Saturday, 9 June 2012

How I Deep Clean My Makeup Brushes











Cleaning your makeup brushes is one of those mundane tasks that we must all carry out (unless of course you like to spread bacteria across your face). You'd be surprised at how many people I come across who have used the same foundation brush for months or years and NEVER washed it. Sickening isn't it. For those of you who don't wash your brushes regularly, let me tell you exactly why it's a very good idea. When you apply foundation to your face, you are picking up bacteria from your skin, and it's then left to fester in the brush after use. The next time you go to use it, the same thing happens, except the bacteria that has festered from the time before, it now ALSO on your skin. It's a vicious circle, that I can assure you, will only ever cause you to break out in spots. Obviously eye brushes are a less of a problem, but it's still important to do a deep clean (as opposed to a spot clean - cleaning quickly with a makeup brush solution after each use) every few weeks, just to make sure they are bacteria free. I am lucky in the fact I have quite a lot of brushes, so after using one brush, I can then use a different one another day instead of having to be constantly deep cleaning brushes 24/7. If you have problem skin or acne, I'd definitely advise that you clean your brushes a little more than average person, you may notice an improvement. 

  1. Lay out all your dirty brushes ready for cleaning to commence!
  2. Dampen the brush slightly with lukewarm water.
  3. Pump your cleaning product of choice (I often use a mild shampoo but at the moment I'm using a Dove hand wash because it leaves the brushes exceptionally soft, and I like to think that the anti bacterial properties of a hand wash are beneficial in cleaning away all the nastiness.)
  4. Start swirling your brush around on the palm of your hand, occasionally adding a little bit of water to lather up the product and allow the brush to be thoroughly saturated. 
  5. Squeeze out excess product and watch all the foundation drip away into the plug hole!
  6. Repeat if necessary (stubborn dirt or a very dense brush)
  7. Marvel your clean brush (yes, that's very important...)
*Also, try not to use too much water, we don't like to waste now do we! It must be a running tap though, as there is no point washing your brushes in a pool of cloudy, dirty water. Just make sure you are turning it off between steps and between brushes*  

I also just thought I would add a little memo about my favourite brushes as a little extra to this blogpost (I will do a separate in depth blog post). As you can see, the green Bdellium tools brushes feature heavily. These are by far my favourite brushes for applying foundation. In particular, I love to use the 957 from the Green Bamboo Foundation Brush Kit (Shown in the photos & sold on Louise and I's "Louella" shop - get yours HERE) and the 959 which is a rounded top brush. I actually own 3 of the 959 brushes...yes, THREE because I love them so much. (This brush can be found in the Green Bamboo Mineral Kit also available on "Louella" HERE). I can't recommend them highly enough, I absolutely love them. They buff foundation into the skin like a dream. 

Hope you found this blog post helpful! How many of you are now going to run and wash your brushes?

139 comments:

  1. I'm one of those people who are lazy with cleaning my brushes (probably once a month) but I didn't realise that the dove hand wash would work! x

    josieowen.blogspot.com

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  2. Great post :) I like using Johnson's Baby Shampoo for cleaning my brushes :) leaves them feeling ever so soft.

    xx

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    1. does this really work? as i actually have some in and it would be very handy to use!xx

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    2. I use the Johnsons Baby Shampoo too, works like a dream :) x
      www.bethlovebeauty.com

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    3. I also use Johnsons Baby Shampoo, bought a little bottle just for the task! works perfectly x

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    4. I will have to try that out as i currently only wash my brushes after every use in water! Thank you for the idea. Claire. http://xstylishbeautyx.blogspot.co.uk/

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  3. I clean them the same way! Oh I wish I had money for Louella brushes!

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  4. Lovely picture heavy blog post (my fav kind)! I think I'm going to have to invest in some more of your brushes from Shop Louella because I've got the eye kit and absolutely love it...face brushes are next!

    shinyprettythings-alice.blogspot.co.uk

    x

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  5. this is a really helpful post, thanks! my brushes are all due a deep clean...oops! nicola xxx

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  6. would any hand wash work? as i've been stuck on what to use and don't want to spend too much on a specific wash for brushes, great post though!x

    http://lockedupinfashion.blogspot.co.uk/

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    Replies
    1. Instead of hand wash try baby shampoo! I use it all the time and I have three whole brush sets to clean weekly, I find you can use less per brush than with a hand wash and it leaves them super soft! x

