How should you store your makeup brushes?

Proper storage of makeup brushes is essential for maintaining their quality and hygiene. Here are some quick answers to common questions about storing makeup brushes:

How often should you clean your makeup brushes?

You should deep clean your makeup brushes every 1-2 weeks. This removes built up makeup, oil, and bacteria. Quick clean them with a brush shampoo or brush cleaner after each use to remove residual makeup.

What is the best way to clean makeup brushes?

Fill a bowl with warm water and add a small amount of gentle brush shampoo or soap. Swirl the brush bristles in the water, gently massaging the bristles to loosen the makeup. Rinse until the water runs clear. Lay flat on a towel to air dry.

Where should you store clean makeup brushes?

Clean brushes should be stored upright in a cup, holder, or jar. This allows air circulation to dry the bristles and prevents bending the bristle shape. Avoid storing in enclosed pouches or drawers.

Should you store makeup brushes in their original packaging?

It’s best not to store clean brushes in their original plastic packaging. This can trap moisture and prevent the bristles from drying fully. Original brush sleeves are best for travel or protecting the brushes when not in use.

What materials are best for makeup brush storage?

Look for storage containers made of porous materials like ceramic, wood, stainless steel, or mesh. Avoid storing brushes in containers that are fully enclosed or made from non-breathable materials.

Where should you keep your makeup brush storage containers?

Store your brush storage containers in a dry area away from humidity, heat, and direct sunlight. Your bedroom or bathroom counter are convenient places with proper conditions.

Can you store clean and dirty brushes together?

Always store clean and dirty brushes separately to prevent cross contamination. Have designated holders, jars, or cups for clean versus dirty brushes.

What are signs your brushes need to be cleaned?

Signs your makeup brushes need cleaning include:

  • Visible buildup of makeup or residue on the bristles
  • The bristles feel stiff and less smooth
  • The brushes smell off or funky
  • Applying makeup with the brushes doesn’t go on as evenly


Proper brush storage keeps your makeup brushes in optimal condition between uses. Storing them upright in breathable containers allows them to dry fully and retain their shape. Separate clean brushes from dirty ones to prevent bacteria growth. Deep clean brushes every 1-2 weeks to remove residue and extend their lifespan.

Here are some key tips to remember for storing your makeup brushes:

  • Let brushes air dry upright after cleaning
  • Store in open, breathable containers
  • Keep separate from dirty brushes
  • Deep clean every 1-2 weeks
  • Avoid storing in fully enclosed spaces
  • Use porous materials like ceramic, wood, steel
  • Keep in a dry area away from humidity

Properly caring for your makeup brushes results in better application and a more hygienic beauty routine. Investing in quality storage helps extend the life of your brushes so you don’t have to replace them as often.

Different Types of Makeup Brushes and How to Store Each

There are many different types of makeup brushes, each designed for applying different products. The storage needs can vary slightly depending on the brush. Here are some common makeup brushes and tips for storing each:

Foundation Brush

  • Densely packed, domed brush
  • Use open container so dense bristles can dry
  • Don’t store upright as it can bend top of bristles

Concealer Brush

  • Small, flat paddle shaped tip
  • Lay flat or store handle down to retain shape

Blush Brush

  • Fluffy, slightly tapered bristles
  • Store handle up to avoid flattening full bristle shape

Highlighting Brush

  • Small dense brush with tapered point
  • Store horizontally or with handle down

Eyeshadow Brush

  • Fluffy, dome-shaped tip
  • Store handle up to maintain form

Eyeliner Brush

  • Very thin, dense, angled bristles
  • Store horizontally or tip down to retain precise point

Lip Brush

  • Small, thin brush with tapered tip
  • Store horizontally or tip down

Brow Brush

  • Short, angled bristles
  • Store horizontally or tip down

Try grouping eye brushes, face brushes, and lip brushes in separate containers for convenience. Always clean thoroughly between uses and allow to dry before returning to storage.

DIY Makeup Brush Storage Solutions

Don’t want to spend money on fancy makeup brush holders? Here are some easy DIY solutions for storing brushes using items you already have at home:

Coffee Mugs

Clean out old mugs and use them to store brushes handle side down. Opt for wide mugs that give brushes space.

Glasses or Jars

Collect small jars, glasses, or containers and fill with brushes. Look for sizes that allow brushes to fit without cramming.

Silverware Holders

Use empty silverware holders or utensil crocks to neatly store brushes handle up.


Turn cups into DIY brush holders. Sturdy materials like ceramic or stainless steel work best.

Magnetic Strip

Affix a magnetic strip to your wall and secure brush heads facing down. The handles stick up for easy access.

Rotating Makeup Organizers

Multi-tiered lazy susans provide handy rotating storage for brushes and other supplies.

Desktop Organizers

Repurpose desktop organizers with compartments to separate brush types.

