There are two ways to clean your make-up brushes, either with soap and water or a specific make-up brush cleaner. I prefer to wash the natural hair brushes in water as I feel they get a proper clean with the water circulating right inside the middle of the brush. My routine starts by cleaning the sink with an antibacterial cleaner, fill the sink up with hot water but not too hot just a temperature that your hand can withstand. Lather up a few of the brushes at a time with an antibacterial gel such as a hand wash and then immerse into the water swirling around and thoroughly washing out all of the soap. Don’t get the wooden part of the brush wet, stop at the metal area. Press the hairs back into shape as you squeeze out the excess water with your fingers and dry lying down flat on some clean tissue. Don’t dry upright in a glass jar as the water will run down and collect at the base of the brush and start to weaken the glue that’s holding the hairs together (once the brush has dried you can store it upright). I find that brushes used for mascara clean better with soap and water.
Synthetic haired brushes clean better with brush cleaner although you can wash them with water but it never cleans them quite as thoroughly as the brush cleaner. This is because most products that use a synthetic haired brush are more wax and oil based so they don’t mix that well with water. My favourite brush cleaner is from Supercover (only available to professionals with a trade account) it has a light oily feel which conditions the brush hairs and is fantastic at removing oil and wax based products or just anything that’s become stubborn and difficult to shift. You can pour some into a small container and then dip your brush in rubbing it clean into a tissue, or I prefer to apply it to the tissue and then rub my brush into the tissue till it’s clean.
I like to wash my brushes with soap and water when I have the time to let them dry otherwise brush cleaner comes in really handy for quick cleaning in between clients. Soap and water can also be a little drying to the brush hairs so I do like to clean and condition them with the Supercover brush cleaner in between so it mixes it up. My personal brushes are stored upright in a glass and kept in a cupboard so they stay clean, my professional brushes are placed into their brush roll once they have dried where they can be kept clean till they are next used.