I am always on the hunt for a new brush cleaner. I bought the Sephora own brand one a few years ago and loved it but it isn’t very cost efficient and it’s obviously not easy for me to get to my local Sephora. While everyone raved about the Penneys PS Love one, I despised it and found it very ineffective. I’m fussy when it comes to brush cleaner and obviously it is a very vital tool so today I decided to tell you about the two I currently have in rotation and compare their pros and cons.
First up is the Real Techniques Deep Cleansing Gel. I am a huge fan of the Real Techniques brush line so picking up the brush cleanser when it was released was a no-brainer. I had heard some mixed reviews but I trusted the Chapman sisters not to do me wrong.
As the name suggests, this is designed for deep cleaning brushes and is used with water. It is a clear gel with a pleasant, clean, soapy scent that I doubt anybody would find offensive. To use this, I fill the sink with warm water and dampen a brush head in it. I squirt some of the gel on to the palm of my hand, dip the damp brush into it and then swirl it on my palm before rinsing it clean, squeezing it out and leaving it to dry on a towel.
The bottle design makes it difficult to control how much product is dispensed and regardless of how little I use, I feel like I use a lot every time I wash a brush. While the 150ml bottle has lasted me a while, I still feel like there is a lot of waste with this.
I took a photo of both a face and eyeshadow brush before washing them with the Deep Cleansing Gel.
And here they are after. As you can see there is still some minor staining on the tip of the eyeshadow brush but it is still impressive considering the amount of red shadow that was on it beforehand.
I have a love/hate relationship with this brush cleaner. While the photos prove it is effective at cleaning, I don’t find it good for foundation or liner brushers. They need something strong or oil based to break down the product and this brush cleaner simply doesn’t do the job. I also believe that if you want to deep clean your brushes, you can use a mild or baby shampoo to do the exact same thing which is obviously far more purse-friendly.
A brush cleanser I was dying to try was the Cinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner which I have heard a lot of professional makeup artists talking about. I saw this mini bottle in Sephora when I was in New York in November and decided to give it a go.
The tiny 60ml I bought is designed for travel and came with a small silver lidded pot. Using this is simple and no water is required, you simply pour a little into the pot, swirl your brush inside and then wipe it off on a tissue. The brush is dry by the time you have wiped off the product and is almost instantly ready to use again.
Again I photographed both an eyeshadow and face brush before cleansing.
And afterwards. As you can see, the face brush came out as clean as new while the eyeshadow brush had some minor staining – something that is common with white bristles and is nothing to do with the brush cleaner itself.
Something that I wouldn’t exactly label a con but which I need to point out is the scent. They claim it has a vanilla scent and the ingredients state that it contains vanilla bean extract but I find the fragrance to be very strong and chemical-y with a false vanilla smell on top. It is quite strong and can be overwhelming at times but it isn’t strong enough for me to be put off the product. It is a clean smell which is always welcome on my brushes.
This is quite a strong, chemical-based makeup remover so I would worry that prolonged use may dry out the bristles but it does claim to have conditioning agents in it too. It doesn’t contain alcohol which many spot-cleaning brush cleaners tend to and which can definitely be very harmful to bristles if used often. It is 99.99% antimicrobial and disinfectant though which is more than can be said for the Real Techniques cleaner.
The travel set that I bought including the tin cost $8 from Sephora but as with almost anything, it is more cost effective to buy a larger size. The MakeUpShop.ie stocks several sizes with a 60ml like I have costing €12.99 or a giant 946ml bottle retailing for €54.49 – perfect for makeup artists or professionals.
All in all, I won’t be repurchasing the Real Techniques Brush Cleaner as I feel the same level of cleaning could be achieved with a baby shampoo while I have fallen for the Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner and am contemplating splashing out on the biggest bottle they do.
What is your favourite brush cleaner?
Have you tried either of these?
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