It's a bad sign that I can't remember the last time I cleaned my makeup brushes, especially since you're supposed to wash them weekly. A product that recently got fully funded on Kickstarter seeks to help lazy makeup enthusiasts like me by using ultraviolet light and a snazzy container to keep your brushes clean.
It's called the Brushean, and it's a makeup brush holder with a built-in UV-C LED light that kills germs that might collect on your brushes. Its creators raised more than $38,000 from 322 backers during a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign last month, with units expected to ship out by August. Preorders are still available at a discount for $49 (about £35 or AU$65) -- at retail, the plan is to sell it for $98 (about £70 or AU$130).
Using ultraviolet light to kill germs isn't new -- you can find this type of tech for air purifiers, pacifiers, toothbrushes, water bottles and many other products. What makes the Brushean interesting is that it's one of a growing number of products that use technology to improve your at-home skincare and makeup routine. At CES earlier this year, there were a variety of smart mirrors that connect you to the internet and analyze your skin while you put on your face. We also saw the Neutrogena Skin360 SkinScanner, an iPhone camera attachment that takes a superclose look at your skin to figure out what your face needs.
I expect to see even more smart beauty tech products in the near future. One study estimated that skincare products will surpass $131 billion in global sales in 2019 (roughly £93.26 billion/AU$171.05 billion), and it seems like gadgets like the Brushean will be a part of that growth.
With the Brushean, you put your makeup brushes into the cylindrical container and close the lid. You press a button that activates a five-minute cycle in which the UV-C light turns on. During this time, Brushean claims, the brushes undergo ultraviolet germicidal irradiation in which short-wavelength ultraviolet light kills or inactivates microorganisms. You still have to do a little work to get pristine brushes, though -- Brushean gets rid of germs, but it's up to you to rinse the bristles with water to remove the gunk.
The Brushean is a smart idea for a beauty product. It's easy to forget about the cleanliness of your brushes, the workhorses of your makeup routine, while you "oooh" and "ahhh" over new eyeshadow palettes or highlighters. But I'm approaching it with some caution -- this is a crowdfunded project, so there's always a chance that this could be delayed to backers and/or never make it to stores.