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Makeup Brush Cleaning 101

We get it. Cleaning your makeup brushes is a total pain, but washing them weekly is essential to maintaining their shape and removing bacteria that can cause breakouts. Well-maintained brushes also allow for flawless blending and even makeup application.

Here’s the DIY makeup brush cleaning recipe we use at Thrive Causemetics® to maintain the integrity of our favorite makeup brushes:

  • ½ cup witch hazel
  • 2 tsp castile soap
  • 1 tsp nourishing oil (jojoba oil, olive oil, almond oil or avocado oil)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 mugs, drinking glasses, or bowls

Try it: Combine all ingredients in a bottle and shake until blended together. Store extra brush cleaner for future use.

To clean your brushes:

  1. Start by running your brushes under warm water to rinse out all residual makeup.

If your brushes are especially dirty or stained from highly pigmented makeup, using your second mug, let your brushes soak in a small amount of warm water.

Thrive Causemetics Brow Game Strong Mug with makeup brush


  1. Pour a small amount of your DIY makeup brush cleaner into a mug or class. Add a small amount of water and swirl your brush in the solution, then keeping the brush in at a downward angle to avoid getting water into the handle, also know as the farrell. 

For natural brush bristles, use a sweeping back-and-forth motion.

For synthetic bristles, swirl in a circular motion.

  1. Rinse brush under running water once again. Repeat steps two and three until water runs clear from your brush.
  2. Wipe your brush clean with a cloth or paper towel.
  3. Twirl brush at a downward angle to remove any additional water, then reshape and lay flat to dry.

And if all else fails, call Ryan Gosling to clean your makeup brushes for you. 

Ryan Gosling Hey Girl I Cleaned Your Makeup Brushes and Lashes Meme

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