Cleaning your brushes

Hi everyone,

I’m addicted to brushes and that means I can pretty much use a clean brush every day of the week without cleaning them in between. I do spotclean (with a Laura Mercier brush spray) if needed. When it’s a busy week like this last one I just change my makeup depending on what brushes I still have left that are clean. I have 3 glass holders for my clean brushes and 1 for the dirty ones.

The way I organise my brushes is by
- big face brushes
- (big) eye brushes
- liner, concealer and lipbrushes.

I do a big deep cleaning once a week, usually in the weekend because during the week I don’t have time to wash about 50 brushes.

I use a Bare Escentuals brush cleanser for the first cleaning and then I use a Sephora brushcleaner because that one kills bacteria and always removes more dirt then the Bare Escentuals cleanser does.

What does my windowsil look like when I clean my brushes? Well, it looks like this:
Cleaning brushes

As you can see it’s quite a collection. I’ve done a brush post previously, so I’d like to refer you to that one for more information and picture about most of the brushes, I’ll go into the new ones more here, but I don’t like repeating posts, so click here for the previous brushes post which includes close ups of the brushes. The information on the new brushes are in a blue colour.

This list is going from the bigger brushes following the order I layed them out to the smaller ones.

  • If you look at the first picture you see the Dior Powder brush as the first brush, it’s still one of my favourites if I want to set my face with Make Up For Ever HD powder. It is a brush that’s huge and has it’s own place because of the big short handle.
  • The second one with the white bristle is the Sephora Stippling brush which I currently use as a bronzer brush. I set the first layer of bronzer on my skin with this brush. Usually that’s my Chanel Bronze Universal.
  • The third one is my absolute favourite brush for the final blending of all my makeup. When I’m done with all my makeup and I’m ready to set with either a powdered foundation of a mineral foundation, I go straight for this brush. It’s the Illamasqua Powder brush and it’s super soft, blends amazingly and works without you doing any work really. This is a synthetic brush as all Illamasqua brushes are which means no animal harm :D . I haven’t had shedding with any of the Illamasqua brushes which is also a huge plus.
  • Next is the Sephora Mineral Powder brush which sometimes shows up in the Sephora store near me but isn’t available on their website anymore. It’s my trusting buffer brush, if I’ve gone overboard with a bronzer or highlighter this brush will immediately fix it. I’ve also been testing out the MAC mineral foundations and it works amazingly buffing that in as well. So my previous opinion stands firm, I’d be lost without this brush.
  • I got my MAC 138 Tapered Face brush because I saw Tanya Burr use it to contour and I thought it would be amazing to use, I do use it for contouring my cheeks, but I use it to emphasize models boobs more. If you use this on the cheeks you need a contouring powder that isn’t a lot darker then your skintone. It gives you amazing control but I prefer my Illamasqua highlighter brush as my contouring brush over this one. I do use it for more intense looks and to contour boobs to make them look bigger.
  • I got the Girls Aloud Eyelure lash set that had a Professional Brush set in it at ASOS (for direct link to product click here. This brush is the brush I’d use for a soft application of blush because it’s got long hairs and will not disperse a lot of product.
  • This is an Essence blush brush that I got for 3 euro. It’s such an amazing find because this brush is short handled and amazing to bring with me everywhere I go. When doing makeup on friends this is usually my contouring brush. It’s soft and perfect and I cannot believe it was this cheap.
  • The red handled brush is a Travel Angled Blush brush from Smashbox. This brush comes out every once in a while in a kitt but is never sold seperately. Currently a brush that looks like this one is in their Step by Step Contour kit.
  • The 109 Small Contour brush by MAC is made with natural fibres and is a brush I usually bring with me when doing makeup on friends. It’s a brush I bring with me, but when at home I always grab the Illamasqua highlighter brush. So if I had to choose between the two the Illamasqua one is my prefered brush. But when applying mouse foundation I always use this one because it blends the product perfectly.
  • I love this Illamasqua Highlighter brush. It was the first ever Illamasqua brush I got and it’s still my favourite brush from them and maybe even my all time favourite brush. It’s synthetic so no animals were harmed for my brush and it’s super soft. I can use it for foundation (liquid, cream, mousse, powder, mineral), I can contour with it (using cream or powder), you can use it for blush or highlighting, it’s an all purpose brush and it’s prefect.
  • This was a foundation brush I got at the local drugstore. It’s brand is worn off already and it’s one I use when applying liquid foundation on models. This brush is HUGE and that means you can apply in just a few strokes and it’s done.
  • The squaire brush is a Gerard Binard Foundation brush that I use to apply masks with. I don’t use it for anything else anymore.
  • Next with the shiny handle is the Dior Foundation brush which is my prefered foundation brush, it’s bristle density and the shape are perfect to get a perfect canvas. If you use it for primer first, you get an even more perfect coverage and it will not soak up as much foundation. The weight of this brush is amazing and it’s of such an amazing quality that I think that if I care for it it will last for many years to come.
  • Next is my Smashbox travel Foundation brush which I got in a kit. I thought about getting the full size Foundation brush but the Dior one already stole my heart. The travel size is perfect for travel or if you’re doing makeup on a young teen.
  • The Smashbox Fan brush is perfect for a hint of highlight on the top of the cheekbones.
  • The Illamasqua Blending brush 2 is pefect for applying powder under the eyes or blending out an eyeshadow that’s too much. When I bought this brush I thought I’d probably use it very little and only for special effect looks and Halloween, but I use it daily, which means this brush is pretty special. Again, all synthetic hair and no animals were harmed :D.
