I’m like a lot of other makeup users, I really hate the mess and hassle of cleaning my brushes. But I still feel guilty about not doing it as often as I should. It is truly a vicious circle. I know that to keep my brushes in the best shape, not to mention free from yucky stuff like germs and dirt, I should clean them at least once per month (per dermatologists suggestions) or maybe once every two weeks. But I’m lazy and sometimes I’m not so good about doing them even once per month. I know, I know, I’m probably going to hell. I’ve decided to turn over a new, non-laziness, routine of cleaning them on the first Monday of every month though. I figure that getting into a regular routine of cleaning them will make it more likely to actually happen. And I’ve even put a friendly reminder on my calendar so I don’t have any excuses.
I used to use Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo to clean my brushes because it was nice and gentle and wouldn’t leave behind anything that might cause a reaction with my skin and it would be gentle enough for both the natural and synthetic brush fibres too. The only problem I found with the baby shampoo method was that most of the time my brushes didn’t seem all that clean and I would need to keep washing and washing and washing brushes for heavy liquid items like foundation or dark powder products like shadows.
But then I found a suggestion for the London Brush Company’s Goat Milk Brush Shampoo and now I’m totally hooked. The LBC Brush Shampoo is a solid soap in a little tub (1 or 2 ounce sizes available) and is very easy to use and does get my brushes much cleaner than baby shampoo. The soap is made from goat milk and essential oils, including tea tree oil. The combination of ingredients means that your brushes are cleaned well, but gently, and that the bristles will be conditioned as well. Plus, the tea tree oil in the shampoo is a natural antibacterial agent, so that’s a huge bonus. I’ve read in reviews of the LBC shampoo that people with natural fibre brushes that seemed beyond salvage have been able to restore them to their natural softness and pliability using the LBC Brush Shampoo. I’m not so bad about cleaning my brushes, or so hard on them, that I’ve had one of my brushes seem beyond redemption, so I can’t verify that claim though. The nice thing about the solid soap is that it doesn’t seem as messy to clean with as a liquid somehow, I don’t know why that is and might just be a bit of a mind game because it is a solid. You also won’t need that much to clean your brushes, so the sizes of the tubs might seem small but will actually last quite some time.
So, how do I clean my bushes:
- What you’ll need:
- Warm running water (straight from the tap)
- LBC Brush Shampoo
- Microfibre/lint free cloth
- Place to dry your brushes
- Run the brush under warm water and work through the bristles (more of an issues with big fluffy type brushes) so that the entire brush is wet; this also helps to get rid of the easy surface particles.
- Swirl wet brush in LBC Brush Shampoo tub until a coating of soap is on the bristles and it starts to lather. You’ll actually start to see some of the makeup come off in the little tub at this point but don’t worry about that.
- In palm of hand or with fingertips work the soap through the brush and then rinse under warm running water. You’ll need to repeat step 2 and 3 until the water runs clear. For my liquid foundation brush this can take two cleanings, unless I haven’t cleaned my brushes in a while and then it might take three or even (*gasp*) four.
- Once you have rinsed the brush and it is actually clean, use the cloth to gentle wipe the brush dry and lightly pat dry the end being careful to go with the flow of the bristles which will make sure you don’t damage the brush and also allow you to reshape the end at the same time. The reshaping is really only necessary with the fluffy brushes for things like powder or blush, as the others have short enough bristles that they will just maintain their shape.
- After you’ve done a bit of a towel dry, you can either lay your brushes flat on the edge of a countertop so that they get air to all sides of the brush tip, or you can hang your brushes. I prefer to hang mind so that I am assured that no water is collecting at the end where the brushes are attached to the handle, which could lead to deterioration of the brush. I use some kitchen hooks with magnets on the back to clip the brush handle and then I can hang them from the heated towel rail or radiator in the bathroom, or a magnetic white board in my office.
- The drying time will vary by the brush type, with fluffy or large, dense brushes taking the longest to dry (obviously), there will also be some variation depending on the weather and how hot and dry it is. The small brushes I find are usually dry in an hour, but the bigger brushes can take up to four hours to dry in my experience, especially the synthetic ones.
I love the LBC brush shampoo and think that my brushes have never been so clean or so soft and nice after cleaning. Once you’ve used it to clean your brushes, you just need to let it dry a bit and put the lid back on for the next round of cleaning. It’s amazing how little you use, even when you are cleaning a lot of brushes.
The LBC Goat Milk Brush Shampoo is very gentle and that really ensures that natural fibre brushes maintain their natural oils so they stay soft. Though, I have even noticed that my synthetic brushes feel better after using the LBC cleanser. The other nice thing is that the LBC brush shampoo is all organic and made from just a few ingredients that aren’t going to irritate your skin. You can get it in natural, lemon, or lavender scents. I have the lemon and love the fresh, lovely scent.
Strangely, given the seeming UK-centric name of the company, I found it hard to find in the UK. I originally bought my LBC brush shampoo from an online retailer called Precious About Makeup for £20.00 for a 1 ounce tub. However, I just recently found it at another place, Guru Makeup Emporium for £16.00 for a 1 ounce tub. Needless to say, next time I need this, I will probably get it from the Guru Makeup Emporium. However, I might give the Japonesque Solid Brush Cleaner Balm a try; you can order it from John Lewis for £16.00 for a 2 ounce tub. If you are in the US, you can buy this directly from London Brush Company for $22.00 for a 1 ounce tub.