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  7. I use an antibacterial hand soap too, it makes my brushes smell lovely :)

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  8. Zoe this isn't anything to do with the brush cleaning BUT do you whiten your teeth if so what with? they look amazing on your latest video xxo

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    1. She doesn't whiten her teeth, she just takes a lot of care when brushing as she says she has a kind of ocd about her teeth x

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  9. Thank you for posting this I have a few dirty brushes that are in need of a deep clean! :)

    Rose x

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  10. Great post! This is the way I usually clean my brushes as well! :)

    Stop by and check out my blog giveaway!
    http://dawndugong.blogspot.com

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  11. Just cleaned mine yesterday :) xx

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  12. Thanks Zoe!
    didnt know how important it was to clean brushes! x

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  13. Lovely post! I'm one of those people who spot clean more than deep clean so its really great to get a reminder once in a while to take a bit more time with my brushes...and my skin!

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  14. The thought of dirty brushes makes me cringe! I usually use baby shampoo (about 11p from Sainsburys Basics!) but I tried the oil and dish soap method this morning and it's left my brushes so, so soft :)

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  15. Just thought I'd write this, OMG! I love you Zoe! your videos on YouTube are amazing and your blog posts are sooo helpful. Oh, and I bought your 'louella' kabuki brush and it is soooooo freeekin soft its unbelievable. Thanks again. Love you! <3

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  16. I clean mine the same way and yes marvelling at your clean brushes is the best bit!

    xx
    leather-clouds.blogspot.com

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  17. i dread washing my brushes all the time, I always put it off! :) x

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  18. I usually use shampoo to clean mine! :) xo

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  19. never thought of using handsoap!

    http://kellinasthoughts.blogspot.com/

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  20. Very interesting and helpfull post Zoe I will surely be washing my make up brushed soon
    Ann
    Annie-8.blogspot.com

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  21. Very nice post! I do the same as some others have mentioned though and use Johnson's Baby Shampoo - I love the smell and how soft they make my brushes feel!

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  22. I've had the real techniques core collection since april, but i was always a bit afraid to wash them incase i ruined them or used to worng kind of soap, this blogpost is really helpful! x

    http://laurasadaydreamer.blogspot.co.uk/

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  23. thanks for the tip!!1 <3
    http://nattieness.blogspot.com/

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  24. Great x I use a similar technique x http://stylecrazii.blogspot.co.uk/

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  25. completely off the point-- what a beautiful wash basin!

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  26. I love this post !! It's true cleaning your brushes is such a horrible chore !! Thanks for this post, I've wondered how other people clean their brushes !!

    Check out my blog puhhhhhleazzzzzeee
    www.thisishearts.blogspot.com

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  27. Thank you for the nice tip (:

    http://usualsummer.blogspot.com/

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  28. I usually just spot clean and when i deep clean, i tend to wash my brushes in a bowl because i realised that you actually waste alot of water with a running tap. thanks for sharing~x

    www.beautypicknmix.blogspot.com

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  29. not only marvelling over them, but using them for the first time after they're pretty again is pretty much the greatest thing ever!

    C.J xx

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  30. Love the Louella brushes, might have to get some for myself! xxx

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  31. I do the same thing, using a nice handwash it does the job and saves a lot of money :-)

    http://sarahjanesobsessions.blogspot.co.uk

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  32. Posts like these make me feel really lazy and minging. I'll go wash my brushes now...
    xx
    http://changingtidesofsummer.blogspot.co.uk/

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  33. haha totally agree with you, my cousin says she didn't realise you were suppose to wash make up brushes! ew. I love washing my brushes, I find it quite therapeutic to be honest. Hope you're well xoxo

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  34. I've never thought of using a hand watch for my brushes. I often use baby shampoo, and I use the same technique.
    xx-B
    http://thegreyclover.blogspot.co.uk/

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  35. I wash mine after every use, but still seem to get spots, I must have annoying genes :P I use cleanser or baby shampoo on mine though

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  36. I always use Johnson's no more tears because it leaves that slight fragrance behind. I just love using them the next day. Brings me back to childhood bath time!xx
    the-feather-head.blogspot.ie

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  37. Great post, this reminds me that I need to clean my brushes. :)

    http://vintage4fashion.blogspot.co.uk/

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  38. I've been putting this task off for a while..... Its such a chore, yet so satisfying having clean brushes :)
    xxx

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  39. I clean my brushes with an antibacterial desinfectant for make-up brushes bought from a make-up store. It's super easy off very fast!

