How to clean makeup brushes

A necessary evil. That's what I think when I have to wash my makeup brushes. It's a chore that I tend to put off as much as possible...

A necessary evil. That's what I think when I have to wash my makeup brushes. It's a chore that I tend to put off as much as possible, but it comes to a point that you keep buying new brushes to avoid washing the old ones...and then you end up with 50 dirty brushes, and quite literally two hours of your time down the drain.
Wouldn't it be nice if makeup brushes could stay magically clean all the time?

Some people may find it relaxing, but I find washing brushes to be such a chore because it eats up so much time! However, it is a necessary evil because it is an absolute must to keep brushes clean. You don't want gunky old makeup stuck to the bristles. Your skin will not like this. Makeup colors will no longer translate well when applied. And I find keeping both brushes and makeup clean and sanitized extends their life spans by leaps and bounds.

If you tend to procrastinate with this chore like me, the first piece of advice I would share is to wash 5 or 10 at a time instead of tackling an entire pile all at once. If you have a job and family and friends and hobbies and a life in general, two hours washing brushes is a lot to ask. But if you work with makeup on a daily basis, as a makeup artist or as someone like me who wears it probably 360 days a year, you have to make time for it. I've found myself much more willing to do the job if I only wash a few at a time, even if it's over several sessions. (Having Spotify on helps!) If you prefer to deal with it all at once, I salute you!

Do not wash your brushes too frequently. Always exposing them to water and soap may cause the bristles to fall out. To keep your brushes clean at all times, spot clean with a spray cleanser. You can DIY, but I find it too much of a hassle so I just buy ready-made ones. Spray on the bristles, wipe off on a face towel and see the gunk come off. Some people opt for paper towels, but clean old towels are way more environmentally friendly.
Spot clean between washes with spray cleansers.
Got these from Beauty Manila, Bonmarchepage, and H&M in Barcelona.

I know all bloggers and YouTubers have their makeup standing in cups on their dressers, but I live in a dusty city (sigh). My makeup brushes live in a drawer to keep them protected from dirt.

I deep clean my brushes by washing them with shampoo once a month, but you can do it twice a month if you're an even bigger clean freak than I am.

To avoid wasting running water, dip dirty brushes bristles-down in a cup of water when you're getting ready to wash. Just like the hair on your head, shampoo works much better when hair is totally soaked instead of just wet. Make sure the water level isn't far up past the ferrules (metal part of the brush) or you'll loosen the glue holding the brush hairs together.

Brush shampoos from Beauty Manila, Althea Korea, and the classic Johnson's baby shampoo.

I wash my brushes using Johnson's baby shampoo or any of these brush shampoos I've picked up here and there. Just a drop is enough for a small or not-so-dirty brush, but you'll definitely need more for foundation brushes. Those are the toughest to wash, by far! Massage gently on your hand or use a brush egg to rinse out dirt and pigments. I've even used this silicone potholder from Daiso as a cleaning surface, just to prevent my hands from getting raw. But your fingers are still the best bet for working through bristles to get brushes really clean. Be gentle and don't pull on the hairs, and always wash brushes bristles-down to prevent water from seeping into the ferrules.

If you find that a brush is still not clean enough, simply wash again with Ivory bar soap. I've been double washing for years and Ivory bar soap will not hurt your brushes or make them stiff. Don't forget to wash the handles, too.

After washing, rinse really well, then (gently!) squeeze out excess water from the bristles. Lay flat to dry overnight on a towel (or one of those brush trees if you're fancy). Then be proud of yourself and get on with the rest of your life!

Swatches: Clinique Pop Liquid Matte Lip Colour

I've got swatches of six shades of the Clinique Pop Liquid Matte Lip Colour + Primer here! Couldn't resist swatching these on a visi...

I've got swatches of six shades of the Clinique Pop Liquid Matte Lip Colour + Primer here! Couldn't resist swatching these on a visit to the Clinique store at SM Seaside City.
 Swatches on NC25-30 skin:
Flame Pop, Black Licorice Pop, Sweetheart Pop,
Candied Apple Pop, Petal Pop, Cake Pop
Each shade is true to color from what you see from the rectangular frosted tube. Each swatch was just one smooth and easy swipe. Check out how pigmented each one is, and how evenly the color glides on.
The wands are itty bitty since these come in your regular lipstick size instead of the longer tubes that liquid lipsticks normally come in. The tiny wand means lots more control, and the applicator picks up enough product to coat the lips with one go.

I can't review this product just yet; I held myself back because I still have many liquid lipsticks to use up! (Yes, I exercise self control sometimes with makeup shopping.) I try not to hoard liquid products because those spoil so easily. But believe me, I was super tempted - Sweetheart Pop and Candied Apple Pop look right up my alley! I wasn't surprised to hear that Cake Pop is a bestseller, since it's a safe "everyday" color. 

Here's how the Clinique website describes these:
"Lightweight liquid lipstick covers lips with lush pigment and a modern matte finish. Wears all day. Moisturizing formula with built-in primer provides a smooth, even glide so lips feel as fresh as they look."

In Cebu, Clinique has a counter at Rustan's Department Store in Ayala Center, and its own boutique at SM Seaside City. Are you heading over to pick up one of these gorgeous lipsticks?

Clinique at SM Seaside City Cebu

Clinique is one of the brands that I have been using ever since I started getting into makeup and skin care. I first encountered the Dramati...

Clinique is one of the brands that I have been using ever since I started getting into makeup and skin care. I first encountered the Dramatically Different moisturizing lotion in high school, and I have been using it on and off ever since. Clinique's just so reliable like that, and I think that's why many have patronized the brand for decades. I don't think its branding is meant for Clinique to have the trendiest makeup, but you'll notice in the past few years that they have really been stepping up their game with more on-trend products (liquid lipsticks, highlighters, etc.) while having their bestsellers permanently available.

