What's the best way to clean your makeup brushes?

Business Insider 1 month ago
  • We tried cleaning makeup brushes using three different methods: brush shampoo, a brush-cleaning mat, and an electric spinning brush cleaner and dryer.
  • We ranked the methods based on which was least damaging to the brushes, how fast it cleaned the brushes, and how well it cleaned the brushes.
  • In the end, we decided which method is the best value for your money.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Following is a transcript of the video.

[laughs] Did you see that?

This is "How Much Should I Spend?" where we test a method using different products at various price points to let you know which is the best value for your money.

So, today, we're going to be doing something that I haven't done for a very long time. And that is try different methods of cleaning your brushes. The methods that I'm gonna be using for cleaning my brushes are the StylPro spinning brush cleaner, the Sigma brush-cleaning mat, and a brush shampoo from EcoTools.

I'm gonna apply the same makeup look three times using the same brushes and then clean those brushes using each method. At the end, I'll rank each method based on how well it cleaned my brushes, how long it took to clean them, and which was the least damaging.

I am extremely lazy when it comes to cleaning my brushes, which is why I almost never do it. But I think my ideal brush-cleaning situation would be something, like, very low-maintenance, fast, and easy. So, hopefully, today we'll find something that I can definitely do more than once a year.

OK, so my makeup is on. My brushes look sufficiently dirty, and we're ready to start this test. I think what I'm gonna do is start off by using the brush shampoo on its own just to, like, ease myself into these other products that I haven't tried yet.

The instructions just say to dampen the bristles with lukewarm water, squeeze a small amount of shampoo onto the brush, and gently rub bristles between your fingers to create a light lather. Rinse thoroughly afterwards. And I guess I just massage it in like I would like a tiny human head.

The EcoTools brush shampoo actually worked really, really great! All of my brushes look very nice and clean. The only issue I think that I have with it is that it is just shampoo on my hand, and it looks like some of the bristles in my brushes did get a little bit knocked out of place. All in all, it took about 15 minutes to shampoo all these brushes thoroughly, get all that gunk out of them, and rinse them off, so that wasn't too bad.

Next step, we're gonna try out the Sigma brush-cleaning mat. I think the interesting thing about this mat to me is that there are sections for your eye brushes and your face brushes. I think the problem with cleaning all of my brushes in, like, the palm of my hand is that over time it's probably not great for them, all this rubbing on my flat, palmy hand. I'm interested to see if using this will cause more damage or less damage than just using my hand.

When I first saw the Sigma mat, it looked a little bit silly. I didn't think that using separate sections for eye brushes and face brushes was going to make too big of a difference. But I actually think that it did. The bristles this time around look a lot more compact, in the way they looked before. It also took about the same amount of time to clean the brushes with the Sigma mat than it did to clean them on the palm of my hand.

And, last but not least, we have the StylPro Original spinning brush cleaner and dryer. I didn't read it before, but I read it now, and it says that it cleans and dries your brushes.

So I guess now I just have to pick a brush, and we'll try to fit it in one of these rings. Too big. Oh, this one fits. Perfect. I guess I just, like, push it in. And then I take my StylPro handle thing and just... That feels correct. [laughs] Did you see that!

I know some people have those brushes that they use every day and that are their absolute favorites. So, a reason why you might prolong washing them is because you want to keep them in use. They take a bit to dry. So the only, like, major pull I feel like the StylPro has is that it is also a brush dryer.

I'm pretty blown away by the StylPro. I thought it was gonna be so dumb and not work at all, but these brushes look pretty spectacular. The only thing that was a bit time-consuming and a little frustrating at times was finding the correct adapter piece for your brush. Some brushes were too big, some were too little. So, that can be kind of an issue in the future. I think it's awesome how you not only wash your brushes in it, but you can also use it to dry them. And then you can use them immediately afterwards.

I think my overall winner for the day has to be the Sigma brush-cleaning mat. I think the reason I ended up choosing the Sigma as the best method is because it's not so complicated, like the StylPro kind of was. And it's also a step above just using my hand to wash brushes, which doesn't always get all the makeup out of them.

When it came to washing the brushes using the palm of my hand, I did notice that a few of the bristles started to fray in all sorts of directions, which wasn't great. I don't think that it's a method that will be kind to my brushes over time.

The StylPro was super fun to use, and I really enjoyed it. But I don't see myself using it very often. It just seems like a very long and complicated process, trying to find out which adapter will go to which brush and constantly changing them out so you can start all over again, getting it attached and then swirling it around. It's just a lot.

So, if you're looking for an easy way to clean your brushes and have the 25 bucks to spare, I'd say give the Sigma mat a try.

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