I’m usually very strict about my makeup brushes. They get sprayed with a disinfectant after every use and shampooed with an intense brush cleaner once a week. When I’m in Vancouver, my brushes are the cleanest thing in the room.
I haven’t been in Vancouver for a long while now, and my brushes are disgusting.
I’m all about face masks when travelling- they come packaged in their own little sachets. You don’t need to rinse sheet masks! I’m even that weird person who uses them on planes. But cleaning brushes? Let’s be real. It’s a hassle.
Needless to say, after six months of, “I totally wiped them down with a makeup wipe that one time… I think.” I needed something more intense. Enter the No7 Makeup Brush Cleaner.
For those of you that don’t know, No7 Cosmetics was started by Boots in the mid 30’s. I would overbuy their skincare every time I passed through Heathrow and hoard it. I’ve never been disappointed by one of their products, so I was more than willing to part with €9. Especially since, and I can’t stress this enough, my brushes were rank.
The bottle claims it as a “quick fix for when you don’t have time to soak your brushes”. According to them, it’s as simple as squirting one or two pumps into a paper towel and wiping the brush around.
So, let’s see what we’re working with.
Foundation brushes are always the grossest and the hardest to get clean. Luckily, that’s ideal for this experiment.
They obviously don’t mess around with scents on this stuff because it smells like straight alcohol. However, I persisted with pumping some into a paper towel and wiped away.
I mean, you can’t argue with the result.
First Use Thoughts:
There’s a lot of good in this. I can’t dispute that my brushes are clean and they dried amazingly fast.
The downsides? Obviously the smell, and given how dry my hands are I worry about drying out brushes- especially the natural ones. On the frugality note, I burned through a ton of paper towel. Also, that bottle was full when I started. However, I think that boiled down to the fact that- well you know, really gross brushes.
Using my brushes and the second week
I noticed that while my fluffy powder and blush brushes were a dream to work with, the fan brush looked… well… not very fan-like.
I managed to work it back into shape, but I noticed that the flatter, denser brushes never really seemed to dry. I’m not talking just foundation, my eyeshadow brushes felt like they had a LOT of build-up on them. I have a few horse hair eyeshadow brushes that still haven’t quite bounced back.
When I added water to my beauty blender the day after cleaning it SO MUCH foundation rinsed out. It was insanity. So, I guess that worked. However, my beauty blender also broke while cleaning it this week. I’m not saying the cleaner had any part of it- I’ve had it for a few years- but it makes you wonder when you do something different and it breaks. It took to my new no7 sponge okay, so who knows.
I didn’t wear makeup much this week and I didn’t want to put this stuff on natural or eyeshadow brushes again. Plus, I have a LOT of brushes, so I wanted to see how much the product lasts for people who aren’t borderline hoarders. I cleaned my powder, blush, and blending brushes as well as my sponge.
Needless to say, I’m not the happiest. The bottom of the paper is where I started last week. This stuff will not last long.
After use one…
While I think big, fluffy brushes took well to this, denser brushes (foundation and concealer mainly) needed something to really get in between the bristles. Given that our apartment doesn’t have a lot of space for drying makeup brushes, I might scale it back to once a month for a big shampoo and use this in between.
After the second time…
I’m happy I used a cloth to save paper towels. All up, the amount of product used is ridiculous. Granted, sponges take in a lot. I am worried about the dryness, and I can’t help but wonder if the brush cleaner’s alcohol content led to the degradation of my beloved beauty blender.
The real question with any review is would I buy the brush cleaner again? At this point, maybe, but for fluffy synthetics only. I get that alcohol is necessary- it dries super fast and disinfects, but there must be something they can put in for moisturization? Maybe when they dry I’ll try putting dry oil on the bristles.
I wanted to review this after using the whole bottle.
It’s been a couple months since I started this post and the thing is, I’m hesitant to put this back on my brushes- at least not until I’ve done a proper shampoo. I think this would be good for after a night when you had friends over and everyone just kind of does each other’s makeup and woo-hoo and such… But I haven’t touched it since the second time I used it and there’s definitely a reason for that.
You can buy the No7 Makeup Brush Cleaner here
If you want to read more reviews, I found good ones on the look list, Makeup and Beauty By Amy, and Beauty and Le Chic