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  40. I love using my dove handwash to wash my brushes, they feel soo squeaky clean!! Much lovexx

    sunshineandrainfashion.blogspot.co.uk

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  41. I'd never thought of using dove, I'll definitely give that a go. I love how soft they are afterwards! x

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  42. I use the same technique, so it's a relief to know that I'm actually cleaning them right.So useful! Thanks for sharing that.
    -xoxo-
    http://fashionableflaneur.blogspot.gr/

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  43. Really helpful, thanks!

    thebeautymist.blogspot.com

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  44. I really need to get some brushes from the Louella shop soon! They look so pretty and soft! :) x

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  45. Owww this post reminds me that I REALLY need to clean mine! Thanks for all the tips :)

    lindsayfrances.blogspot.com

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  46. Very helpful post! You've just reminded me I need to clean my brushes! Love your blog and youtube channel also!
    Georgia xx
    www.istylee.blogspot.com

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  47. Thanks for the tips, I use washing up liquid and some olive oil for mine and it works really well, everybody check out my blog please, i've just started it up. Thank you xx

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  48. I tend to use any shampoo that I don't like on my hair so it's not wasted, other than that I use the same process. I'm too lazy to do it that often though haha! xxx

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  49. how often do you clean them? I started doing mine after every use but it got a bit ridiculous and felt a bit OCD!


    www.whatabeauty.co.uk

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  50. I use sainsbury's chamomile shampoo and my brushes are clean in seconds and smell georgeous!
    The brushes from your shop look gorgeous! :)

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  51. I would never have thought to use hand wash to clean my brushes, I have been using the Mac brush cleaner but give them a go with my Dove

    http://supersnoo.blogspot.co.uk/

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  52. this has actually been beyond useful! it makes me want to go and clean all my brushes right now! i love that you actually use all of the brushes you sell aswell :) xx

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  53. Really useful, thanks! I always keep my brushes clean because I'm a bit OCD ha, but I enjoy seeing how other people do it!

    Lea x

    http://shebeginstosee.blogspot.com

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  54. This is real helpful :) I actually need to clean mine too =/ I also may buy one of your brushes they look super cute x

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  55. Thought I was the only one who used handwash! :) What do you reccomend for spot cleaning? xxx

    cinnamon--lips.blogspot.com

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  56. I hate the task of washine brushes but the results are sooo worth it.

    http://peluxe100.blogspot.com

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  57. I'm really bad at cleaning my brushes which now explains the random spots I seem to get on my cheeks where I apply blush everyday. I just get so lazy but it's better to wash them rather than stress about spots! Going to get something to deep clean them with now!

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  58. These brushes are so cute, I am going to buy some at the end of the month when I get paid! And cleaning my brushes is something I should do more, I am trying to get back in the habit, great post it was really helpful! xoxo

    www.beautyeverafter.net

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  59. i'd recommend washing eye brushes regularly too! spreading bacteria around the eye increases the risk of eye infections xxx

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  60. I can't get into the habit of using brushes. I really should.

    petitesideofstyle.com

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  61. This was so handy! I always clean and dry my brushes and only after find there's loads of makeup left at the base of the bristles - which is such a hassle!

    Fern, xo

    eff-ee-are-en.blogspot.co.uk

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  62. Very nice!
    Visit my blog, we can follow each others
    http://www.armocromia.com/2012/06/chanel-les-essentiels-fall-2012-som.html
    Misspeony

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  63. I try to do mine every 2 - 4 weeks and once I have started the job I really enjoy it....find it quite therapeutic. I always wipe them after use but use the yellow Johnsons baby shampoo to wash them, thanks for the Dove recommendation. xx

    http://jessica-jjc.blogspot.co.uk/

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  64. i use the sephora brush cleansing spray because i'm super lazy but might start using the dove hand wash now!! i'm just about to purchase some louella brushes soo a review will be up on my blog very soon :D http://missloopylouful.blogspot.co.uk

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  65. Very helpful post, I will make sure I clean my brushes more regularly now. Thank you! xo

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  66. I wash my brushes every time after one use. I use a soap bar, and use the same method you're using, except using the soap bar. The brushes also don't work aswell if you don't wash them. Ugh especially foundation brushes !

