With a new-found steam to the detoxify my beauty/skincare products, I've found myself wanting to make sure every aspect of my life is at least cruelty-free while working towards all of my beauty/skincare being vegan too over time. This led me to realize that my MAC makeup brush cleaner is something that needs to go since MAC isn't truly cruelty-free, not while they're selling through mainland China that requires animal testing.
As someone who's tried numerous different kinds of brush cleaner before, I was excited to branch out and see what high-end AND drugstore had to offer since I'm lucky to have access to both on a daily basis.
My first top was Target, and there I picked up the only labeled brush cleaner in the entire store that the Target employee knew of, which happened to be cruelty-free & vegan: ELF cosmetics brush cleaner.
At first glance this seemed like a 100% winner due to the fact that you get 2.02 fl oz for only $3. My wallet was rejoicing. However, my immediate reaction when I first sprayed this was "oh dear god what I done". The scent of this brush cleaner alone is enough to make me dry heave. This cleaner smells sickeningly sweet and not in the good way, almost like decaying fruit rotting in mid-summer Louisiana humidity. Aside from the scent though, it worked on my powder brushes quite nicely. Both real and synthetic haired powder brushes were sprayed, gently massaged to work the cleaner through the bristles, and then wiped on a clean paper towel until the leftover product was gone. The end result was a set of powder brushes that were clean but unfortunately had an awful lingering scent that made me cringe the next morning when I went to use them. For my liquid foundation brush though, this did nothing. It knew nothing therefore did nothing...Jon Snow.
I used 1/4 of the bottle trying to clean my liquid foundation brush to no avail. Spray cleaners seem to work best for powder brushes. While this worked nicely for most of my brushes, I can't continue to use it. Smelling that scent every time I clean my brushes will send me to an early grave.
When the ELF version didn't work I inspected every cosmetic counter at Macy's until I found another spray brush cleaner, this time from the company Origins. I thought that Origins was cruelty-free until I accidentally stumbled across an article stating that they sell through mainland China.
For this brush cleaner you get 3.4 fl oz for $14.50, which is more expensive than the MAC cleaner. I was a little disappointed, hoping that I would get more for the cost, but I was still hopeful that it would blow me away. My immediate reaction when I first sprayed this was "Thank god it doesn't smell like the ELF one". This cleaner has the slightest organic scent that is on the verge of heavenly. Using this one on my powder brushes though wielded very different results. Instead of becoming squeaky clean, they remained the same color they were from my powder products, except they just stopped depositing color on the clean paper towel once sprayed. Following the same process: Spray, massage, wipe, repeat until clean....well, there never was a truly "clean" state.
To be honest, this cleaner didn't really do much appearance-wise for my brushes. They felt softer, conditioned and sanitized, but they still looked very dirty, which leads me to believe this didn't get a lot of product out. It might've just sanitized the product that was left in there.
NO. DOUBLE NO.
I am still on the hunt for an effective cruelty-free and hopefully vegan brush cleaner that is less messy and time-consuming than shampoo & water.
I won't rest until I find it, I just might stop to take snack breaks in-between. And maybe a nap or two.