Are Your Makeup Brushes Giving You Pimples?

When I moved to Hollywood, one of the first jobs I had was working at a beauty store that shall remain nameless. This nameless retailer sold everything from flat irons, to expensive Japanese lash strips, to wine bottle sized hairspray. I was in cosmetics heaven in this place, and wasted no time spending half of my paycheck on Too Faced and Urban Decay shadow palettes. I was so addicted to all the products, I can recall putting on my makeup with the sample and display tools and products before starting my shifts. Now you might be saying to yourself right about now, 'how gross!' considering EVERYONE and their mama has touched and smeared and lord knows what else to those same display tools and products. I know I am, just thinking about it. But cut me a little slack here, I was a little naive about hygiene- ok fine, ignorant. It all came to a head when I found myself comparing my skin a few months later to the rocky terrain of The Grand Canyon, yet the only way I knew how to fix it was to hide the problem with the same makeup.

Fast forward 8 years, I now find myself constantly being stopped in the cosmetics aisle or on the street by women inquiring about how I'm able to keep my skin so clear with the amount of makeup I use. Let's not misunderstand things here, I'm not walking around wearing the same amount of makeup as say a clown, but yes I do from time-to-time give myself a full BEAT. Gotta stay camera ready right?! So this constant question got me thinking back to my days at the nameless beauty store, and I finally just asked the next woman inquiring about my skin, "How often do you clean your brushes, and how do you clean them?" These two questions perplex most of the women I've spoke to before writing this post, which was usually followed by an unsure reply of 'every so often' or 'occasionally.' Both of which warranted my response of, "Let me help you expand that habit, and tell you about what's been working for me." So here we are- I'm going to help you figure out if your current brushes are giving you pimples, and if you aren't cleaning them regularly [as in after every use], then the answer is YES. I'm also going to show you how to ensure that their cleanliness is updated and upgraded so your skin can get back it's greatness. 

This guide to stepping up your brush cleaning game is not only super dope and easy, but it's also inexpensive because you'll be using products you already have in your kitchen. Who doesn't want to save a little cash when they can, huh?! Can't wait to share this with you lovelies so you'll be all fresh-faced with or without a beat! Soooo, without further ado...



  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Anti-bacterial Dishwashing Soap
  • Small Bowl
  • Dirty Makeup Brushes
  • Sink

Now you might be thinking to yourself why would I use oil to clean something when it's just going to make a super oily mess?! Well I would have to cordially disagree with you on that one and explain le process. I'll set you up with this analogy: think of your skin like a painter's canvas, and you've just painted a beautiful landscape using oil based paint. That paint needs to be removed and cleaned from the brushes, but you can't use anything too strong that it dries out your brushes. If you want to keep those paint brushes for the long haul, you've got to keep the brush hairs in pristine condition. Most painters use paint thinners like turpentine to remove paint, but we obviously aren't going to use anything that harsh on our precious and beautiful skin nor our makeup brushes that we use on our skin. Now let's put this analogy in context. Since our skin is truly like a canvas, and we've just spent time making it colorful and dramatic (or making flawless brows from here), we have to remember that during the course of creating a masterpiece, we've also picked up oils from our skin. So not only are our makeup brushes covered in makeup in various textures (liquid, cream, and powder) but they also contain the oils from our skin as we apply our makeup with them. If we don't clean our brushes regularly, that skin oil we picked up during that last epic beat, starts to grow skin irritating bacteria, which is no bueno. So to avoid that, let's clean some brushes shall we? Oh and did I mention we are going to tackle this in 3 easy steps??? Let's start things off with a cool infographic illustrating our cleaning process.




STEP 1:  

Get ready to give your dirty brushes a thorough yet gentle cleaning! Grab your supplies and mix the liquids together in your bowl.


Whisk each one of your brushes in the mixture until thoroughly coated and set aside in your sink. The mixture will start to look pretty murky but trust the process and keep going.


Once you've coated each brush thoroughly and set aside, pour out the murky mixture and fill your bowl with clean water (don't worry its environmentally safe and won't clog your drains). Pick up each brush and whisk heavily through the water in your bowl one by one. You'll need to pour out the water in your bowl and re-fill it a number of times to ensure that each brush is thoroughly clean and back to it's original color. Gently squeeze out any excess water from your brushes and store them bristle-side down in a well ventilated area (Tip: I hang my clean brushes in my toothbrush holder to dry). Let dry for a minimum of 24 hours.



