A few weeks ago, for the first time in my life, I clicked on a Facebook ad. Legitimately. Not by accident. It was an ad for the newly opened Beautylish boutique — I clicked the ad because it advertised a free Sugarpill @#$%! eye shadow with purchase of the Heartbreaker palette. It was almost serendipitous because I had, just the day before, purchased both the Burning Heart and Sweetheart palettes during the Sugarpill Valentine’s Day sale. I showed it to my boyfriend, not-so-subtly suggesting I’d love it as a late V-Day gift. He asked if I wanted anything else, so I went poking. I found they carried the Parian Spirit brush cleaner, which I’ve been meaning to try, so I popped the system (cleaner, spray and jar) into the cart.
I haaaaate washing my brushes. It’s just such a chore to me, even though I try to cut corners where I can. I use a daily brush cleaner for disinfecting and cleaning between looks, but if I’m honest, I do a full-on deep clean of my brushes… nnnrgggh… maybe once a month? e_e I know.
I’ve also been looking for a good quick-change cleaner, so I can get product off my brush and re-use the brush in a single look. The Parian Spirit brush cleaner has been a staple in the makeup industry for a while now, and I was especially looking for something that would help condition my brushes as I cleaned.
First, I have to give a HUGE shout-out to Beautylish. The shop might be new, but they already have the customer service on lock. When I got my package, it was wrapped in Beautylish tape and came with a handwritten note, thanking me for my specific products purchase. However, as soon as I opened the box, I was overwhelmed with the scent of fresh oranges.
Turns out, my Parian Spirit 8oz bottle had leaked in the package. They did attempt to secure it by taping down the nozzle, but shipping being what it is, a good bit of it had escaped in transit. I took a picture and posted it to Instagram, asking if my friends thought it was worth sending back. Honestly, I waffled between alerting them or just letting it slide — although it was noticeable, it wasn’t really that bad, all things considered. Plus, I didn’t want to have to go through the hassle of sending the bottle back, as I thought they might want.
However, before any of my friends could even comment, I got an email in my inbox. Nils from Beautylish had seen my picture and, without my contacting them, wanted to verify that it was my order and if so, if they could send me another bottle to make up! They even said I could keep the one I had on hand!
So, a huge bravo to Beautylish and I know I’ll definitely be ordering from them again in the future. I’m so super impressed that they not only saw my picture but took the time to reach out to me first.
Anyway, on to the actual cleaner. I bought the system which comes with an 8oz bottle of cleaner, a smaller size spray for on-the-go or quick-change cleaning and the cleaning jar. The jar is probably the signature piece of Parian Spirit. It’s smaller than I imagined, and comes with a little plastic mesh and riser insert. You put a little bit of Parian Spirit into the jar, just enough to come underneath the mesh. You can swirl brushes directly on top of the mesh, or tilt the jar, dip your brush in and then drag it up and across the mesh to clean. All the pigment sinks to the bottom of the jar. If you cap the jar tightly (and I mean TIGHT) you can save the excess cleaner for later use and just wipe or rinse clean.
As I mentioned before, the cleaner smells strongly of fresh oranges, especially the peel. According to the site, it has citrus oils in the formula which are the most obvious culprit. For someone like me, who loves citrus scents, it’s actually a bit overwhelming. It really is mostly peel and not fresh juice; a bit bitter, pithy and acerbic. It doesn’t bother me too terribly, but if I’m honest, I think someone who is sensitive to fragrance or who dislikes citrus will want to stay away.
Parian Spirit will also disinfect your brushes, if you leave them soaking for at least a minute. However, be VERY careful not to let the cleaner come up to or above the brush ferrules (metal part that attaches the bristles to the handle); the cleaner could damage the glue in the ferrule and cause the bristles to fall out. (Of course, you want to be careful of this when cleaning your brushes with soap and water anyway.)
I normally use a Sephora brand brush cleaner which I mist onto my brushes and swirl onto a tissue or paper towel for quick cleaning, or I use Wet Wipes. The Sephora cleaner has tons of alcohol which makes it great for disinfecting and also means it dries (evaporates) quickly. I can’t find the Parian Spirits ingredients list, but it lists that it’s flammable on the bottle so I presume (and my college chemistry professor did too, when he saw my picture) that it has a lot of isopropyl alcohol in the formula.
I’ve noticed that the cleaner actually causes a sort of hygrophobic reaction — if you’ve ever done the black pepper and dish soap experiment in elementary school, it’s very similar. When I spritz it on, the pigment immediately zips out of the bristles like it’s running away. So there’s no spritzing and swirling and spritzing and swirling — one spray and it’s done.
However, it does leave a bit of an oily residue. On fluffier brushes, like blush or powder brushes, it’s not a problem. But on smaller brushes, especially eye shadow brushes it leaves an oily residue that can actually cause pigment not to adhere to the bristles when immediately returned to the pan. So, just make sure to use a very light hand when spritzing and swirl bristles thoroughly to remove all excess cleaner. To be fair, the site directs that the spray is only to be used on large fluffy brushes.
Parian Spirit especially excels at removing foundation, cream blushes, highlighters, etc and all those gunkier types of products from my brushes. My current cleaning system always leaves a bit of residue behind that I just kinda live with — Parian Spirit just wicks it all out and I’m left with clean, soft, fragrant brushes. It’s really excellent and I’m kicking myself for not trying this sooner!
Price: $23 for the 3-piece system on Beautylish
Where to buy: Beautylish or anywhere Parian Spirit is carried (traditionally IMATS)
Would I repurchase?: Yes! I think Parian Spirit will be my new go-to brush cleaner, and after I run out of my current stash of cleaners, I’ll continue to use only Parian Spirit.
Disclosure: Product(s) featured in this post were given to me as a gift. All opinions are my own.