If any of you lovelies out there are like me, you can get stuck in a bit of a rut sometimes with certain things in your life. You know that specific brand of coffee or coffee shop has what you like as far as flavor and ability to perk you up. You know that specific eyeliner has the best formula to stay on through sweat and rain and exciting first encounters with that cute guy at Whole Foods. For me, my rut is with brush cleaner. When I first started wearing makeup 6 years ago, I was introduced to brushes and cleaning from my MAC cosmetics-obsessed roommate. MAC Cosmetics brush cleaner was easily accessible, didn't break the bank and worked quickly. My habit was instantly born.
I was shown how to properly clean my brushes from a MAC makeup artist the day I picked up my first bottle of the MAC cleaner, and have been using the same method ever since:
Step 1: Take a piece of paper towel, fold in half.
Step 2: Squirt MAC brush cleaner on a portion of the paper towel.
Step 3: Take dirty brushes and wipe on wet area of paper towel in a gentle, swirling manner so bristles don't splay until brush in clean. Take dry portion of paper towel and squeeze excess cleaner from just-cleaned brush.
Step 4: Lay to dry.
I have used this method to clean my brushes for the last 6 years and my brushes still look amazing. I am proud to say my brushes have kept their shape. It's fast, easy, mess-free, and I usually end up using at MOST two pieces of paper towel per cleaning due to being able to clean multiple brushes on a sheet of paper towel. For the longest time, to my knowledge the only other kind of method to clean brushes was with soap or water. That's how tunnel vision I was with brush cleaner, until I ran out of my MAC brush cleaner 2 weeks ago and I didn't have the money to purchase a new one. I had no choice but to look for a drug store version and the only one I found was the Studio 35 Beauty Brush & Sponge Cleaner.
This brush cleaner is half the price of the MAC cleaner and more easily accessible than the MAC version since everyone has a Walgreens near them. That's where the pros end. Now to start in with the cons. I have cleaned my brushes 3 times since purchasing this and I'm at the point where I want throw my mostly-full bottle away. The method is much more time-consuming and wasteful. In the time it takes me to clean 5 brushes I could've cleaned 15 with the MAC cleaner. The Studio 35 Beauty cleaner requires water, and this process wastes A LOT of it. The steps to cleaning your brushes with the Studio 35 cleaner are:
Step 1: Wet brush hairs or sponge, then liberally spray on brush cleaner.
Step 2: Massage the cleaner into the rush or sponge.
Step 3: Rinse with water until it runs clear.
Step 4: Gently squeeze out excess water and blot with paper towel.
Step 5: Lay on flat surface to air dry. Do not dry brushes in a vertical position.
You still use paper towel with this product, but now you have to run water for every single brush. This product is not as effective at cleaning brushes either. All 3 times while using this cleaner, I have had to wash some of my brushes at LEAST 2-3 times. If you really can't afford or don't live near a MAC or Ulta or Sephora, soap and water would be much more effective than this cleaner.
I've hunted down other brush cleaners to try so a post will come soon about my next go on testing out brush cleaning products.