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  67. I attempted to clean my old powder brush once and it completely misshaped the brush and ruined it so I had to buy a new one :( it put me off cleaning my brushes so every time I do I now pray to the make up Gods that it will all go well.

    www.thwmusic.com

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  68. Really great post - the dove wash is a great idea, i use baby shampoo sometimes and that works pretty well to! x

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  69. haha, i think you're really funny! Congrats on making a blogpost about 'cleaning' an interesting one :)

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  70. I use anti-bacterial handwash too on my brushes as its so cheap but does a great job xx

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  71. Hurrah for this post! My brushes are DEFINITELY due of a good clean! xx

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  72. Thanks for this post Zoe! My brushes are definitely due a good clean x

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  73. Really must do this tomorrow, always takes so long. I always love using them when they're clean :) x

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  74. You must the first blogger I've seen without a Real Techniques brush in their collection!

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  75. Ah, this reminds me it's just about time to clean my brushes :( boo.

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  76. great post hun!love how detailed it is!i clean my brushes the same way! xxx

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  77. Thanks for this post. I usually just use a brush cleaning solution but it's nice to know that something like a hand soap will work well. :)

    just-another-day1.blogspot.ca

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  78. I do the same thing :)

    When will you get more of the smokey eye kit?

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  79. nothing like fresh clean brushes!! i do mine exactly like this too and its such a sense of satisfaction once they're all done

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  80. Great post! Love the idea!

    http://beyourbeautifulselfxoxo.blogspot.de/

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  81. This just reminded me that I have to go clean my brushes right now! haha :)
    x

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  82. I try to deep clean my brushes regulary. I can definitly see the difference in my skin, once I've used clean brushes.
    I have a set of Bdellium tools brushes, and I love them. I'm not sure if you know, but they are antibacterial, which comes in handy if you don't wash your brushes regularly! :) xx

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  83. Hi,

    Really like the post, it's very important to make people aware of this.

    I'd like to add though that if you use brushes with real animal hair it is a good idea to use conditioner after shampooing. You wouldn't just shampoo your own hair and then leave it, right? :)

    Kristina xx

    www.modeofstyle.com

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  84. Very helpful post, thank you ;)

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  85. You've convinced me! I will be washing mine later today :)

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  86. i have acne so i clean my foundation brushes after every single use, which is a massive pain in the arse! i've also found that johnson's baby shampoo works really well too xx

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  87. Awesome simple pictures! You didn't even need to write down the steps in my opinion. The pics said it all :D xx

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  88. I agree, Johnsons baby shampoo is utterly amazing. If you just want to try it out, they sell travel ones in superdrug, for 89p. Total bargain :)

    www.daintydream.blogspot.co.uk

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  89. Wow thanks for this one:)

    http://theinstyler.blogspot.com

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  90. This was so interesting. I am guilty, im off to wash them now. I don't wash them as regular as i should! Great tips too

    http://thefashiondistrictnlc.blogspot.co.uk/

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  91. Love this post, really jealous of your collection! x
    http://heypip.blogspot.co.uk/

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  92. Though it's pricey, I use beauty blender cleanser (and wash every week b/c I am quite acne-prone) since it just knocks liquid makeup that has caked on dry right off! So easy.

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  93. This has been so useful, as up until now I haven't really known how to go about cleaning my brushes... so thank you :)

    please feel free to check out my beauty fashion lifestyle blog :)

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  94. Great post thankyou!! :)

    beaumaquillagex.blogspot.co.uk

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  95. i use that dove hand wash too, it is amazing isnt it


    http://ravingbeautyx.blogspot.com/

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  96. Wow, thanks for this! I was one of those people that hardly ever washed their brushes (!), but your post has made me see what a quick and easy process this can be. Keep up the good work!

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  97. Great post. I am a makeup artist and I'm constantly telling people how important it is to keep their brushes clean. Even moreso for me as I have to use them on other people's faces also!

    It does take a little bit more effort but is definately worth it. I use a variety of different types of soaps but I like the sound of Dove making them extra soft so I might have to try that.

    http://www.rafflesbizarre.blogspot.com

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  98. I would love you to do a more in depth post on how you use each Bdellium brush as I am thinking of buying the foundation brush kit :)

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  99. Zoe, you have A LOT of brushes, no wonder you dread washing them all! haha. Ive tried to get into the habit of washing mine after every use, OCD i know. haha. xx

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  100. I always use baby shampoo, works like a charm! I'm also completely in love with the bdellium brushes, they are amazing! And mine haven't shed at all.

