Drag Princess Tips: Clean Those Brushes!

Unfortunately, the importance of cleaning your makeup brushes can often be overlooked. However, it’s important to be thoroughly washing your brushes to free them from bacteria, oils, product build-up, & as well as to maintain the health, condition, and longevity of your brushes. Brushes can be expensive, so it’s important you get the most out of your investment. With proper care, a quality brush can last practically forever-- I have some that are nearing a decade!

However, you can’t just throw them in the sink, swirl them about, and expect them to come out pristine!

Steps for proper cleaning:

There are many methods for cleaning your brushes, but this is my favourite.

  1. Pour a small amount of your favourite oil free makeup remover into a small bowl or mug. Make sure to use an oil free one because it’s easier to get out of your brush.
  2. Swirl the brush around in the fluid for a few seconds or until you feel that most of the pigment is in the liquid. Don’t worry if the liquid gets dark or cloudy—it can have a lot of pigment in it without losing efficiency. That being said, try to clean off cream products first, such as foundation or lipstick.
  3. Tap/swipe off excess remover off the brush
  4. Apply a small amount of shampoo onto a washcloth or sponge, and swirl the brush into a lather to eliminate the rest of the pigment left on your brush, as well as any excess remover
  5. Rinse with lukewarm or cool water & blot dry with a towel
  6. Wipe down the handles with a some rubbing alcohol
  7. Lay flat or hang upside-down to dry.







I like this method because the initial makeup remover dissolves most of the pigment on the brush, and makes the cleaning process go way faster than if you were to just use soap or shampoo alone.



  • If you work on clients, you should clean brushes with at least a spray cleanser (there are many great ones on the market) between each client, and if possible, a full wash between jobs. This isn’t always possible if you have some back to back gigs, but for the most part you should be fully cleaning your brushes between sets
  • Anything that touches a wet or creamy product (foundation, gel liner, crème blush, lip products, etc) should be washed after each use. Especially clean brushes used for creme/gel liner after each use-- you don't want to risk an infection!
  • For other personal brushes, cleaning once a week should be sufficient



Other Tips:

  • Only use lukewarm or cool water—heat will loosen the glue that keeps the fibers in the ferrule
  • Do not soak them in the sink,  that can also weaken the glue
  • Other than a spray cleaner (which, by the way, is not a replacement for a full wash), do not use any products on your brushes you wouldn’t put on your own face or hair. I only use quality shampoos and my favourite makeup remover on my brushes.
  • If you’re in a hurry and your brushes are almost dry, it’s okay with lightly blow them with a blowdryer on the cool setting only,  in the direction of the hair. Do not use heat or you could melt the glue or damage or the fibers
Now stop being so dirrrty!

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