Brush cleaning has to be up there among most makeup users/enthusiasts most loathed tasks. So often, I come across people moaning or complaing about having to wash their makeup brushes, even though we all know we have to do it, as it will get grimy with use, and that’s really crappy for our skin (breakout city!)
Personally, I don’t mind washing my brushes. I use them, I wash them. It’s like taking a shower, or doing my laundry. Sure, I hate ironing, but I do my laundry without moaning because I need clean clothes. So, I don’t quite get the loathing for brush-washing. Don’t like to wash your brushes? Don’t use them. Hands work just fine. Want to use brushes, then don’t moan about washing them.
But there are things that help us get the job done more quickly and efficiently. Stuff you can find at Daiso work just as well as mitts or palettes said to help you wash your brushes better. Ditto brush cleansers. You can get the stuff that squirts alcohol on your brushes so you don’t actually have to take your brushes to the sink, or you can clean them properly with a proper cleanser.
On one of my iHerb sojourns, I picked up a bottle of the new Real Techniques Deep Cleansing Gel. For some reason, it intrigued me. I figured this. If Real Techniques makes those affordable and pretty decent makeup brushes, they should know their way around brush cleansers, right? After all, Samantha Chapman is a makeup artist and she has to wash her brushes, I’m sure.
Well, let’s just say that although this is just US$9 (RM40), you’re better off saving that money, or putting it towards a breakfast and coffee at a hipster joint, or something just as frivolous, because I think this is meh; and I can tell you 4 alternatives that do the job better, and cost less.
But first, why don’t I like this – those of you who do may be gearing up to bash me right about now, but hey, let’s call a spade a spade, shall we? I’m not the only person out there who doesn’t think much of this product, and I won’t be the last.
The Real Techniques Deep Cleansing Gel, as the name implies, has a rather thick gel texture. The packaging is pretty, but you know, it’s what in there that really counts.
The instructions call for you to dampen your brush, squeeze some of the gel onto your brush or palm and then swirl in water to rinse. The instructions on the website actually differ from that on the box. One calls for you to squirt it on the brush, the other on your palm. I tried it both ways.
I tested this on some fairly grimy brushes in both natural hair and synthetic hair that had been used for cream products as well as powder, including a Real Techniques brush, which is synthetic.
With the Shiseido Perfect Foundation brush that I use for my liquid foundations, this cleanser did nothing. Ok, it probably got some product out of my brush, but it wasn’t enough. I rinsed and used this cleansing gel through the brush 3 times. Each time, it removed a little more product, but for the most part, it didn’t clean the brush. It most certainly was not “deep cleansing” as the name of the product implies. What eventually did the job was the Daiso brush cleanser, as always.
Feeling a little perturbed at this point, I picked up my Real Techniques Blush Brush, which is so huge that I use for applying powder. The white tips were visibly dirty, and I thought this Deep Cleansing Gel should do the job more easily. After all, it was an RT brush, synthetic bristles, and was only used for powder products.
After 2 rounds of cleansing with this RT Deep Cleansing Gel, the water was rinsing out just a little murky, but the tips remained stained. I wasn’t sure what to think at this point. I even squeezed the gel directly onto the brush and rubbed it first, on my Daiso mat, and then on my palm. But the tips remained stained. I’d read that people found this so concentrated that it got the job done so quickly. I’m not sure how dirty their brushes were, but it wasn’t the case for me.
Feeling pretty pissed off at this point, I used the Dr. Bronner’s Castile Liquid Soap and voila! Clean brush, white tips, clear water. I should point out at this point that Dr. Bronner has always gotten my powder brushes clean almost immediately with a little product, so even white goat hair brushes clean up very well. I kind of expected that from a product that was said to be deep cleansing and supposed to be concentrated.
I tried it with some natural hair brushes that had been used for powder products – eye and cheek – with the same results, although I will agree that it seemed to clean the eye brushes better than the larger cheek and powder brushes. Might it be because it was a smaller surface area? I’m not sure, but this product was a serious disappointment over all.
Oh and there’s a sweet scent that I did not like. All in all, as affordable as it is, save your US$9 and get any of these more affordable alternatives that work a hell lot better and leave your brushes sparkling clean and soft:-
- Baby Shampoo
- Dove bar soap
- Daiso brush cleaner (for synthetic brushes)
- Dr. Bronner’s Castile Liquid Soap
IN A NUTSHELL
Don’t waste your money. This cleansing gel for washing brushes doesn’t clean brushes very well. I used it on fairly grimy brushes so I don’t know if it’s because of that. Perhaps, it might clean less dirty brushes better? I don’t know. It didn’t clean brushes for cream products very well, and takes me double the time to get my brushes properly cleaned. I’d use any of the alternatives I’ve outlined above. They’re cheaper and far more effective and importantly, save you time because you get the job done more quickly!
PROS: Pretty packaging, Seems to clean small brushes more effectively although I need to wash them twice to be sure
CONS: Doesn’t clean dirty brushes very well, especially if the dirt is fairly ingrained, Doesn’t clean most of my brushes very well at all even if I wash them multiple times
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: I’m not sure
PRICE: US$8.99 | £6.99 for 150ml
If you’re interested to know what is in this cleanser, here’s the ingredient list.
Have you tried this Deep Cleansing Gel and were you impressed, or did you feel like I did? What is your brush cleanser of choice?
If you liked this or got this to work for you, I’d love to hear about it. I have this after all, so I’ll be using it up, but it’s not something I’d recommend or repurchase. So yes, I was harsh on it, but yeah. Call a spade a spade, yeah? 😉