May 21, 2012
quick tip: dirt cheap Brush Guard dupes!
a few months back the lovely Sarah @ Saloule shared this tip which i immediately followed and now want to pass forward to you. there are actually many dupes for The Brush Guard on ebay, for dirt cheap (about 1-3$ a pack) and mostly with free shipping. just enter something like "cosmetic brush cover" and various sellers will pop up. they all are shipped from Hong Kong or China, so please calculate some weeks of waiting.
the original Brush Guard is basically a flexible tube of plastic mesh which sleeves your brushes and can be used to protect them generally and/or especially after washing to help them maintain their shape, minimise splayed hairs etc.
in my brush-care-guide i already mentioned that i'm not a fan of covering the just washed, damp brush hair because the circulation just is not as good as letting them hang free. this may cause mould or loosen up the glue in the ferrule due to the stagnant moisture and damage the brush. with the 10€ drugstore brush maybe i'd try to see the long-term results, but with a 200€ Suqqu one i'd rather not risk it. smoothing the damp brush into shape is totally fine.
i recommend to use such brush covers on the dry brushes, though. especially if you store your brushes standing up in an open glass, circulating dust and powder will fall on the surface and inbetween the bristles of your unused brushes (i keep my used/dirty ones separate). this not only contaminates your clean brushes, but it also can cause harm to your brushes in a long-term perspective.
in this case i think it's fabulous to just cover them up with these "brush guards" to have less surface for any environmental influences to attack. i admit though that they will look less attractive in your brush holder on the dressing table.
another good use is as a packaging-layer if you sometimes sell or swap your brushes. for travelling purposes only, if you pack the brushes really tight, because if the brush guard moves around, it would cause horrible splaying to your brushes and in the end the opposite of what we wanted.
so all in all i think such brush guards have a reason to exist, but the price for the original version is just way too high. i mean 5€ for averagely 6 tubes of crappy plastic net? are you kidding me?
with the ebay-version, which i believe to be nothing different from those scam-guards, you pay 1.50€ and get 15 tubes. or, as a DIY-version, 1m length of product.
here the set-version. ignore the asian-english and you'll get a pouch which contains 15 tubes of brush covers in 3 different sizes, large for bigger powder brushes, medium for blush brushes and small for eyeshadow brushes. my test objects were a Hakuhodo B509BkSL Powder Brush M round (not reviewed yet) - a classic round, big and fluffy powder brush, Hakuhodo B110BkSL Blush Brush round and flat (not reviewed yet) - your typical rather big fluffy blush brush and the MAC 217 as the eyeshadow brush everybody wants to get into the right shape.
the medium size had the best fit and tension and the eyeshadow-size is ok to keep some shape, but quite loose (in fact even looser than the medium size). the powder brush size is a bit loose, too, and could also be used on bigger brushes like face kabukis.
the other version available is a 1m band of plastic mesh. pro: you can cut it the length you want it (i found the other tubes a bit too long and wasteful). contra: there's only one size, no slimmer tubes for eyeshadow brushes.
but: i actually prefer this version! it's a medium size you could fit both your powder and your blush brushes in and the material is much more substantial compared to the version above. there's a good tightness when i insert my brushes and the tubes get back into shape better if i don't use them.
with a 1m length i can get about 11-12 brush covers.
hope that helped! will you buy some for yourselves? have you bought the original Brush Guard before? share your experiences!