Longevity is a testament to the craftsmanship of a product, and Japanese Kumano-fude brushes are made to last. Over time, like a well-worn shoe fits the curve of your feet, a makeup brush will grow to know the curves of your skin, and fit comfortably in your palm.
With a few tips on how to take care of the brushes you've invested in, you can keep them in prime condition for years to come.
Lip & shadow brushes
Make sure that you remove any excess product from the bristles by gently sweeping the brush across a soft tissue.
These types of small brushes do not need frequent washing if kept in clean condition, without product left on the bristles.
Powder, cheek & finishing brushes
Remove any excess powder left on the bristles by tapping them. If some powder still remains, gently wipe it clean with soft tissue or cloth.
Do not rub the bristle too hard during this process as it could damage the hairs and cause them to shed.
Washing your Brushes
It is recommended to wash the brush at least once a month if you’re using it daily. Not washing your brush may result in an unwanted odor or makeup residue build up in the bristles.
Brushes with dyed hair
These have to be treated with extra care since they have a very thin protective layer on each hair to retain dye. Use a soft detergent to not to damage the protective coat, and keep the color longer.
It's normal for a brush to have few strands of hair falling out during a wash, but if there's more falling out than a few strands, you may be applying too much force.
Goat hair and synthetic brushes
These are more resilient, and can withstand frequent washing, around once or twice a month.
Squirrel hair brushes
It is recommended these are washed as little as possible, 3 to 4 times a year would be more than enough depending on usage.
*Brush used with cream type product require a wash after every use.
What You'll Need to wash your brushes
Water (room temperature)
Fragrance-free soap (baby soap recommended), or mild shampoo
Medium sized ball (10 cm in diameter is enough)
Towel or soft cloth (a type with microfiber is the best)
1. If it's a big powder brush, soak the bristles with water.
Use running water to soak the powder brush bristle
2. Mix water and soap/shampoo in the ball, and gently wash the bristle up to the ferrule. This can also be done on the palm of your hand. Try not to get the handle or ferrule wet too much, as it is not good for some brush that’s made of wood.
Wash the brush by swishing it in a circular motion
3. Gently squeeze the brush with fingers towards the tip to remove any makeup left in the bristle.
Softly squeeze the bristle with finger to remove any makeup product left in the bristle hair.
4. Rinse the brush with fresh water thoroughly.
Rinse well with running water, make sure that there is no soap or shampoo left
5. Gently squeeze the bristle with a towel and shake off any excess water
7. Shape the bristle into the original shape, and leave it in the shade to dry naturally. Make sure that bristle is completely dry before use.
8. Shape the bristle gently with your finger, and place it in cups to let it dry naturally.
Do not use a dryer and avoid leaving it under direct sunlight as this may cause damage to the hair.
Storing Makeup Brushes
For your favorite brushes for daily use, place them in a glass or holder, keeping them bristle up.
If you plan to store the brushes for a long period of time (1+ months), make sure that it is clean and completely dry. Place it in a storage cover or the original case if you have it, to ensure the cleanest, driest environment possible to keep it in the best condition.
It's recommended that you use Kumano-fude brushes at least once a month (which shouldn't be hard!), as the brushes may shed with prolonged storage.
The Lifespan of a Makeup Brush
With proper maintenance and care, Japanese makeup brushes normally last around 3 to 5 years or longer. However, this may change depending on how frequently you use your brush, how well it's taken care of, the type of products you use and type of bristle.
When the brush can no longer hold as much powder as before, or the texture becomes worse, it's a sign to go shopping for a new one!