How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes

by christinamdick

When I worked at a Bare Minerals boutique in college, I had to clean about 40 brushes in a bathroom sink at the end of every shift. You’d have thought that would have made me really good at it. We had a special brush cleaner and when I worked there and got 50% off everything, I had one too. Now, I don’t buy special brush cleaners. Up until recently I was using a bottle of face cleanser that I didn’t like using on my face and sometimes Dr. Bronners.

I got the tip from Sparkle of Canvas The Salon at a beauty event I went to before the holidays to use coconut oil and Dawn and it works so much better than what I’d been doing. (side note: the beauty events at Canvas are underrated and amazing. The owner Jevata always has beauty lessons from experts, giveaways (I won a bracelet from Bebe and got a free OPI nail polish) and good snacks, If you’re in Richmond, go!)

What you need:

Coconut Oil (mine is from Trader Joe’s, but you can also get it here

Dawn dish soap (I assume you can use any variety.)

Brush Cleansing Mat. I have this one from Amazon. 


See that white brush on the left? Those are hard to get perfectly white because I usually use it with dark eyeshadows but this does the trick. This mat is the latest addition. It’s so great. Before, I was rubbing brushes into my hands to get them clean and breaking up the makeup and oil with my fingernails. This works so so so much better. There are tons of these out there, and I’m sure they all work pretty much about the same. This one has suction cups on the bottom that stick to the inside of sink so I don’t have to hold it, which is nice.


Scoop some coconut oil onto your brush cleansing mat and rub your dry maul brush into it. Rinse.

Squirt a dime-sized amount of Dawn onto the mat, and rub the wet brush into the mat.Rinse and repeat until the brush is completely clean.

I’ve heard that you shouldn’t set your brushes upright when they’re still dry because the water will seep down to the wooden handle and dissolve the glue that holds the brush together. I lay them out on a towel to dry.

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