Do you spot clean your makeup brushes? I don’t. I don’t know how it’s done and I don’t know how it works. The only brush cleaning method I know and do is deep cleaning, which is probably bad for my makeup brushes but I don’t care enough to bother googling for spot cleaners.
Anyway, I used to use Joy dish washing liquid for deep cleaning but it leaves a scent on my dense face brushes. I don’t want to be reminded of washing the dishes, my 2nd most hated household chore, whenever I do my makeup.
Dr. Woods Castile Liquid Soap
So, I bought liquid castile soap. I heard that Dr. Bronners is good but I’m not going to spend more on my brushes than my face. I opted for Dr. Woods which is at least half as cheap.
I first tried the Unscented: Baby Mild variant. But it didn’t seem to remove cream products well. When I finished the bottle, I bought the one with Tea Tree Oil. The latter is more runny but same as the Unscented one, it’s also not that good in removing cream products from brushes. I ended up using Dr. Wood’s Tea Tree Castile Soap on my face.
I also noticed that Dr Woods make my eye brushes either too ‘fluffed out’ or too clumpy, in a very bad way, like oily hair strands stuck together.
Tony Moly Clear Water Lip and Eye Remover
When I was still using Dr Woods, I double cleanse cream products with Tony Moly. The latter stings my eye, so I re-purposed it as a brush cleaner for lip brushes and dense face brushes. I won’t repurchase it just for that purpose, though.
Johnson & Johnsons Baby Shampoo
This is good stuff. Better than both Joy and Dr Woods. It cleans better and it helps the brushes retain their shape. If it were not for the existence of dust, I wouldn’t have any use for brush guards anymore, except for this.
However, I still needed to double cleanse eyeliner and lip brushes, and Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush. But I’m not complaining. I wasn’t really expecting this shampoo to work on those. I was able to finish 2 bottles of the variant for babies. Recently, I bought their toddler shampoo — cheaper, same performance, but the scent is different. I like scent of the baby variant more.
Ordinary Bar Soap
This is the best of everything and is my current favorite makeup brush cleaner. I had the brightest idea of buying Dr Woods Castile bar soap but I just settled with trying out whatever was in the bathroom. When I first tried this out, I used Human Heart Nature’s Lavender Mint soap and I was mind blown. The makeup came right off. White eye brushes looked as good as new without the need for too much swishing.
It also gives a satisfying squeaky cleanliness.
And yes, it works even for lip brushes and densest of face brushes used on cream products. With eye liner brushes, I still need to pre-cleanse with an emulsifying cleansing oil. Again, not complaining.
It seems to be working for all types of bar soap I’ve been using. But real soap, those made with saponified oil (lye + oil), works best, I think.
The best part: the brushes dry super clean and their shapes retained. Initially, I thought the brush hairs wouldn’t be as soft anymore but so far this isn’t the case.
For the very few natural-hair brushes I have, I still use Johnson & Johnsons. Maybe I’ll try it one of these days. For synthetic hair, I vouch for bar soap.
P.S. I don’t go through brush cleansers fast. I just kept those empty bottles for far too long.
P.P.S. When should I use “cleaner” instead of “cleanser”?