How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes Without Making A Mess

Sigma’s Brush Cleaning Mat might just be the best thing to happen to beauty.
Publish date:
March 3, 2015
makeup brushes, brush cleaner, brush cleaning mat, sigma

As someone whose job is reviewing beauty products, very few items blow my mind anymore. I mean, honestly, there are only so many ways you can whip together a face wash or a blow dry balm, right? That’s why what I'm about to say (write? Whatever.) holds so much gravity.

The Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Mat has got to be one of the top five beauty innovations that I’ve seen. Ever.

The most revolutionary products, in my opinion, solve a number of issues, some of which we didn’t even realize we had. And, boy, are there some obnoxious aspects of cleaning your makeup brushes: the thousand times, so it seems, that you have to wash the bristles to get all the gunk out; the fact that you can only really cleanse one brush at a time; and the way your hands feel repulsively dirty and prune-y post-wash. Thankfully, with the Brush Cleaning Mat, Sigma took these issues and ran with them, cracking all three in one fell swoop.

The oddly adorable hot-pink mat is shaped to fit into your bathroom sink, with a rounded divot cut into the front to perfectly place around the drain and even suction cups on the back to firmly attach it.

It’s divided into seven regions, the left side for eye brushes, the right side for face brushes. Within each category are wash, rinse and refine plus regions, as well as a general refine area for both brush types.

It seems like kind of a lot right now, I know. Once you get the how-to down, though, you’ll never look back.

Here's how to use it.

Once the mat is securely in your sink, wet a single brush or a group of either eye or face brushes. I tend to only wash three or four at a time--any more and I feel like they haven’t been as thoroughly cleaned.

Add the cleanser of your choice to wet bristles. Here, I’m using my favorite clarifying shampoo, Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo.

Swirl your brushes on the appropriate “wash” section to clean them.

Sweep them across the “rinse” section--conveniently right next to the drain and running water--to wash out makeup and cleanser.

Twirl brushes on the “refine” section for an extra deep cleansing.

Still feel like your bristles look a bit dingy? Add a little extra water and cleanser and sweep them across the “refine plus” section.

Place brushes under running water again before going in for a final swirl across the “rinse” section.

Squeeze your brush heads with either your hands or a towel to remove excess water before laying them out to dry.

FYI, this method is killer for cleaning your sponges, too! My beautyblender has never looked so pristine.

And, hello: You only have to go through the process once to get sparkly clean tools, you can clean more than one brush at a time, and my favorite of all, it’s basically hands-free.

Now that I’ve converted you to brush cleaning mat-ness (ha), give me a shout.

  • Is this the product of your dreams, or is this the product of your dreams?
  • What’s your favorite brush cleaning method?
  • And, let’s get real gross here: how often do you really wash those babies?