I love brushes :P Especially face brushes. Over time I think I’ve amassed quite a collection of them: The Body Shop Blusher Brush, Sephora Collection Classic Mineral Powder Brush #45, MAC 129SH Powder Blush Brush, Sigma F15 Duo Fibre Powder/Blush Brush, Real Techniques Blush Brush, Bobbi Brown Face Blender Brush, Ecotools Bamboo Powder Brush, Lunasol Powder Brush N, Lunasol Cheek Brush N and RMK Cheek Brush S. And being the OCD person I am, I tend to be quite obsessive about keeping them clean, considering how they come into contact with my face!
I clean my brushes once a week at the very least with M.A.C Brush Cleanser (The best brush cleanser I have used and tried in my opinion- I went through bottles of this), or every time I change powders or foundations and want to use that same particular brush I’ve been using. I honestly forgot where I first heard about The Brush Guard from, but being a clean freak who wants to keep her brushes as clean and “uncontaminated” as possible, got them especially as my brush collection grew :P
The Brush Guard- Blush Pack (S) and Foundation Pack (M)
The Brush Guard, according to its site, is supposed to protect your brushes, not just in general, but also from the “ickies”- old makeup, dead skin cells, bacteria, dust and dirt and oil. It also supposedly makes travelling with and storing brushes more convenient and easy.
I got two packs- one Blush (S) Pack and one Foundation (M) Pack because my brushes aren’t that big and/or fluffy. The Blush (S) Pack comes in a pack of 8, while the Foundation (M) Pack comes in a pack of 5. They have other packs and sizes- the Variety Pack comes with 1 Shadow/Liner (XS) guard, 2 Blush (S) guards, 2 Foundation (M) guards and 1 Powder/Kabuki (L) guard for example.
The one on top and on the right is the Blush (S) guard and the one at the bottom and on the right is the Foundation (M) guard. It’s made of thick and sturdy woven plastic mesh and is extremely stretchy, though stiff.
When used around my brushes, it fits them perfectly and snugly as demonstrated on my Sephora Collection Classic Mineral Powder Brush #45 (Which is quite big and dense, being a kabuki brush, yet the Foundation (M) guard fits it nicely), Lunasol Cheek Brush N (Which is using the Foundation (M) guard) and RMK Cheek Brush S (Which is using the Blush (S) guard). The way to use it to to slip it up from the bottom, or else you’ll risk damaging the bristles of your brush.
I’m not very sure how well they actually keep the “ickies” away, but I do find them very useful for storage and travelling especially. No more worrying about the bristles being squished or splayed when you travel and keep them in a cosmetics bag! You can also slip The Brush Guard over your brush(es) right after you wash them, and due to its stiffness you can even stand them up to dry bristles-down (Which is an ideal way as water and/or moisture doesn’t seep into the ferrule of the brush and damage it) but I personally wipe and wrap the brushes up in a microfibre cloth after washing and then only slip The Brush Guard on after they’re completely dry.
They also do a very good job of keeping the bristles of the brushes well-shaped, so in a way it does protect the brush and hopefully will increase its lifespan :P
A note though- cutting The Brush Guard renders it pretty much useless. I tried doing that as the Foundation (M) guard was a little too big for my Lunasol Cheek Brush N, so I decided to cut one in half for it. What happens is that it loses its elasticity and is unable to “grip” properly especially where its cut, and hence no longer fits snugly.
You can buy them from The Brush Guard at US$ 5.50 a pack, though I’m not so sure about international shipping. I, however, got mine from a seller called princess_autumn87 from the LowYat.NET forums at RM 23 per pack with shipping from between RM 3.50 for Pos Ekspres to RM 6 for West Malaysia PosLaju and RM 8 for East Malaysia PosLaju.