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HOW TO: Taking Care of Makeup Brushes With Natural Bristles

Today, I will talk about taking care of makeup brushes made with natural bristles and what cleansers I use on them. This topic brings to light the question: Do you really have to use two separate cleansers for your brushes? I'd say YES, although this is just how I do it. It depends if you're more on the meticulous side or practical side, but if you want to prolong the life, softness, and beauty of your natural- haired brushes, it's best to use a cleanser that is well- suited to their characteristics.

There are makeup brush shampoos that are labeled as is and are meant to do this, that, and so on to your brushes, but this is when the practical side of me comes out as I don't buy into the hype and just use products that are straight out of the bathroom and even the kitchen-this ranges from shampoos, body wash, and to dishwashing liquid, but I do have a makeup brush soap in hand for extra lazy days. Bottomline, you don't need to search far and wide for the perfect shampoo for your natural- haired babies as they're just right under your nose. :)

Going back to the 'taking care' part. So which is the best, most affordable, and most accessible cleanser for your natural makeup brushes? Shampoo! To prove a point, shampoo is used on our hair, which is undoubtedly natural and it only makes sense to use it on naturally- derived bristles-we even do this on wigs. I used dishwashing liquid on these types of makeup brush before and they ended up feeling stiff and scratchy so I switched to shampoo and the results were phenomenal: the bristles remained soft, fluffy, and flexible-definitely good for my facial skin. As for synthetic bristles, they fare just fine with dishwashing liquid (preferably with antibacterial properties) because they're engineered to stay the way they're made regardless of what type of cleanser you use on them, but not detergent because this is too abrasive plus it will leave nasty residues not only on the bristles but on your face as well.

Does it have to be a particular brand of shampoo? Not really as long as it's not dog or car shampoo! :p I say you can use whatever shampoo you want, but I'm sharing my favorites after the cut plus a few alternatives.

I use these on rotation: Absynthe Bath and Beauty Hair Goddess Shampoo because it has Argan and Emu Oil that loosen up hardened oil and pigments from liquid bases and even powder bases. It's too costly to be a brush shampoo in my books because it's at P379.00 per bottle, but since mine had expired right before I finished it, I thought of recycling it by using it as a makeup brush shampoo. It's also safe even for hypoallergenic skin so if you break out from regular shampoos, this is a good option.

For the frugal ladies, you can use any commercial shampoo: Sunsilk, Rejoice, Vaseline, Palmolive, Dove, etc. as long as formula is creamy. Why? Because the creamy formula will keep the bristles soft. I use Palmolive, especially the purple one because it has Coconut Oil to, again, loosen up hardened oil and pigments from the bristles.

If you break out from shampoo and you don't want to risk it, try the following:

Facial Foam- this is formulated to be gentle because it's made for your facial skin, a sensitive portion of your body so I don't see any problem using it on natural makeup brushes. Personally, I use Pond's when I'm out of Palmolive. However, avoid facial cleansers with acid ingredients such as AHA and BHA, or any micro- peeling agents-these might dry out the bristles.

Body Wash- a creamy body wash with oil extracts or moisturizers, to be exact. If you want to be sure that it's gentle, go for the ones that are made for sensitive skin. I love using Dove in lieu of Palmolive, Absynthe, or Pond's.

Body Soap- I don't really use this product to clean brushes, but it's definitely another option. I think a creamy or oil- based soap would be great! Just steer clear of soaps with whitening and peeling ingredients!

So I hope you all learned something useful today. Have you got any tips on taking care of natural makeup brushes? Share them with me in the comments section! :D

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10 Lovely Thoughts

  1. Hi TBJ! I'm interested to know what can you suggest to clean WHITE HAIR BRUSHES? Sometimes I find it difficult to remove the product stains. :c

    Hope to hear from you soon!

  2. I never thought to use these products. :) Now I don't have to buy expensive brush cleaners. Super thank you for this. I love Dove body wash, it smells so good

  3. Glenda: Hi Glenda! You can try using a makeup brush cleaner first to loosen up the pigments then proceeding with this technique. Unfortunately, white bristles only have 1% chance of becoming stain- free if used already.

    Abegaill: Me too and Dove doesn't dry out my skin as well. :)

    Julienne: You're welcome. :)

  4. Glenda: Hi Glenda! You can try using a makeup brush cleaner first to loosen up the pigments then proceeding with this technique. Unfortunately, white bristles only have 1% chance of becoming stain- free if used already.

    Abegaill: Me too and Dove doesn't dry out my skin as well. :)

    Julienne: You're welcome. :)

  5. I'm using J&J's baby shampoo + olive oil. Seems okay naman, I chose the baby shampoo kasi it's mild and I think it was a safe choice. So far di naman nasira the brushes and no breakouts :)

  6. Oooh, I do the same! I don't want to have to buy a special brush cleanser when there might be something at home to do the trick. I've tried shampoo, but I found the brushes to be stiff afterwards. (Right you are, it depends on the shampoo. Has to be creamy.) Facial wash is definitely a safe bet. I've been using Dove body wash to cleanse my brushes the last couple of months. It does the job and leaves the hairs soft, but I find the scent to be a bit too strong. Nakakasakit sa ulo, if you're not used to the heavily perfumed scent that lingers.

    Before, I tried The Body Shop's creamy cocoa butter body wash on my brushes din. It's nice and leaves my brushes wonderfully soft, but it's so emollient that I feel like the brushes may not have been cleansed thoroughly. So what I did was to cleanse the brush with shampoo or soap, then do a second wash with TBS' cocoa butter wash. (Parang shampoo and conditioner

    By the way, I've been using purely synthetic-haired brushes for the longest time because I was afraid that my washing habits would ruin the natural bristles. Good to know that what I have in my bathroom will work just fine. Thanks for this, Martha. :)

  7. I use Likas Papaya soap to wash my brushes. I know its bar soap but it removes pigments way better than any shampoo I have tried. I find shampoo like sunsilk and pantene leave residue. For stains left by oil resistant products like gel liners, I put a little coconut oil then wash with soap.

  8. i use Johnsons&Johnsons ms m =) before i try using dishwashing liquid..

    but now i try dipping them to bifesta (a little will do) then wash them with baby shampoo and rinse them thoroughly

  9. Like you, I use Palmolive (purple)and this blog post validated my choice. Thank you.


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