How to Wash & Take Care of Your Makeup Brushes

How to Wash & Take Care of Your Makeup Brushes

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. 


Daily maintenance

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.


how to wash makeup brushes
Tapping off the excess powder off a makeup brush


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)
  • Neutral detergent (such as Chikuhodo brush cleaning liquid)
  • Medium-sized ball (10 cm in diameter is enough)
  • Towel or soft cloth (a type with microfiber is the best)
  • Tissue papers
  • Comb (optional)


1. If it's a big powder brush, soak the bristles with water. 

how to wash makeup brushes

Use running water to soak the powder brush bristle


2. Dilute the neutral detergent in water. Wash the bristles 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.

 how to wash makeup brushes

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.

 how to wash makeup brushes 

Softly squeeze the bristle with your finger to remove any makeup product left in the bristle hair.


4. Rinse the brush with fresh water thoroughly.

 how to wash makeup brushes

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

    how to wash makeup brushes


    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.

    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!



    Read more



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