During my many sessions of nosing through the make-up bags of others, never have I encountered a brush in a state that didn’t prompt explaining on the part of the owner. With each brush pulled out of the bag, along comes an excuse: “ah, that – I usually clean it but I’ve been really busy”; “I’ve been meaning to go through my brushes for ages but they seem to still be working okay”; “God, that’s disgusting – I hadn’t really looked at them for ages,” etc. etc.
My response is always the same: brushes when caked cannot apply colour properly, are riddled with bacteria, and being busy is really no excuse – washing a brush is the work of a couple of seconds. So emphatic do I feel about the whole clean brush thing, that I wrote a longer post here on the subject to accompany a video I painstakingly filmed on an iPhone. If you don’t feel swayed to buy this week’s recommended product, at least use one of those methods to keep your brushes clean (I wash mine with each use, but weekly is fine for colour brushes, though I’d suggest washing anything you apply base with more often).
That said, if you’re a bit rubbish at getting round to washing your brushes, I couldn’t more heartily recommend getting your hands on the Sigma Spa Express Brush Cleaning Glove. As I tend to put dirty brushes in an old jar and wash them all weekly, I found my hands were getting very dry from all the shampoo and water action. This glove nixed all that: just pop it under running water in the sink*, squeeze a touch of shampoo/brush cleaner onto the brush or glove and gently swirl the bristles onto the texturised surface. Side benefit nobody seems to talk about in reviews: it’s really quite fun to use. So hopefully you will. Please. I may well cry if presented with another matted brush.
* Sigma suggest putting it on your hand, but I found mine still became wet so have found a way to just hold it by the corner and let the sink and water do the rest of the work.