Spot Brush Cleaners

Hello boys and ghouls!! Holy crap, have I been gone for a long time?! Im not gonna bore you with the usual “oh life has been in the way” hoopla but trust me when I say that things have definitely been craze-balls. If you haven’t heard…I do have a youtube channel now and I will return to a regular uploading schedule here shortly I assure you. I am in the process of moving and it has definitely slowed down progress. But I thought I would throw up a quick blog about two of the more popular spot brush cleaners on the market ( Parian Spirit and MAC) as well as  my feelings on each  along with little demo of their abilities. I figured this post might be especially helpful to professional and aspiring makeup artists since we tend to use spot cleaners on jobs  between clients. An important thing to remember is that a spot cleaner is not necessarily intended to be the sole method used to clean your brushes. I do personally recommend that you take the time to “bathe” your brushes at LEAST once a week depending on how often you use them. As far as Im concerned a good brush cleaner will be cost effective, smell nice (but not so over powering that it will negatively affect clients that are sensitive to fragrance) AND dry quickly. Lets take a look at our smack down contenders shall we?

IMG_0976In the left corner we have Parian Spirit. Heres what the good folks at parian spirit have to say about their product:

In 1994 Maro Parian noticed a need for a quick drying, non-toxic makeup brush cleaner. Ideally, a cleaner strong enough to remove the makeup off brushes yet gentle enough not to damage expensive bristles. Most of the cleaners at that time devoted to makeup brushes were either made from dry cleaning fluid and were very toxic or were made from detergents and would take time to dry. Encouraged by an inventor friend, Levon Parian, Maro’s husband, developed a product that revolutionized the industry; using citrus as it’s active ingredient, it cleaned oil based makeup extremely well and was made from food grade materials making it safe to use. It also dried quickly for professional makeup artists who needed to use a lot of brushes over and over again. At that time, special effects makeup artists would use acetone to remove the glues from masks and hairpieces, and dry cleaning fluid to clean the oily makeup. Parian Spirit took the place of both chemicals and quickly was in high demand. It was and still is regarded as the state of the art for professionals in the industry.

I decided to put these two products to the test. Once again….the idea of the spot cleaner is to have a product that sanitizes, removes product, and dries quickly between your clients. So, I took a couple white paper towels and dropped about a teaspoon of cleanser on the towel and attempted to see just how much product could be removed in a small amount of time. In this case, I am cleaning two synthetic bushes that were used on some clients of mine recently that I had not had the chance to clean yet, so they are both pretty filled with foundation. I decided to a lot for about two minutes of cleaning for each brush. Below you will see how the Parian Spirit performed:

IMG_0977   In the right corner we have the MAC brush cleaner. Heres what the MAC website says about its product:

This one product will clean, disinfect and condition the brush fibers so that brushes will last longer. It is convenient to use and is specifically designed to extend the life of high quality brushes. Brush Cleanser leaves your brushes smelling fresh and clean, and helps shorten their drying time.

I put the product through the same process and here are my findings:


If the pictures didn’t sum it up enough for ya…I will.

The Parian Spirit is far more superior than the MAC one. Parian spirit smells better, it is non toxic, and it removes more than twice as much product in a short amount of time. ON TOP OF THAT….up to five minutes later the brush cleaned with the MAC cleaner was still almost totally wet and would be un-usable on a client. NOT TO MENTION: I have heard on several occasions that the MAC cleaner contains properties that have a tendency to cause “pre-mature aging” to your bushes. Meaning, all the alcohol causes stripping of the bristles and increases it chances of shedding in the long run. I don’t use the MAC cleaner enough to know for sure if that is actually the case from personal experience but I have heard it mentioned on various blogs/youtube videos.


I hope this blog was helpful to you. I am SO glad to be back blogging and look forward to tons of new entries to come in the future. If you haven’t already feel free to check out my Instagram, my makeup Facebook page, and my new YouTube channel. Link buttons can be found on the top right hand side of my blog 🙂 🙂

I hope your having a wonderful holiday season with you and yours and I will talk to you soon! 🙂


Whitney xoxxo

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