  • I used to use this Smashbox no. 10 Crease brush for doing what my Illamasqua Blending brush 2 does now. That means this brush got a new use, being a concealer brush for under my eyes. I saw Pixiwoo do this once and I’ve been doing it ever since, it blends the concealer out perfectly and that is all I ask of it.
  • The Laura Mercier Camouflage Powder Brush is perfect for placing powder on top of a concealed blemish. It’s made with synthetic, flat bristles and it’s a brush I use really often.
  • This Laura Mercier Angled Eye Colour Brush is the only brush I think I could lose and not mis. I got it when I got my makeup done by Amanda from Laura Mercier and she used it to create a perfect effect on my eyes. I immediately bought the brush and I used it at home and it takes sooo long to get the effect I want, I can do the same effect with a dome shaped brush in less time. Yes you need to use less and less pressure to create the diffusing effect, but I know enough to do that without thinking about it. So this is a brush I think is for people who are new to makeup.
  • The no. 26 shadow brush by Smashbox is an amazing eyeshadow brush. It’s soft and amazing for a wash of colour.
  • Next is the All over shadow brush by Sephora, which I recently have fallen back in love with. It’s so easy to apply colour to just your lid. It’s slightly denser then the Smashbox no. 26 brush and that means you get more colour payoff. I usually apply Urban Decay shadows that have glitter in it with this brush because I don’t need to sweep this brush. I just pack the bristles with colour and then press it on my lid (at a slight angle) and make a teeeeeeeny circle and I’m done.
  • The famous MAC 217 Blending brush is another of those brushes that’s famous for a reason. It’s a real bristle (I believe boar bristle) and it’s know as a blending brush. I got one this year thanks to my sister who got one in Amsterdam for me because MAC stores are only now getting closer to my home and they don’t sell pro products so I still can’t get pigments :( But back to the 217. It’s perfect for blending out colours and it’s one that I do love a lot. I have two of them ;)
  • The next one is a The Body Shop Eye shadow Blender brush which is no longer sold as it was but the new version can be found  here. This is a perfectly good brush but for some reason I never go to the stiffer brushes if I can help it.
  • The red handled brush is the Smashbox no. 4 Concealer brush which is a brush I rarely use for concealer these days, I use it for eyeshadow and softening out eyeliner.
  • The white handle is a Models Own Shading brush and it’s a bit of a brush that’s lovely and horrible at the same time. It’s lovely because it blends and is soft etc. but it’s soooo not packed densely that it’s too soft most of the time.
  • Cream shadows are applied perfectly with a Sephora large synthectic eyeshadow brush perfect application.
  • The white bristle Sephora flat eyeliner brush is perfect for stencilling eyeliner on the eyes.
  • The matte silver handle is the perfect weight and hold for the Urban Decay – Shadow brush which I use for packing on glitter eyeshadows.
  • Another brush from the Girls Aloud Eyelure lash set that had a Professional Brush set in it at ASOS (for direct link to product click here was this eyeshadow brush. It feels like it’s one I’m going to love and for now I can only tell you that application of eyeshadow was good.
  • The Urban Decay Crease brush is one I use when I need a smokey eye to have a blended edge but not faded too much.
  • I could not apply makeup without my Smashbox no. 15 Definer brush I use it for cream shadow, I use it for packing colour, I use it for blending out colour I use it for everything if I have to and it works amazingly. A must have brush if you ask me.
  • The Sephora – Pointy dome brush is the next best thing to the Smashbox no. 15 brush, it’s slightly shorter which means more colour (and less blending) but it’s also softer which means it feels better when blending.
  • I got this Smashbox brush in a kit and it’s actually a combination of the slanted eyebrow brush and the flat cream eyeliner brush.
  • The MAC 219 Pencil brush is amazing for smudging liner under your eye, this brush fits perfectly and doesn’t blend so far down you’ll look like you have a black eye.
  • Next is the The Body Shop Slanted brush which is perfect for a cut crease or if you’re trying a look that needs definition.
  • Sephora smudger brush is perfect if you have used a pencil to draw in a cut crease and you need that faded or blended up or down.
  • I use the MAC 263 Small Angle Brush most for eyeliner, cream or gelliner works perfectly with this brush. There is little chance your line is wobbly when using this brush.
  • The lip brush from The Body Shop is perfect for a red lip because of its stiffness you get perfect control.
  • The softener “brush” by the Body Shop is an eraser. Perfect for little mistakes.
  • Urban Decay’s Wonder brush is The Brush. I use it for defined creases, corner colours, smudging, lining under the eyes, blending on the eyelid. It’s weight is it’s gift and it’s size is wonderfull.
  • The Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Brush is perfect for spot concealing. No other words are needed.
  • The third brush from the Girls Aloud Eyelure lash set that had a Professional Brush set in it at ASOS (for direct link to product click here) was this eyeliner brush. I’m probably going to use it for doing brows, but I’m not sure yet.
  • Smashbox still has their no. 20 Double ended Smudger brush which is one end smudger and one end eraser. Perfect for travel and small enough for smudging inner corners.
  • Two unknown brand brushes for applying glitter to inner corners and for making a thick line on the top lashline.
  • I have three liner brushes and this one is the one that I learned lining with, the Smashbox Arced Liner Brush. Perfect for a medium line on the top lashline.
  • The Sephora Eyeliner Brush one is amazing for thin lines, it’s really pointy and very thin. Also this handle is a little thicker and I like the grip on that.
  • The last one is from the Douglas home brand and it’s very thin and long and is perfect for a thin to medium line.
  • Very blurry you see my spooly. I use this for grooming brows.

