sen­tial.

Why? Be­cause not only will you mas­sively re­duce the risk of an un­wel­come break-out — dirty brushes har­bour bac­te­ria that can cause skin prob­lems and in­fec­tions — but it will also en­sure they per­form bet­ter and last longer.

Af­ter all, a good set of make-up brushes can be pretty costly, and a good clean­ing rou­tine is the best in­surance against their un­timely demise.

Here, we take a look at ev­ery­thing you need to know to make sure your tools are in tip-top shape.

How of­ten should you clean them?

How reg­u­larly you clean your brushes re­ally de­pends on how of­ten you use them, and while make-up artists might clean theirs ev­ery day, a once weekly wash will suf­fice for most — es­pe­cially any brushes that are be­ing used with liq­uid or cream for­mu­las.

Some brushes, though, like those used for eye­shadow or bronzer, can some­times get away with be­ing cleaned just once a month. But be care­ful that the build-up of old product doesn’t af­fect their per­for­mance in the mean­time.

What type of cleanser should you use?

Thanks to a surge in re­moval liq­uids, gels and waxes, keep­ing your brushes sani­tised is as easy as ever. How­ever, the for­mula you choose is de­pen­dent on the type of bris­tles your brushes are made with.

For nat­u­ral hair brushes it’s best to use a gen­tle cleanser so the bac­te­ria is re­moved without leav­ing them stripped or dry. Al­ter­na­tively, you can take a slightly tougher ap­proach to syn­thetic brushes — but if you’re ever un­sure then baby sham­poo is a pop­u­lar go-to.

What’s the best tech­nique?

Clean­ing your brushes re­quires lit­tle more than a cleanser, warm wa­ter and the palm of your hand.

Sim­ply dip each brush in­di­vid­u­ally un­der warm run­ning wa­ter — be­ing care­ful to avoid the fer­rule, the piece of me­tal at the base of the brush — be­fore mas­sag­ing in the soap and gen­tly swirling in the cup of your hand. Rinse and re­peat un­til the wa­ter runs clear.

For a deeper clean you can also in­vest in clean­ing gloves or pads that fea­ture dif­fer­ent tex­tures to mas­sage soap into the bris­tles.

How should you dry the brushes?

Once you’ve rinsed your brushes, lightly squeeze out any ex­cess wa­ter and ei­ther point them down­wards or lay on a towel to avoid wa­ter seep­ing in while they dry. The most im­por­tant thing here is to make sure the fer­rule stays dry at all times to avoid the bris­tles com­ing loose.

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