Powerful Makeup Brush Cleaners To Keep Your Tools In Shape

If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes— or if you’re the type to buy a new brush to avoid the brush cleaning process— it’s time to buckle down and wash your brushes. Did you know clean makeup brushes create a more seamless makeup look and allow your products to function properly? Yes, it’s true. Have you ever tried blending concealer with a soiled brush? Don’t recommend it. 

However, the most crucial reason to properly clean your brushes is to minimize outbreaks caused by the bacteria packed into the bristles from all of the liquid, powder, and cream products you use on your face on a regular basis. Up for the task? Here are 11 makeup brush cleaners that will restore your brushes to like-new condition.

CINEMA SECRETS

The creme de la creme of all makeup brush cleaners comes courtesy of Cinema Secrets. Beloved by makeup artists and obsessives alike, this brush cleaner quickly removes build-up from brushes without leaving a greasy residue behind.

MAC COSMETICS

After a while, certain cleansers can shorten your brush’s lifespan. Luckily, MAC’s brush cleanser does the complete opposite while also conditioning the brush hairs to ensure each makeup application is flawless.

SEPHORA COLLECTION

If each day starts with a fresh makeup beat, each day should end with a clean brush. Sephora Collection’s brush cleaner comes in the form of a spray so you can clean in between looks.

ELF COSMETICS

The best part about using E.l.f Cosmetics’ brush shampoo is how well it lathers, so you know your brushes are getting a goodclean regardless of how much effort you put in.

RICRIS

Streamline your makeup brush cleaning process with this tiny device. Simply dip your dirty brush in the bowl, turn on the spinner, discard the dirty water, and repeat.

AOA STUDIO

Believe it or not, the majority of inventory in the Miss A shop costs anywhere from $1 to $2, including its best-selling brush soap. Unlike other cleansers, the soap is housed in a small can but the results are astounding. Swirl your brush in the soap, rinse, and watch the magic happen.

DAWN DISH LIQUID

Yes, your typical antibacterial soap works just as well as the other brush cleaners on the market. Rest assured that your brushes will be free of all dirt and gunk, as well as any bacteria it may have accumulated over time.

ECOTOOLS

There are a lot of things to love about the Eco Tools brush shampoo, from the plant-based ingredients to fragrance-free formula. This cleanser brings your brushes back to their original state and is hypoallergenic to prevent any irritation.

REAL TECHNIQUES

A trusted brush cleanser from the brand with tried-and-true affordable brushes, the gel formula gives your brushes a deep clean without altering the bristles.

BEAUTYBLENDER

For a gentle cleanser tailored made for your beauty sponges, beautyblender created the perfect solution. This compact soap removes product build up as you massage the soap into your tools to provide a gentle but deep clean.

SIGMA BEAUTY

Free of any harsh chemicals, this hypoallergenic brush shampoo produces a good lather that coats each bristle with soap to remove the most stubborn dirt and pigment.

FAQs

Why do I need a brush cleaner?

You want to treat your brushes with the same level of attention you give your face, especially since brushes are directly applied to the skin. Cleaning your makeup brushes removes dirt and build-up that lead to acne scars and bacteria. A clean brush prevents breakouts and makes your makeup application process seamless. 

How do you wash your brushes?

Along with the aforementioned brush cleaners, investing in a brush mat helps to ensure your brushes are being properly cleansed. Most mats are designed with different sections for varying brush sizes. For liquid brush cleaners, it’s best to pour the product directly into the brush, saturate the bristles, and then use the mat to get hard-to-reach areas. After rinsing, repeat the process until your brushes return to their natural state.

ELLE

The Most Exciting New Makeup Releases That Arrived In February

CoverGirl Perfect Point Plus Liquid Liner

As protective face coverings are still very much a part of our day-to-day life, the eyes will continue to be the focal point of our makeup looks. Whether you prefer a sharp cat eye or a fun graphic look, CoverGirl’s Perfect Point Plus Liquid Liner is as bold as it gets. Designed with an easy-gliding felt tip for smooth, quick-drying application that lasts up to 12 hours, it comes in three shades, Black Onyx (true black), Charcoal (slate gray), and Espresso (rich brown) to pair with every look imaginable.

$8 (Shop Now)

Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish Ultra Glow Highlighter

Not only is the one-and-only Pat McGrath gracing the February Allure cover, but she’s also been busy behind the scenes bringing her latest Divine Rose II collection to life. Although every item, including the runway-previewed Mothership VIII Eyeshadow Palette, is sure to leave you breathless, I simply can’t wait to drench my skin in the ethereally rosy-golden Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Ultra Glow Highlighter in Divine Rose. This gel-meets-powder illuminator practically makes your cheekbones visible from outer space — and at the very least, spices up your Zoom dates.

$48 (Shop Now)

BioBlender by EcoTools 100% Biodegradable Makeup Sponge

After years of research and development (alongside John Nanos, who holds a Ph.D. in organic polymer chemistry), the BioBlender by EcoTools 100% Biodegradable Makeup Sponge is finally available to the masses. Made out of just five vegan ingredients and packaged in 100 percent plantable paper, this eco-friendly beauty tool degrades within four months in a home compost setup, compared to regular makeup sponges that waste away in a landfill for over — wait for it — 50 years. It’s even embedded with a “plant me” message to remind you to do your part.

$5 (Shop Now)

Giorgio Armani Beauty Sí Intense Eau de Parfum

Originally launched in 2013, Giorgio Armani Beauty has finally launched a revamped Sí Intense Eau de Parfum that essentially feels and looks like a warm hug. Just look at that inviting, honey-like hue. Blackcurrant nectar, Isparta rose, and patchouli ramp up to the bottle’s most intense note, vanilla, making this the perfect cozy winter (or spring) scent.

