The Brush Cleaner for the Lazy and Water-Averse


So in my random Amazon travels, I came across this seemingly-ridiculous item : the Docolor Quick Makeup Brush Cleaner ($8.99). “What? That looks stupid. Just wipe the thing off on a paper towel or something.” The two-fold trouble with paper towels or tissues are A) they don’t really get your brush all that clean and 2) you’re using — possibly unnecessarily! — a disposable paper product. This little can o’ sponge stuff can supposedly clean your makeup brushes much more effectively in between colors, and eliminate the need for actually washing them. BUT DOES IT?

Outer box, whose silver-metallic-linen paper pleases me greatly, and not just because it “matches” the can.

We’ll find out! But first, let’s talk about what it is, and what its limitations might be. The Docolor (I refuse to retype its full name every time) is a little metal can that has a flat disk of black sponge stuff inside, plus a smaller white dot of sponge stuff in the center, contained within a loose (as in “not affixed to the can proper,” not as in “wobbly and crappy”) metal ring. The black outer ring is a material similar to the padding you sometimes see in electronic stuff — it’s not like a yellow kitchen sponge. It’s more filament-based, a kind of scribbly squiggly open matrix thing rather than a soft foam. The white disk at the center is denser, a more typical puffy sponge stuff similar to urethane foam (which it may in fact be!).

Now, this is primarily marketed as a way to clean your eyeshadow brushes between colors, and I think that’s its best use. Trying to employ it on concealer or foundation or lip brushes would probably be inadvisable — I don’t think it’d get them anywhere clean enough, and “wet” products like that need to be THOROUGHLY washed off your brushes each and every time, lest they fester with bacteria and other ick. The idea is that you can clean off the brush you just applied green eyeshadow with, and then immediately use it to apply a white, without washing and waiting for it to dry. That’s potentially very handy indeed, especially if you don’t have a massive collection of makeup brushes, or have just a handful that you favor.

DID IT WORK? Indeed it did! I tried it with one of Urban Decay’s old “Deluxe” shadows in a deep shimmery navy-violet, with a ColourPop Super Shock cream/powder hybrid shadow (yeah, that’s “Telepathy”), and finally with one of the quite-wet 3INA cream shadows. For each one, I loaded the brush, “applied” it to the back of my hand (I had eye cream on, sorry), and then swirled it around on the Docolor … and then went on to the next shadow. For each one, it pulled off WAY more product than a paper towel did, and in fact definitely removed enough of the old eyeshadow that I could switch colors without contaminating the new shade. Hurrah! SLIDESHOW, WOO :



UD powder shadow, after application


UD powder shadow, after cleaning


ColourPop Super Shock Shadow, after application


ColourPop Super Shock Shadow, after cleaning


3INA Cream Shadow, after application


3INA Cream Shadow, after cleaning

Fairly impressive, right? But do you need one? If you use a lot of eyeshadows and/or don’t have a ton of brushes you like and/or hate washing those brushes, then I’d say yes, this is a worthy investment of nine bucks. After it gets too full of rubbed-off product to be effective, you can just flip the disk(s) over and use the other side — so this can get quite a bit of solid use before you need to wash IT. And washing is super easy, as the material’s very loose structure and synthetic material doesn’t stubbornly hang onto product, plus it dries super fast.

ANY OTHER OPTIONS? Yep! There’s a very similar product from J.Cat ($5.99 at Ulta), but 1) it lacks that central disk of denser white foam, which I suspected might be useful for some shadow types or brush types, and 2) I found its label annoying. Also, Ulta apparently just introduced their own version, which looks nearly identical to the Docolor except that it’s square, though it’s roughly the same size and is also $9.

Have one of these? Love it, hate it, need it? Tell us!