Worth the Hype: MAC Brush Cleanser

Happy Monday all :)

Today I’m talking about the cult Brush Cleanser from MAC. We often get asked on twitter how we clean our brushes and I think it’s fair to say we all have very different feelings towards our make up brushes and how we clean it. The MAC Brush Cleanser, R170 has gained a lot of cult mention: some love it, some hate it, some can’t live without it. I’m not going to say that I’m lazy when it comes to cleaning my brushes because y’all should know that by now after I wrote about the aforementioned laziness in our DIY Brush Cleanser post, here.


The official claims on the MAC site says: “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” but we’ve all been into a MAC and found the artists brushes looking a little bit sad and bedraggled. Over the weekend I was in a MAC store (as one does on the weekend) and found out that the artists use alcohol on their brushes hence their shocking state. Don’t do this. Ever. 

This was one of those purchases my mom made years ago and never used. I tried and tried but just couldn’t get on with it to be honest. I felt it was a waste of money and then with sheer determination, I stole the bottle from my mom’s vanity and willed myself into using it even if it was after my deep brush cleanse just to make sure it sterilized the shit out of my germy brushes. Personally I am more than happy to use dish soap on my brushes for deep cleansing and our spot cleaner works VERY well. Recently, I found a white face cloth that had accidentally found its way into the darks of my washing and into the spot cleansing pile it went.


Technicolour Facecloth that was once bright and crisp white ready for some cleansing butter had since retired to the spot clean part of my make up drawer

How I use it now: pour a wee bit onto your retired facecloth. Take your filthy brush and give it a swirl until you’re happy with/are ok with how clean it is for now.


Like such. Also, if you’re looking for the greatest brushes (Real Techniques) I bought my Core Collection off FeelUnique.com

Is it really worth the hype:

Here’s the real reason you’ve made it so far in this post. (Thank you for that too!) Would I buy it again? Honestly, probably not. For R170 I could buy a shed load of dishwashing liquid and squirty bottles and make spot cleaner. I do like the antibacterial extra but dish soap does the same. I’m kind of neutral towards it. I don’t hate it. I don’t love it either and I’m pretty sure I can live without it. Does it make my life easier know it’s there? Well, of course but I must say I don’t feel completely happy with the state of my brush hygiene unless I’ve done a full deep clean and they look brand new again.

If you’re in the love/hate category please let us know because chances are very high that I’m not using it correctly and I would love to know if how you’re getting on with it.

Love and antibacterials






  1. I used to hate using this cleanser since I thought I wasted too much of it, and it’s so expensive! But I found a good method for cleaning my brushes using this and I like it. I prefer it to using shampoo since for some reason, my brushes go soft when I use it. :S

  2. I’m so glad I’m not alone! I also don’t hate it, but I could live without it. I’ve been using baby shampoo until someone told me I needed to disinfect the brushes as well. Off I went to MAC. My gripe is that I never know how much to use, and then I use too much as it’s very liquidy. And it doesn’t foam. I need my bristles to foam! I actually tried my Lush Karma Komba solid shampoo bar the other day and it did a bang-up job of cleaning the brushes!

  3. I actually like it! I was sceptical at first, but I find that it removes bacteria so well that over the last few months it has reduced the amount of blemishes I get by a huge amount! I did a post on it a while ago :)

  4. As a makeup artist, I use Isopropyl Alcohol and I’ve used it on my brushes for over a year now and they still feel soft and brand new. The smell is very strong though, only downfall. And then shampooing them every now and then is a must as well :)

  5. I’ve been on the fence about buying this… I mean R170, I can buy a lipstick or a new foundation (with some added cash) but its one of those nice to have things. I personally wash my brushes with baby shampoo… Gentle and effective. Plus its cheap!

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