The make-up brush cleaner that has gone viral

I am rubbish at cleaning my make-up brushes. It’s not so much of a problem right now, as I’m not wearing as much make-up, but generally speaking, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve actually cleaned my brushes. And I’m 41.

Obviously, I’m not using the same brushes I used when I was 16, but I have always found it such an enormous faff to clean them up – and then leave them to dry. I don’t have a fancy drying rack (who does?) so they take forever, and who has the time for that?

Read more: How to apply your make-up to look younger

But equally, we live in a time where we need to make more effort when it comes to making do with what we already have – rather than chucking out and buying new.

The majority of in-use make-up products, such as mascara, lip gloss and beauty blenders – those sponges and brushes that some more motivated types use – are contaminated with potentially life-threatening superbugs, according to new research from Aston University in Birmingham and published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology.

Make-up products used every day by billions of people are contaminated with potentially deadly bugs, such as E. coli and staphylococci, the researchers say.

How and why? Because most products are not being cleaned.

Cinema Secrets is not a new brand, and beauty vloggers have been raving about their Makeup Brush Cleaner for some time now. It’s a go-to in the make-up industry too, but more recently, some videos have gone viral on TikTok, as new content creators have tried it for the first time.

So, what’s a dirty make-up brush owner to do, but give it a go herself? Here’s what happened.

The product

Cinema Secrets Pro Cosmetics Professional Grade Makeup Brush Cleaner, $70 for 946ml (smaller bottles are available).

How does it work?
In viral videos, I’ve seen some people dip the tip of a brush into the bottle, but to save the remaining cleaner from getting dirty, I poured some of my Cinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner into a little pot, and dipped my first brush in.

In anticipation of sheer magic happening before my very eyes, I was a little disappointed. I had to dip the brush into the liquid and swirl it off on a flannel 12 times before it was clean. So, depending on how dirty your brush is (and mine was a very well-used eyeshadow brush, impregnated with plenty of dark brown shadow), it’s not that instant.

Read more: Common eyeshadow mistakes and how to avoid them

But the impressive thing is how fast it dries. Your brush is not saturated with liquid and can be used moments later, which is a big plus for anyone else without one of those fancy drying racks.

Next, I tried a foundation brush, which was definitely more impressive. This brush is much newer, and I’d cleaned it at some point, so it only took a few dip and swirls before it was clean. The downside is I seem to have created a little well in the middle of the brush. Not sure if that’s where the bristles have dried out from the chemicals in the cleaner, or if it’s my fault for swirling it too hard on the flannel, but it’s a good quality Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Face Brush, so that is somewhat annoying.

I cleaned all of my eye make-up brushes, which came up beautifully – the cheaper or older brushes perhaps faring less well and feeling a little dried out, but dry and clean nonetheless. And then I went large, with my big bronzer brush. The amount of make-up coming away was somewhat disgusting and it took a bit of time and a little longer to dry, but it was still a success. I even had a little go at my BeautyBlender too, which stayed wetter for longer, but cleaned up pretty well.


I’d definitely use it again. I cleaned nine items and used almost a third of a 237ml bottle, so the brushes do suck up the cleaner quickly, but it’s great for fast cleaning, without having to wait for yonks for them to dry. Just maybe avoid using it on any brushes you’re particularly fond of, as it will dry out the bristles.

Read more: How to sanitise your make-up

Do you use make-up brushes? How often do you clean them?

– With PA

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Written by Claire Spreadbury

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