The recently opened store at SM Seaside City is consistently Clinique. By this, I mean the store looks just like how its ads are; very clean and simple, mostly white with pops of color, and putting all visual focus on the products themselves (no model, no backgrounds, no fancy typefaces). Take a little tour around the store through the photos below:
Can't miss the bright white boutique. The seating area is awesome for those who want to get off their feet, or to park the bored husband while you test swatch everything.


A fun display of one of Clinique's bestsellers in the Philippines and worldwide: the Chubby Stick in heaps of colors!


White lighting all around the products make it really easy to see everything. 

Men's skin care in man-friendly gray packaging.

Pep-Start, Clinique's newest line of multi-taskers designed for millennials who are always on the go. (Here's one who maintains a blog, writes two newspaper columns, and works a full-time office job...yours truly!) 

Pep-Start eye cream, exfoliating cleanser, and moisturizer.

Wonderfully neat rows of makeup! (i.e. what my makeup table will never look like)

So easy to differentiate each product and each color. The only confusion is which ones to buy without spending all your money! I was so tempted to get the highlighter stick and the bottom-lash mascara. Soon, perhaps :)

A glass table in the middle holds more makeup testers. These are the ultra pigmented Clinique Pop lipsticks.

A wall of bestsellers beside a vanity area with great lighting.

The smiling store supervisor has been with Clinique for 11 years - and of course has perfect skin!

Monthly favorites: Forever 21 cotton pads, Morphe 35T palette

January zipped by super fast! In month-end/start-of-the-month fashion, I thought I'd share with you some old and new favorites in the p...

January zipped by super fast! In month-end/start-of-the-month fashion, I thought I'd share with you some old and new favorites in the past few weeks.


Forever 21 cotton pads
I picked these up on a whim from one of the bins of knickknacks that Forever 21 traps you with while you're queuing to pay. I swear I'm not obsessed with these just because they have the cutest little bunnies embossed on them. With my usual night toner and serum, these pads do an awesome job at lifting off the last makeup and dirt from my face. They somehow do it better than the cotton balls or other cotton pads I've used, without using more toner or serum. I only wish they were cheaper. These are P160 for a box of 110 pads. That's still not really expensive since 110 pieces will last for about three months with daily use, but that's more than I usually spend for cotton pads.

NYX Cosmetics blush in Taupe
My skin is too light at the moment to use my orangey bronzers, so I've been reaching for my trusty old Taupe powder blush by NYX for my cheek contour. If you have fair to medium skin with neutral to cool undertones, this is a good affordable powder to contour with. It's not heavily pigmented, so most people won't be able to tell you've been sculpting your features with this!

K Palette Real Lasting Eyebrow pen
I previously reviewed and have since used up the K Palette two-way eyebrow pen, but I think I like this one better without the powdery eyebrow base. If you hate the dark, ultra sculpted brows that were all the rage last year thanks to a certain Jenner, you'll love this super natural-looking pen eyebrow pen that lasts all day and through Zumba class. Natural brows are much more 2017, by the way! 

Morphe 35T eyeshadow palette
This is a recent acquisition, but I loved it from first use. Many people talk about the 35O palette, which is all warm neutrals, but the purple, bronze and taupe (the "T" in 35T) colors in this palette are more appealing to me. This is my first encounter with Morphe eyeshadows and I'm definitely already a fan. Some are more pigmented than others, but they apply evenly and blend so incredibly smoothly together. On me, these shadows last all day. You don't always get that softness and longevity from less expensive palettes. The 35 pans in the palette are as big as single MAC shadow pans, but you get this entire palette for the price of two MAC singles. 


A version of this post was previously published in SunStar Cebu.

Review and swatch: Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour Stick Blush No. 21

I bought this blush completely on a whim when I was invited for a luxurious makeover session at the Chanel beauty counter in Rustan's. W...

I bought this blush completely on a whim when I was invited for a luxurious makeover session at the Chanel beauty counter in Rustan's. With a luxurious brand comes a matching price tag, so I was worried I would regret this purchase after I took it home with me. A product can be really different with personal use compared to when a makeup artist is applying all sorts of things using professional techniques on you.
Thank goodness I've had no buyer's remorse with the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour Stick Blush in No. 21 (now, if only it had a shorter name!). I did give it several months of use before reviewing to see if I truly love it, and I do. It's so pretty and easy that any makeup lover will have no trouble using it, no professional techniques required.
No. 21 is a beautiful coral-pink that leans a bit on the warm side. It's the type of color that is gorgeous by itself or with a full face of makeup. I've tried it with different makeup looks and it fares well with more natural looks, or a heavier eye and lip. The color is not too pink and not too orange, so it works well with either warm or cool tones on the face.

Although it's called sheer, it's something you can layer on for a more intense flush. There's a teeny bit of shimmer when you look at it from the tube, but I can't see the shimmer on the skin. The swatch below is a single swipe and honestly doesn't justify how pretty this is on on the face, but in case you haven't noticed, this beauty blogger is a little camera-shy on her own blog!
One to two swipes per cheek, some blending with my fingers, and this blush is done. It settles on the skin so well that it doesn't look like flat matte pigment is sitting on your face. It's not at all sticky like some cream blushes can be. On me, the color stays on for eight hours before it begins to fade. I think even if I used this daily, this tube is going to last a long time. It is lightly scented, but nothing that you can still smell after application.
Don't hate me for writing a review about a limited edition product! I won't say that it is a must-have because some people will find it too expensive, but because I love it so much, I don't regret buying this. If you are a fan of luxury cosmetics and Chanel releases this again, you will also love it if you're in search of a versatile cream blush that's fool-proof to use.