Beauty Basics DIY Makeup Makeup Products

So fresh. So clean.

Step by step details and some really helpful do's and don'ts for taking care of your brushes.

1. I love to use a gentle face wash for my brushes, they are formulated to break up makeup and are gentle seems like a perfect match. So I mix a dollop of Purity and some warm water in a shallow cup or bowl.
2. Next starting with my cleanest brushes first (the ones I use for dark shadow and eyeliner go last) I swirl it in the soap mix focusing mainly on the ends of the hair. I avoid soaking the root because it can weaken the glue and cause shedding.
3. Gently rinse with fresh water.
4. Lay on a towel to dry. (usually I do this at night so they have time to dry)

Cleaning your brushes regularly is REALLY important. It lengthens the life of the brushes, improves your makeup application and keeps you from spreading germs on yourf ace and causing breakouts.
It’s recommended that you clean them about once a week or once every 2 weeks.
Which is probably a great goal and everything but I don’t know that I have ever talked to a girl who actually cleans them that often so…

to keep my brushes sanitized and fresh in between uses and to stretch the time between shampoos I use this little recipe:

Quick everyday brush sanitizer!

1 Travel sized bottle (I got mine at Target for $1)
1.5 oz hot water
1/2 teaspoon conditioner (I use Wen but you can use any conditioner)
1.5 oz alcohol
Add hot water and conditioner to the bottle and shake well, poor in alcohol, store in a dry cool place.
Shake & lightly Spritz your brushes between uses.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Amanda McGuire
    February 13, 2013 at 2:34 am

    Once a week or once every two weeks? Eek!! I better get started!! Haha, thank goodness for your DIY cleaner because ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat! Lol, this was very helpful, thank you!!

  • Reply
    Vanessa Medina
    February 13, 2013 at 2:52 am

    Cara you are so awesome! Thank you! You inspire me with every single little thing you do and wear!!! Thank you! Love you!! God bless you now and always!!

  • Reply
    February 13, 2013 at 3:01 am

    You want to avoid warm water when you wash your brushes. I learned this in painting class, but it goes for make-up brushes too! Warm water easily melts the glue that holds the hairs together and in the brush. Cool water works best and you don’t have to worry about ruining your brushes!

  • Reply
    February 13, 2013 at 3:23 am

    I know you use a spray bottle to spray in between uses. I think vinegar and water would also do the trick. It disinfects and cleans in one spritz.

    Also, can you recommend a new set of brushes? I’m due for buying new brushes. Does Sephora have any good ones?

    • Reply
      February 13, 2013 at 9:39 am

      Sephora has great brushes, but they’re not cheap. I really like Eco Tools- I got a set at Wal-mart for like, $10 or something! They’re so soft and they’re better than my Quo brushes (and they’re eco friendly!)

    • Reply
      Erma Lefevre-Lane
      March 25, 2013 at 9:47 am and also have very affordable and excellent quality brushes. For example, you can purchase a very nice crease/blender brush on Coastalscents for about $2.95! I’ve found that many of their brushes are dupes for MAC brushes.

    • Reply
      July 21, 2013 at 3:56 am

      PIXIWOO’s Sam has developed her own set of brushes (Real Technique brand) which are very nice, and inexpensive. There is a nice range of brushes available. You can get then on Amazon.

  • Reply
    February 13, 2013 at 3:30 am

    Awesome..I just got my brushes this glad you posted this. Perfect timing. Thank You

  • Reply
    February 13, 2013 at 3:33 am

    After the Spritz do you rinse it off or let it dry as is?

  • Reply
    Maddy Cane
    February 13, 2013 at 5:57 am

    Thanks for the tips and you have reminded me that mine need to be done! xxx

  • Reply
    February 13, 2013 at 9:02 am

    I have heard that the alcohol in the brush spray, which is commonly used in department stores like Macy’s, dries out the brushes and makes them brittle. Is that true?

    • Reply
      July 26, 2014 at 9:01 pm

      Hi Kelsey. I went to esthetics school (skin care and makeup) and we were given some very high quality brushes in our makeup kit. I also added a bunch of elf brushes. we were taught to spray them with alcohol in between clients. needless to say they were sprayed several times a day for six months straight and the alcohol never did any damage to the expensive or cheapo brushes.

