When it comes to the tools of any trade, it's an investment that needs to be handled and maintained with care. Your makeup brushes are no different. Brushes that are well taken care of last longer. It's that simple. So don't let your hard-earned cash go to waste. Take it from someone that has ruined many a brush in her early days! I've had everything from chipped paint and glue coming apart from the handle to broken bristles and even bristles falling out, and its not a pretty sight. When this happens, it can cause issues with how your makeup applies to the skin- causing makeup to look terrible and not as smooth as you'd like- and can look really unprofessional and unsightly with broken brushes laying out on the table.
Not only that, but keeping your brushes clean is important to prevent bacteria buildup or the spread of disease. Dirty brushes can cause acne/breakouts, skin irritations, and can increase the skins of aging. It can also potentially lead to diseases like Conjunctivitis (aka pink eye) and Staph. Or you may even attract bugs! Check out this Cosmo article where a youtuber found a bug living in her beauty blender sponge!! OMG! So please make sure you take time to really clean your tools!
So how often should you be cleaning them? For your personal tools, giving them a good deep clean AT LEAST once a month, if not preferably once a week, is sufficient. For the aspiring makeup artists, you should be deep cleaning your brushes after every appointment, and when you have multiple clients during the same appointment then you should use a high quality brush cleaner, such as Cinema Secrets or Parian Spirit, between each client. Cinema secrets is a fave. It;s fast drying and you just spritz with the brush cleaner and wipe clean on a clean towel or napkin/paper towel until there is no residue left when wiping. Do not use rubbing alcohol to clean your brushes as it will break down the bristles and ruin the brush, and NEVER EVER use a dirty brush on a client. If you are short on time and can't clean between each person then you should invest in more brushes. Again you risk spreading diseases when you do that. Beauty Blender sponges are great for personal use, but remember they can not be disinfected 100% and should not be shared.
Now that you know when you should clean your tools, let's talk about how to clean them. When washing your brushes remember to ONLY get the bristles wet and hold the brush at a downward angle so that water doesn't seep into the handle. There are several products out there that you can use to clean your brushes, but I prefer mixing 1 cap of SNAP All Purpose Natural Cleaner with 1 cap of SNAP Disinfectant Cleaner and 4 oz of warm water in a small bowl. This will safely clean and disinfect your tools. Dip your bristles in the mix and bring it to a suds then rinse until clear. Bubbles of suds must be white to be sure all the makeup has been removed. Once the water runs clear, towel dry or pat dry to get all the excess water out and be sure to reshape the brush. From there, make sure to lay them flat, slightly tilted or hang the brushes with the bristles downward to dry. Again, this is so that the handle doesn't absorb any water or moisture. That way it won't allow the handle to brew bacteria or potentially compromise the glue and paint on the handle. I usually wash my brushes in the evening and allow them to dry overnight and then they will be ready to use the next morning.