How to clean your makeup tools

It’s the task we’ve all been putting off for far too long; cleaning our makeup tools. Sure, it feels like a chore and a half—but an excess of leftover product on a brush or sponge can tamper with the colour of your products and even stop them from blending properly, ruining the finish of your makeup. More importantly—especially with everything going on right now—germs and bacteria can build up in that residue, which can then be transmitted onto your skin and eyes. This can cause irritation, breakouts and (in some cases) infections. No thank you!

This is a call for everyone to say “hi” to hygiene, and end the judgmental stare of the dirty brushes sitting on your vanity. We’re breaking it down.

Washing your brushes

... it's easier than you think.

1. Dispense a bit of MECCA MAX Sponge and Brush Shampoo into a small glass—it'll work to break down makeup residue, and includes tea tree oil to disinfect your brushes (score!).

2. Wet your brush with warm water, making sure to keep the brush angled down to avoid water getting into the head (this weakens the glue and makes your bristles fall out).

3. Dip the brush into the shampoo and swirl it on a MECCA MAX Brush Cleansing Pad. You can use your hands instead, but the pad's specialised grooves are great at catching every last remnant of product.

4. Rinse the soap out with more warm water and repeat until the water runs clear. Once the brush is fully clean, sluice out any excess water and mould the bristles back into their original shape.

5. Let dry on a bench overnight, with the head of the brush over the edge.

Keeping your brushes fresh between washes

Brush cleaning spray is practically attached to the hip of every makeup artist, and for good reason. An alcohol-based solution, it dissolves makeup residue left in your brush hairs and then dries within minutes. It also has antibacterial properties to instantly eliminate bad bacteria. Formulated with silk protein and vitamin B5 to condition and soften the bristles, Mecca Cosmetica's Brush With Success will work to refresh your brushes without drying them out.

1. Spray the mist onto a folded paper towel until it is damp but not soaked.

2. Then swirl your brush onto the damp area using the same motion you would to apply product to your face.

3. Leave it to dry for just a moment, and you're good to go.

While a cleaning spray is the perfect quick-fix in between applications, you should still be giving your tools a full clean at least weekly. We repeat: weekly.


Typically used with a wet product, foundation sponges are a bacteria’s dream home—so like your brushes, you should be giving them a thorough, soapy clean every week (and replacing it with a new one every three to four months).

1. Run your sponge under warm water from the tap until it’s completely soaked.

2. Gently massage a coin-sized amount of shampoo into it with your hands. If you prefer a solid soap—like the Malin + Goetz Peppermint Soap Bar—lightly rub the sponge back and forth on the bar until it lathers up, making sure to get every side before massaging the soap in.

3. Rinse the sponge under the water and squeeze it repeatedly until the water runs clear. Leave it aside on a paper towel to dry overnight.

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