Budget Beauty: Brush and tool cleaners under P500

If there is one important lesson I’ve learned from years of collecting and using makeup, it’s that squeaky clean makeup tools are as important as nailing the application of on-fleek cat eyes. When your brushes are loaded with product from previous uses, it becomes more difficult to buff and blend because of all the caked-up gunk. Foundations get streaky, eyeshadow colors look muddy, liner brushes feel hard and poke-y. Not to mention the fact that you put yourself at risk for catching an infection, a nasty rash, or even a painful pimple!

While it may be tempting to simply use a regular soap or shampoo to wash your tools, remember that those products aren’t designed to clean bristles and sponges. They can’t dissolve the product buildup, especially from water-proof or water-resistant formulas. If you want to keep your tools in good shape and ensure that they’re thoroughly cleaned, it’s a good idea to use cleaning products formulated specifically for this purpose. They don’t have to cost much either - just check out these under P500 brush cleaning must-haves that got us excited to clean up.

Ellana Minerals Cucumber Melon Makeup Brush Cleaner (P400, Landmark and ellana.com.ph)

This fruit-scented brush cleaner has long been a crowd favorite because it smells pleasantly sweet and is so easy to use! Simply spray the product on the bristles of your brushes and give them a good sweep on a clean piece of tissue until all the makeup on your brush gets wiped off. There’s no need to rinse or wait too long for the brush to dry before using it again; it dries fairly quickly. It’s perfect for spot cleaning, very useful if you're a makeup artist with multiple clients to work on. Read our full review here!

Pure Instant Color Cleaner Solo (P275, Suesh.com)

If your brushes are multi-purpose wonders (aka, you use one brush for blush and contour, or a single brush for eyeshadows), this is the brush-cleaning tool to have. Just run your brush against the sponge within to quickly remove pigments from your brushes, and it’s soon ready to take on another color! Super easy, right? It’s also available in Pure Instant Color Cleaner Duo (P305), which has a smaller sponge in the middle that you can use to wet your brushes before running them along the sponge. The best bit? You can remove the sponges, clean them and let them dry, and easily ease them back into the tin.

Nippon Pro Blend Sponge Cleaner (on sale for P180, Nipponesthetic.com)

Getting liquid and cream makeup out of beauty sponges requires patience and hardcore cleaning powers, but this little bottle makes the task so much easier! It dissolves makeup buildup and removes residue from the sponges. To use, simply squeeze a little amount of the cleanser onto the wet sponge, massage lightly to remove the product, and rinse with water. If you’re planning to try this out, you can get a better deal by purchasing the Nippon Pro Blend Sponge Kit (P400, Nippon Esthetic) which comes with two non-latex black beauty sponges (they are amazing, btw!) and a 20mL bottle of the sponge cleaner.

Brush Egg (P120, Suesh)

This handy brush cleaning pad has taken over the market as it gently cleans brush bristles while being pretty easy on the pocket. It’s designed to fit snugly over your fingers and works well for small to medium brushes. I’ve noticed that the material gets a sticky residue after cleaning lip brushes but it comes off with a bit of soap and a good rinse.

Bossy Brush Cleaning Pad (P150, Suesh)

The fatter the brush, the harder it is to clean! It’s a struggle to wash through all the layers of bristles in dense tools like fluffy powder brushes and kabukis. Thankfully, this cleaning pad makes it possible to get all the buildup out. It has a large surface area with different textures that you simply brush against with a soap-soaked brush. The zigzag area of the pad is also perfect for cleaning spoolies as the pattern can get between the small areas. There’s a suction pad at the back of the pad, allowing you to attach it to the sink and making brush cleaning a breeze. Squirt your brush cleaner directly onto the pad, rub the wet brush against the patterns until all the pigments run out then rinse and dry as usual.

Pure Brush Shampoo (P105, Suesh)

If you’re after something that lathers and cleans the heck out of your dirty brushes, this is it. It takes off even the stickiest of creams and the worst of stains, and it’s niftily packaged in a travel-sized bottle with a pump dispenser. It does smell a bit like hotel shampoo on the bottle but the scent doesn’t transfer to the brushes. I use this with brush eggs and pads to make cleaning even easier.

RosenRye Cosmetic Sanitizer 99% Solution (P200~, Rosenrye.com)

It’s still important to keep your tools clean in between washes, so applying a cosmetic sanitizer made from 99% alcohol is a good idea before and after each use. You can even use this to sanitize your makeup (especially if you’ve been sick) without s worrying about it affecting the formula. Make sure to hold the bottle six inches away from the item you’re sanitizing so it gets evenly misted then allow to air dry. I love that it smells clean and lemon-y!

DIY brush cleaners aren’t bad but for more expensive brushes and tools that I consider as investments, it just makes sense to use cleansers that are made for the job to help ensure that they stay in good shape and can be used for longer.

How do you clean your makeup tools? Know of other under P500 picks that we should add to this list?