I heard about an Etsy shop on Instagram called Swirl & Sparkle. Positive reviews kept pouring into my feed, so I needed to find out for myself if this was the real deal or not! Grab some popcorn, and get ready for some in-depth coverage on Swirl & Sparkle!
I initially ordered a sample to test, as the owner (Marii) had a promotion going on where you could “buy” a sample for free and just pay the shipping cost. The sample came in a small jar (about the size of a quarter) with a cute heart sticker on the lid, and was generously filled to the brim with vegan product. There are also intermittent acrylic diamonds in the cake, which are supposed to aid in gently exfoliating your brushes. Plus, they’re adorable.
In the sample size, you can choose Goat’s Milk or Vegan Shea Butter. There are also four scent options (so far!): Unscented, Toasted Marshmallow, Coconut Mandarin, and Chocolate Cake. I chose Vegan Shea Butter in the Coconut Mandarin scent, which smells divine.
I used the sample to clean several of my eye brushes, as it was a bit too small to effectively clean most face brushes. Cleaning was a breeze. You just need to get the product and brush wet, and then swirl your brush into the cleanser. Makeup just runs off of the brushes without any residue left behind. My brushes feel both conditioned and cleaned, while wet and after they dry. After cleaning about 20 eye brushes, I found I only barely put a dent in the sample size! A little bit goes a long way.
After using the sample size, I decided to buy full size versions in order to more easily test more difficult face brushes. Furthermore, I wanted to compare Swirl & Sparkle to other brush cleansers, specifically the beautyblender Solid Cleanser.
I ordered 2 of the Sugar Skulls 1 oz cleanser in Coconut Mandarin, since it was at a special price of $14.99. I noticed that every full size product you purchase comes with a bonus sample too, which is great to pass out to friends or bring for travel. When my order arrived, only 1 of the cleansers was in the package though. I contacted Marii on Etsy, and she responded immediately. She is resending the full size cleanser, and including an extra sample in a new scent (Samoa Cookie)! I am so impressed by her excellent customer service.
Now onto the product smackdown: beautyblender blendercleanser solid vs.Swirl & Sparkle. Let’s look at some pics and go category by category to really compare
these two cleansers.
|Swirl & Sparkle – jar top|
|Swirl & Sparkle – jar bottom with ingredients|
|Swirl & Sparkle – Sugar Skull|
|Swirl & Sparkle – Sugar Skull close-up (it’s sooo cute!)|
|beautyblender blendercleanser solid – deluxe sample, stored in a candy tin|
1 oz of beautyblender blendercleanser solid is $16 (with container)
1 oz of Swirl & Sparkle is $12.99 (no container included), $17.99-19.99 (with container)
Also worth noting, S&S offers up to 4 oz of product for $34.99, which is just $8.75/oz. I purchased 1 oz with a container on sale for $14.99. I can save the container and order refills, or order a larger size in the future. One thing to note is that there is a separate shipping fee for purchasing S&S.
beautyblender blendercleanser solid has no discernible scent (maybe a slight soapy smell), although it is described as having a lavender scent. It leaves no scent behind on brushes.
S&S offers unscented options, in addition to a variety of delicious scents, depending on your taste. The S&S scents do not linger on my brushes, they just offer me enjoyment while I clean my brushes.
The beautyblender solid cleanser is a circular white cake.
S&S comes in a variety of designs, all of which are white with small diamonds of various colors inside. The current limited edition designs include Hello Kitty, Sugar Skull, and a paw print, for which the proceeds go to an animal rescue. The paw print was not yet available when I ordered, but I’m so interested in ordering for such a great cause!
The beautyblender solid cleanser is relatively easy to use, although the cake has a tendency to dry out quickly and require a lot of water.
S&S stays moist for longer, so you can use less water. It is used in a similar manner to the beautyblender cleanser.
Handling difficult brushes:
The blendercleanser gives me a bit of trouble with dense foundation brushes, as it is hard to get the product deep into the brush. I do find that the blendercleanser is slightly superior in handing the beautyblender itself since the product is a bit harder.
The diamonds in S&S help get product deeper into dense foundation brushes, although it can still require several passes to entirely clean a very difficult brush. However, I still found S&S to clean these sorts of brushes more quickly than the beautyblender solid.
Dry time is overnight to two days for both cleansers, depending on the brush itself.
The beautyblender solid cleanser leaves my brushes feeling slightly dry/tight while they are still wet, although they seem to feel normal once they are dry, maybe slightly rougher. Sometimes my tapered eye brushes can “fan out” a little bit after using this cleanser.
S&S leaves my brushes feeling soft and nourished, both wet and dry, without any extra residue. Brushes look and feel like new or better.
I find that Swirl & Sparkle not only leaves my brushes in a superior condition, but I am delighted by the process of cleaning my brushes in all manners. Furthermore, the owner, Marii, is a pleasure to work with and I am happy to support her Etsy shop. Two major thumbs up! Believe the hype!