Get an A+ in makeup application with tools that help you make the grade. Extra credit—cleaning tips, bristle types and more.

By Daley Quinn

Wash brushes weekly, advises makeup artist Daniel Martin. Dip in dish detergent or baby shampoo and swirl in the palm of your hand under warm water. Squeeze out any remaining bubbles and lay flat to dry.

For the occasional quick cleaning, spray brushes with PureBrush (, $20) and wipe off residue with a tissue.

Bristles 101

Brush up on your bristle knowledge with Chanel makeup artist Angela Levin. 

  • Synthetic versions last longer and are ideal for liquid formulas, like foundation, lipstick and cream shadow.  
  • Natural fiber brushes can be pricier but are gentler on skin. They’re perfect for powders—blushes, eye shadows and bronzers.