When To Replace An Old Make Up Brush

Out with the old, in with the new! It may not be January quite yet, but today my thoughts turned to a little (very) early spring cleaning. The question of when to replace an old make up brush provokes mixed responses – I know some beauty fans who have a high turnaround of brushes (whether it’s due to wearing them out or just wanting to try something new) and others who swear their brushes can last for years with proper care. Here’s my take on it in today’s post, which features a brand new replacement for one of my ultimate favourite brushes!

MAC 130 brush review

My MAC 130 Brush has been an absolute staple of mine for years. I first featured it on my blog back in 2012, but I’m fairly sure I actually bought the brush the year before. At the time it was a big investment for me as I was living the student life, but I knew instantly that it was a worthwhile one. This Short Duo Fibre Brush transformed the way I do my make up – I love to have total control over my foundation application, and by using this to stipple the product onto my face before blending with my fingers, I get a flawless finish every time.

Now as you can see in the comparison photo above, my original 130 brush is a little worse for wear. I started to use a heavier foundation around 18 months ago for my television work, and my halfhearted brush cleanses started to take their toll. I hadn’t cleaned the bristles enough to get all of the product out, both deeper down and in terms of colour stain, and over time it just became too engrained in the fibres. When I met with MAC last month, I mentioned my love for the brush and they very kindly sent me a shiny new one in the post last week!

MAC 130 brush review

So, when is it time to replace your make up brushes? I do believe that if you take proper care of your brushes (unlike I did with my original 130) you can make a good quality item last for years and years. By proper care, I mean spot cleans after each use and a deeper cleanse with brush shampoo as often as necessary. I like to keep a pack of Simple Baby Wipes handy for quick cleanses after I do my daily make up, then I use a proper brush cleanser weekly. I know that if I’d stuck to this routine with my original 130 I wouldn’t have needed to replace it so soon (though 5 years is pretty good going!).

However, nobody is perfect, and if you’ve neglected your brushes somewhat this is the rule I follow: if a brush’s condition has started to impair its function, it may need to go. Frayed bristles, stiff fibres and a product build up too deep to remove are clear signs a brush has had its day. Not to mention the hygiene side of things! I have used so much shampoo on my old 130, but nothing could reach the bottom of the bristles. No one wants breakouts as a result of hanging onto a brush that’s beyond repair.

MAC 130 brush review

I’m so excited to use my new brush! A big thank you to MAC for sending it to me, alongside some other goodies which I will be featuring in upcoming posts. What are your own rules of thumb for deciding when to replace an old make up brush? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Stay Creative,

Chyaz xox



  1. November 23, 2016 / 9:09 pm

    I’ve only just realised the wonders of applying foundation with brushes (shocking, I know), so I’m super careful about keeping them clean and well maintained. I like the idea of a spot cleanse between uses and proper cleans! I’ll have to add that to my daily routine.

    • November 24, 2016 / 8:37 am

      I’m super glad you found to post helpful! It’s always so satisfying when you find an awesome brush 🙂

  2. November 23, 2016 / 9:16 pm

    I always think I need to show my brushes more love, I just never get round to it. Nothing beats that new brush feeling 🙂

    • November 24, 2016 / 8:37 am

      I couldn’t agree more!

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