The torment of makeup brush cleaning

stylpro-makeup-brush-cleaner-dryer-review-1Cleaning my makeup brushes has always been torture to me. So much time is spent, it is a dull task that not even the feeling of a squeaky clean brush on your face is able to numb the pain.

Add to that the fact I am a bit lazy busy and it is really the thing nightmares are made of. Did I mention I am a bit dramatic? No? Ok.

stylpro-makeup-brush-cleaner-dryer-review-3When I first saw videos of the StylPro Makeup Brush Cleaner and Dryer, I knew that at some point I would get one, it was just a matter of time.

Fast forward to Olympia Beauty, the fabulous  yearly beauty trade show and there it was, staring me in the face and asking to come home with me.

stylpro-makeup-brush-cleaner-dryer-review-2Although there was no discount on the £49.99 retail price, I got a bottle of their fab brush cleaner thrown in as a gift, which is a saving of £14.99.

The device, another brainchild of the amazing (and lovely) inventor Tom Pellereau (from The Apprentice/Stylfile fame) is quite small and sleek.

stylpro-makeup-brush-cleaner-dryer-review-4The different sizes brush holders will cater for most brands (I have many and there was one for every single brush I cleaned). Attaching is easy and quick, just what you want when changing between brushes.

After swirling the brush around, rise it up a bit and let spin for a bit longer. This will fan the brush (which is what happens when it’s being cleaned anyway) and air it to dry, so not only your brush comes out clean, it’s also dry, pretty much ready to use again.

Sometimes, as the brush fans out in the cleaning motion, which thoroughly cleans the inside bristles, it is difficult to clean the bottom of outside ones, which forms the outside of the brush; a bit of swirling around proves useful to get those parts clean.

The only thing for me is that is only seems to work perfectly and quickly with the StylPro Makeup Brush Cleanser Solution, which is rather fabulous but at £15 a pop, quite steep.

Overall, a lovely gadget for those looking to make their lives easier (me!) and make such a dull task a little bit of fun.

You can buy the StylPro Makeup Brush Cleaner and Dryer from the Stylfile website, and it costs £49.99. And it will be available at 180 bigger Boots stores from the end of November!

Mind you, the device is so popular that at the moment, you can pre-order for delivery which will start shipping in a few days time – that’s a common occurrence as this always sells out!


Product review: Pro Hygiene Collection from Pro Make-Up Shop

pro makeup shop hygiene collection

Now, before I start, I must confess I had been thinking about getting a product like this for a while now and my wishes came true when I spotted the Pro Make-Up Shop at Olympia Beauty! How lucky!

They were displaying their Pro Hygiene Collection, which is formed of a Antibacterial Make-Up Spray (sanitizes makeup and helps reduce the growth of bacteria that can lead to infection.  Suitable for pressed and loose powders, creams, gels, pigments, lipsticks, pencils and tools), the Make-Up Brush Cleaner (removes product residue, oil and pigments and helps reduce bacteria build up while remaining safe for use on natural and synthetic brushes) and the Hand Sanitizing Gel.

pro makeup shop hygiene collection

All  kill 99.99% of bacteria and both the Make-up and the Brush Sprays also kill candida albicans, all within 60 seconds!

I don’t think I need to say how important it is to keep your make-up tools and kit clean, either at home but especially if you are a professional, applying make-up on other people. This range is just great for domestic or professional to keep yourself and your clients safe!

The packaging is simple and easy to manipulate. Nozzles are sturdy, product is dispensing even and efficient; for the sprays, a fine mist, for the pump, a reasonable amount of product.

pro makeup shop hygiene collection

For me, the star in this trio has the Make-Up Brush Cleaner. Really, this is what I had been looking for and my mind is much more at rest now that I use it daily. It takes one or two sprays on the brush applied from about 10cm, a little brush on a dry piece o paper and in 60 seconds the brush is dry, ready to re-use or put away.  It smells a bit lemongrass-y and doesn’t leave any residue or smell after a minute.

The Antibacterial Make-up Spray is also great; spray at about 15cm from the item and it dries in 60 seconds and doesn’t spoil the make-up on which it has been applied. There is also no residue, marks, smells left behind.

Finally, the Hand Sanitizer. It feels great on the hands, it is not drying and doesn’t leave a sticky feeling.

The Pro Make-Up Shop will also bring these products in a mini size, I was told, making it easier for professionals to carry in their kits!

You can get the Pro Hygiene Collection in  bundle offer, with the three products for £25.93 or each individually, from £6.50 to £15.00 for 240ml at the Pro Make-Up Shop website.

They also supply a variety of disposable makeup applicators, tools and accessories, hygiene essentials, bottles, jars, cosmetics tools and student kits on their website and have a very handy Safe Beauty Guide which can be downloaded by professional and beauty enthusiasts – well worth a look.

This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my own true experience with the products and reflects my honest opinion on them.

My staple make up brushes

There was a time in my life I used to apply make up with my hands, and use shapeless foam applicators for my eye shadow. I was fifteen and those days are well and truly over.

Discovering make up brushes opened a whole new world of make up for me: they make application even, save product and are the tools that give me precision to create great make up and truly enhance my features. I then became brush-crazy and started slowly building up a collection.

All my brushes are from MAC; after having had bad brushes before, theirs was the first good brush I got that made a difference, so I stuck with them! I have about 17 brushes for face, eye and lip make up, but there are 10 of them I cannot live without and I use on a daily basis:


190 Foundation brush – Really changed my life! Applies evenly, makes a small amount of foundation go a long way!

187 Duo Fibre brush – I love to use it to buff blusher and bronzer, sometimes I use it for foundation too.

129 Powder brush –  I use it for powder application and bronzer – I really love this brush!

168 Large Angled contour brush– I use this one mainly for blusher, applying on the apples of my cheek, but also under the cheekbone, to give contour that makes your face really stand out!

eye and lip

318 Retractable lip brush – I love this brush, I can really see the difference on lipstick applied with a brush, especially if they are red or other dark colour! 

208 Angled brow brush – another one I love, and use it to fill my eyebrows, which have a lovely shape, but are a bit sparse. Its hard bristles really get in there!

231 Small shader brush – Great for shading lines, but also for applying eye shadow as eye liner when a smokey effect is desired!

217 Blending brush – One of my favourites, this brush is made to go in your crease and blend – I love creating smokey eyes with it!!!

263 Small angle brush – Great for liners – super handy for corners!

239 Eye shader brush– I use this everyday, to apply eye shadow evenly on the lid.

Most of them come from brush bags MAC launches every year, mainly around Christmas, others I replaced by the full sized (and full priced!) brush or bought after seeing it being used on me during a make over at MAC. I do prefer the smaller special editions ones, as it is easier to carry them in my make up bag.

I usually clean them with brush cleaner (I’ve been using the MAC one, and I am very happy with it, it lasted a long time!) and warm soapy (or even detergent!) water. A good trick I read about, on my make up bible Make Up: The Ultimate Guide, by Rae Morris, is to use a white plate and rub the brush on it, until you can see the water running clear, so that you know your brush is clean! Good tip!

Some of them have been stained by pigments, others, have seen better days and I am looking forward to buying one of their sets soon to replace the oldies!

What about you? Do you have favourite brushes and brands?