BATTLE OF THE BRUSH CLEANSERS: MAKE UP FOREVER VS MAC

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It’s time for a comparison review of two brush cleansers created by two of the, in my opinion, best mainstream and professional cosmetic and brands ever.

MAC’s brush cleanser has been a long time favorite of mine, but when I encountered the MUFE one, I decided to give it a try. Did this new, less talked about brush cleanser outshine my standard one, or is the MAC one my holy grail? 3, 2, 1… Review!

MAC Brush Cleanser

There’s a reason why this is a cult favorite and an all time staple of mine. This brush cleanser does what it claims to do, which is to “clean, disinfect and condition the brush fibers so that brushes will last longer”. This is a fairly simple claim, which the product certainly lives up to. It cleans all my brushes quickly and effectively. Heavy stains, for example brushes that I used for applying foundation, do take more effort to properly cleanse, but this cleanser still does the trick. I never really expect brush cleanser to fully deep clean my brushes – I use baby shampoo for that. But still, this cleanser purifies my brushes from pretty much everything. What I usually do is I pour some cleanser onto a cotton pad or some kitchen roll, then pour some more onto the bristles themselves for a more quick and thorough cleanse and swirl and swipe them until I’m satisfied with how they look. Usually I dip really dirty bristles directly in the cleanser to ensure a proper purification. It works every single time. Brushes are cleansed, disinfected, conditioned and dried in a matter of minutes.

Make Up For Ever Brush Cleanser

This product claims to deep clean, purify and strengthen brush hairs with the aid of peppermint and red thyme essential oils. Supposedly it also acts as a lotion by conditioning the bristles and forming a protective layer over them to make the brush hairs soft and supple. They also claim the standard ‘dries fast and elongates the life of a brush’.

The product comes in a spray bottle, which I found very interesting at first. I thought it would prevent product spillage, as you’re supposed to spray the brush cleanser onto your brushes. Obviously this doesn’t moisten the brushes enough, so you have to spray some on a cotton pad anyways. If your brushes are very dirty, they advice you to soak the brush in the product, squeeze the excess moisture out and let it air dry.

Now, I must mention the smell, because, well… it’s very present. It’s peppermint combined with the strong smell of alcohol. Personally I’m not all that opposed to it, but I can understand this scent might be too overpowering for a lot of people.

I used the brush cleanser by spraying some on a cotton pad and then some on the bristles themselves, as suggested. This worked fairly well for brushes used for applying eyeshadows, but when it came to removing more substantial stains, for example foundation stains, this didn’t work too well. Not even dipping or even temporarily soaking the brush would give me a satisfying cleanse. It cleansed my other brushes okay if they were only lightly and superficially stained. Medium or heavily stained brushes, especially when I used them for applying creams or liquids, were still stained after trying to cleanse them. It felt like the product evaporated too quickly, or was too conditioning to properly cleanse. If I wanted this brush cleanser to be of any use, I had to dip them directly into the cleanser and then swirl them around in a soaked cotton pad. This meant using a lot of cleanser for little result. It did make my brushes feel more soft than any other cleanser has made them feel, but this pro doesn’t weigh up to the cons of using this product. It just takes too much effort, and often I end up having to deep cleanse my brushes with another cleanser or baby shampoo to get the result that was promised me, which is purified and deep-cleansed brushes.

THE VERDICT

The clue is not to expect miracles from a brush cleanser. Neither of these two brush cleansers cleanses all of my brushes as thoroughly as deep cleaning them with some baby shampoo would. However, when concerning effective spot-cleansing, the MAC one wins by a landslide. It simply does the job, whilst the Make Up For Ever one doesn’t. I can always rely on my MAC brush cleanser to spot-clean any of my brushes.

They both do their job of disinfecting and conditioning my brushes, thanks to the alcohol and wheat protein they both contain. Concerning scent, both of them smell fine to me. The Make Up For Ever one has an obvious peppermint scent, whilst the MAC one just smells ‘fresh’. In theory, packaging wise the Make Up For Ever cleanser ought to be a little less wasteful than the MAC one, but in practice it’s not, seeing as you need more of the product to even achieve half of the result the MAC brush cleanser provides you with. When pouring the MAC cleanser onto a brush, I do think there is more wastage than there should be, but I don’t mind as long as it does its job.

So to conclude my comparison review, the Make Up For Ever brush cleanser has not succeeded in overthrowing the mighty MAC brush cleanser. Alas.

Have you tried any of these brush cleansers or is there another possible holy grail brush cleanser for me out there? Please share in the comments!

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