My Favorite Brush Cleansers

How do you clean your makeup brushes? And how often?

If you have sensitive and/or acne-prone skin, you must, repeat: MUST! :) keep your face brushes squeaky clean :) Makeup brushes can harbor so many gross bacteria especially those used with liquid products like foundation. So I tend to wash my foundation brush, my pink sponge, and my powder brush every time before I use them. Since I don't wear foundation on a daily basis however, the times I wash them varies, but I just make sure their clean before they touch my face! :) If you have normal skin, I'd suggest washing them once a week.

Fresh & clean after a nice bubble bath 

I've tried DIY brush cleaners but never felt they did a superb job, and since I spend a lot on brushes I wanted to invest in a good cleanser to keep them fresh and clean. These are the three I've used in the past and really love!

1. Sephora Brush Shampoo
Size: 6.75 fl oz
Price: $14
This is a great brush cleanser and does the job well! It comes in a small travel size (2 oz) so it's great for traveling. On the other hand, I recently discovered the MAC cleanser which costs less money, and has more product, so I switched over to that one.

2. MAC Brush Cleanser

Size: 7.9 fl oz
Price: $13
This is my favorite! Firstly, as stated above, it gives you the most bang for your buck and the quality is amazing. It leaves my brushes really nice and soft. (You can also return this with Back 2 MAC!)

ELF Brush Shampoo

Size: 4.1 fl oz
Price: $3
This is obviously a bargain for $3, but unfortunately I am not a huge fan because it leaves my brushes very dry. I do however use this to clean my eye makeup brushes from time to time, and it does a great job. I recommend this one for someone just getting into makeup and experiment with different brushes and products. I keep one of these as a backup whenever I run out of my MAC one.

How do you wash them?
I wash each one individually, starting by running the hairs under some water (avoiding the part where the metal meets the handle) always keeping the brush facing downwards to prevent water getting inside the brush and loosening the hairs. Then I just put some cleanser in my hand and wash the brush until all the makeup is gone. Then just rinse, and lay the brushes flat to prevent water from seeping in. Voila! 

How about DIY brush cleanser or baby shampoo?
Using baby shampoo is great for eye makeup brushes, but for the skin it's important to use something with an anti-bacterial formula to kill the germs that accumulate on the brushes. 

I've tried Michelle Phan's DIY brush cleanser which consists of anti bacterial dishwashing liquid (to remove bacteria and grease) and olive oil (to soften), but my brushes were either too dry or too oily, so wasn't a big fan. I also recently heard about EnKore's brush cleaning recipe and have read mixed reviews, but it's worth a shot if you want to save a few extra dollars in the long run. You can find his recipe here

Overall, I like to stick to the three cleansers above! I think they do a great job and are worth investing in if you have acne-prone skin like I do and want to make sure you're brushes get a nice clean. 

Hope you guys found this helpful!! Keep the questions & requests coming. Love you all  XOXO


  1. I tried Michelle Phan's DIY and wasn't a big fan either. I use any shampoo I have on hand and find that it does a decent job! :)

  2. I usually use a shampoo for baby and I am very satisfied

  3. Thanks annie! I've been waiting for this one! :) you're the best! :D

  4. Hi Annie...I´m a huge fan of your blog! Thanks for the tips!

  5. Hi Annie, could you please introduce all ur brushes in your photo? thanks :D

  6. MAC Brush Cleanser is a wonderful product! Definitely my favorite as well.

    Liesl xxx

  7. Hi Annie, Could you tell me how you remove face makeup(foundation)? :)

  8. Hey Annie!!! Thnk you soo much for posting this been waiting for so long!! :D :D :D XOXO

  9. It seems we had the same idea here ha! I actually use MP's recipe and it works! Just 1/ 4of oil approx and a dishwasher that removes the grease.

  10. hi Annie, Please tell me which brands do you recommend mostly for brushes thumps up for this so that Annie answer my question:)

    1. I want to know tooo, which ones are the best..