  • Reply
    February 13, 2013 at 10:00 am

    I wondered about the vinegar water as well. May be with a 1-2 drops of tea tree or lavender oil or some other oil with disinfecting and conditioning properties?

    Btw, just wanted to share that yesterday I went to ULTA to buy the NYX matte lipstick in Nude and the Concealer in Yellow and the make up artist there told me there is no way that lipstick would be nude on me or that the concealer would cover anything, just neutralize dark circles. But I trust you so I bought both items and tried them out right in front of her, telling her all about your blog. Sure enough, you were totally right!!! Both products looked great and she was just blown away. She told me to come back and tell her more about your tricks and tips lol. 🙂 Cara wins!

  • Reply
    Miss Viola Swamp (@imaqt209421)
    February 13, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    I just turned 30 and my resolution was to wash my brushes weekly and make sure I go to bed with no makeup on. Sounds simple but just those 2 changes have gotten me so many skin compliments! I also have been putting flax seed oil in my lunch salads (crossing my fingers this helps as well!) The brush cleaner I’ve been using is Clinique’s makeup brush cleaner.

  • Reply
    February 13, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    I love the Eco-tools those brushes are really soft 🙂 and they feel like nothing when you use them i have had a set of those brushes for abou 21/2 yrs n they are amaizing:)
    Buying brushes is not cheap :/ but taking good care of your brushes makes them last longer

  • Reply
    February 15, 2013 at 1:12 am

    Never thought of using facial cleanser. That makes sense. Have you seen the brush guards?
    You can get a set for $5 on Amazon. They are great because you slide them on the brush and then you can put the brushes in a class tip side down so any moisture drips down into the glass and not into the brush which will hurt the glue. They are also great to protect your brushes when traveling. PS. I was Ulta this week looking for some products you recommended.

  • Reply
    February 15, 2013 at 4:28 am

    I’ve read that witch hazel and water is a great sanitizer in between regular washing. Love your blog! You are so positive and relatable. Keep it coming!

  • Reply
    February 19, 2013 at 9:03 am

    You mentioned using Wen as the conditioner in your recipe–and I have been meaning to ask you … Are you still loving Wen? When you blogged about it awhile back ,you said you hadn’t used it very long, and I am wondering what you think now that it has been awhile. I have still been hesitant about buying it, it’s expensive and they want you to sign up for monthly shipments. BUT, if it works I will do it–Please let me know what you think about it!

    • Reply
      B La'Belle
      June 17, 2013 at 11:54 pm

      I would also like to hear back about this!

  • Reply
    March 18, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Wow!!! I just cleaned my brushes for the first time EVER and couldn’t believe how much stuff came out of them!! From now on, I will be cleaning my brushes a lot more often!!!

  • Reply
    April 4, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Great tip about focusing on the tips of the bristles rather than all total

  • Reply
    April 4, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    EEK! my puppy jumped on my lap (and laptop) before I finished my comment. What I meant to say is: Great tip about focusing on the tips of the bristles rather than the complete brush, esp. for liquid or cream foundations, etc. However, with brushes that I use for powders, do find that I need to “get in there” and clean more deeply. I have a duplicate set of all my favorite brushes and I do clean them at least once a week. This way, one set is drying while I can use the other. So far, I find the higher quality brushes will hold up to frequent cleaning.

  • Reply
    May 5, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    I use only one brushes for all my face (blush, powder, highlighter) so it gets dirty pretty easily. I clean it very rarely because every diy recipes I saw needed special ingredients and I told myself that I’ll do it later. Your recipe is perfect because it’s very simple and I didn’t need some weird stuff so I cleaned my brush today and I’ll do it very often now for sure! It was so dirty I had to wash it four times before it gets clean! When I think I was applying taht on my face this whole time…erkkkk…thank you so much I think you saved my skin today! (PS: I just discovered your blog and it’s been more than an hour that I am reading it , you’re amazing!)

  • Reply
    December 3, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    I am ALL about saving money and LOVE this idea. I usually have used in the past the Sephora brush spray but I think you converted me to this!
    Thank you!

  • Reply
    February 8, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    I think the Real Techniques brushes are the best bang for your buck! You can get them at Target or Ulta, probably other places too.

  • Leave a Reply