Urban Decay Big Fatty. Benefit Bad Gal. Too Faced Better Than Sex. Dior DiorShow. Maybelline Great Lash. Lancome Monsieur Big. There are some big, fat, wet, blacker-than-your-heart mascaras out there. But if you prefer a big, buildable yet well-defined lash, many of these go-to mascaras also are too wet and clumpy to apply straight out of the tube. Typically we wipe a mascara wand on a tissue before application. But after investing in pricey mascara doesn’t this feel like throwing away more than you use in the name of removing a few clumps? A superior method is the Clump Cleaner, a patent-pending device that quickly removes the clumps without the mess and doesn’t waste lots of mascara in the process.
THE PROBLEM: HOW TO GET THE CLUMPS OFF THE BRUSH
The problem with common de-clumping techniques is you either use the tissue trick or try to use the open lip of the mascara tube to scrape off the excess.
The tissue trick is not that reliable or consistent with results, especially on shaped brush heads. Wiping the brush on a tissue also gets micro lint fibers on your brush bristles, leaving the potential for errant mascara placement, black stringy bits getting on your lashes and into your mascara tube. It also delivers inconsistent results – you can wipe away too little or too much, which leads to uneven application. And it often still leaves a blob of mascara on the tip, which is crucial for best application on lower lashes. And the tissue trick is messy, I always get mascara on myself.
The other option is attempting to scrape the excess off back onto the tubes’ opened lip. But the excess mascara doesn’t go back into the tube, it’s deposited on and around the lip and dries up and embeds onto the screw thread that is supposed to keep the mascara tightly closed. Instead, this wastes mascara and makes it increasingly more difficult for the top to close securely, drying out the tube contents faster.
THE SOLUTION: CLUMP CLEANER
Cue the Clump Cleaner: this ingenious little contraption doesn’t crush your wand, attract lint or a mess, and also cleans the mascara off of the tip of the brush.
SUITS ALL BRUSH TYPES. It works with all types of brush wands skinny to fat, shaped or curved. I like that it works with shaped brushes because I find the tissue trick particularly not helpful with shaped brushes that are geared towards definition. There are three hole sizes to accommodate skinnies and fatties.
I tried it with several mascaras including Shu Uemura, Kevyn Aucoin, Too Faced, MAC, Clinique, Tarte, Benefit, Maybelline, Cover Girl, Loreal, Lancome, and Urban Decay
- Skinny brush examples include a few MAC mascaras, Tarte Best in Faux, and Kevyn Aucoin The Essential Mascara.
- Fat, fluffy brush examples: Urban Decay Big Fatty and Benefit Bad Gal
- Silicone brush heads such as Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Curling & Lifting Mascara
- Shaped brush examples: Too Faced Better Than Sex is fat and hourglass shaped, Hypnose Drama Instant Full Volume Mascara is sort of an S-shaped squiggle, Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes is a thin brush with a spikey ball shaped tip, and a few MAC mascaras and Make Up Forever Extravagant Mascara all have Christmas tree-shaped brushes.
MY CLUMP CLEANER EXPERIENCE
It’s pretty easy to use:
Line up the base of the brush head (where the brush meets the wand, not the entire wand) with the best matching hole size.
Close the box and pull the brush through.
To clean the brush head tip, use the other side of the Clump Cleaner. This works for orb shaped tips as well.
It is NOT at all messy. It removes just the perfect amount of mascara, leaving the right amount on the brush to give a full, thick and most importantly, even coat without the clumps or mess. And no mascara got on my fingers when cleaning or applying. No clumps!
If you need do re-dip and feel it is necessary to de-clump again, you can use the Clump Cleaner immediately without the brush picking up the residual from the previous use. This also works if you use two types of mascaras on your lashes, such as a Waterproof final coat or a different mascara for the top and the bottom lashes. The removed mascara will not re-deposit onto the brush bristles.
I also like using it with disposable one time use mascara want brushes for a very clean mascara line.
Clean out with the included tool as needed once the mascara has dried. It can be cleaned wet but there is not really a need.
CLUMP CLEANER ENABLES BETTER MASCARA BASECOATS AND REFRESHER APPLICATION
While not cited as an “official” intent of the Clump Cleaner, we also found Clump Cleaner to be quite useful with mascara base coats or builders. Mascara base coats are often so clumpy that they can’t apply thinly and evenly enough for mascara to coat evenly over it.
Urban Decay Subversion Lash Primer, Lancome Cils Booster, Shu Uemura Lash Builder and Tarte Opening Act Lash Primer are some examples of primers that are an opaque white base coat that serves as a pre-coat to mascara to add some oomph of volume or length to lashes. They are often a thick and clumpy consistency, but because they need to go on wet, so wiping them down with a tissue defeats the purpose.
If you liked the idea of a pre-mascara base coat but found them too problematic, you may be able to finally make this idea work by trying it with a Clump Cleaner.
TIP: Using the Clump Cleaner with a lash primer, I work the tip cleaning a bit extra since it’s needed for best defining the bottom lashes.
HAIL MARY MASCARA HACKS: USING THE LAST OF THE MASCARA
Yes, yes, we shouldn’t hold onto mascara more than three months, but sometimes… you want to eek out just a bit more. Placing your mascara tube into a mug of hot water softens up the mascara to get that last bit out, but the consistency is slightly different. I found the Clump Cleaner quite helpful with getting an even coating on the brush head while removing the clumps and excess wetness.
I really like the Clump Cleaner! It’s much neater and reliable than using a tissue, the results are more even, and for all the money I spend on pricey mascaras, Clump Cleaner lets me use more of it instead of throwing most of it away when I wipe the wand off on a tissue. The means of cleaning the tip off the mascara, which is vital for vertical application to lower and outer edge lashes, is much more effective than trying to wipe it back onto the mascara tube top, which just leaves messy and dried out bits on the mascara. I can use my very black and very thick, wet mascaras without clumps and get a natural, defined lash line each time.
Clump Cleaner is small enough to keep in a makeup bag, but depending on your mascara, you may only need to clean the brush off periodically.
I’ve abandoned some mascaras and pre-mascara bases that I expected to love but they were just too messy to apply, but now I am giving them a second chance now that I can get a good clean application wand out of them by cleaning them up first with Clump Cleaner.
WHERE TO FIND IT
Find the Clump Cleaner at http://www.clumpcleaner.com
Style Chicks received Clump Cleaner in exchange for our unbiased review and received compensation for our time and effort. However, our experience with the product and the opinions expressed in this review are 100% ours.