Thursday, 1 August 2013

A few of my favourite brush cleaners- including the best ever brush cleaner I have ever come across in my life!

I love Sunday evenings for lots of different reasons, not least because they are my dedication brush deep clean days. There is something deeply satisfying about taking your not-so-clean brushes and making them squeaky clean again. I am very disciplined when it comes to washing brushes, the thoughts of dirty, infested brushes freaks me out, and even during the week, I regularly sanitise them and clean them to keep them in good condition and minimize exposure to any traces of contamination. 

The following are my tried and tested favourite brush cleaners. 

1. Good old fashioned bar of soap

Firstly, I adore the smell of soap, all soaps. When I smell soap, it makes me feel so darn happy. Perhaps this is why I rarely go into Lush unaccompanied by someone with stronger willpower than mine! I don't have a particular soap that I always use for my brushes but I usually alternate between Dove and Palmolive soaps because they are not too harsh on the bristles of my brushes and do not leave any residue after washing.

My method is pretty simple. I usually wet the brush through thoroughly (usually synthetic foundation brushes), wet the soap and then scrub the brush with the soap (with the ferrule pointing downwards at all times of course) until I have removed the bulk of the product build-up. I never use a bar of soap on its own but I think it does a great job of removing the bulk of the product from the brush so that you can focus more on deep cleansing in the next round.

2. Baby Shampoo

I usually use this after I have removed most of the build up of product with the bar of soap. I find that baby shampoo is nice and mild and effective and removing both powder and cream products from brushes. Again, I angle the ferrule downwards when using baby shampoo and i squirt a pea sized amount into the palm of my hand as opposed to onto the brush directly and swirl the brush hairs in the shampoo before scrubbing more thoroughly. Again, this is very inexpensive and a bottle lasts a very long time.

3. MAC Brush Cleanser

I have been a long time lover of the MAC Brush Cleanser, even though I am aware that you can probably get similar products elsewhere. I first purchased this about eight years ago when I purchased my first two MAC brushes, the kabuki and flat foundation brush. Back then, I used to mix it in a glass with warm water and swirl my brushes around, and they would dry relatively quickly. Now, I like using this to freshen up my powder brushes on a regular basis between deep cleans. It is a mighty effective cleanser in its own right, and it can power through foundations and creams leaving behind muddy water as a reminder. I particularly love this for cleaning my gel eyeliner/ gel cream brushes. I clean my eye brushes after every single use, and I often squirt of bit of this cleanser onto a clean and durable cotton bad and run my brushes over them for a quick cleanse and it works a treat!

And I purposefully kept the best until last, so without further ado, I would like to introduce <drumroll>...

4. Daiso Detergent for Puff and Sponge

So the packaging is really not glamorous and it looks like it may contain jet fuel inside, but this is one phenomenal piece of kit. This is an epic brush cleaner- literally there is nothing it cannot shift (well actually, there is one thing, gel eyeliner- it does not combat gel eyeliner all that well). This stuff is so concentrated that you need only a tiny amount (about the size of a 10c coin) and dilute it with water (I usually aim for a 1:10 ratio) and give your brushes a swirl in the mixture, take them out and rinse thoroughly under clean water and - voila - the cleanest brushes in the world. This had made brushes that I already thought were squeaky clean absolutely sterile, it has restored my brushes to pristine white bristles and removes absolutely every trace of products from my brushes, even the most stubborn foundations and cream products. I had such low expectations of this even though I had seen rave reviews but honestly this could not have impressed me more. I use this at least once a month on all my brushes to give them a really thorough deep cleanse, even if they look clean after I use any of the other methods outlined above. This literally does not leave a trace of product on the brush. You can pick this up on ebay for under the €5 mark, see this link as an example. Another little bonus is that it is supposed to be great at cleaning sponges also but I rarely use makeup sponges so I never have any to clean!

My only criticism of this product is that I think it could potentially be very severe on your brushes- if you were to use it constantly or not rinse it off properly. I wouldn't use this on natural bristles, just synthetic, and I wouldn't use these on brushes every day. One of my brushes is beginning to fray a little and I think it may be from using this product. It is a very slight change but worth pointing it out nonetheless. I will definitely keep purchasing this and using once a month.

So that's about the extent of my makeup brush cleaning escapades.
Thanks for reading x


  1. I have that Asian remover too. It's good, but almost a little too good. The brushes feel a bit stiff afterwards. It's almost like you need to condition them!

  2. Wow I had heard about this Daiso cleaner, but did not realise how good it was! Will have to pick some up this month:)


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