Sunday, July 1, 2012

Battle of the Brands: Makeup Brush Cleaners

I've always loved reviews of products. And I've always loved comparing two that are supposed to do the same job! So for today, I'm going to take a look at Sephora's daily brush cleaner, the Sephora Purifying Brush Shampoo, and MAC's brush cleanser.

The first product I bought was Sephora's Daily Brush Cleaner, so I'll talk about that first.

I initially purchased this product because I was sick and tired of scrubbing my brushes on the back of my hand before applying my eye makeup everyday when I wanted to switch colors. At $6 for a 2 oz. bottle I didn't think it was too much either. One thing that I absolutely love love love about this product, is the spray pump. I cannot say enough great things about that. I'd usually use 2 sprays onto a piece of tissue or paper towel and then clean my brush back and forth, watching excitedly as the product would easily wipe right off! I'm so easily amused. But it was like a miracle for me, who had never technically cleaned a brush before. The two sprays usually worked. For a more stubborn color (like Urban Decay's Darkhorse in the Naked Palette) I might even spray onto the brush directly, but that wasn't usually the case. I have about a fourth of the bottle left after about a month, so I'd say if you use it daily like me (and I didn't use it on my face brushes) you might want to invest in the 6.75 oz version ($14). Unless you like running into Sephora monthly, which I personally love :).

The second product I purchased was Sephora's brush shampoo. Previously, I had been using baby shampoo, which was working great, but I was wondering if the brushes would need an extra conditioning agent (I had just bought MAC's 217 and 239 and I didn't want to risk that $50 investment). Like the daily brush cleaner, this one is $6 for 2 oz. and has a pump top that is super helpful when you are at the sink cleaning your brushes. Both Sephora products have a really nice fresh smell that I enjoy (not chemical in the least, but not an annoying overpowering smell either). It suds up great, left my brushes clean after just one pump. My larger face brushes usually needed two, but that was it. It was easy to use, washed out fast, and got all the product out. Plus, the product claims that it's anti-bacterial too, so for those that worry about keeping their face clean and blemish free, this is a great way to do that.

With these two products I initially had absolutely no complaints. I guess if I could imagine one, it would be the price. For the 2 oz bottle being $6 seemed a tad much, but it's not too bad.

It was plainc curiosity that brought me to MAC's brush cleanser. I had read so much and I was wondering just how it compared to Sephora's, since this is both of their products in one. It's $13 (less than the big version of the others). One thing that I can't say enough (like the reviewers all across the internet) is that the top is just ridiculous. At first I thought people were just being too picky. But seriously, you do waste a lot of product, it leaks sometimes awkwardly, and it can really just frustrate a person. Even at points when I'm doing the quick, daily clean-up, I get so frustrated with the cap that I pull out my Sephora version (and it gets the job done).

However, there's a reason why people put up with it, and that's the fact that MAC's gets the product out faster. And better. Especially when shampooing. I had resigned to the fact that my new 217 and 239 would never be a clean white again after several washings with the Sephora shampoo. After just one use with a tiny amount of MAC product, they were back to being their original pristine white. And that's when I was sold. This product has hardly any smell, also.

The jury (well me, anyway) is still unsure about it's capabilities getting the brushes clean on a daily basis. I think I need to test that out more.

I think what it comes down to is, ease of use and what store you like better. Yes, MAC's kicked the baby shampoo and Sephora's behind when it came to deep cleaning. And with just a tiny amount of product too. But sometimes, I just get so frustrated with that cap because I'm watching my money slowly dribble everywhere...except for where I want it. I'd say if you like Sephora's Daily Brush cleaner, get that and shampoo with MAC. Or find a spray pump for the MAC cleaner.

I know for me personally, I'm sold when it comes to shampooing (at least for now) with the MAC. I also like MAC's recycling program, which is another reason I decided to invest in this bottle. So for now the MAC has won, but only time will tell.

Update: I wanted to add that the Sephora brush shampoo lathers very well, the MAC version doesn't lather at at all. Also, I feel like because of the alcohol in the MAC brush cleanser, it feels like it dries the hair of the brushes out a little.
Does anyone have any thoughts about these? Any idea where I can buy a spray cap for my MAC brush cleanser?

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