The key to expert makeup application lies in having quality brushes, but you can't expect a flawless look if you don't regularly clean those babies.
Your makeup brushes collect everything they touch - from cosmetics to the oil on your face. This can mean muddy looking colors, as well as rashes or breakouts from bacteria and residue hiding in the bristles. Here are some tips for keeping your makeup brushes clean and in good shape.
For soft brushes and sponges
Eye shadow, foundation and blush brushes, especially premium tools like the chantecaille travel brush set, are made with materials designed for even, gentle application, meaning the bristles tend to be very soft and sometimes made of natural fibers. As such, you'll want to go easy on them.
There's no need to buy cleansers made specifically for cleaning your makeup brushes, because fragrance-free baby shampoo or other gentle soaps work well. Apply the cleanser to a sponge or washcloth and lather with warm water, then sweep your brushes on it until they're sufficiently soapy. Rinse brushes until the water runs clean, and be sure to point the bristles downward as you rinse so they keep their shape and also so the base doesn't get water-logged.
Press excess water out of the bristles and lay them flat to dry. Never let them dry bristles-up, as this could also misshape the brushes and lead to longer drying times.
Reusable sponges, such as the beautyblender, can be soaked in warm, soapy water and squeezed until the water runs clear, then rinsed with water only. Lay these to dry on a towel or a rack, and don't use them again until they're completely dry, otherwise you'll end up with muddy makeup.
For stiff-bristle brushes
Brushes made for eyeliner and brows tend to have sturdier bristles to create defined lines and put brows in their place. They also have to stand up to products like gel or cream eyeliner, brow wax and heavily pigmented powders, so a drop of baby shampoo may not cut it when cleaning these tools.
Instead, soak a cotton ball in a bit of olive or almond oil and apply it to your brushes, being careful not to saturate them as this could dissolve the glue holding the bristles in place. Let the oil do its work dissolving the residue, then wash your brushes as normal with a bit of mild, fragrance-free cleanser.