I hope you are well. I wanted to do a more functional post today instead of one about products and whatnot. I was cleaning my brushes last night so I wanted to do a quick post about it. Up until recently, I used either MAC brush cleanser or a baby shampoo to clean my brushes and if necessary, a little bit of olive oil to condition them. However, I was out of both so I ended up using a bar of Dove soap instead.
One thing I will say is certain brushes that I use in cream products, like my concealer brushes, I needed to go over a few times to really get off all of the product. My foundation brushes, normal paddle brushes and stippling brushes, were not problematic but for whatever reason my concealer brushes were a pain to clean with the Dove soap. Also, the brush I generally use with MAC Paint Pots and other cream eyeshadows was a pain to clean. In the future, I think I will still use either the baby shampoo or the MAC brush cleanser in order to cut through the product buildup a little bit faster on these brushes. That being said, all of the brushes I use with powders, face powders and eyeshadows alike, and my foundation brushes were really easy to clean without any issues.
This is definitely a cheaper and more efficient way to clean brushes in my opinion. Now that we have the soap out of the way, I should probably tell you how I actually clean the brushes (duh). Wet the bar of soap and hold it in one hand while swirling the brush with the other, making a nice lather. Then run water onto the palm of one hand and continue to swirl the brush until all of the soap and product washes out. Be careful not to get any water into the ferrel of the brush (I think that is what the silver part is called - sorry if I'm wrong) because you don't want to losen the adhesive, which will make the bristles eventually fall out over time.
Once all of the soap is rinsed out, gently use a towel to wipe off some of the excess water. Next, reshape the bristles, especially for powder or angled brushes.Then lie the brushes onto a towel to dry overnight. The next morning, I usually put some rubbing alcohol onto a washcloth and wipe down all of the handles of the brushes to remove any product buildup and/or bacteria but you can skip this step if you want to.
One other tip that I have used in the past is to use clear nail polish to keep the numbers from rubbing off the handles over time. If you put a coat or two of clear nail polish over name/number on the brush, you don't have to worry about it rubbing off.
Also, I color code my brushes based on which ones I use for my face, eyes, cheeks, etc. This may be unnecessary depending on how many brushes you have and how you use them. Since I like to use brushes for things other than their specific function, i.e. using a MAC 217 eyeshadow brush to apply my concealer, I like to have my brushes color coded, especially when I have duplicates of the same brush. I picked yellow for my face brushes, pink for cheek brushes, blue for eye brushes, and purple for lip brushes but you can do whatever colors you want. Find a nail polish in the desired color and pour a little bit into a disposable cup, the small the better, and then dip the end of the brush into the nail polish. Hold the brush with the newly-dipped end down and use a hair dryer on low to speed up the drying process. I would recommend using a cheaper nail polish or one that is not your absolute favorite because you do need a decent amount of product depending on how many brushes you are doing and how large the handles are. if you don't want to dip your brushes this way, you can have different brush containers for each of the categories that I mentioned above so that you don't have to really do anything to the actual brushes.
I got bored last night while I was washing all my brushes so excuse the weird tower/teepee thing I "built" with all of my brushes.
Let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions about cleaning your brushes or brush care in general. I hope this was helpful!!