$1 DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner

I recently learned about the whole Vera Mona Color Switch craze and tried out a cheap dupe to see if it would work well. If you haven’t heard about it yet, I’ll give a quick summary:

The Color Switch consists of a tin with a dark sponge-like product inside. The product claims to instantly “erase” the color pigment from your brush allowing you to use the same brush to apply different colors during the same makeup application. All you’re supposed to do is swirl your makeup brush on the dry sponge to get rid of all the color that remained on the brush after you applied your eyeshadow. The product is sold on Vera Mona’s website and also at Sephora a few other retailers. The cost is around $18 depending on where you buy it from.

vera mona

The Color Switch definitely works. It’s a very convenient product for makeup lovers. I absolutely hate having to switch brushes 100 times during my makeup routine, so when I saw this product online I knew I had to get one. But then I saw the $20 price tag (after taxes and all), I quickly fell out of love. I just can’t get myself to spend $20 on a product that’ll have a supporting role in my kit. That’s the kind of money I spend on the star of the show like my red lipstick or long-lasting concealer.


I was obviously still on the search for a product that performed just like the Color Switch but with a lower price tag, so I did what I always do: I hit up YouTube. It took me less than five minutes to find a video suggesting a possible dupe. I was skeptical at first, but the Color Switch and the dupe looked very similar, so it was easy to assume they would also perform the same way. I decided it to skip purchasing the Vera Mona and just put the dupe to the test.


I bought a hair donut at Big Lots for $2.

hair donut big lots


I used an old round container I had at home, but you can use any tin you have. Perhaps from an old candle or candy container.

empty tin



Just insert the hair donut in the tin and voilá.

color switch dupe


I first couldn’t even believe how well this dupe worked. I had to try it several times, with several shadows to be convinced.

diy makeup brush cleaning

Here’s the DIY at work. I dipped the brush in blue shadow, swatched it on my hand then swirled the brush around the hair donut for about 20 seconds and the brush was completely rid of the blue pigment. The bristles of this brush are white so you can see it was still a bit stained by the blue but the blue color no longer transferred to the skin, which is what really matters.


The hair donut is basically a bunch of nylon strings intertwined together, so it makes for a rough enough surface to kick the shadow off the brush bristles, but gentle enough to mess them up. I haven’t actually tried the Vera Mona, so I can’t speak for it, but this cheap dupe REALLY WORKS! Can you tell I’m excited? When I thought it couldn’t get any better, I actually found the hair donut at Dollar Tree for $1 and they had it in brown, white and black.

haid donut at dollar tree


And there you have it. The $1 hair donut trick definitely works. This is such a worthy and easy project that I really urge you all to try it.  It’s a perfect product if don’t own a lot of brushes or don’t feel like cleaning several of your brushes after a single makeup application.  Let me just clarify that I am using the word, “clean” very lightly in this post. Neither of the products mentioned in this post actually sanitize your brushes. All they do is “erase” the color from the brush bristles, so you’ll still have to clean your brushes regularly. I know, bummer. But more tips on that later.

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you decide to give this DIY project a try!









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