We're about to hit peak competition season, and that means tons (and tons) of makeup. Even if you've mastered a skin-care routine to combat the hours your skin spends covered in foundation and powder, you may be overlooking one important detail: your makeup brushes. The tools of your trade need cleaning, too! Dirty makeup brushes can cause a lot of icky issues, including acne, skin irritation, and infections. Luckily, brush maintenance is super-easy—a little effort goes a long way. Try these tricks!

• Gently shampoo your brushes every three weeks with warm water and a drop of baby shampoo.

• Lay the brushes flat to dry on a clean towel (bristles can fall out of brushes left to dry upright).

• Keep an alternate set of brushes in rotation to extend the time between cleanings.

Brushes have a pretty long lifespan, and don't need to be replaced often if they're cleaned properly. But if your brushes' bristles are dry and falling out, or if they're not applying makeup like they used to, it's time to toss them in the trash.

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