Review: The Brush Guard (Guards Your Brushes!)

Hey everyone!

How are you doing? Is Tuesday easier than Monday? I certainly hope so!

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned The Brush Guard somewhere, and now I am finally ready to review it after having tested it out thoroughly! I might be slow to the party, but let me just say I’m pretty glad I discovered The Brush Guard! I have talked a lot about the importance of owning good brushes (so much that Bdellium Tools actually made me their February’s La Beauté of the Month lol). Once again, if you have invested in brushes, you might as well take good care of them. After experimenting with The Brush Guard, I can say it’s one of the things that can help you achieve that goal!

What is it?
The Brush Guard is essentially plastic tubes that are slightly stretchy. I got a variety pack to try it out, and it contains one in size XS for shadow/liner, two in size S for blush, two in M for foundation, and one in L for powder/kabuki. I actually use XS for liner brushes, S for shadow brushes, M for foundation/blush brushes, and L for my Bobbi Brown bronzer brush though. Basically, you want something that fits snugly enough without the need to overstretch to fit. You can also purchase all sizes separately.

How does it work?
According to the instructions, you are supposed to shape your brushes after washing them, fit the Brush Guard on, and dry them heads down in a cup. However, in the following picture you will see that I don’t do it this way for two reasons. Number one, it takes forever and ever to dry brushes this way. I don’t think it’s the humidity in Belgium, I really think it’s because of the low temperature. My brushes are usually laid out to dry in my bedroom, where the heater is just about never on. When the weather was colder, it takes more than a day for a shadow brush to dry, let alone anything bigger. Second of all, Dustin Lujan, the manager of the Le Metier de Beaute counter at Bergdorfs wrote this article about brush cleaning. He very specifically says that brushes are never supposed to be left drying in a cup (or heads up), because it could cause root rot or shedding. I know that everybody has a different theory about this. I choose not to dry mine in a cup basically because I don’t believe it does the brushes any good to stay humid for a couple of days after each wash. Therefore, I dry them with their heads over the side of the counter, like this:

In my experience, the Brush Guard makes real differences for fluffy brushes. MAC 217, 168, and Bdellium Tools 953 for example, really benefit from the Brush Guard. Flat brushes like liner brushes, MAC 239, or Bdellium Tools 965 for example, don’t change much with or without it. What amazed me is the fact that the Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush also stays the same without the Brush Guard, though I still dry it with and I reckon similar brushes would also benefit from the Brush Guard.

These are brushes dried with the Brush Guard:

This is MAC 168 dried without the Brush Guard:

The second from the left is MAC 217 dried without the Brush Guard:

Can you spot the difference? They retain their shape so much better with the Brush Guard! Without it, they look pretty fluffy and shapeless. You get much more precision with brushes that are nicely shaped, and the couple of strands of flyaway/unruly hairs are also tamed. Also, if you don’t have a handy brush roll like my Bdellium Studio Roll-Up Pouch, the Brush Guard will also make storing brushes in a bag a lot safer for your brushes.

Bottom line: If you have problems with brushes losing their shape, you might want to try the Brush Guard. It is an inexpensive solution to keep your brushes in good shape (literally), though admittedly not ALL brushes would benefit from it.

Have you heard of/tried the Brush Guard? How do you keep your brushes in shape? Do you think something like this is too gimmicky or actually useful?

Sunny, your beauty culture translator

Review: Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush

Since I got my bronzer, I knew I probably couldn’t do without a proper powder brush. The SA who was helping me recommended this one. She said I could use it for bronzer, shimmer brick, and even loose powder. Sounds like a good multi-functional tool, so it came home with me!

From what I gathered on Makeupalley, the bronzer brush we see nowadays is actually a new version. Up until 2008, people were complaining about how scratchy it is. Well, not anymore! This brush now features densely-packed soft hair (I can’t find out what hair it is on the Bobbi Brown website. I’m almost sure it’s natural hair though). It’s nice, fluffy, and it does the job really well! It doesn’t pick up too much product in one go, so it’s pretty easy to control how much you put on your face. I’ve used it a handful of times, and it hasn’t shed on me once. Sweet!

It’s pretty easy to clean this brush. I just use a gentle shampoo like what I do with my other brushes. The hair is so dense though, it takes forever to dry! In other words, you probably can’t wash it right before going to bed if you want it ready to go tomorrow morning. Please bear that in mind. With that said however, I don’t find this getting dirty very quickly. The SA did say it needs cleaning maybe once every week, but that’s if you use it with your bronzer, highlighter, and loose powder on a daily basis.

All in all I’m very satisfied with the brush! I also like the no-nonsense approach Bobbi Brown has to brushes. Compared with the gazillion brushes MAC has (and assigns arbitrary numbers to. Also, limited edition brushes? Seriously?), it seems to me that Bobbi Brown has a smaller range of choices that actually make sense. I haven’t seen everything to make a well-informed judgement, but from a consumer-friendly point-of-view I’d like to say Bobbi Brown beats MAC in this aspect!