Brush cleansers are one of my must-haves. If I'm doing makeup for several faces, for example, a brush cleanser makes my tools clean for the next user. Having a bottle of brush cleanser sure beats having several brush sets or duplicates of the same brush (and it's way cheaper too). Plus, cleaning brushes in between colors enables the colors to come out much more vibrant. I notice that if I use the same brush over and over without pausing to remove excess pigment, colors can tend to get muddy. So instead of peach, I end up with a somesorta brownish hue.
There are several brush cleansers in the market - some from luxury brands and others from professional makeup brands sold in most makeup supply stores. I've tried them all, and I've narrowed down my choices to those that are quick-drying, retain the quality of my brushes, and smell good, fresh, and clean instead of chemical-like.
A makeup artist friend of mine has raved about a brush cleanser created by Angelo Falconi III. Trust a makeup artist when he or she raves about a product because these are people who use makeup for a living. I also trust most products created by a makeup artist because these are people who understand both the needs of a professional makeup artist and a client. For those who don't know, Angelo Falconi III is a makeup artist who owns a branch of salons in the South area. He also taught in a makeup school and many talented makeup artists have graduated under his helm.
Anyway, my makeup artist friend says that his brush cleanser has all the stuff that I want namely:
- smells really good and fresh - a combination of tea tree and peppermint oil. So no scent that your brushes came from a chem lab. Yaye!
- leaves brushes clean without drying out the bristles - even gel eyeliner and lipstick and stubborn liquid foundation
- dries fast - so it's ready for use with a little swish and flick.
- affordable - a bottle costs almost half of other brush cleansers in the market.
I learned about it probably 2 years ago, but I never found out where I could purchase it until I saw bottles at Purebeauty in Serendra. Wow! Now it's available in a place that's super near! There are two kinds of bottles available, both 250 mL - one with a spritzer and one with just a bottle cap. There are also two strengths available - regular strength for quick-cleaning in-between usage and extra strength (don't get scared, wait for the description) for deep cleansing of all brushes and to remove concealer, eyeliner, and lipstick buildup.
I just came from an early client this morning, and as I got home, it would be the perfect time to test the brush cleanser. I usually clean my brushes with a brush cleanser first before washing them, since it's easier that way, plus it helps me develop the habit and make me constantly aware of the fact that I have to, even quick cleaning between usage. Anyway, when I spritzed a good amount on a tissue, I took a sniff and I was glad that it smelled quite nice. It smelled like peppermint and tea tree oil. The peppermint part made it smell more like aromatherapy oil than vapor rub, and we all know how clean and refreshing the scent of tea tree oil could be. FYI, tea tree oil has antibacterial properties so yuckies are zapped and killed in a spritz and swish. As the label says, it "eliminated 99.9% of germs without damaging makeup brushes".
Anyway, so I road-tested my cleanser. There are two ways that I cleaned the brushes. First, I used this method:
Step one was spritzing the bristles with brush cleanser, just a couple of sprays would do. This works on big brushes, like in this case, my 187 brush, which I use for liquid foundation. Then, after a good spritz, I rub the bristles against a paper towel (I prefer paper towels because they're disposable and I wouldn't worry about unattractive stains that might be left on the towel even after laundry). I repeat the process if I want it super clean.
Another method is over here, which works if I'm cleaning several smaller brushes, not to mention it saves more product. What I do is spritz some product (i.e. brush cleanser) on the paper towel and swishie the brushes on it.
After my quick-cleansing, my brush looks clean. Foundation, especially dark-colored ones stain my white brushes, and sometimes, for really pigmented colors, they leave a faint stain even after washing. I like the fact that I could confidently use my brushes for the next client. Plus, it's quick-drying so I don't end up getting brush cleanser on my makeup.
The bottle costs Php480 at Purebeauty in Serendra, and they're both available in a spritzer and regular bottle, both at the same cost. Better check though if you're purchasing a regular strength or regular strength cleaner. I purchased regular strength though, since I use it for pre-cleaning brushes before washing them and cleaning brushes before starting on another face, if I'm doing more than one face in a gig. I'm glad that there are more Philippine-made products that are coming out for makeup artists (and makeup fanatics) to use.