Towards our departure to the US in April, Roan and I just mindlessly tossed everything we could into two huge balikbayan boxes. We did so on different occasions, so it was impossible to determine which items went to which box. When we arrived here in the US, I had an “oh, crap!” moment upon realizing that we brought the wrong box. By this, I mean leaving most of my makeup stash behind. It wasn’t until mid-June when my father-in-law brought my other box along with him from Manila.
About the same time I retrieved my stuff, I stumbled upon Jasmine’s video on Instagram, and I got intrigued. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect since I needed to clean all my makeup brushes before I can use them again. I might have spent an hour going through Swirl & Sparkle on Etsy before I finally decided to try it out. I initially wanted to order their Mini Trio Sampler Pack, which retails for $7.99; however, I was unable to proceed with checkout because my PayPal account (the only mode of payment then*) was linked to my Philippine bank account**.
During this time, I also thought that Corinth would love the idea of an innovative brush cleaner, so I tagged her in one of Swirl & Sparkle‘s Instagram photo. Marii (the brain behind Swirl & Sparkle) replied to both of us, and asked if we wanted to participate in an ongoing promo she’s having. For only $2.99 (shipping fee), she will send us a sample to try. It wasn’t entirely free, but I really wanted to try it, so I immediately said yes!
I told Marii about my earlier predicament, and she gladly offered that I send my payment via bank deposit. A few clicks later, we’ve closed a deal! When my package came in the mail, I was surprised to receive not just one, but two samples! Ain’t Marii amazing? Anyway, enough blabber. Here’s a quick demo and review on how I cleaned my Real Techniques pointed foundation and contour brushes (from the Core Collection):
Swirl & Sparkle’s Signature line include acrylic diamonds that will aid in deep cleaning both sponges and brushes. See those embossed heart stickers on the lid? Not only do they make the packaging cute, they also aid in further cleaning your makeup tools (as seen in the video).
Swirl & Sparkle‘s solid brush cleaners are available in two variants: goat’s milk and vegan Shea butter. What’s more is that they also come in three different scents: Toasted Marshmallow, Coconut Mandarin, and Chocolate Cake. If you prefer unscented ones, they are available in those, too. These gentle brush cleaners come in minis (3pcs/pack, total of 15 grams) and 1 to 4 ounces in size.
I’ve been using Swirl & Sparkle‘s brush cleaner since I received it, but I waited a couple of washes until the acrylic diamonds emerged to maximize this brush cleaner’s potential. I was able to wash 24 different brushes and a sponge (all filthy!) until the tip of the acrylic diamonds showed up. I’d say that was pretty impressive for its size (smaller than the minis).
It is advisable to briefly run the brush and cleaner in the water, then lather it up as desired. If you will notice in the video, I did the pointed foundation brush over because I didn’t quite clean it well enough to not leave a residue. It did clean even the most stubborn, dried foundation left in my brush. When rinsing, stop as soon as the water cleared up, squeeze the excess water out of the brushes, and let them air-dry.
Final verdict: Impressed, will repurchase (definitely a regular-sized one next time!), and will recommend to friends (if this blog review isn’t that already).
*As of July, Swirl & Sparkle is now accepting other mode of payments other than PayPal.
**I learned later on that I needed to create a new PayPal account linked to US bank account.