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Sephora vs Mac: Battle of the Best Makeup Brush Cleaner

Posted by Preeti Sareen on Oct 14, 2016

We all know how important makeup brushes are to the beauty process. Everyday, they help you glide colorful, creamy product over your face as your prep for your day ahead. But everyday, or every few days if you’re lazy like many of us are, they must be cleaned and made ready for your next makeup application. This process can be arduous and incredibly boring, especially if you have a makeup brush cleaner that doesn’t do it’s job the first time around. While there are countless brush cleaners on the market, many of them wonderful, we’ve dug up the dirt on two of the most popular: The Cleanse by Sephora Collection and Mac’s Brush Cleanser.

Which one will win this round of beauty product battle? Read on to find out!


Sephora Collection – The Cleanse: Daily Brush Cleaner

First up, we have The Cleanse: Daily Brush Cleaner by Sephora Collection. Advertised as “a quick-drying, alcohol-free brush cleaning spray that doesn’t require water”, it seems to be a very safe option as far as reliable brush cleansers go. Sephora claims to have ditched the alcohol in the cleanser due to its harsh and often times irritating nature for those beauty lovers with sensitive skin. It is also formulated without parabens, sulfates or phthalates, which can be especially helpful in maintaining clear, beautiful, and damage free skin.

Using this cleaner is incredibly simple: just spray the product directly onto your makeup brushes, wipe off any caked on makeup onto a tissue and repeat until the brush is pristine and ready to reuse. The Cleanse definitely sets itself up as a promising daily cleaner – it is ridiculously easy to use (perfect for us lazy gals) and smells AH-mazing! It is infused with lemon, lime, grapefruit, and tea tree oils – can you say yum? The acidity of the oils has been known to carry an array of antibacterial and antifungal properties, which is why Sephora can get away with leaving the alcohol out of this daily brush cleanser. The added benefit of using essential oils in a brush cleaner is the softening and conditioning affect the oil will have on your brush hairs. After all, who doesn’t want makeup brushes that feel like you are gliding silk across your face?

Overall, the alcohol-free nature of this brush cleanser had us questioning its cleaning power, but between the delicious smells, ease of use, and friendliness to sensitive skin types, we are convinced. At $8.50 for 2 fluid ounces of cleaner, you’d have to search far and wide to find a better deal for such a great product. There is a reason this cleaner is so popular amongst beauty fiends, and we totally understand why!


MAC: Brush Cleanser

Now on to the next one (as Jay-Z would say), MAC is known as one of the most widely used makeup brands and beauty empires. Their brush cleanser has been around for decades and is used by everyday women and pro makeup artists alike. The tag line is tempting: “cleanses, disinfects, and conditions brushes”, which MAC believes extends the life and durability of your makeup tools. At $16 dollars for 7.9 fluid ounces of cleanser, this brush companion already gives Sephora’s The Cleanse a run for its money.

The use of this cleanser is just as simple as Sephora’s: apply to brushes, run brushes along a clean towel or tissue, and repeat until no makeup is left. While The Cleanse had a spray nozzle to make things a bit easier, the pour top of the MAC cleanser makes it just as ideal for anyone who doesn’t want to spend hours cleaning their brushes every week.

Contrary to The Cleanse, this brush cleaner does contain alcohol, which may make it unsuitable for sensitive skin types or expensive brushes (such as animal hair brushes) that cannot handle the harshness of alcohol. That being said, the cleanser absolutely does what it sets out to do. The addition of alcohol allows for quick drying of your brushes along with a good, deep clean.

Again, we are impressed by this cleanser and would definitely recommend it to anyone that is concerned with getting synthetic brushes really, really clean.


So, which makeup brush cleaner is the best??

It’s a tie! Both Sephora and MAC have cleansers are amazing and do exactly what they are supposed to – clean makeup brushes. They are similar in function and use and are equally popular because of it. We love MAC’s Brush Cleanser and think it is a staple cleaner to have in your daily use collection. The value is unbeatable, and it will definitely sanitize your brushes and help keep them healthy for long-term use. On the other hand, Sephora’s The Cleanse does an equally awesome job at getting the brushes clean. Although a little more expensive, it is our pick for best cleanser for sensitive and alcohol-avoidant skin types.

Which one is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us! Use our hashtag – #LiveGlam – and show us how you clean your brushes!

For more in-depth information about how to cleanse your brushes and which cleansers work best for your brushes, check out our 4 Super Simple Ways to Clean your Makeup Brushes


Preeti Sareen

Preeti Sareen

Preeti Sareen is a freelance writer and blogger who identifies as a twenty-something girl trying to find herself one piece at a time. She is a lover of beauty, wellness, and all things fitness and loves sharing those passions in her articles on LiveGlam.

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