I had a very exciting experience a few days ago, though talking about it necessitates a confession I’m almost embarrassed to share. You might want to be sitting down for this one, folks:

I’d never washed my make-up brushes before.

by Anez Ash aged 31 & 1/4

I know, I know– Disgusting of me not to have done this before, right? Only, the thing is, before I started reading beauty blogs last year, I didn’t actually know you were supposed to. But, after dipping my toe into the world of eye shadow palettes (as opposed to, you know, wearing the same thing every day), I figured it was high time I got around to it.

…And it really was.

The amount of gunk that came out of those brushes haunts me to this day. There must have been more make-up on some of them than there is on a young one going to her first night at Wesley Disco. (In fact, I’m pretty sure some of those brushes are old enough to go to Wes themselves.)

However, I am pleased to report that it was more than worth the horror. After judicious application of No More Tears (though there were some tears as I attempted to break into the bottle– is that tough cap some new variant of child-proof, or are my fingers just pathetically weak?) and rinsing, I arranged them to dry on a towel overnight.

Here they are, all shiny and clean:


Some of these brushes are new, or newish, like the Inglot one. Some, like the Clinque, M&S, and Jemma Kidd, are a few years old. The mystery ones with the black handles are older still. So old, in fact, that I couldn’t tell you what brand they are– if memory serves, they came in a no-brand set, and there is a strong possibility that those brushes are actually old enough to vote.

Most of them have made their way to the great brush set in the sky, but those that remain see a lot of use. The teeny blusher brush is a fave of mine, and the spoolie brush has been sorting out my eyelashes since… Well, if I remember using it in my bedroom at Mum’s house? Definitely since a year that started with “19” rather than “20”. I’ve never yet found one to beat it. In fact, I’m actually a little afraid I’ve ruined its mojo by washing it, if its fantasticness came not from design but from layers and layers of old makeup– kind of like one of those cook’s skillets whose magic lies in years of flavour, built up over time.

Terror aside, it was definitely a worthwhile use of my time, and something I’ll be doing in the future– and I won’t wait years before going it again, either. As for whether or not my favourite brush has lost its magic… Well, I’ll let you know.

How often do you wash your brushes? Are you a brush-washing virgin like me? Do you have a brush you’re still using that make mine look like spring chickens? Do you have any brushes you think my collection is missing?

Drop me a line and let me know!


  1. Posted April 3, 2014 at 16:08 | Permalink | Reply

    I do wash my brushes but I’m not actually sure how often. Probably not often enough but I’m trying to do it more frequently!

    • Posted April 3, 2014 at 16:35 | Permalink | Reply

      I’m doing the same myself! It takes quite a long time for them to dry out, though, and that can be a little irritating…

      • Posted April 3, 2014 at 16:52 | Permalink | Reply

        Exactly. That’s the part that’s kind of a pain especially and I don’t have a ton of space to keep them all. I know there is a brush tree out there that let’s them hang upside down for drying which I’ve wanted to look into 🙂

        • Posted April 3, 2014 at 16:54 | Permalink | Reply

          Ooh, that’s a nice idea! I usually end up leaving mine sitting on a towel on my dressing table overnight in the hopes they will have dried out by morning (not always the case). The rest of the time, they sit in empty jam pots on top of my bits & bobs tower!

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