Monday, 15 October 2012

Brush Cleaning #3: The Deep Cleanse

And now, for the final installment of my brush cleaning series, I give you the big guns...the DEEP CLEANSE! If you're interested in parts one and two then feel free to check them out HERE and HERE.

It's a fact of a makeup addict's life that all that slap creates a bit of a mess as far as brushes are concerned, and it's important that we treat those brushes well - they're the tools of our trade and must be looked after! So, unless you apply your makeup with a trowel (in which case I suggest you use surgical spirit to clean it), then you've got to choose a cleanser that will suit your brushes rather than damage them.  A quick google or YouTube search will bring up a million and one different products which people wear are the best, and I have no doubt that maybe some are better than my method, but I'm just going to share with you my choice of product and method of giving my brushes a little tlc.

Johnson's baby shampoo is my preferred cleansing agent; it's gentle but effective and it doesn't have too much extra fluff and stuff (by fluff and stuff I obviously mean nasty chemicals and exotic scents!) it's also cheap which is a massive bonus in my eyes! 

Before you begin 'the big cleanse' you might want to prepare the area that you're going to use to dry your brushes.  Ideally you want to allocate the edge of a work top/dresser/table and place a towel along the edge, this way you can leave your brushes to dry really easily without waving around wet brushes as you fumble about one handedly trying to get your towel and then lay it out (I speak from experience or so I've been told)

Next up, gather all your dirty brushes, I keep mine in an old mug (it was a sad day when the mammoth crack appeared but I knew it's life wasn't over yet!) and take them to your sink of choice along with the Johnson's baby shampoo.

Then for the fun part! Rinse your brush under warm water, not hot but warm - it's important because hot water could melt the glue in the ferrule (the metal bit between the handle and the bristles) and this would cause your brush hairs to shed or your whole brush to fall apart! Another important thing to note, is that you need to keep the brush angled down at all times, again this is to prevent water from going into the ferrule and ruining your brush.

Once your brush is nicely wet take a pump of the shampoo (vary the amount based on what size brush you have and which products it has been used with - eyeshadow brush with light eyeshadow will require hardly any whereas kabuki style foundation brush that's been used for a week or so will use quite a lot of product) onto the palm of your spare hand (the one that doesn't have a brush in it!).  
Then gently start to swirl your brush in the shampoo so that it creates a nice foamy lather, the lather should be the colour of whatever product you're washing off the brush - it's ever so satisfying! You can rinse and repeat as many times as it takes before the lather is pure white, and believe me, some brushes will have you there for a while but don't give up because you'll get there in the end!

It's very important to rinse all the shampoo from your brush once it's squeaky clean, so I rinse and then swirl it on my hand again to see if any soap bubbles appear and keep rinsing until when swirled nothing happens.  With larger brushes, don't be afraid to pull the excess water from the brush, so run you hand in a clenched motion down the brush and over the hairs to get off any excess water, and just keep rinsing until the water is clear.  

Then give your brushes a final squeeze to get the bulk of the water out.

You're now ready to lay all your brushes out.  It's important to give them room, they shouldn't be touching because this could effect the shape that they dry into and nobody wants a deformed brush if they can help it.  This is also the reason why it's so important to leave the brushes overhanging the edge of a table, this way they don't end up with one flat side.  

The drying time will depend on the size of the brush, the density of the hairs, and the material the hairs are made from.  A small synthetic brush like the Real Techniques deluxe crease brush will only take about half an hour to dry, whereas the larger ones like The Body Shop face and body brush and the bdellium 957 will probably take a day or so.

Wait until they're all completely dry before putting them back in their usual storage or using them, and then relax and enjoy how wonderfully soft they are (it's ok, I wont judge you for giving your face a bit of a stroke with them, we've all been there!!)

I hope this was helpful, and I'm sorry it was such a long post!! 


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