Liz Yu Beauty

Alcohol vs. Brush Cleaner

When it comes to cleaning our brushes and keeping our clients safe, the sanitation practices of a makeup artist is a rather serious matter. Whether it is one client or twenty clients in the same day, it is imperative that each client is serviced with the same respect.

Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner

Artists often come into Blur Makeup Room asking how to get makeup build-up out of their brushes. The issue usually narrows down to artists mixing various “cleansing” liquids and alcohol to create their own brush cleaning formula.

Without looking too deeply into the chemical properties of these mixtures, adding alcohol may seem like a good idea in general, because alcohol cleans everything, right? While that is true with regard to sanitizing surfaces, it is not really the answer when it comes to maintaining the longevity and cleanliness of makeup brushes. Professional brush cleaners, on the other hand, are carefully formulated with the right balance of solvents to dissolve and remove makeup from the brush bristles.

But how? The simple answer is that most makeup contain silicone. When silicone and alcohol are mixed together, the silicone is cured into a solid by the alcohol. When this solid silicone meets more alcohol, it swells up and traps other oils inside it. The combination of these two consecutive reactions causes the hardened makeup to be stuck inside the brush bristles, making it difficult to clean. These reactions are also the same reason why spraying your makeup palette with alcohol causes the hardening of certain products, and why cleaning makeup airbrush guns with alcohol doesn’t always work.

Chemistry is a lot of fun and there is a reason why professional brush cleaners are formulated the way they are. Cinema Secrets makes one of the most effective brush cleaner on the market. It is a staple in professional makeup artists’ kits. Not only is it fast drying, it also kills 99.99% of microbes carried by your brushes.

Throughout my career, my brushes have been subjected to the use of many hard-to-clean makeup products, and of all the different cleaners I have tried, Cinema Secrets remains my favourite way to keep my kit, brushes, and palettes clean without breaking the bank and ruining expensive tools. If you haven’t found your holy grail brush cleaner yet, take a browse on or visit the store and ask to see it in action!

I hope this was helpful to those of you who have been having some challenges cleaning your brushes or airbrush guns!