I still own the retractable blush brush is by The Body Shop but that’s in my bag. I also still have a Smashbox Baby Buki brush but that’s something I also use for travel and never on a daily basis. I also now have a small Laura Mercier pouch with 8 mini double ended brushes that I take with me when travelling.

7 Responses to “Cleaning your brushes”

  1. Kate & Zena zegt:

    I have 4 Smashbox brushes, 4 Ecotools (or is it 5? Can’t remember) and a few others. I need another Smashbox one because I ended up using one crease brush for concealer a la Pixiwoo style so now I have ONE crease brush for what it’s intended to do.

    Do you actually use all 50 though? 50 is a loooooot of brushes. I think I would go insane with 50. I could do 20 or 25, but 50? That’s too much.

    • Cee zegt:

      I do use all 50, because I don’t just do my own makeup, I also do party and occasion makeup on friends and family. Also because I try to not always do the same type of look I use different brushes for different effects.
      Some are used more frequently then others, but all of then get a lot of use.

      Which brush is your favourite?

      • Kate & Zena zegt:

        Bah ha ha. I don’t have one. I use them all equally…mostly. The brushes collecting dust are my mom’s ancient ancient Mary Kay blending brush (sometimes I just need a sparse weighted brush, I have no idea why), my drugstore travel foundation brush (ahem, when do I use foundation? NEVER. I use tinted moisturizer and I prefer my fingers) and my ELF blush brush which is looks like a foundation brush so it, seriously, gets used very rarely.

        When I actually started out, I use my Loew-Cornell brushes. They aren’t made for make-up (painting, actually) but they’re twice as soft (the ones that have the same hair as make-up brushes anyway) and 10 times cheaper, have a wicked long handle and do the exact same thing as my makeup brushes, if not better. I paint so rarely that it seemed natural. I haven’t gone to a craft store in a while so I just started getting make-up brushes.

        To be really honest, I think I would rather use Loew-Cornells over any make-up brush. I’ve always loved longer handles. If you think about it (and I’m not dissing MAC or Smashbox or anything), make-up brushes started out as paint brushes. Paint brushes and make-up brushes have A LOT in common.

        If I remember correctly, when MAC was starting out, they had a contract with Loew-Cornell and used their paint brushes as make-up brushes. Actually, if you’re really bored and you have Photoshop, take MAC brushes and overlap them with Loew-Cornell brushes. The handles won’t match up in length, but there should be many that overlap in terms of the brush heads as they worked together.

        Hmm, maybe I need to drag myself back to Michael’s. I was just there Friday too! Why don’t I think of these things while I’m there?

        • Kate & Zena zegt:

          Behold, the Long Comment Fingers strike again!

          • Cee zegt:

            They don’t sell Loew-Cornell brushes here :(
            I don’t mind the long fingers :D I like having discussions :D

            MAC only got to my city this year, so I HAD to see what everyone was talking about and honestly I prefer the Illamasqua brushes, VERY expensive, but sooo nice. The Make Up For Ever ones are good too but very overpriced if you ask me.

            I used to use craft store brushes…. but the long handles are hard to travel with and I’m very close to the mirror for liner etc and then a long handle just means eye-pokage :(

            I’m happy you love what you use, and tinted moisturizer is best applied with fingers anyway. It’s also very good for skin :D

            Thanks for giving your opinion. If I lived in the US I’d be off to a craft store RIGHT now!

  2. Nymphette zegt:

    Perfect way to dry your brushes! Love that lol