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How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes: Seventeen Magazine

Packing for college can be really overwhelming. How much should you bring? What do you bring? Well, the answer is simple: only the essentials. That’s why this month we teamed up with Seventeen magazine and their special advisory board of sorority sisters on a curated list of 20 college beauty must-haves. Check back each week for more great content from our newest partner and definitely take advantage of this limited-time special offer just for Birchbox customers: Purchase a Seventeen subscription for $15 and get 100 Birchbox points!


Public restrooms. Cars. Inside stores. These are all places that we have seen countless girls apply their makeup. Most times, it is with those dirty brushes that have been building up dirt at the bottom of their makeup bag for months (or even years!). Cleaning your brushes is crucial for keeping the quality of your brushes intact, but most importantly, your skin will become the victim if you do not keep your brushes clean.

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Plague of the Dirty Bristles: Guest Blogger

Blair Badge is one multi-talented lady: she’s a social media manager, a beauty editor for fashion site Chictopia, a model, a newlywed and an all-around awesome gal with a penchant for witty banter. We think she, and her dreamy blog love, blair, are so awesome that we had to ask her back for a second stint as a guest blogger. This week, she’s sharing her must-have products for a night out clutch, the secret to a triple topsy tail (!), and makeup tips to get you photo-ready in a flash.

We’ve all heard it before. Those basic beauty rules that have been recited time and time again: “Buy a new mascara every 3 months”, “Don’t pick blemishes”, “Wear sunscreen” and the like. However, I recently discovered that many of us frequently overlook one crusty, unsanitary beauty tidbit—The Plague of the Dirty Bristles. 

If you think about it, our makeup brushes not only contain excess product from our most recent application, but also the build up of oil on the skin, bacteria from blemishes and environmental particles. I know, it’s pretty gross. 

But the good news is that it only takes an investment in mild hand soap and makeup brush cleaner to keep those bristles clean and bacteria free! Not to mention it will help your makeup brushes last longer too. Here’s my breakdown of the cleaning process:

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The Key to Flawless Makeup Application—It’s Not What You Think

From nourishing weekly treatments to argan oil-infused serums, we go to extreme measures to keep our locks healthy. And don’t even get us started on our skincare regimes—which often include more steps than the Great Wall of China. Yet, despite these labor-intensive beauty routines we often neglect the tools we rely on to get gorgeous everyday: our makeup brushes.

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Do You Clean Your Makeup Brushes Properly?

While we all know the importance of washing our face everyday, we often neglect to clean things that touch our skin regularly, like makeup brushes. I am totally guilty of this myself, which is why I did some investigating on the subject and eventually filmed the above tutorial. Here’s a simple breakdown—and no, cleaning your brushes doesn’t have to be a big to-do. 

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Makeup Brush Organization: Guest Blogger

This week’s guest blogger, the lovely Alissa Kelly, offers up fun fashion and beauty advice on her blog, Feeling Good. (Our favorite feature? Kelly’s fun nail posts!) We love her optimistic attitude and useful tips. Today she’s giving advice on something we routinely fail at: organization.

Ladies, I must admit: I own at least ten makeup brushes but usually only use one (an eye shadow brush). Obviously, something needed to change. I put my semi-OCD/organizational skills to work on my collection.

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Japonesque Brush Set Touch Up Tube Silver: Gift of the Day

‘Tis the season, which can mean only one thing: You are in search of great holiday gifts. Well, look no further. Whether you’re stumped about what to get a co-worker, your dad, or your bestie, we have something for everyone on your list. Check back every day this month for a new dose of gift-giving inspiration — and get ready to deck your halls with much more than holly. 

Why This Makes A Great Gift: This is one of those convenient gifts that women always need but rarely buy for themselves. The five-brush set includes tools for touching up foundation, powder, lips, and eyes. Better yet, the sleek silver tube keeps the brushes neat and fits easily in a purse or makeup bag. Keep it on hand for midday and evening touchups and definitely pack this when traveling. 

Perfect For: Your friend or co-worker who carries her life with her in her oversize handbag. She won’t have to worry about being caught unprepared for touchups, but her years of losing makeup brushes at the bottom of her way-too-big bag are over. 

Price: $20, available at

For more great gift ideas, visit our Holiday Gift Guide.

3 Essential Eye Brushes

Finding the right eye makeup brushes can be overwhelming. Our own Meredith Stebbins will show you the three essential eye makeup brushes and how to use them.

Beauty is Life Standard Eyeshadow Brush:

Beauty is Life Special Eyeshadow Brush:

Stila #13 One Step Eyeliner Brush:

It’s Tool Time in the Birchbox Shop!

To my father’s never-ending dismay, I always forget the difference between an Allen wrench and a Phillips head and couldn’t put together an Ikea cabinet to save my life. Suffice to say, I will not be stepping anywhere near a power drill anytime soon. But, over the past year, I have become quite proficient in another type of tools — those of the beauty variety. Which is why I’m so excited about our brand new Tools category in the Birchbox Shop. We’ve filled it with the all-star cleansers, brushes, hair dryers, and more that we can’t live without. You’ll find the Clarisonic, the cleansing brush that is responsible for Team Birchbox’s glowing skin, plus a super-powered flat iron and the cutest mini eye touch up kit. Oh, and a teasing brush — everyone needs one of those.


Don’t know where to start? Check out Amika’s Go-Go Travel Set — a small but mighty hair dryer and flat iron duo. A must for travel but too adorable to keep hidden under your sink.