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7 Signs You Need to Replace Your Makeup Brushes and Sponges

catherinemurphy profile picture
Kate MurphyGuest Blogger
February 24, 2017 · 4.6k Views

If you wear makeup, you know the magic of a good brush or sponge. By this point, you’ve developed a relationship with your makeup tools and put them to work at least once a day, sometimes more. And just like the other things we regularly use, brushes become worn out, stop doing their job, and need to be replaced. But how do you know when it’s time to part ways? According to beauty insiders, there are signs that indicate makeup brushes and sponges need to be swapped out for new ones.

lightbulb icon We love getting our makeup brushes and sponges from Sephora, ULTA, and even Target and Walmart. Visit their store pages for hot deals and savings whenever you need to replace them!


7 Signs You Need to Replace Your Makeup Brushes and Sponges makeup brushes icon

1. Makeup application takes a slump.

makeup application

Source: Dermaflash

You are starting to notice that your makeup isn’t going on as evenly as before. A first thought may be the actual makeup product is the cause for your subpar appearance. But there’s a good chance that the underlying culprit is that your brush is no longer applying make as well as it used to and should be replaced.


2. Bristles have lost shape.

makeup brush bristles

Source: Colors of My Life

As bristles are worked over time, they tend to become misshapen. Bristles will also lose shape if you apply makeup with a heavy hand and smash them against your face. Of course bristles will bend a little during use. But if you notice that they are not bouncing back to form soon after, it is time to invest in a new brush.


3. Bristles have become dry.

dry makeup brush bristles

Source: Salubrious Exclamation

If you wash your brushes – we hope you do and will be getting to that later – then you may notice that the bristles are becoming dry and breaking off. When this starts to happen, they need to be replaced. Dry broken bristles will affect makeup application and powders will go on unevenly.


4. Bristles start to shed.

shedding makeup brushes

Source: Humblebee & Me

Lately, you’ve had to swipe bristles from your cheeks during your morning makeup routine. And bristles are always lying around the beauty nook and sink every time you use a particular brush. Shedding bristles is a sure sign that the brush has had its day. To test, LEAF suggests running the brush over the back of your hand. If more than ten bristles fall loose, then it needs replaced.


5. Makeup sponge starts to crack and crumble.

old beauty sponges

Source: rogue-volupte.blogspot.com

You finally invested in a good makeup sponge. It works great, but now tiny cracks are appearing on the surface. The stress of daily use has worn down the material and makeup will go on unevenly. Retire the sponge and get a new one.


6. You just got over a really bad flu. 

girl with flu

Source: Young and Raw

Anytime you have an illness, run a checklist of items you use daily that could pose a threat of harboring viruses. Your toothbrush and makeup sponges should be the first to hit the trash.


7. You are breaking out.

breaking out

Source: Everyday Health

We all have the occasional blemish. If breakouts are occurring way more than usual, your makeup brushes and sponges could be to blame. They hold bacteria that even regular washing can miss. But you know your skin by now. Anything that seems out of the ordinary is not only distressing, but also good reason for further investigation.


How to Take Proper Care of Your Makeup Tools makeup brush icon

No matter what you do, you’ll have to replace your makeup application tools. But with proper care, they will last much longer – beauty experts say a good brush can last up to three years while the full life of a sponge is three months.


1. Clean regularly.

cleaning brushes

Source: TheTrendSpotter

Give makeup brushes a thorough cleaning 1 to 2 times a month, depending on how much you use them. Applying a DIY solution of olive oil and antibacterial soap to dirty brushes should do the trick. Check out Popsugar.com for step-by-step instructions. A sponge or beauty blender can hold makeup deep below the surface. To get rid of all makeup residue, Bustle.com suggests cleaning the sponge with a DIY solution of baby wash and warm water or extra virgin olive oil and dish detergent. Experts also advise investing in the Beauty Blender Cleanser available at Sephora.com for $18.


2. Proper storage.

makeup brush storage

Source: Pinterest

How you store your makeup tools has a big impact on their performance and longevity. Don’t throw brushes together in a drawer or lay them flat on a vanity or sink. Instead, use a round container such as a Mason jar or comparable vessel filled with coffee beans. Then put the brushes in with their tips facing straight up. And do not keep makeup tools in the bathroom where they are more likely to collect bacteria.


3. Be gentle.

applying makeup with sponge

Source: Loepsie

Make up tools can only take so much until the give out. If you apply a brush to your face hard, the bristles will bend and the fixative glue will begin to loosen. Aggressive use of a sponge is going to cause it to tear and crumble. Be gentle and your tools will work better and longer.

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catherinemurphy profile picture
Kate Murphy is a native of Pennsylvania. After receiving a degree in art history, she moved to New York City to test the waters. She enjoys writing about art, culture, fashion, design, and travel. In addition to writing, Kate works with artists, leads, street art tours, and moonlights as an illustrator.
Fred_happyMar 30, 2017
thank you for your share, and i would like share it to my friend.

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