We’re true makeup fanatics, but there’s one part of our routine that we actively detest — washing our brushes. We know we have to, but not only does it take up a lot of our time (which we could be using for Netflix binge-watching!), it could actually damage our favorite tools if we do it wrong. We reached out to Jenny Patinkin, celebrity makeup artist and founder of luxury brush line Lazy Perfection to get her top tips on brush care, cleansing, and more.
If you’re more of a skimmer, let this be the one fact you learn: do not share your brushes with anyone else. “Coming in contact with your own oils and germs is one thing, but being exposed to someone else’s bacteria is entirely another,” Jenny warned. Once you know the danger of a dirty brush, you’ll want to clean your tools daily! Here’s how to get the job done.
You have two options when cleaning your brushes: a quick-dry method or a more thorough wet wash. But before you start, take your tools into consideration. According to Jenny, just like different hair textures have different needs, so do brushes. Fine-haired ones need to be treated with the utmost care as they’re cleaned to avoid breakage, while coarse-bristled tools need to be conditioned so they don’t get rough. And take some extra time washing your synthetic styles, especially if you use them for applying cream products like foundation. “Because they aren’t porous and don’t absorb any oils, you have to be careful not to let them get coated and weighed down,” explained Jenny.
When you’re actually washing your tool, let its shape guide you. “Domed or round brushes can be swirled, while flatter shapes should be dragged from side to side,” Jenny advised. “If you work against the shape of the brush, you can end up distorting the hair pattern or damaging the hairs.” While you might think that isn’t such a big deal, trust us — mussed or broken bristles means a messy application. And, when you’re creating highly precise looks like a cat eye, you don’t want your tool working against you.