How To Soften A Makeup Brush
As I’m sure many of you know, I have a loving relationship with my MAC 187 brush. Not quite sonnet-writing, serenading love – but I do adore it. Now I’ll admit, a $42 USD brush is not an easy leap to make. It took a bad, hormonal day to push me to buy mine! So what was I to do when, 7 months of daily use found me staring at my 187 wondering why it had suddenly lost its softness?
You Will Need:
- Your Makeup Brushes (only those that require softening)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- A Roll of Paper Towels or a Hand Towel
- Shampoo/Gentle White Soap/Brush Cleanser
- A Towel
- Running Water (A sink or a bathtub if you like to play submarine with your brushes.)
1. Find a surface that you won’t mind having to wipe down a bit later. Don’t do this on a fabric or non-wipeable surface.
2. Taking either a few layered paper towels or your hand towel, fold it into a surface large enough to swirl all sizes of your brush heads.
3. Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil onto the center of the hand towel or paper towel surface.
4. Take your brush heads and swirl them into the olive oil until they look clean. If necessary, pour more olive oil to ensure all bristles are coated thoroughly. In the case of my 187, which is duo fiber, I also made sure to coat the natural hairs along with the synthetic ones.
5. Don’t be surprised if your brush sheds a bit – my 187, which hasn’t shed a hair in months lost quite a few hairs that the oil toggled loose.
6. Let the brushes sit in the olive oil for 3-5 minutes.
7. Now that your brushes are soaked in olive oil – it’s time to get them clean. Head on over to your sink with brushes and towel in hand. I assume your shampoo and conditioner are already there.
8. I wash my brushes by squeezing an appropriate amount of shampoo into my hand, moistening the hairs and swirling the brush in the shampoo. I rinse intermittently to make sure it gets thoroughly washed.
Alternately, I will wet the fibers and swirl the brush (rinsing intermittently again) into a bar of white, unscented Dove soap. I do this, gently squeezing (not tugging or pulling) the brush until it rinses clean.
As always, remember to avoid getting the ferrule of your brush wet. It can shorten the life of your brush as well as encourage bacterial growth.
9. When your brushes are washed, squeeze some conditioner into the palm of your hand and coat the brush head thoroughly. Let the brush sit in the conditioner for an additional 3-5 minutes. Then, rinse your brush thoroughly.
10. Either by rolling up your towel on one end, or placing something underneath it – create a slanted surface with your towel. Set the brushes with the heads going down the slanted surface to dry.
11. Voila! When your brushes are dry you should find they are soft-as-new!
This method of softening/cleaning may be a bit too intense for some brushes. Oils are heavy and you may risk losing too many hairs if you do this too often. But every once in a while, a deep softening and cleaning like this can prolong the life of your brushes and save you a pretty penny!
All for now~