As I was browsing through the Sephora site with intentions to just shop with my EYES and NOT with my wallet, I found a couple things I ended up ordering. One being the Sephora Collection Dry Clean: Solid Brush Cleaner.
The cleaner comes in solid soap form rather than the usual shampoo, spray, or anything else in liquid consistency intended for cleaning makeup brushes. Included with the soap is a bumpy, round silicone pad to swirl brushes or sponges on to during the cleaning process. Together in a round plastic container, the soap and pad retail for $14 at pretty much any Sephora location or online. (Unfortunately, it's not at the location near me.)
One of the soap's key ingredients is argan oil, which helps condition brushes as well as break down stubborn residue from makeup. Speaking of ingredients, this product is paraben-free.
Prior to getting this soap, I washed my brushes either with baby shampoo or dish washing soap. For a deeper, more thorough clean, I used a clipboard with glue-gunned bumps and ridges to swirl my brushes on. That method worked pretty well for me. It was less time-consuming than resorting to just my palm to swirl my brushes on. Unfortunately, with time, the clipboard had gradually gone bald on me. I can re-glue the missing ridges and bumps on the clipboard again, but I really find this silicone pad more helpful.
The first step to my soap and silicone pad brush cleaning process is pre-rinsing the brushes. Once all the brushes are wet from pre-rinsing, I swirl each of them on the soap. Immediately after that step, I gently swirl each brush on the pad. An indicator to completely clean brushes is clear rinse water while you're ever so slightly squeezing or pinching your brushes. For brushes used on foundation or other face products, I usually lather (not excessively), swirl, and rinse them two or three times. I also dab the face brushes with a little bit of olive oil before I start swirling them on to the soap. Your method of cleaning is really up to you. As long as you don't get water up in those ferrules and that you're not too vigorous with those brush bristles, there really isn't a wrong way to clean brushes. (Oh. Speaking of wrong way, I've heard of people actually throwing their brushes in the dishwasher to get them clean. Who knows.? Maybe, it's not so wrong. I wouldn't even try. LOL.)
Pros about this product is that cleaning sure is made easy with a solid soap and its silicone pad accompaniment. Along the lines of cleaning made easy, the whole process is less time-consuming too. I also love how the brushes end up smelling good and turn out silky and soft. This product is great for travel too. It's light and compact enough to throw in your baggage. Plus, with the soap and pad in a hard plastic container, you won't have to worry about liquidy mess or spillage. Just make sure the soap is dry once you decide to pack it.
Although the soap smells good to me (I'm pretty sure to countless consumers of this product as well.), it might not be for others. Another con is the size. Both the soap and pad are quite small. Swirling bigger powder or kabuki brushes on the pad can be a bit of a struggle. I can't complain too much because it still is manageable. I can still work with the size. As for the soap, it's good, I could not get enough.
Buying backups gives me an excuse to repurchase this product. Plus, its performance to me is highly satisfactory. It would be nice if the soap just came as a refill without the pad. I wouldn't know what to do with a second pad unless I break the one I'm currently using. :P I'm thinking of buying that Spa Brush Cleaning Mat or at least the Express Spa Brush Cleaning Glove from Sigma. With those prices, I can't really justify buying them at the moment.
I will be sticking with this brush cleaning regimen for a while with the help of my soap and pad combo. If I had stars on my blog, this is definitely getting four stars out of five.