Adventures in Beauty: Brush cleaning

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In which I review B brush cleaner as well as getting my head around brush hygiene in general…

Like most women who aren’t professional beauty addicts (and probably many who are!), I do have some make-up habits that are somewhat skeffy. One of those would be my attitude towards brush cleaning. I didn’t even have many brushes until recently (although that’s a story for another post), but those I did tended to get cleaned… when the product on them was contaminating the product I wanted to pick up with its colour/texture. In other words, once in a blue moon. This is, apparently, a very bad thing and a way for all sorts of bacteria to thrive and what have you. So I’ve started to get a bit more disciplined about brush washing.

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About weekly (or more for heavy-duty users) seems to be the standard approach. Looked at a few tips for washing and drying and my routine has become as follows: rinse out in warm running water, then shampoo through a little of my least-favourite shampoo (in this case that Garner blends shampoo) and rinse until the water is clear and the brush clean. Repeat for all brushes and sponges. Then I’ve dried them on a towel. In order to protect the brushes, I read somewhere you should put some tube or rolled-up item under there to angle the brushes downwards. I’m doing this for now… it may not last… The washing process is actually pretty easy (other than my rubbish arms being rubbish). Most drying happens overnight although some brushes need a bit longer.

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Still, always on the lookout for a quick fix, I thought I’d get a brush spray, too, and see how it differed. Among the cheaper brands, B was recommended by a few folk (£4.99 at Superdrug), so I picked one up.

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The instructions are to spray it 2 or 3 times on the brush and wipe away using a tissue. I tried it out on this blusher brush that’s gone through 2-3 applications of bright pinks…

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…and this selection of eye brushes that have done a couple of rounds with nude and smoky shades – no brushes lathered in brights as yet to put to the test, nor creams.

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The tissue got pretty damp and grotty and wouldn’t have taken more brushes than these, so you’d get through a few if you were cleaning your whole kit. For the eye brushes, some cleaned in 1-2 sprays and others took 4-5. The spray does go everywhere though, having perhaps a bit too much might for something you are using in a precise area. (However, spraying is actually one of the hardest things for me to do with my broken elbow so it may be easier with people who have fully functioning limbs). The brushes didn’t seem to have any residue left, although most did need a little drying time.

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As for the blusher brush, loks pretty good here, but this was the result of nine sprays…

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…and there’s still a faint residue here, but not so much that I can’t work with it again before submitting it to a full wash. This, obviously, given the 9 sprays, was the wettest afterwards.

Overall, then, you generally need more spray than it suggests, and you still may need a drying time. It pains me to say it, but I think a full clean is much more effective. However, if you need a quick clean up inbetween ‘big’ washes, this isn’t bad at doing a quick job and most brushes are damp rather than soaking, so would be pretty useable if you needed them in a hurry.


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