So the other week I was washing my makeup brushes and thought “I really need one of those cool electric cleaners” and so I got myself onto Amazon and ordered the cheapest one I could find. There are loads of this style of brush cleaner on the market now, and the original one that went viral on Instagram is a pretty expensive piece of kit, retailing for around £50. Since I blog on a tight budget, I went looking for a more reasonably priced one to test out, and found this one for just £17.99 with free shipping in the UK.
The idea behind these cleaners is that the spinning action of the wand takes all the scrubbing and harshness out of cleaning your makeup brushes, meaning it’s not only easier for you, but also much less injurious to your beloved brushes. But do they really work as well as good, old fashioned cleaning methods?
We all know by now how important it is to clean your brushes regularly. The level of bacteria that builds up on makeup brushes is frightening, to say the least, and cleaning them regularly not only prevents that bacteria from making it’s way back onto your lovely face, but also keeps the brushes soft, usable and adds greatly to their shelf life when done properly. The knack with cleaning brushes though is always lost on me. In the interest of getting them clean, I break more than a few cardinal rules for brush maintenance. And I’ve already lost countless brushes over the years to the way I clean them resulting in the glue within the ferrule breaking down and the brush head falling away from the handle.
With high hopes, I hit the confirm button on my order and waited eagerly for my new electrical, gentle brush cleaner to arrive. The kit I ordered comes with 8 rubber attachments to allow you to clean brushes of most shapes and sizes, which is great. It also has a handy splash guard on the rim of the bowl so it’s a lot less messy than traditional brush cleaning can be.
The bowl is a little smaller than I was hoping it would be. If you’ve got one of those huge fluffy brushes this cleaning kit is going to be too small, but for most ‘normal’ brush sizes it’s an ok size. The other thing I noticed about the bowl is that the splash guard doesn’t come off, so cleaning the bowl is going to be a bit hit and miss. You’ll be able to wash it properly, but I think after time you’ll notice a ring of nasty gunk around the inside of the splash guard that you can’t get to.
Using the kit is really easy. Simply attach the correct sized rubber holder to the handle of your brush and attach it to the wand. Hit the button and it spins the brush in the warm water (add a touch of shampoo or brush cleaner for added effectiveness) and after a few seconds you can see how well your brush is cleaned. Spin again outside of the bowl to dry the brush. Now, there’s a few issues I’ve found with this method of cleaning. Firstly, brushes you’ve used cream products with are very, very hit and miss on how well they’ll be cleaned. My Expert Face Brush cleaned really well, but my concealer brush was still full of cream concealer that just wouldn’t budge. A few brushes still needed to be manually cleaned after using the kit, which seems to defeat the purpose to me.
Powder products, I have to say, clean incredibly with this product. My powder, blusher, and all my eyeshadow brushes cleaned up brilliantly and were quick to dry, as well as being left super soft and fluffy. I did have to change the water about three times whilst cleaning just 30 or so brushes, but I think that just proves the amount of crap that comes out of each brush!
One of the main downsides I discovered pretty early on came when I cleaned my flat foundation brush. By the time it was clean and dry it has spun for maybe only a couple of minutes in total and was completely misshapen. I’m yet to manage putting it back to it’s original shape, so it’s quite possible I’ve ruined one of my more expensive brushes. One or two of my fluffy blending brushes also lost their shape somewhat, but with a little coaxing and some work I managed to get them back into shape. One brush out of 30 isn’t too bad I guess!
I think this brush cleaning kit is a great tool for all those powder product brushes we accumulate. I don’t think it’s suitable for all kinds of brushes, as some shapes seem to become quite badly changed by the sheer speed of the spinning wand, and cream product brushes are best left to the old fashioned hand washing. With a little trial and hopefully not too much error though, I think this is a good addition to my makeup kit and one that means I can properly wash my powder brushes quickly and easily. That being said, I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to use this on any really expensive, high-end brushes!
Have you tried one of these cleaning kits? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!