How to Properly Clean Your Beauty Tools, According to Celeb Makeup Artists


Try as I might, I don’t wash my makeup brushes as frequently as I should. A dirty makeup brush, caked up with product build-up accumulated over the past week (or month, because honestly who has the time?!) would make any professional makeup artist squeal and hastens the demise of the healthy skin you’ve been hard at work to achieve. Yes, I know this and you know this, but it’s one of those mundane (albeit extremely important) steps many of us find challenging to do, like removing your makeup before bed or washing your bed linen weekly.

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Liquid foundation can easily get trapped in between bristles, making it hard for you to effectively apply your makeup and brushes that are left out in the open on your dresser can easily pick up dust and traces of the perfume, hairspray, and any other product that gets trapped in the air during your daily routine. You’ve likely already bought yourself an expensive collection of makeup brushes, and the best way to protect your investment, lengthen the longevity of the brushes, and strengthen its performance is to give your tools a quick wash weekly coupled with a big deep cleanse on a monthly basis. Sound like a bit much for your schedule? The payoff is worth it, according to the celebrity makeup artists tasked with creating the magical looks we see on Rihanna, the KarJenners, Christina Aguilera, and more.

“From sponges to powder puffs brushes, even when they are not in use they need to be sanitized and cleansed,” says Hrush Achemyan, a Kardashian/Jenner go-to makeup artist.”Let’s say you wear makeup three days out of the week, you would still need to wash and cleanse your face even when it’s bare. The same applies with brushes—treat them like skin.”

Below, I asked five celebrity makeup artists to share what products they use to de-gunk their makeup tools.

Priscilla Ono

Want to glow like Rihanna? Well, Priscilla Ono makes sure not one dirty brush touches the goddess’s face. “I clean my brushes after EVERY SINGLE USE,” she affirms. “I like to dip my brushes in Cinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner solution.”

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To ensure each bristle is saturated with the cleaner, Ono says she soaks the bristles until the solution seeps into the center of the brush , “then I swipe back and forth on a towel until the brush is clean and there isn’t any residue of solution on the brush.” The cleaner has remained a staple in the Fenty Beauty Global Makeup Artist’s kit and has helped her brushes to stay strong and durable over an extended period.

“Cinema Secrets brush cleaner not only cleanses and disinfects the brushes, it also conditions the hair on my brushes,” she adds. “I’ve had some brushes for over 13 years, and I know it’s because I clean them regularly.”

Makeup Brush Cleaner

Cinema Secrets


Etienne Ortega

What do Kris Jenner, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato have in common? Etienne Ortega, the divas’ mutual makeup whisperer. Before whipping up his signature glam looks, Ortega likes to disinfect his tools with Beauty Blender’s cult-favorite Liquid Blendercleanser. “It always leaves them very crispy clean, not oily, and doesn’t ruin the brushes,” he says.

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liquid blendercleanser®



Keita Moore

“Makeup brushes should be cleaned and disinfected between every single use and client to prevent passing bacteria,” says Moore, who has given sunkissed glows to everyone from Issa Rae to Mariah Carey. “I deep clean my brushes at least two to three times a week. When deep cleaning my brushes, I wet the brush and use the M.A.C Brush Cleaner.”

For tough brushes with product build-up from foundation and concealer, Moore whips up his own DIY solution to get the job done. “I like to mix the MAC Brush Cleaner with coconut oil and Dawn soap. This is gets out all the tough stains,” he adds. “For Beauty Blenders and sponges, which can get really dirty and full of foundation, I use the Solid Cleanser by Beauty Blender as well as Dawn Disinfectant Soap—nothing works better than these. When cleaning tools like spoolies, eyelash curlers, and tweezers, I clean with soap and water and submerge in barbicide overnight.”

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Hrush Achemyan

Not only should you you buy a cleaner that removes any bacteria and product from your brushes, but you also want to make sure the cleaning solution doesn’t damage the bristles. Hrush Achemyan, the woman behind the Kardashians, Jenners, and Jennifer Lopez’s beauty looks, suggests purchasing one that sanitizes and one that conditions.

“Most breakouts or clogged pores come from dirty tools. Your tools kiss your face and skin, so you must make sure they are absolutely spotless. I use Parian Spirit Professional Makeup Brush Cleaner for spot cleaning and sanitization. But I love the Japonesque brush cleanser because it is soooooo gentle on my brushes. Gentle on my brushes is gentle on my skin.”

Japonesque Makeup Brush Cleanser [REGULAR]



Rob Scheppy

Rob Scheppy’s star clients include Lindsey Lohan, Becky G, and like fellow KarJenner makeup artist, Hrush Achemyan, Scheppy likes to reach for Parian Spirit’s brush cleaner “for a quick cleanse and sanitation.” But, the celebrity makeup guru’s tried and true method is soap and water. “At the end of each day, I use a bar of plain unscented soap and hot water for a more thorough cleaning, then I lay them to air dry,” he says.

Dial Antibacterial Bar Soap, White, 4 Ounce, 10 Bars




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