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  101. I also love to use baby shampoo on mine, it keeps the brush hair really soft, this post made me smile as this was the first thing I posted about on mine :D

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  102. hahaha, I thought I was the only one marvelling at the whiteness of my 217 after a wash, post smokey eye :') Laura x

    http://secrets-de-beaut.blogspot.co.uk/

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  103. What i like to use is, a shampoo for greasey hair on my brushes and if they are felling a little worse for wear or just rough a bit of conditioner and usually works wonders and make-up brushes are like hair :D xx

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  104. Great tips! I deep clean my make-up brushes that way too :) xoxo

    http://lucreziao.blogspot.it/ check out my blog :)

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  105. I do it the same way! Great post :)

    Lischen
    xxx

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  106. Was just about to clean my brushes and your post came up! So I did it this way for once ;) xx

    http://belle-amiebeauty.blogspot.co.uk/

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  107. Thanks for the helpful tips! I never thought of using an antibacterial hand soap on my brushes, but I guess if it's a creamy one like the soap you've used, it would work wonderfully! I'll have to try that next time :)

    www.vibrantbeautyblog.com

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  108. That is such a great tutorial, thanks a lot!
    I am actually going to see whether I can find some time to clean mine tonight ;)
    x

    http://ladignite.blogspot.com

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  109. Does anyone have any recommendations for a good make up bag to hold brushes? I have a benefit bag but my bigger blusher brushes dont fit :(

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  110. Hi, Zoe!

    I'm trying to start up a decent makeup collection, so I've been looking up lots of brushes lately - most importantly foundation brushes - and I can't seem to make up my mind! I see that you use Sigma products and I'm pretty sure MAC as well? Just wondering: which foundation brush would you recommend - the Sigma f60/f80 or the MAC 190?

    Many thanks! love the blog! x

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  111. I could honestly be a little bit better about doing this myself! I'm just such a lazy bum :')..

    frommewithamor.blogspot.com

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  112. I wash my brushes the same way. I use Johnson's Baby Shampoo, as it's nice and gentle on the brushes.
    Honestly, if you're one of those people who doesn't, do it, and when you see how much gunk comes off brushes that look clean, you will never be lazy again. YUCK

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  113. Just came across this post today and realized my brushes are due for their cleaning, thanks for reminding me!

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  114. i read this a few days ago, and I've never cleaned my brushes before this blog posts just usually threw them away after a while, but now after reading this i cleaned all my brushes and they became really clean and looked bran new i was so happy that i didnt have to buy new brushes after a few months of using them. i used radox hand wash instead of the dove because obviously i didnt have that at the time haha but it still worked wonders. thank you this post has really help me :)

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  115. Wow, thanks for this! I was one of those people that hardly ever washed their brushes..
    floor pad

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  116. I should probably do this...it has been awhile

    Great Advice!

    Victoria
    linen-lace.blogspot.com

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  117. This the best brush techniqy thing that I have ever used as soon as I read it, I went out and cleaned them with a different dove handwash we had at home, and i I think its the softest they've ever been, thankyou so much zoe, and keep doing what you are, as you've inspired me and made me just that lovely touch happier,xoxoxoxox

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  118. I never really bothered washing my brushes until I read your post Zoe! Also find the Dove bodywash works just as well, especially the silk version. Leaves your bruses super soft and smelling beautiful! A x

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  119. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  120. I was never in the mood to wash all my brushes but now I bought some new ones I'm going to spend some more time at keeping them clean. Thanks for the tips!

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  121. This was soo helpful, thank you ever so much xxx

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  122. I LOVE YOUR BRUSHES!!!!
    Do you still sell brushes on the Loella website??
    I'm tempted to try them:)

    mia1107.blogspot.com

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  123. You should add a few drops of olive oil or baby oil to that or your brush hairs will start to dry out a bit. Also you should never dry your brushes sideways, they should be facing downwards or water will run up into the glue and possibly loosen it, shortening the lifespan of your brushes.

    mattekat.blogspot.ca

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  124. I love all details that you give in your articles.Homejoy

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  126. Excellent guide. My little sister went through four whole sets of brushes trying to clean them with just hot water. Obviously, the extreme heat ruined them. I'll sit her down and show her this; hopefully then I can cut down on the awkward looks I get while buying her makeup supplies. Thiago | http://www.crownbrush.us/makeup-brush-sets-c-3_27/

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