How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes on a Budget

October 28, 2022 logo
By: | by L'Oréal
olea estates olive oil
If you’ve ever found yourself in desperate need of cleaning your makeup brushes on the spot, or you are just too lazy to buy a proper brush cleaner (guilty!) you’re not alone. Brush shampoo can be pricey and difficult to source — making household alternatives that much more enticing. But before you reach for the closest thing that looks like soap, make sure it’s safe to use on your beloved makeup brushes. We talked to three makeup artists about the makeup brush cleaner alternatives that will make your brushes squeaky clean without ruining them in the process.Here’s what they had to say.

Option 1: 2-in-1 Shampoo

For makeup artist Gabriel Almodovar, 2-in-1 shampoo is his go-to. According to Almodovar,  “The shampoo cleans the brush head while the conditioner helps keep the natural fibers soft and hydrated — any 2-in-1 will work.” If you can’t find a 2-in-1 formula, we recommend the Garnier Whole Blends Gentle Shampoo Oat Delicacy — a gentle cleanser that’s as softening and moisturizing as a conditioner.

Image of the Garnier Whole Blends Gentle Shampoo Oat Delicacy

Option 2: Olive Oil

Whether you’re using it to dip bread, condition your hair or cleanse your skin, olive oil is a multipurpose oil you can use almost anywhere. It’s also great for cleaning your brushes and a favorite of celebrity makeup artist Billie Gene. To clean your brushes, “Apply a small amount of olive oil onto a cloth and gently rub the bristles onto the cloth until clean, then simply rinse the brush with water.” This is also great for when your brushes are “out of whack” and helps to condition and reshape the bristles.

Image of Olea Estates olive oil

Option 3: Bar Soap and Rubbing Alcohol

Although makeup artist Kasey Spickard prefers to stick to traditional brush cleaners, there is one thing he’ll use in a pinch: plain bar soap to clean and 70% alcohol to disinfect. The combo works wonders, ensuring your brushes are squeaky clean and ready for use.

Image of Rite Aid rubbing alcohol
Photo: creative team

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