Friday, April 10, 2009

Caring for your makeup brushes

Here's advice from Shalini Vadhera of Global Goddess Beauty in her e-newsletter that got my attention.

She provides the conventional wisdom about when to discard makeup:

Concealer: Up to 12 months
Powder: 2 years
Cream & gel cleansers: 1 year

Pencil eye liner: 3 years
Eyeshadow: 3 years
Foundation: 1 year
Lip liner: 3 years
Lipstick: 2 years, but if it starts to smell, replace it
Mascara: the fastest of these cosmetics to expire, will last no more than 3 months!

We know that cosmetics last longer than what she quoted: in fact, industry insiders have admitted that cosmetics are good to use five years after purchase.

Shalini then writes,

Here's a trick to keep your cosmetics lasting as long as possible. Use clean brushes, not fingers, for a healthy application. Brushes should be washed every 2-3 months in a mild detergent and laid flat to dry. If they begin to fray or split, replace them in order to ensure the smoothest application.

I was surprised that she recommended 2-3 months between washings. Usually, pros recommend washing brushes every month. This is especially important for eye makeup brushes for hygienic reasons.

Here's what I've learned about caring for makeup brushes:

* It takes about a day for eye makeup brushes to dry after washing.
* For face makeup brushes, it can take up to 2 days to dry after washing.
* Be judicious about using spray-on, tissue-off brush cleaners. These cleaners are a great convenience, but many contain alcohol or other ingredients that strip oils from natural hair bristles.
* If you develop an eye infection, it's essential to wash your brushes. You might want to avoid eye makeup altogether until the eye infection is gone.
* If you use loose mineral powders, clean your brushes often so that color applies true.
* Shampoo is essentially detergent, so you can use shampoo to wash your brushes.


Robyn @ Purely Cosmetics said...

I would never wait several months to wash my brushes! My foundation brush gets washed weekly, shadow brushes or any brush that I daily change colors with (shadow, liner, sometimes blush) gets washed after every use. If you have acne or oily skin, you should wash your brushes even more frequently, or you'll cross-contaminate.

Drying time on brushes will vary by both hair type and density. My shadow brushes will dry in a matter of minutes; a dense natural hair (like a flat top buffer brush or a kabuki) will dry in a few hours. Dense, synthetic brushes can take anwhere from a day to two to dry.

If you want your brushes to last the longest, hang them to dry by putting a rubberband around the handle and hang from your towel rack, or stand them in a cup/glass with a brush protector on (if you want to know what the heck THOSE are, you can see a description and picture here) to prevent the glue from getting into the ferrule and eventually ungluing your handle.

Just some tips from a self=proclaimed brush whore. Hope this helps.

produseavon said...

3 months for mascara?!
I usually wash my brushes weekly or every 2 weeks! I couldn't wait that long!