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What’s the best way to clean my makeup brushes?

The question

Can you suggest a method I can use to cleanse my makeup brushes? And how often should I be doing it?

The answer

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If you love your brushes, you should be washing them weekly and with the right cleansers.

Natural bristles need gentle shampoos and brush cleansers (I use Quo Purifying Brush Shampoo), whereas synthetic brushes need something a little stronger, like a mild bar soap.

When cleaning them, soak the bristles in lukewarm water. Do not immerse the metal portion that holds the bristles in place or you risk loosening the bristles. Take the brush out, then apply a small amount of cleanser and lather up to remove the makeup. Rinse well to ensure that all the cleanser and product are gone. Lay the brushes flat to dry and, if possible, with the bristles hanging over the edge of a table (they will dry faster this way).

If you are looking for a quick fix, try a brush-cleaning spray, which can be found at most drugstores. These products tend to contain alcohol and may strip your brushes of their natural shape, so try not to rely in them too heavily.

A gentle weekly cleaning routine is much kinder to your bristles.

Bahar Niramwalla is a celebrity makeup artist and beauty specialist who has appeared on The Marilyn Denis Show on CTV. Follow her on Twitter: @baharniramwalla. Have a beauty question? E-mail

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