If you read my post about the BrushCraft by Artis brushes, you know that makeup brushes are an investment. And you obviously want to take care of that investment so it can give you long-lasting, great results, right? I did a few girls' makeup for homecoming this past Saturday, so inevitably I had A LOT of brushes to clean yesterday. I was about to start washing them the same way I always do (Philosophy Purity Face Wash), but then I started wondering if maybe there was a cheaper, more effective way to clean them?
So I looked up different ways on Pinterest, asked my friends on Facebook, and decided to put each one to the test! I tried to use similar brushes for each group so that this could be as equal as possible. Also, I used the stopwatch on my iPhone to time how long it took to wash 5 brushes and 1 sponge during each method. Let me show you what I found. 😊
Dawn Dish Soap - $2.67
Dawn dish soap was by far the most popular answer I received. I mean, it makes sense. It cleans and disinfects your brushes, and it's super cheap! You add about a quarter-sized amount to each brush, rub it around and then rinse. So how did it go?
It took me 4.16 minutes to clean these brushes and sponge. It worked really well! The makeup washed out instantly, I didn't have to rub the crap out of each one. I definitely recommend this method! 👍🏻
Baby Shampoo - $2.92
Another popular answer I hadn't heard of before was baby shampoo. You're supposed to use it the same way you used the dish soap. Just add a quarter-sized amount to each brush, rub it around, and then rinse off. I didn't get the same results as with the Dawn dish soap though...
It took 7.46 minutes to get everything somewhat clean. I know 7 minutes doesn't sound like much, but I would NOT want to spend more than an hour cleaning another 40 brushes.. And as you can see, the brushes and sponge didn't even get cleaned all the way.. If you don't have very many brushes, or don't mind rubbing dirty brushes on your face, then maybe this method will work for you. As for me? Never again. 👎🏻
Dawn Dish Soap + Vinegar - $3.49
This recipe is similar to the two above but includes vinegar. It's very inexpensive and is known for being a great cleaning product. I used one cup of hot water, 1 tablespoon of dish soap, and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. I let my brushes soak in that formula for about 5 minutes, then rubbed them under running water. To my surprise....
It worked really well! After the brushes soaked for 5 minutes, it took less than 1 minute to get rinse off the brushes. I swear, it was like all of the makeup and gunk just melted off! I recommend this formula 10,000,000%! 👍🏻
Coconut Oil + Dawn Dish Soap - $11.12
There's that magical Dawn dish soap again! 😂 Among the hundreds of good uses for coconut oil, apparently it also works as a makeup brush cleanser. 🤔 The idea is that it pulls all the old makeup and bacteria out, while nourishing the bristles. I liquified about one teaspoon and mixed it with about one tablespoon of dish soap. I put a little on each brush, rubbed the brush on my palm, and then rinsed it with hot water. I'm not going to lie, I was really skeptical about this one. I figured the bristles would have a nasty residue, and well...
It didn't! There was no gross oily residue on the brushes or sponge. The makeup came off immediately and I was pleasantly surprised! It took 2.27 minutes to clean everything with this combination. It works, it's fast, and so inexpensive! I would undoubtedly recommend! 👍🏻
Zote Soap - $2.37
I had never even heard of this soap before until a few girls on Facebook recommended it for this purpose. It's a really cheap laundry soap bar. No one told me how they used it so I just winged it. I wet the bar of soap and swiped the wet brushes against it until the makeup came off. Same with the sponge. As you can see...
It worked really well! I was really surprised it worked on the sponge. It only took 3.12 minutes to get them to that point. I was amazed and definitely recommend this to anyone who's looking for a good product to clean their brushes/sponges but doesn't want to break the bank! 👍🏻
Olive Oil + Baby Shampoo - $6.88
I've read in a few different blog posts on Pinterest, that instead of coconut oil, olive oil works great for cleaning brushes too. Everything I read said to use equal amounts of olive oil and baby shampoo(or dish soap). So I did 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon of baby shampoo. I put a bit on each brush/sponge, and rubbed them under hot water. The results were...
Not good.. Not only did the makeup not come off easily, it also took forever! And believe me, I rubbed and rubbed like crazy! I gave up after 8 minutes and that's how they turned out. And to top it all off, the brushes and sponge were left with a disgusting residue. No matter how much I rinsed, they still felt so slick with oil.. I definitely do NOT recommend this. No. No. No. No. No. No. NO! 😡👎🏻
SigMagic Brushampoo - $15.00
This cleanser was recommended to me by a friend. It's by Sigma and it contains 100% natural virgin coconut and ethically sourced palm oil. Their site said that it's supposed to dissolve product buildup, oil residue, and harmful bacteria, for deepest clean possible. It's sulfate and paraben-free. You're supposed to put 1-3 pumps of this product on dampened brushes, lather, rinse, and repeat as needed. Sounds just like your regular shampoo, huh? 😂
It worked beautifully! I could see the makeup coming before I even started rubbing the bristles. It took me 2.30 minutes to clean everything with this! It is the most expensive product in this whole post, but it definitely works and saves you time and effort! 👍🏻
I bought it here!
NYX Brush Cleaner - $15.00
I love NYX products so I was pretty excited to use this. This cleanser is meant to give your makeup brushes a deep-clean without being too abrasive on the bristles. You're just supposed to pour some in a small bowl, soak your brush in it for about a minute, swirl it around, then rinse and repeat until the brush is clean. All I have to say about this is...
I wasn't impressed. 😶 Without even an ounce of exaggeration I can say that I had to use almost half the bottle to get my brushes and sponge to that 'After' point... After 10 minutes of repeating the same steps over and over and over again, I gave up.. You can see there's still makeup on some of the brushes and there's definitely still makeup on the sponge. This product wasn't cheap, didn't work well, and it left a weird film on my brushes/sponge. I wanted to like this, I really really did. But unfortunately, I do not recommend this. 👎🏻
Real Techniques Deep Cleansing Gel - $8.99
This cleansing gel is recommended for weekly use and is supposed to be tough on makeup residue but gentle on the bristles. The instructions say to add a drop of this onto each brush after dampening them, then rubbing them between your fingers, and then rinse them off.
I actually really like this product. I feel like it works better on brushes with powdered products than brushes with liquid products. But with a little scrubbing on your part, it gets the job done. It took me 3.37 minutes total. It smells great and left my brushes softer than ever. I would definitely recommend! 👍🏻
To save some money, buy it here!
Japonesque Solid Brush Cleanser - $15.00
This cleanser is different from all the other ones I listed. It's an emollient formula that quickly dissolves makeup to deep-clean your brushes AND condition them. They sell two different ones: Unscented and Coconut-Scented.. I opted for the unscented one since I hate the smell of coconut.. 😓 You have to dampen the brush then swirl it in circles on the balm, it starts to foam after a bit, and then you rinse the brush off. That's it!
It worked pretty great! I noticed it took a little more work to get black makeup off my brushes(see 4th brush), but it worked great on everything else. It's so easy to use, less messy, and only took 4 minutes to use. It even worked on the little makeup sponge! I would recommend this. 👍🏻
If you buy this from Ulta, it's $20.. But if you buy it here, it's only $15!
I know there's a million other makeup brush cleansers out there, but these are the 10 I was most tempted to try out. Some worked out great, and a couple didn't work very well. I'm hoping this post will help all of you out and hopefully save you some money and time! Do you use something else that wasn't listed on here? Let me know in the comments below! ALSO, if there's a post you would like me to write about, please don't hesitate to ask! If you're too shy to ask as yourself, feel free to just put "Anon" in the name field!
Have a great rest of the week! 😘