On the scale of ways I enjoy spending my Sunday afternoons, cleaning my makeup brushes ranks somewhere between being on hold with Time Warner Cable and apartment hunting in 90-degree heat. That’s to say, it’s slightly more than mildly inconvenient, but doesn’t totally make me want to gauge my own eyeballs out. And for the record, I’ve cleaned my makeup brushes exactly twice this summer—which is twice more than anyone else in this office has, so I count that as a win.
Each time, it took me about 15 minutes to clean them, and another 30 minutes to (mostly) dry them by incessantly rubbing them along paper towels; then, I left them out all day to make sure they weren’t damp, praying my roommate didn’t think I just left them there and throw ’em right under the sink to collect mold in the way damp things are wont to do. Every time I clean said makeup brushes, I’ve always either used half a roll of paper towels, or ruined a minimum of four washcloths, and if I set them down, some of the bigger brushes (think a fluffy powder brush) tend to dry flat, rather than maintain their original shape. Plus, I end up with no counter space for the rest of the day. Life is hard.
One afternoon, I was perusing Reddit—my favorite place for weird beauty tips—and found an ingenious hack that you 100-percent can do with things you already own, even if you’re only halfway an adult. (There’s nothing more annoying than a hack or DIY that suggests you use things like spray starch and WD40, a.k.a. things your parents own, but you definitely don’t.)
When you’re done washing your makeup brushes as usual, grab a cutting board and some rubber bands and hang them to dry. It’s best to hang them upside-down and on a 45-degree angle to keep the water from dislodging the glue. Place a couple paper towels below (read: not an entire roll) and a few hours later, they’re good to go. The brushes should maintain their shape and you save a ton of counter space. Here’s what it should look like: