Can the MAC Brush Cleanser Clean Stubborn Grime Off the Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki Brush?


I have a love-hate relationship with my favourite foundation brush – the Sigma F80 Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki Brush.

I just love how the dense bristles can spread liquid foundation so evenly on my face. Its ability to combine full coverage with a soft flawless look is PRICELESS, okie, maybe U$16, but it really is a fantastic brush!

But then, it is so hard to clean! SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO HARD!!!

I tried the Michelle Phan’s method of mixing olive oil and detergent but that didn’t make my makeup brush any cleaner. In fact, it made cleaning WORSE because all the dirt was now trapped by the oil on the bristles. So disgusting!

And not even the MAC Brush Cleanser, which I bought for the sole purpose of cleaning the Sigma F80 brush, and was my last resort, could wipe every trace of makeup residue off its bristles!

The Sigma brush must be laughing at me every time I get so frustrated standing at the sink for 40 minutes working like a mad woman to clean it. It mocks me! >.<””

Before I move on to how I finally managed to scrub all dirt off the Sigma F80 brush with the fantastic the Daiso Detergent for Puff and Sponge is, here’s how I used to struggle with cleaning it before:

Step 1:

Lathering up with shampoo.

After rinsing, it looks like it was never washed.

Step 2:

Using the MAC Brush Cleanser.

Only slightly better, and still stained.

I like to squeeze the bristles together because when the bristles are in their normal position, it is not so obvious how clean or dirty they are.

Step 3:

Washing with shampoo again…

… And still looking unclean.

Step 4:

In Step 2, I poured the MAC Brush Cleanser on a kitchen towel and swiped the bristles across it. Here I pour the cleanser into a container and dip the bristles into the container. I hate that this method wastes so much product without much results.

It seems to indicate that a lot of gunk got removed, but when you look at the brush, it really looks quite the same.

Step 5:

Washing with shampoo for the 3rd time. GAH!

Looking a lot cleaner than in the earlier pictures.

Step 6:

Gently squeezing water out of the bristles with a towel.

I like to do this to see clearly how dirty/clean the brush is. As you can see, there is still a little bit of staining. ='(

This is, however, the maximum the MAC Brush Cleanser and shampoo can manage.

Step 7:

Haha! This is how I dry my Sigma F80 Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki Brush! The bristles are rounded so I don’t want to affect the shape by laying it flat down. This is how I prop it up. After it dries completely, I reshape it by puttng it back into the plastic guard that came with it. I don’t use The Brush Guard on the Sigma Brush because its own guard fits better.

Okie! PHEW! This was how I painstakingly washed my Sigma brush back when I hadn’t discovered the Daiso Detergent for Puff and Sponge yet. Those were hard times. I subjected the brush to so much abuse I’m embarrassed about it.

I actually go back and forth on the MAC Brush Cleanser, then the shampooing, more brush cleanser, more shampooing… until there is very little stain left, or I get exhausted – whichever happens first. At the end of each session my fingers would be all wrinkled and palm and arm sore from all that swirling.

I’m glad those hard times are over.

So, to answer the question of this post “Can the MAC Brush Cleanser Clean Stubborn Grime Off the Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki Brush?”… I’m sure all of you can guess that the answer is a big fat NO!

Do you own the Sigma F80 Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki Brush? How do you wash/clean it?


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About Bun Bun

Hello! My name is Juli and Bun Bun is my alter-ego. I blog to share my love for makeup, how to apply it, and what works or what doesn’t work, all from an Asian perspective.

My first makeup product was a shimmery light blue lipstick which I proudly wore all over my eyelids and lips. It cost $2.50, felt like $250, and made me feel like a million bucks.

Throughout this blog you will see Bun Bun in different poses.

Instead of using numbers (3/5, 4/5) or alphabets (B+, A+) to rate products, I put Bun Bun in different positions and expressions to represent the rating given to the product after a review.

In Bun-O-Meter, the first on the list would mean a 5/5 rating and the last one a 1/5 rating.

You can always refer to the sidebar any time you don’t understand what Bun Bun’s pose means.

I hope you enjoy reading my makeup and beauty posts as much as I did writing them.

Talk to you soon! =)


Juli & Bun Bun

  • ClanetEarth

    My mom and I share a bobbi brown brush cleaner, which i use by squeezing some in a cup then i fill a quarter of the cup with water. Next I put my F80 into the mixture and swirl it for a while.
    By now the mixture will be all dirty but the brush will be clean ! No need to rub at all……… Then just rinse with water and dry. Simple.

    • Bun Bun

      But Bobbi Brown stuff are usually rather expensive right? =S

      • ClanetEarth

        Yar. My mom bought it so i just use lor. I will look for another substitute , but i like the cup method. You should try it some time, dont need to use so much of the product as well.

  • inudela

    I know this is a super old post, but i think you’re using the mac cleanser wrong! I use the same sigma brush and the mac cleanser works just fine for me. You’re supposed to use it with water, not on its own. the method that you showed above only works for spot cleansing!

    what i do is make sure that my brush is damp-wet, put some of the product into the palms of my hands and really work it into the brush, massaging it in thoroughly (the brush is so incredibly dense). I do this twice and voila! nice and clean.

    your daiso cleanser DOES sound like a miracle though….definitely on my list of must-tries 😀

    • Bun Bun

      I did! I did! I used it with water, made it damp, and worked it the way you described. But it didn’t work for me. Why inudela? Why did it work for you but not for me?? Lol.

      Oh yes, it sure is amazing. Go get it if you have a Daiso near you! =D

      • inudela

        Oh really, that’s annoying. ): weird!

        I think it’ll have to be the online option for me, but it sounds worth the try!

  • dreamyc81

    Fancl cleansing oil cleans ANYTHING! I use that always. The M.A.C. one, I use for spot cleaning nia…

    • BunBunMakeupTips

       @dreamyc81 Same same! The MAC one only works for spot cleaning. Waste of money, IMO. =(

      • dreamyc81

         My heart dropped when I saw your reply as I purchased 2 bottles of MAC one a few weeks back.