The cheapest, easiest hack for cleaning your makeup brushes.

Valerie Giraud of Antonym Cosmetics uses one of her famous brushes on Carla GS. (Source: Supplied.)

Makeup brushes are a beauty kit staple. But how do you know which brush to purchase? And don’t even get me started on how to clean them!

When I was given the opportunity to interview makeup brush expert and designer Valerie Giraud, founder of Antonym Cosmetics, a certified organic beauty line which is available exclusively at Sephora, it was like a much-needed Makeup Brushes 101 lesson.

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Makeup brushes

What is the cheapest, most effective way to clean your makeup brushes?

“I personally use dishwashing detergent. That’s the cheapest way. I put a little bit in my hand, I swirl the brush in the detergent, I rinse the brush and everything gets out of it right away. That’s one of the advantages of synthetic brushes – they clean very easily. To dry then, I just put them flat on a paper towel.

There are a lot of brush cleaners available. When I work on set, I use them, because I have to have a clean brush for everybody. But brush cleaners aren’t good for brushes, because they contain alcohol. Alcohol dissolves the glue that holds the bristles to the brush itself. That’s how you damage your brushes.”

Antonym Cosmetics makeup brushes: contour brush (left) and kabuki brush (right). Source: Antonym Cosmetics.

How long should a good makeup brush last?

"Usually, good brushes last a minimum of five years. And that’s why it’s important to buy good brushes, because you keep them a long time. The way they pick up the product is way better for you."

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What sort of makeup brush is better: synthetic or animal hair? What’s the difference between them?

"The quality of the synthetic bristles is so good nowadays, that it’s not really necessary to use animal hair any more. It’s mainly the older generation of makeup artists who don’t even want to look at synthetic makeup brushes, because they believe it’s not good. I think it’s a lack of education, also. I’m not doing that because I think animal brushes are bad; I think there is no need to harm an animal for that." (Post continues after gallery.)

If you could only invest in ONE brush, what sort of brush would you choose?

"Ooh, you’re killing me here! I would say the contour brush, which is a chiselled brush. It’s my favourite brush. For the foundation, I use a kabuki brush, but for everything else, I use a contour brush. I use it for contouring, I use it for loose powder… you can use it for a lot of things."

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What inspired you to create Antonym Cosmetics in 2010?

"The whole concept started because there was no natural line with strong pigments. Natural makeup was associated with a 'natural' look. So I wanted to bring a more 'fashion' side to the natural makeup."

Antonym Cosmetics Baked Blush in Peach, $49 (left) and Eyeshadow Quattro in Croisette, $53 (right). Source: Antonym Cosmetics.

"My first inspiration was actually for women to be able to do their makeup in under 10 minutes. Really, I created this beauty line so that women will be able to put on the powder (which is a non-drying cream base), a bit of mascara and lipstick, and be able to go out and look refreshed."

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What’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever heard?

"The best beauty advice I’ve been given was when I was 17 or 18, and I’ll always remember it. Back then, I never wore makeup. I was about to go out with my best friend, and my best friend’s mum said, 'Girls! You should at least wear lipstick!' If you wear lipstick all the time, you’ll feel better."

Antonym Cosmetics founder, Valerie Giraud, with Carla GS and a very soft and beautiful makeup brush. (Source: Supplied.)

 What’s your favourite makeup brush? 

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