Things to Avoid When Storing Makeup Brushes

Certain practices can actually damage your makeup brushes. Here are some things to avoid:

  • Storing brushes while wet – promotes mold and bacteria growth
  • Sealing in plastic bags or cases – prevents drying and creates moisture
  • Leaving dirty brushes together – spreads germs and oils between brushes
  • Tossing brushes loosely into drawers – can damage and bend bristles
  • Letting brushes touch counter surface – picks up more germs
  • Keeping near heat or sunlight – can damage and fade
  • Storing handle down for fluffy brushes – distorts bristle shape

Signs You Need New Makeup Brushes

When should you replace old, worn out makeup brushes? Here are some signs it’s time to get new ones:

  • Bristles are splayed, bent out of shape
  • Tips appear frayed and damaged
  • Shedding excessively
  • Stains remain even after thorough cleaning
  • Bristles feel scratchy and rough on skin
  • Makeup no longer applies evenly
  • Difficult to thoroughly clean and remove buildup
  • Unpleasant odor persists

Quality makeup brushes can last years with proper care. But once the bristles show excessive signs of wear, it’s best to replace them.

How Often Should You Replace Makeup Brushes?

Here are general guidelines on when you should aim to replace different makeup brush types:

Brush Type Replace Every
Foundation brushes 6 months – 1 year
Blush brush 1 – 2 years
Highlight brush 1 – 2 years
Eye shadow brushes 1 – 2 years
Concealer brush 6 months – 1 year
Lip brush 6 months – 1 year
Brow brush 4 – 6 months
Eyeliner brush 6 months – 1 year

Replace brushes used for liquid and cream products more frequently. Always replace immediately if bristles are heavily damaged.

How to Clean Makeup Brush Storage Containers

Dirty makeup brushes aren’t the only thing that needs regular cleaning. The storage containers can collect residue and bacteria as well. Here are some tips for cleaning them:

  • Wash with warm, soapy water. Avoid harsh chemicals.
  • For deeper cleaning, soak container in warm water mixed with a very small amount of gentle shampoo or soap. Swirl to loosen makeup buildup. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Disinfect with an alcohol-free brush cleaner or mild anti-bacterial spray formulated for beauty use.
  • Wipe down with a clean microfiber cloth.
  • Allow to completely air dry before putting brushes back in.
  • For metal tins, sprinkle with baking soda, spray with brush cleaner, let sit 5 minutes, then rinse and wipe clean.

Be gentle when cleaning to avoid scratching surfaces. Clean storage containers whenever visibly dirty or every 1-2 months.

How to Store Makeup Brushes While Traveling

If you’re traveling with makeup brushes, proper storage while on the go helps keep them in good condition. Here are tips for travel storage:

  • Carry a small brush pouch, roll-up holder, or protective case.
  • Wrap bristle tips in small piece of soft cloth for padding.
  • Secure in place with elastic bands.
  • Pack brushes separately from makeup and toiletries.
  • Store handle-down in a cup or container for more stability.
  • Let air dry after use if possible before storing.
  • Upon return home, deep clean brushes used during travel.

Avoid tossing brushes loosely into a bag when traveling. Take care to cushion them and prevent contact with liquids or dirty makeup items.

How to Store Makeup Brush Sets

Makeup brush sets provide a collection of brushes for a complete makeup application. Here are tips for storing full brush sets:

  • If original packaging has brush sleeves, reuse those for storage.
  • Stand brushes in a cup, holder, or jars based on brush type and size.
  • Separate face and eye brushes into different containers.
  • Lay brushes horizontally in drawer organizer compartments.
  • Store in brush roll secured with elastic bands.
  • Hang brushes in types from a wall-mounted strip or hooks.
  • Label brush containers by type or purpose.

Grouping brush sets together keeps everything organized. Ensure storage method allows bristles to dry and retains brush shape.

Can You Store Makeup Brushes in the Original Packaging?

While makeup brushes often come in plastic sleeves or boxes, this packaging isn’t ideal for long term storage. Here’s why:

  • Prevents bristles from drying fully
  • Fibers can take on odor of plastic
  • Bristles get bent and misshapen
  • Hard to clean out residue and buildup
  • Difficult to see how dirty they are

It’s better to remove brushes from original packaging after purchase. Only keep sleeves to protect brushes when traveling. Opt for storage containers that allow airflow.

How Should You Store Makeup Brush Cleaning Tools?

Don’t forget about properly storing your makeup brush cleaning tools as well! Here are some tips:

  • Stand brush cleaning soaps and sprays upright on bathroom counter or shelf.
  • Store brush shampoo bars in soap dishes for drying.
  • Keep brush cleaning mats laid flat to maintain shape.
  • Hang brush gloves open to air dry after use.
  • Coil brush spinning cleaners to prevent tangling rubber bands.
  • Lay silicone brush cleaners flat in drawer or bin.

Store brush cleaners in the same area for convenience. Check labels for any specific instructions from the manufacturer.


Caring for your makeup brushes doesn’t stop when you’ve finished using them. Proper brush storage is crucial for keeping brushes clean and well maintained between makeup applications. By understanding basic brush care and finding storage solutions that suit your space, you can extend the lifespan of your brushes and keep them performing like new.

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