How to clean your makeup brushes: tips from an expert

You may not have thought about it before, but cleaning your make-up brushes can be a meticulous and important process. Nobody wants dirty brushes that shed hairs—especially not Carmen Zomers, make-up artist to some of the Netherlands’ biggest stars for over 25 years. In other words: we’ve asked the ideal person to share her best cleaning tips with you.


I always like to work with make-up brushes when it comes to foundation and blush. The foundation ones are especially great, because they’re perfect for contouring. Of course, a blending brush is an absolute must-have, because every look is most beautiful when the make-up is properly blended. That’s how you get evenly distributed make-up without unsightly lines or a “mask effect.”


Clean your brushes once a week

Back to the brushes: how often should you clean them and how do you do it? Because I’m a make-up artist who works with many different people, I clean my professional brushes after every session. I clean my own brushes once per week. How? Keep reading.


1. Use a bit of soap

It is actually quite simple: you can just clean your brushes with a small piece of soap. Stronger still, a lot of make-up artists do the exact same thing! Simply put a piece of a soap in a soap dish and wash only the hairs of the brush with a bit of soap under the tap.


2. Shampoo or cleanser

You can also use an official brush cleanser. Don’t have this at home? Then just use your favourite shampoo to clean your brushes. Fill a dish with warm water, add a drop of shampoo and stir it until it becomes sudsy. Wash each hair of the brush in it, but never submerge the entire brush. This can cause the glue to dilute and the hairs to come loose, which is a pity. Afterward, rinse the brushes one by one under lukewarm water.


3. Dry your brush

Are your brushes clean? Now it’s time to dry them. Carefully dab them dry with a hand towel or use your hair dryer on the lowest setting. Alongside this, make sure you’re washing and drying them from root to tip, otherwise the hairs will become crooked and won’t work well anymore. It’s also important that your brushes are completely dry before you store them. This way, they’ll still smell fresh.


Carmen Zomers

Make-up artist, vlogger and author Carmen Zomers has over 25 years of experience in the beauty industry, both in the Netherlands and abroad. Founder of the Carmen Zomers Agency, she makes Dutch celebrities even more beautiful with her make-up and hair expertise. Her first book, Boho Beauty by Carmen, is filled with gorgeous photographs of simple hair and make-up tutorials and is available in stores now.