How to Wash & Take Care of Your Makeup Brushes
Longevity is a testament to the craftsmanship of a product, and Japanese Kumanofude brushes are made to last. 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.
"The less often you wash it, the better, but the timing of washing should depend on the condition of the tips rather than the quality of the hair. In order to reduce the number of times you have to wash, please take good care of your tips by using tissue removal."
Lip & eye 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 product, by tapping powder left on the bristles or wiping your powder and liquid brushes gently on a 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'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 and Silver Fox 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.
What You'll Need
- Water (room temperature)
- Neutral detergent (such as Chikuhodo cleaning liquid) or Houkodou cleaning liquid)
- Towel or soft cloth (a type with microfiber is the best)
- Comb (optional)
1. If it's a big powder brush, soak the bristles using running water. Dilute the neutral detergent in a bowl of water. Wash the bristles up to the ferrule by swishing the brush in circular motions. 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.
3. Gently squeeze the brush with fingers towards the tip to remove any makeup left in the bristle. Rinse the brush with fresh water thoroughly to ensure 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. 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 Kumanofude brushes at least once a month (which shouldn't be hard!), as the brushes may shed with prolonged storage.
Tips from our workshops:
(Houkodou) When storing brushes as new, we recommend adding camphor or other insect repellent. When storing brushes after use, there is no possibility of insects eating the brushes since they are covered with cosmetics. However, if the brush is kept in an airtight container, it will accelerate the growth of bacteria, so please keep it in a well-ventilated place.
(Kyureido) It is best to store them in a cylinder like a pen holder or in a pouch or case designed for makeup brushes.
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!