Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

MAC Brush Cleanser
MAC Brush Cleanser

Quick Review: MAC Brush Cleanser

MAC Brush Cleanser ($12.00 for 7.9 fl. oz.) is a total go-to for me when it comes to an effective, easy-to-use method to clean my makeup brushes. It works well as a spot cleanser (just spray it on a paper towel and run the brush back and forth, which will draw and pull out whatever is in your brush), because your brush will dry in a few minutes. I also will pour some into a cup and put each brush in it (just a little bit), then rinse with water for a deeper clean.

It would be more convenient if it came with a spray pump, because unless you’re pouring some into a vessel, a spray or two would be plenty without any waste. It takes me about a year to get through an entire bottle, and I’m not at all frugal with it!

Welcome to Swatch-all-idays! To start 2011 off on the right foot (or post, as it may be!), Temptalia is going through a backlog of products we have photographed, swatched, and often tested but in a slightly different manner. Quick reviews may be partially incomplete, such as a blush may only be swatched on the arm rather than shown on the face. It is our hope that what we are able to provide is still helpful!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re in the market for a quick-drying brush cleanser that will disinfect and clean your brushes simultaneously, MAC Brush Cleanser is something to consider! It is definitely one of my staples.


Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase this cleanser? How much is it?

Nordstrom, $12.

Is it limited edition?


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36 thoughts on “MAC Brush Cleanser Review & Photos

  1. Sarah

    I always assumed that you have to rinse after every use of the cleanser. Is that not the case or am I reading too far into your spot cleaner method?

  2. Vijaya

    It sounds like you use a lot less than me, I go through a bottle every three months or so.

  3. Nini

    A year!!!! I should be doing something wrong with mine…It takes me 3 months and being careful!!!
    I LOVE this stuff, I had the MUFE one but i prefer MACs (the same but cheaper) but know i use the spray bottle that cames quith the MUFE save a lot of product)

  4. Uh oh. I must be doing something really wrong. Your brush cleaner lasts for about a year? I think I buy about 4 bottles a year :(

    I know about spot cleaning, but I usually only do that for my white hair brushes, so that they don’t get stained. And my face brushes seem to drink up all the cleaner. Grrrrr…frustrating.

    • Hey Kesha!

      When I use it on my brushes (other than for spot cleaning), I always wet my brush first with water – I wonder if maybe that’s why?

      • I make a little bath of warm water and cleaner in a small green bowl. About the size of a coffee mug. I do wet them before soaking them in the bowl, but by the time I’m about a two-thirds of the way cleaning my brushes, I need to make another little bath again because the water is dirty/the brush hairs no longer lather. I see from some other comments, I’m not entirely alone but, I would like to start getting the most out of my brush cleaner. It is my most purchased Mac item, next to Bulk Mac Wipes. So, thanks for posting this :)

        • No problem :) I probably do more spot cleaning than anything else with it – so that might be why, too. I tend to use baby shampoo and the like for deep cleanings!

          Now, the bulk MAC wipes… yeah, I go through those faster!

  5. JayJay

    I dilute it with water, half and half into a spray bottle. Then I spray my paper towel, or brush head, and wipe it back and forth until it’s clean.

    I find diluting it makes it work even better as a spot cleaner then when I used it straight. I’ve had mine for well over a year now, with about 1/4 of the bottle left.

    I’ve tried others, and they’ve never been good for spot cleaning, lathering up, or leaving a film on the brush. Yuck. For a deep clean, I’m an olive oil/baby shampoo gal.

  6. I go through mine quick! That’s because I pour it onto a hand towel and spot clean. I should buy a little spray bottle and use it that way instead.

  7. banana

    a year??! I buy a new one for 2 months!

  8. DJ

    I love MAC’s brush cleanser and I always pour it into a spray bottle so it lasts longer. It does say on the back of the bottle to “rinse well” but I never do.

  9. Nora

    The MAC always confused me, cause on the bottle it says to rinse after using but everyone else seems to use it as a spot cleaner. Anyway, I used this for ages but I found that I actually prefer making my own brush cleaner out of olive oil and dish soap. Sounds crazy, but the dish soap (I use Joy antibacterial orange) and olive oil is amazing on brushes. Disinfects, cleans and the oil stops the soap from stripping them and drying them out.

  10. Kathy

    Mine last for over a year and I gave some to my sister too. I put it in a spray bottle and I usually only use one spray for each spot clean( I hold the brush in front of my fingers, palm side up, and spray. Pick up spray that got on my fingers , then clean., yes I’m super frugal lol)
    Do you recommend this for foundation brushes too(109) ? I usually just wash with baby shampoo on those brushes( too thick) maybe I’m just being cheap! Lol

    • You can definitely use these on your face brushes, too! :) I usually use the Brush Cleanser for spot cleaning and periodic deep cleanings, but for full cleaning, I usually use baby shampoo.

  11. Jincy

    $12? I’ll have to go and buy some.

  12. I love MAC brush cleaner, its definitely worth the money!

  13. Michelle

    I agree with the spray pump concept. I bought an empty spray bottle from Target or Walmart and just replaced the top! Works like a charm :)

    • Ani_BEE

      I picked up a 4oz spray bottle from Micheals to use with this brush cleaner. It definitely makes it last longer.

  14. Marcela

    I bought this months ago and i pour a bit into a medicine tablespoon cup (the kind that come with liquid meds) and just swish my brushes in it one by one and then rinse with water. it works… BUT… so does buying a travel-sized Johnson&Johnson baby shampoo. For about 11 bucks less you get the same exact effect. And this is completely safe for your MAC brushes (i did my research beforehand and the gentleness of baby shampoo is perfect for bristles).

  15. helen

    Has anyone used this product to clean their Beauty Blender sponge?

  16. Krystin

    wow i really hate this cleaner. i tried it about five years ago when i first really got into makeup. and i hated how it did not lather at all. and it also left my brushes greasy after they dried. i ended up giving it away.

  17. Miss Silver

    Can you do a review on the ELF brush cleanser? And other ELF products? 😀

  18. I absolutely love the Brush Cleanser!! Love how it does the job of removing all of the excess eyeshadows off of my brushes! This is also a staple of mine!

  19. Love this – will try it with a spray so it will last as long as it does for you!

  20. I love this brush cleaner. I guess I need to get a spray bottle to make it last longer. Thanks for the tip!

  21. Niki

    I personally feel the Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner is way better than the MAC brush cleaner. Besides, the MAC brush is suppose to be used with wet brush, so I don’t understand why so many people use it as a spot cleaner for its a brush shampoo.

  22. Joy

    Hi! Thanks for the review! Is there another comparable brush cleaner that you would recommend, or do you know if the Sephora brand is comparable? Thank you!