Here, add this item to the list of “Things you didn’t know existed or needed till you have it” because that’s how I felt about the Benjabelle Brush Tree. I saw this sprout (sprout! Tree!) online a few years ago and as I always always do, I sniffed, turned my nose up at what I figured was yet another gimmick to make people waste money, and swore up and down that drying my brushes flat was the way to go. I’m often too sceptical for my own good.
Alright, the difficulty to get hold of it played a major role. It cost a lot to ship to Malaysia from the USA and I soon promptly forgot about it. However, a friend and entrepreneur, Romana of MyMakeupOrganizer brought this into the country last year and rekindled my interest, so I picked one up. I told myself it was to assuage my curiosity and I still kept my sceptic hat on.
But sceptical as I am, I cannot deny that the Benjabelle Brush Tree is a very clever little contraption that deserves its accolades.
The concept behind the Brush Tree is very simple yet very clever. We are encouraged and advised that we should dry our makeup brushes flat or pointing down, so the water doesn’t flow into the base and melt the glue, which will result in our owning very expensive animal hair or a handful of synthetic fibre, depending on your preference.
Drying makeup brushes flat isn’t a rocket science. Most of us will do so, laying them on a piece of towel and letting them dry. Some of the more intrepid have designed various DIY methods to hold a brush upside down, so it can dry pointing down. Hats off to everyone who does. I’m not as patient (nor as clever) so I took the easy way out. I bought a brush tree 😀
The Benjabelle Brush Tree comes in a flatpack reminiscent of those you get in Ikea, with 3 pieces of flat plastic that you self-assemble. Don’t worry, it’s a doddle compared to what you get from Ikea and you won’t have any screws or pieces leftover.
What holds the brushes in place are these pliable silicone flaps that you see in the picture. Take note that you should insert your brush handle side first from UNDERNEATH. The silicone, and simple physics holds the brush in place. (I never thought I’d ever mention physics in this blog but there you go – physics at work in everyday life!) When your brushes are dry, just pull them back down and ta-da! You’re good to go. The silicone flaps are soft and won’t scratch the handles of your brushes 🙂
It is very clever and well constructed, and I hear already liberally copied. I’d personally prefer to buy the original – the creators worked hard to come up with their design – but as with everything, these are things you have to work out for yourself.
There are a few different designs available on the Benjabelle website, which hold different numbers of brushes so you can quite easily pick something to suit your needs. Locally, Romana brought in 2 designs – Daisy and Sunflower.
Being a little kiasu (colloquially lit. afraid to lose out) I picked up the Sunflower, which is the largest set available that holds the largest number of brushes – 4 large brushes (e.g. the fat NARS Bronzer brush), 6 Medium (e.g. any face/blush brush) and 16 thin brushes (e.g. eye or lip brushes). Daisy is about half the size and you can see it in action on Tine’s blog.
The Sunflower has a fairly large footprint if you keep it fully assembled all the time or if you have limited space, but you can easily collapse it and only assemble it when you want to wash your brushes. I keep it fully assembled at all times because I have the space (and because it reminds me to wash my brushes everytime I look at it!)
I also like how it’s very well balanced, so even if I only use one side of the Sunflower, the contraption doesn’t unbalance or tip over. It’s sturdy, and that was one of the things I was most impressed with. I have deliberately overloaded one side of the Brush Tree to see what would happen and the answer is nothing. It doesn’t topple, which is great. I don’t always have the time nor inclination to work out where to stick the brushes so the whole thing balances itself.
But I know what you’re wondering. What’s so great about this brush tree and do I need it?
Brushes dry more quickly
The air circulates around the brushes more easily as compared to when they lie flat, and my brushes seem to dry in half the time! I wash and dry my makeup brushes in my bathroom that gets a lot of air circulation so if I wash my brushes in the morning, I find that my small brushes can sometimes be dry by night and the denser brushes dry overnight.
Brushes don’t need a lot of reshaping
I suppose I have to thank gravity for this, because I find that my makeup brushes hold their shape better when they’re dry. I know it’s very popular to use a brush guard and I have that contraption (which I again, bought for a lark a long time ago but never thought a lot of it) but I don’t use it because I don’t need to.
Takes up less space to dry brushes
When I laid my brushes flat to dry, they actually take up quite a lot of space, and I have to be careful so the brushes don’t roll about and disappear. The brush tree has a fairly small footprint by comparison, and in my case, I can dry at least 26 brushes at a go in that same space.
So, it sounds wonderful, but do I need it?
Nope. It’s not a “need”. However, if you have the funds and you want your brushes to dry more quickly and you aren’t the DIY sort (like me!) or if you’re merely curious then it is a nice “want” because it does work very well.
I’ve seen some people double their brush trees up as brush storage. So once it’s dry, they just move it to their dresser and stick the brushes right way up and ta-da! Brush storage! That’s quite clever as well.
Do you own the Benjabelle Brush Tree? Do you know of other brush drying contraptions that I may not know about but should?
As I said, this wasn’t a device I thought I’d actually like, but I do. I’m glad I bought it and I’m happy with it because it works well for me. Naturally though, if DIY if your thing, there are loads of suggestions online too 🙂
Benjabelle Brush Tree comes in various sizes Price: Sunflower (RM178.70 / US$39.95) Daisy (RM99.95 / US$19.95), Original (US$34.95), Mini (US$24.95), Tulip (US$24.95) Availability: Benjabelle Website or their Authorised Resellers (list here) In Malaysia, it is available through @MyMakeupOrganizer on Instagram or email [email protected]