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Cleaner wars

A while ago I discussed taklon make up brushes and, specifically my new, expensive Hourglass ones with which I am replacing the Bobbi Brown ones I’d had for years and that were starting to show their age.

If you use a foundation brush, it’s important to cleanse it after every use not least to prevent a build up of dirt and bacteria but also because a gunky foundation brush, clogged up with foundation goo is really, really icky, to use the technical term.

What do we use to clean it, however? Well, Bobbi Brown used to make two different sorts of makeup brush cleaner, a spray one for a quick fix temporary clean and disinfect and a more detergent-like one, washing up liquid for brushes. I’ve used both. I rejected the former pretty much straight away because I don’t think it cleans much at all. I used the latter for years but recently found that it was not so effective at removing non-Bobbi Brown foundation from brushes. Or perhaps that was just me.

When I bought the Hourglass bushes I asked counter staff what they used to clean them and they replied that they used surgical spirit. Rubbing my hands with glee, I purchased a 5ooml bottle from Boots for about £4.95. It does work up to a point, yes, and it’s cheap but I soon found that my expensive new taklon fibre foundation brush was disintegrating on my face and had become a #minsgame chucking candidate.

It’s all very well for Hourglass sales reps to say they use surgical spirit: when their brushes start to fall apart, they can just unpack a new brush and use that.

Now, I’ve heard that people use shampoo to clean their brushes but I’ve never found it that successful at removing even oil free foundations. Following the shampoo logic, however, took me to the Aveda counter, where the assistants immediately told me that their Scalp Benefits shampoo often went missing, taken by all the cosmetics counter sales staff to clean their own brushes. So I bought a bottle.

I can categorically say how delighted I am with my purchase. I don’t think my make up brushes have been this clean in months: every last trace of foundation; long wear concealer; blush has been categorically removed from my brushes. At £18 for a 250ml bottle, it’s considerably cheaper than the Bobbi Brown stuff and also the surgical spirit, once you factor in the cost of a new foundation brush every month.