Bobbi Brown Brush Cleanser

July 22, 2013
My usual go-to for brush cleanser is usually Neutrogena Rainbath Shower and Bath Gel in the Original version or occasionally MAC Brush Cleaner. Although baby shampoo is often a popular recommendation from many, I tend to avoid it as I find it sometimes leaves a slight residue on the brushes. At my latest Chanel event, I asked the artist what she thought was the best brush cleanser for foundation and concealer brushes. Although I find soapy warm water can clean these, I usually have to wash in at least 3-4 rounds to get them fully cleaned. She said hands down Bobbi Brown’s Brush Cleanser ($16.50 for 3.4 oz)  and Brush Cleaning Spray ($22 for 3 oz). I decided to try the cleanser and give it a thorough test (the reviews online seemed very favorable).
Bobbi Brown’s Brush Cleanser is a clear liquid that comes in a black squeeze tube. It’s not quite as fluid as toners, but not thick like a gel. The cap flips open.

I tested the Bobbi Brown Brush Cleanser with about a dozen brushes this weekend. I’ll show the before and after results below with three different sets of brushes. Although I’m sure most know how to wash their own brushes, I’ll do a quick tutorial of the steps I used to test the Bobbi Brown. The instructions on the box were fairly simple and easy to follow. Basically wet the brushes, squeeze a small amount into the palm of your hand (I found a dime size worked for 3 brushes at a time), massage the cleaner into brushes, rinse completely, squeeze water out, reshape and lay flat to dry.

I found the brush cleanser to work extremely well with all of my brushes. There was a slight minty scent to the product, but it disappears after washing the brushes. You only need a small amount and it foams up just slightly as you work it into your brushes. I was really impressed at how well the brush cleaner cleaned my foundation brushes. My used foundation brushes usually needed 3-5 rounds of cleaning with strong dish soap before the creams budge. With the Bobbi Brown Brush Cleanser, I only needed 2 rounds to get them completely clean. Huge thumbs up! The only brush that didn’t come completely clean was the MAC Duo Fibre 130 (probably because I had remnants of a darker Armani Fluid Sheer sitting on it for a few days).

Three sets of testing with before and after photos. Below, the dirty brushes, scroll to the bottom to see the after look:
Brushes after cleaning and drying (I let them dry through the afternoon):

Overall extremely impressed. I found Bobbi Brown’s Brush Cleanser to be extremely effective but not too harsh. The brushes dried nicely without any residue left on them. I’m ecstatic my foundation brushes were cleaned very quickly and effectively. The cleanser seemed to be versatile for all different types of bristles and hairs. Most of the white brushes returned to their original white cream color. The only one that did not was the MAC Duo Fibre (which probably needs a few more rounds of cleaning). The price of $16.50 is reasonable since a little goes a long way. Still, given the frequency which I wash my brushes, I would probably want to reserve this for the brushes that need an extra effective cleanser. Neutrogena is a cheaper option (Costco size bottles that is) and just as effective for most of the brushes (except the ones I use for cream products). Bottom line: huge thumbs up. I think I need to try the brush spray next.
I bought my Bobbi Brown Brush Cleaner at Nordstrom. It’s also available at all Bobbi Brown counters and retailers.

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  • Eileen July 22, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    I wash my used brushes weekly and have little trouble removing product until it's time to wash my foundation brushes. I hate having to go at them 3-4 times because I imagine doing that quickly wears out the hairs. When you purchase top quality brushes, you want to do everything to keep them in tip-top condition. Consequently, I'm always on the lookout for a product that will more easily remove the gunk without drying out or damaging the bristles. I'll definitely have to take a look at Bobbi's brush cleaner.

  • lmc1971 July 22, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    I currently use Dr. Bonner's liquid soap, it does a remarkably terrific job. I previously did you baby shampoo but also found it left a slight residue.
    P.S. what nail polish are you wearing in these pics, it's lovely!

    Thanks, Lisa

  • Caitlin Confidential July 22, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    I love using my Dr. Bronners soap in Peppermint. I love that it is all natural, so no chemicals are touching my face. I loved this step-by-step tutorial.


  • Jax July 22, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    I've got both and use the spray after each use and the cleaner when I feel like it or they look like they need it. The spray is brilliant and so quick to use. I'd highly recommend both 🙂

  • Penflair July 23, 2013 at 1:16 am

    I use Cetaphil to clean of most my brushes because it's so mild. Over the weekend, for the first time, I used a few drops of Bobbi's Instant Long Wear Makeup Remover on several brushes first to dissolve long wear, Pot Rouge and other cream products. I washed them in Cetaphil after that and they only needed one cleansing.

  • Claire July 23, 2013 at 5:24 am

    I didn't know BB makes brush cleanser/spray, they sound like good products. Thanks for the review here!

  • Anne JF July 23, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    I didn't know BB made brush cleanser… I usually use Mac for everyday cleansing, and once a week I wash my brushes with Head & Shoulders shampoo and box for washing brushes (you get those at the artists warehouse). I'll try this BB option when I run out of my Mac cleanser. Thanks a lot for the review 🙂

  • Christina July 24, 2013 at 8:52 am

    wow, thank you for advice! I always have problems to clean my brushes after creamy products.

  • Sharina July 24, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Thanks for featuring this. I'm grabbing one next time im in the BB counter. I love how clean the bristles are and they've maintained their shape (although it may be due to the brush quality, not the cleaner). Thanks for sharing this Sabrina!

  • ahhhsoNeo July 25, 2013 at 2:39 am

    oooh, this looks like exactly what I am looking for. I'm always at a loss as to what use on my brushes, thanks for the recommendation.

  • irenex July 25, 2013 at 5:33 am

    don't know if you've tried dr. bronner's castile soap to wash your brushes… but it's all i use nowadays! i find it to be super effective, lathery, and rinses really clean.

  • Anonymous July 25, 2013 at 7:08 am

    I have been using this for many years. I have Bobbi Brown brushes that are ten years old that are perfect and I think it is partly due to this brush cleaner. I stock up on this during the yearly Bobbi Brown Friends and Family 20% off event in the spring.

  • Jip July 28, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    You might want to use an oil based cleaner on the MAC brush before going back to the regular wash. It was only way to get my lip & concealer brushes clean.

  • Jip July 28, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Try using an oil based cleaner (Temptu works nicely) on the MAC brush first. It's the only way my lip & concealer brushes get clean.

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