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 / Updated  / Source: TODAY
By Rheana Murray

Have you ever looked closely at your makeup brushes? Really, really closely?

You might not want to, but maybe you should, because there could be a lot of gunk hiding there.

A close-up look at a powder brush after 3 weeks of useErica H. Yim

One Imgur user recently posted a series of photos showing us exactly how much dirt and debris can get caught between the bristles of a powder brush or a mascara wand, or on the tip of a lip pencil. But be warned, you might want to break out the cleaning supplies when you're done looking.

RELATED: Model warns about makeup brushes after getting an infection

A closer look at an eyeliner brush after just one useErica H. Yim

The photos show tiny hairs clinging to an eyebrow brush, the slick, greasy coating of an eyeliner brush after just one use, and specks of who-knows-what on other brushes you might have in your makeup kit. There are also photos of lipsticks, lip pencils and eye shadows, proving even your makeup itself might need some attention.

An eye shadow brush after 4 days of useErica H. Yim

They're the kind of photos you don't really want to see, but at the same time, can't look away from.

RELATED: How to clean your showerhead, makeup brushes, kitchen sink and more

Tiny fibers and debris covering an eyebrow pencilErica H. Yim

But not all the photos are PSAs for makeup hygiene — some are simply pretty, like the zoomed-in view of a creamy, rose-colored blush and the sparkle of a shimmery, copper eye shadow.

Here's a reminder that even your lip pencils might need some TLC. Erica H. Yim

Still, this is a better time than any to remind ourselves of the importance of washing makeup tools. Dirty brushes and sponges can cause breakouts and even infections.

You've probably never looked this closely at your eye shadow, have you?Erica H. Yim

Plus, keeping your brushes clean helps them last longer. You can wash them with a special brush cleanser, or simply use baby shampoo, or dish detergent for synthetic brushes. (For a more specific break-down of how to clean your brushes, click here.) Then lay the brushes flat to dry, and ta-da, you're done!