I really should practice what I preach.
Though I know all about the importance of cleaning your makeup brushes, and have written a few posts on the subject, there are a few tools in my arsenal that haven't been washed for months—or more accurately, the day I unwrapped them from their packaging. I use more or less the same colors of eyeshadow, bronzer, and highlighter on any given day, so I didn't completely see the point in cleaning them every week as advised until I saw powder gathering in clumps on some of the bristles, and noticed I was breaking out slightly more than usual for reasons not related to my moon cycle. I knew in my heart that I desperately needed to wash my brushes, but that in itself was a commitment I wasn't ready to make over the course of an entire weekend. Even after every single brush had been cleaned, it seemed like they took days to dry, leaving me without them for longer than I'd like. Sephora's Dry Clean Instant Dry Brush Cleaner Spray ($14; sephora.com)—try saying that five times fast—claims to be somewhat of a dry shampoo for your makeup brushes by whisking away any leftover residue. Considering that I hoard cans upon cans of dry shampoo in the cabinets of my tiny studio apartment, I knew I had to try this.
Sephora's Dry Brush Cleaner uses a mix of silicones, oils, and solvents to lift makeup from the brushes, which you can then wipe away on a paper towel to clean them. The directions say to use 2 to 3 spritzes directly on the bristles, but since my brushes were pretty grimy, I pretty much coated them in the stuff. I let it sit for just a second or two, then swiped the brush in circular motions on a paper towel. Within minutes, my formerly-beige powder brush had returned to its pristine white appearance, and was completely dry to the touch once I was finished. Even better, the product left behind a subtle floral scent, and the bristles remained soft thanks to the exclusion of alcohol from the formula. I continued on tool by tool until I had cleaned everything in my kit, which took about 20 minutes in total—and I have a lot of really grody brushes. If you keep your own makeup bag more streamlined than I do, you'll probably have everything done in 5 to 10 minutes, tops. Many claim that the Dry Brush Cleaner doesn't replace washing your brushes altogether, but I beg to differ. I may have used an entrire can in the process, but my entire tool kit was as clean as the day I brought them home by the time I finished.