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How to Properly Care for Your Makeup

You take extra care with your makeup every day. You watch makeup tutorials, meticulously apply every part of your makeup, and take pride in looking incredible. But no matter how particular you are with your makeup routine, you can’t achieve a truly perfect look with shabby tools. The brushes and other tools in your makeup kit require very specific care, and failing to provide that care can lead to a number of problems: makeup clumping in the bristles, dingy color for your eyeshadow, spotty application, difficulty blending, brushes wearing out too soon, etc.

So how do you properly care for every tool in your makeup kit? Here is a detailed guide for every brush you use.

Bristle Brushes

From foundation brushes and blush brushes to every size and shape of shadow brush, here’s how you care for every bristle brush in your makeup kit:

  • How Often? Any brushes you use around your eyes should be cleaned twice a month. All others can be cleaned once a month. However, dermatologists recommend that you soak your brushes at least once a week to prevent product buildup.
  • What to Use? If you have a brush cleaner, that’s the best option. However, you can also use any gentle soap. Make sure it’s the gentle variety, as regular soap can dry out the bristles.
  • How to Clean? Wet the bristles in lukewarm water, and place a small amount of soap or brush cleaner in the palm of your hand. Gently massage the bristles of the brush in your palm, then rinse. Use a clean towel to squeeze out any excess moisture, then reshape the head and lay the brush with the bristles hanging over the edge of the counter. This allows the brush to dry in the proper shape, and prevents mildew.
  • When to Toss It? If your bristles are fraying, shedding, or losing their shape, it is likely time to replace your brush.
  • Extra Tips? While cleaning, keep the base of the brush head out of the soap and water, and never let your brushes dry vertically. This can allow soap and moisture into the ferrule (the piece connecting the bristles to the wand), which can cause the glue to degrade and the bristles to shed.


Here’s how to care for all the sponges in your kit, including foundation sponges and eyeshadow sponge brushes:

  • How Often? Sponges should be washed after every few uses, or once there is no longer a clean section to use. You may also want to rinse after every use to prevent buildup of bacteria.
  • What to Use? You can use any mild soap or gentle shampoo.
  • How to Clean? Fully soak your sponge under running water. Apply a few drops of soap or shampoo to your fingers, then use your fingers to work any product out of the sponge. This may take a while if you haven’t washed your sponges for a long time. When you’ve gotten the product out, rinse the sponge until the water runs clear and all the suds are out. Wring the sponge out (or squeeze it out, for sponge brushes) then pat with a towel and allow to air dry.
  • When to Toss It? If your sponge is beginning to degrade or is permanently discolored from product, it’s time to toss it.
  • Extra Tips? If you’re worried about the sponge growing mold, cut it in half and check for mildew growth. If it’s clean, you can continue to use the sponge pieces. If you find mold, toss it out.

Metal Tools

For your metal makeup tools, including tweezers, eyebrow trimmers, and eyelash curlers, use the following care tips:

  • How Often? Because many of these tools are used around your eyes, you should wash them with soap and water with very use, and thoroughly sanitize every two weeks.
  • What to Use? For washing, you can use an antibacterial soap and warm water. If sanitizing, use a cotton ball soaked in an alcohol solution like isopropyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
  • How to Clean? When washing, apply a small amount of soap to your fingers and rub down the tool thoroughly. Rinse and pat dry with a towel. If sanitizing, after you’ve washed the item, wipe it down with your alcohol-soaked cotton ball and let it dry a few moments. Then give it another rinse to remove any lingering alcohol solution.

When it comes to achieving the look you desire, the tools you use are just as important as the makeup itself. So give your brushes the care they deserve, and store them properly using one of our brush boxes, or the storage box included with our brush set. And if you find yourself in need of a new makeup brush—or are simply looking for a higher-quality tool—Shine carries every brush you need, as well as a full brush set so that you can truly shine.

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