See, I told you, super duper easy and affordable to clean your brushes. I can't tell you how much money I've spent over the years on fancy brush cleaners, only to be disappointed with how much product I had to use in order to thoroughly clean them. And need I remind you, those store bought brush cleaners ain't cheap! Once I learned this technique a few years ago, I haven't looked back. I hope you have found this brush cleaning guide useful and you'll add it to your beauty and hygiene arsenal.  

Comment below and let us know how this #BrushCleanse works for you. And please don't forget to hit us up on Twitter and IG and @ us whilst using #BrushCleanse during your brush adventures!



beauty, makeup, brows


A well-shaped brow says a lot about the person they're on. It says you care about the way you look, you recognize and appreciate your features, and that you know a thing or two about STYLE (generally). A clean well-shaped brow also makes it easier to get away with wearing little to no makeup, YAY! Coincidentally, an over-plucked brow, bad brow wax job, or even those unnaturally shaped brows drawn on by something possibly made from the Crayola family, can  magnify fine lines, dark circles, or the even the best highlight/contour or your life. 

I sat down with famed celebrity makeup artist Meko White, in The Paper Doll House (who also happens to be a celebrity brow guru and one of my fav MUA to work with), to help design a plan on how to achieve the brows that you've always wanted (in 10 minutes!!!)   


Why do you think people are intimidated by doing their brows? Is it really that complicated?


I honestly think people are intimidated about brows because they're such an important part of the structure of one's face. They actually frame it, and add to the defining of your features. But keeping them up, and making them look natural and effortless isn't complicated at all. Like most things, it just takes a little practice and patience. 


What's the ideal brow shape? Can anyone achieve it?


The ideal brow shape is very natural and feathered. Believe it or not, it's your own natural brow shape, and cleaning up a few hairs here and there. Everyone has a different hair growth pattern and shape, so the best way to find your TRUE BROW is  to let your brows grow out for 3-4 months [I know, the horror]. You'll be able to find your ideal arch and see what you're working with, as I know a lot of folks have been found guilty of not treating their brows very kindly with tweezers. 


                               Model: Taylor Marie Hill

                               Model: Taylor Marie Hill


Once they're grown out, what would you recommend doing in order to clean up those 'here and there' hairs?


Only tweeze the hairs that allow you to open your outer arch (see pic below). I think it's fair to say that most people want thicker and fuller brows, rather than thin finer brows that must be completely filled in. I've also seen a lot of natural brows with no ends, which is a NO NO! You should tweeze little or no hairs from the ends of your brow, and make sure the hairs trail off in an upward direction, and not abruptly come to a halt. 



You have this 10-minute brow technique that I LIVE for! Can you demonstrate it and tell our readers what tools they need to achieve this 10-minute brow?


Absolutely! Let's break this down step-by-step:

  1. Find a brow brush- This tool can be found out your local drugstore, cosmetics store (Sephora, Ulta, etc.), or you can even take the wand from an empty tube of mascara (just make sure you wash it thoroughly of any pigments that are from the used mascara).
  2. Grab a eyebrow pencil, brow pomade, or brow powder/stick to help define your natural arch and brow shape- You'll need to find a pencil/pomade/powder that's a shade darker than your natural brow hair color. Remember we are going for natural here :) You really want to define the shape with a "light" hand. Nothing too harsh, and nothing to striking. Going too heavy-handed can often times define a shape that makes you have a 'surprised' expression on your face, which we want to avoid.
  3. A good full-coverage concealer- This tool is for carving out that beautiful shape you just created and extenuate the brow bone. You'll want to choose a concealer that has a hue 3-4 shades lighter than your natural skin tone.
  4. Wallah!





The first episode of "Inside The Paper Doll House" with host, Blayre Mic. This is a how-to guide about creating the perfect brow taught by celebrity make-up artist, Meko White.

Brow Products We Love

L.A. Girl Pro Concealer HD Easy to apply concealer that lasts all day and can help carve out those gorgeous brows.  

L.A. Girl Pro Concealer HD

Easy to apply concealer that lasts all day and can help carve out those gorgeous brows.


Tweezerman  Great for catching even the tiny hairs that cover your natural arch.


Great for catching even the tiny hairs that cover your natural arch.

NYX Brow Pencil and Brush An awesome 2-step tool to raise your brow game.

NYX Brow Pencil and Brush

An awesome 2-step tool to raise your brow game.