$136 for 100 ml (Shop Now)

Kevyn Aucoin True Feather Brow Marker Gel Duo

If you prefer to cocktail your brow routine with different formulas, Kevyn Aucoin’s True Feather Brow Marker Gel Duo was made for you. Infused with mung bean and red clover extract to promote fuller-looking brows, the tinted marker is equipped with an ultra-fine brush tip to create precise, realistic-looking hairs and fill in sparse areas. On the flip side, an invisible gel fluffs up your filled-in (or naked) brows and provides flexible hold. Choose from four different shades: Ash Blonde, Warm Brunette, Brunette, and Dark Brunette.

$28 (Shop Now)

Colourpop x Animal Crossing: New Horizons Collection

Save up your bells because you’ll want to spend all of them on Colourpop’s hyped-up Animal Crossing: New Horizons Collection. Inspired by iconic characters, such as Tom Nook, Isabelle, and the Able Sisters, this latest beauty-and-video-game crossover is stacked with pink-, green-, brown-, and purple-themed eye shadow palettes in a variety of matte, matte sparkle, metallic, and pressed glitter finishes. If you’re looking for unadulterated glitz, you can choose between Balloon Pop Super Shock Shadow (a metallic pink-silver single eye shadow) and Bellionaire Glitterally Obsessed (a gold, self-sticking glitter gel) — or frankly, pick up both.

Rounding out the launch are two baby-pink and coral powder blushes reminiscent of the cosmo flowers and wildflowers found on the island. And whether you lean towards pink, coral, or caramel tones, you’re bound to find a fruit-tree-inspired Mini Lip Tint Duo that fits your mood to a T. 

$7 to 12 or $125 for the full collection (Shop Now)

Glow Recipe Blueberry Lip Pop

Glow Recipe is no stranger to reformulating its products, and the Lip Pop is the latest to undergo an upgrade of its own. Now 35 percent bigger in size (3.1 grams to 4.2 grams, to get hyper-specific) and available in a permanent blueberry-infused shade, you don’t have to worry about ordering refills as frequently. This three-in-one wonder gently exfoliates, hydrates, and adds a gorgeous berry-pink tint to your lips. Go forth, swipe, and reap the multitiered benefits.

$22 (Shop Now)

Velour Beauty Vegan Luxe Lashes

Velour Beauty Vegan Luxe Lashes is the brand’s biggest step towards going 100 percent mink-free in 2021. Swipe on a layer of adhesive glue or the Best of Beauty-winning Lash & Go Eyeliner and plop on any of the 13 new styles, like Run The World for a gradient lengthening effect or the spike-patterned She-E-O for extra drama. Just like that, you’re the proud owner of soft, fluttery lashes.

$27 (Shop Now)

One/Size Secure the Blur Makeup Magnet Primer

Patrick Starrr’s latest product, the One/Size Secure the Blur Makeup Magnet Primer, creates a mattified base that’ll grip onto your foundation for all-day hold. A powerful trio of niacinamide, witch hazel, and glycerin minimizes the appearance of large pores, evens skin tone, and controls shine, so all you’re in charge of is showing off your flawless beat.

$30 (Shop Now)

Freck Noir

As the newest addition to the faux freckle family (which also includes Freck OG and Freck XL), Freck Noir was specifically created to complement mid-to-dark skin tones. Simply stamp on a small cluster of dots, and then, quickly tap your fingers on the not-yet-dry pigment to create subtle copies wherever you’d like on your face. If you’ve been in the market for a product that’ll change up your look with minimal effort, this is it.

$28 (Shop Now)

Bésame Cosmetics The Disney Mary Poppins Collection

Although your makeup bag might not be magically bottomless, there’s definitely room for Bésame Cosmetics’ The Disney Mary Poppins Collection. Based on Mary’s signature floral design and actual lip and cheek colors used in the beloved films, the Practically Perfect Powder, Poppins Red Lipstick (rich red), and Mary’s Cream’s Rouge (dark pink rouge with a hint of coral) might just make you break out in song. 

$25 to $68 (Shop Now)

Lawless Forget The Filler Definer Liner

Formulated with a silk-like ester for a one-and-done kind of glide (no tugging involved), Lawless’s Forget The Filler Definer Liner checks off all of the boxes eco-conscious beauty lovers might have. It’s certified “Clean at Sephora,” sustainably sourced — it’s made out of FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council) wood — and vegan. You’ll find your perfect my-lips-but-better shade in Burnish (mid-tone nude with a hint of red), Coco (cool-toned deep brown), Honey Rose (pinkish-mauve), or Pink Sand (universal neutral pink).

$21 (Shop Now)

ALLURE article

BeautyBlender Alternatives

By now we’ve all heard of THE Beauty Blender – the magic sponge for flawless makeup. Since it came out in 2007 (13 years ago) there definitely appeared many alternatives at competitive prices.

Some of my personal favourites are:

EcoTools Total Perfecting Blender $4.99
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge $5.99
E.L.F. Cosmetics Makeup Sponges $5.00-$10.00
Juno & Co Microfiber Fusion Sponge $6.00

Morphe Sponges (individuals and sets) $6.00-$16.00
Japonesque Kumadori Beauty Sponge $9.00
NYX Cosmetics Flawless Finish Blending Sponge $10.00

L’Oreal Blending Sponges $11.00-$13.00
Sephora Collection Sponges $19.00
Fenty Beauty Precision Makeup Sponge $22.00

Of course there is a myriad of textures, colors, functions, etc. Please consider your personal needs and online reviews if you’re unsure whether it’ll be right for you. And if it’s not – on to the next one! Sponges should be replaced around every 3 months, due to product buildup and bacteria. As well, please wash your sponges after every single use.

What are your favourite makeup sponges? Do you use them or brushes alone? Let me know in the comments below!