Almost every single makeup loving person knows how much of an ungodly chore it is to wash those makeup brushes, so when the Stylpro Makeup Brush Cleaner and Drier burst on to the market last year, I wasted no time at all in sweeping it up and making it mine. Anything that takes the boredom out of scrubbing my makeup brushes by the sink sounds like it would be very welcome in my life. My boyfriend actually ended up buying this for me because I wouldn't stop going on about how I thought this product would change my life and make me a better person, and I think he got it directly from the Stylfile UK website. Meaghers Pharmacy stock this online and it retails for a saucy €65 and the Stylpro Brush Cleansing Solution (more on that later) is €14.95 for a 250ml bottle.
You can't blame me for being seduced by the promise:
The StylPro is a totally unique way to hygienically clean and dry makeup brushes in seconds. It uses centrifugal spin technology so that brushes are literally ready to re-use in seconds. No more messy basins or waiting hours for brushes to dry.
I've never heard of centrifugal spin technology but if it took the sting out of washing brushes at my sink, I couldn't wait to try it. I also have a soft spot for "Inventor Tom" or Tom Pellereau - winner of The Apprentice and business partner of Lord Alan Sugar- I'm a huge massive fan of The Apprentice. I was excited to see what all the hype was about!
The Stylpro Makeup Brush Cleaner and Drier comes with a small battery operating spinner device (two AAA batteries), rubber caps and a glass bowl and to be honest, the €65 price tag seems a little steep for what you get. It doesn't feel like bad quality but it doesn't feel particular robust either, especially the little spinning device. The kit was made in China so it was probably produced for pennies. One thing I did really like about the spinning device is that it comes with a tiny lightbulb which shines light on the brush being cleaned whilst it is spinning. The dealio is that you put a capful of the Stylpro Brush Cleansing Solution into the glass bowl in the kit, making sure the black rim is attached to the bowl, pick a fitting for your brush handle and attach your brush to the fitting and the fitting to the black spinning device, dip the brush hairs in the solution for 10 seconds, gently working the brush into the product, then spin the brush in the solution for 10 seconds, lift out of the solution but keep the brush in the glass bowl and spin for 10 second and you should be left with a shining, spotlessly clean and dry makeup brush. If that's confusing or you think I am lying to you, have a look at the official video on their website demonstrating how the Stylpro is used.
The Brush Cleansing Solution, or the Stylpro Makeup Brush Cleanser deep cleaning brush cleanser and conditioner, is supposed to be suitable for both natural and synthetic brushes and, aswell as being deep cleaning, contains nourishing wheatgerm, grapeseed and argan oils to condition the brush. The solution does not contain parabens, alcohol or sulphates. My friend Kat from Sophistikat.ie is an absolute scientific genius and especially interested in bacterial community analysis, and she very rightly pointed out to me that there is no soap/detergent in the ingredients list but instead a petroleum based oily solvent (isododecane) and essential oils and she mentioned that if an amount of this isododecane was left on the brushes, that it could cause oil loving acnes to grow. Kat even looked at the research and trials that Stylpro carried out and she was not entirely convinced about the type of bacteria that the solution was tested against. I really value what Kat says particularly because she is well qualified to speak on this topic. She did recommend that, if you use this cleanser, to spritz the brushes with surgical spirits and wipe off after. This is an extra step that was not recommended in the instruction manual, adds extra time.
I was one of the early adopters of the Stylpro so I hadn't read too much in terms of reviews or testimonials before I got this. I read the instructions, assembled the parts and began washing my brushes. Now, I'm just going to come out and say it - I don't really like the Stylpro very much and I don't feel like my brushes would be as spick and span as they would be had they been washed thoroughly at my sink with warm running water, a good detergent, a decent rinse and a nice gentle air dry.
My main quibbles (aside from the fact that I have questions on how clean the brush solution actually leaves the brushes) are:
1. I don't like re-using the Brush Cleansing Solution (i.e. dipping a dirty brush into dirty solution to clean it) so I was going through that stuff by the bottle. There wasn't even a bottle of the Brush Cleansing Solution included in the box!
2. I think it was WAY too expensive for what it is. I get that you are paying for innovation - trust me I know all about that in my line of work - but the price is too much at £50/€65.
3. The Stylpro system did not work with any of my other brush cleansing solutions - my Dr Bronner Liquid Castille Soap, baby shampoo, hair shampoo or my beloved Daiso Duff detergent. The only detergent that worked with this Stylpro was the brush cleansing solution and you are advised not to dilute this with water. The brush cleansing solution is €14.95 a pop and when I clean brushes, I clean dozens at a time so it would be pretty costly. It's not that the detergents caused any massive bubble or foam explosion, it was just not possible to get all the foundation off a brush by dipping the brush hairs into warm water and shampoo and spinning for another ten seconds - the brushes were not dry and they still needed to be rinsed.
4. It's not recommended to rinse your brush head in between dunking it into the cleansing solution and letting it soak for ten seconds and spinning it to get it dry. This just feels dirty to me. I'd personally prefer to use plenty of hot water to rinse off all of the brush hairs. Even spritzing with surgical spirits and wiping brushes afterwards takes time and I think I would rather just clean my brushes manually.
5. You are quite limited in the types of brushes you can clean due to the size of the little black rubber caps that you attach to the spinning device - spinning Real Techniques brushes with their hourglass shapes brush handles was a bit of an ordeal.
6. I've no way of proving it but I wonder if the centrifugal spinning action would actually have a detrimental effect on the glue holding the brush hairs together in the ferrule of the brush - I think it's highly possible that this quick spinning action would, over time, cause the glue to weaken.
7. I didn't find it to be that much of a timesaver to be honest but I wasn't just happy to dip brush in, shimmy the brush about and give it a good whirl. I cannot get past the non-rinse stage.
Either way, I haven't been very impressed with this Stylpro and I haven't used it in months as, even though it's a chore, I personally prefer being able to wash my brushes with a proper detergent, rinse them off thoroughly and allow them to dry naturally. I've left the Stylpro sitting on my shelf gathering dust. I imagine if you are very stuck for time and you need your makeup brushes "washed" and dried quickly, this would be ok, but really there is no substitute for good old fashioned water, soap and elbow grease to get those brushes spick and span.
Again, I know I'm in the minority because I have seen amazing glowing reviews and demos of this product so as always, don't kill me if you don't agree with me. I am disappointed with this but i look forward to Inventor Tom's next beauty innovation and I hope that that will not disappoint.
Have you tried the Stylpro yet or have you been curious to?