5 Tips to Keep Your Brushes In Top Shape
Brushes should, and will, last you many, many years if you take care of them properly. I have seen artists with brushes that are ten years old that look absolutely pristine when they are meticulously cared for!
Clean your brushes regularly. Whether you use baby shampoo or MAC’s Brush Cleanser ($11.00), it is imperative you make a point to clean the accumulated gunk out of your brushes. This is not only good hygeine (for you, your skin, etc.), but it keeps your brushes in good shape.
Always reshape your brushes while wet. Once you’ve washed your brushes, make sure you reshape them before they dry. Whatever shape your brushes are left in to dry is the same shape they will be when they are dry. You don’t want your contour brush looking like a tapered blush brush, do you? Similarly, if the shape is off, wetting/washing your brush will allow you to reshape a brush.
Never stand your brushes up to dry. You do not want to let in water or dampness into the ferrule portion of the brush (the metal part, right above the brush head), because it can weaken, errode, or loosen the ferrule making your brush wobbly. Always lay your blushes flat on an absorbent surface (like a wash cloth or towel–probably one dark in color!), and if you can manage it, turn your brushes after an hour or two.
Condition your brushes regularly. On top of cleaning, condition your brush with a quality hair conditioner will help keep the bristles soft. It’s not something that needs to be done as often general washing, but it is a good idea to do it often enough–like once a month. Mostly, it depends on how often you use and wash your brushes.
Wash brushes right away when using rich colors. It’s easy to stain a white-haired brush if you’re using a richly colored product, like Ruby Red pigment or True Chartreuse pigment. I remember using Flammable paint once, and it has forever-stained my 252 brush. One quick and dirty way to help minimize staining is to run the brush back and forth over a makeup remover wipe.
Share your own tips to keep your brushes in tip-top shape in the comments section!