Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette vs. Sigma Spa Express Brush Cleaning Glove

Real Techniques vs Sigma Makeup Cleansing Systems

Brush cleansing is a vital part of my makeup routine, and it should be yours too! It’s one of the many ways you can ensure your skin remains acne-free. This blogpost will cover my favorite brush cleansing methods and tools.

Sigma’s patented Brush Cleaning Gloves (US$25-39) is one of the most popular brush cleaning systems in the market today, but Real Techniques recently released their own version for a more affordable price, the Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette (US$15). So in this blogpost, I will be comparing the two and will share with you which one I like better!

However, if these are way over your budget, fret not! I haven’t always had the appropriate tools for brush cleansing, but I managed to find affordable alternatives, and I will share these cheap alternatives with you in this post!

Related posts: Top 10 Best Sigma Brushes, Sigma Beauty Essential Kit Review, Sigma Beauty Nightlife Collection Review, Real Techniques Bold Metals Review. 


Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette Review*

The Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette was made from high performance grade silicone. It is lightweight and ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in our hand, and its multi-textured surfaces work to gently move between the bristles for an enhanced deep cleansing.

The textured surface is stiff and doesn’t bend easily, making it very effective when we swirl our brushes on it.

Real Techniques Brush Cleaning Palette

Each palette comes with two sample sachets of the Brush Cleansing Gel but I’ve never had a chance to try it yet. Heard really good things about it though!

So here are the pros and cons of the Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette.


  • Bowl shape with edges help avoid water dripping from the sides.
  • Smaller and easier to travel with.
  • Bristles are stiff and not rubbery/tacky.
  • Easy to clean and store as dust and dirt won’t easily stick on to the surface.


  • Grip can be slippery, palette can sometimes slide off of my hand.
  • Only comes with three types of surfaces (this isn’t necessarily a con, but the Sigma Spa Express comes with seven).

Price: This retails for US$15 at Ulta and £12.99 at Boots UK. In Australia, it’s only available through the Real Techniques website for AU$34.95 but it should be available at Priceline soon as the Brush Cleansing Gel is already available for AU$14.39.

Final Verdict: For the price, I think this is worth every cent. It certainly has made brush cleansing a much easier task and it really does thoroughly clean my brushes so much faster.


Sigma Spa Express Brush Cleaning Glove Review*

The patented Sigma Spa® Express Brush Cleaning Glove is the compact or simpler version of the original and best-selling Sigma Spa® Brush Cleaning Glove. The original features eight cleaning textures while the Express features seven.

Real Techniques vs Sigma Makeup Cleansing Systems - Sigma

I don’t think getting the original is a must as the Express basically covers everything you need from a brush cleaning glove.

Sigma Spa Express Brush Cleaning Glove

So here are the pros and cons of the Sigma Spa® Express Brush Cleaning Glove.


  • Better grip because it’s an actual glove and the rubber is more elastic.
  • Comes with more variety of textures.


  • Rubber can be too tacky for the brushes, sometimes bristles can fall out when swirled too roughly.
  • Rubber attracts dust and dirt when stored, thus a bit harder to clean than the Real Techniques.

Price: This is available from the Sigma Beauty website for US$25 (approx. AU$35).

Final Verdict: This is just as good as the Real Techniques, but it comes with a wider variety of cleaning textures and it also has a better grip.


Real Techniques or Sigma?

I honestly can’t decide! Both are amazing at effectively and efficiently cleansing my brushes. I think it all depends on your preferences and needs.

I find myself reaching for the Real Techniques a bit more often, especially for personal use, because the textured surface is less bendy and more firm than the Sigma, making it slightly more effective at getting all the dirt and pigmentation off of my brushes. However, I usually always go for the Sigma to clean my professional makeup brushes as it’s much better for cleaning large amounts of brushes, given the better grip.

Real Techniques vs Sigma Makeup Cleansing Systems (2)

Thus, for professional makeup artists and people who have a bunch of brushes to clean on a daily basis, I would probably recommend the Sigma Spa® Express Brush Cleaning Glove more as it features more variety of textures and the grip is much better than the Real Techniques in that it doesn’t slide off the hand too easily.

However, if you’re only concerned about cleansing your own brushes for personal use, you won’t need to wash your brushes too often and you don’t have as many brushes to clean, so you would probably be better off with the Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette because it’s more affordable and its bowl-like shape helps avoid getting water all over the place. The palette is also easier to clean because the texture of the surface isn’t as rubbery as the Sigma.



Still too expensive?

Before I had these advanced brush cleansing systems, I relied on these techniques and they cleansed my brushes pretty well! So, don’t worry.

Check out these super cheap alternatives!


Daiso Cleansing Pad

This US$2 cleansing pad from Daiso is supposed to be an exfoliating pad for the face, but since the surface is textured, I find that this is pretty effective at brush cleansing! You can find this in most, if not all, Daiso stores.

Sigma Cleansing Glove Alternatives

The grip is also pretty decent, given that it’s actually meant for the face. It doesn’t slide off the fingers easily when used as a face cleanser, but when used as a brush cleanser, it does slide off pretty easily so I usually place this on my palms and cup my hand so it won’t move around as much.

Real Techniques vs Sigma Makeup Cleansing Systems - Daiso (2)

Here are the pros and cons of using the Daiso Cleansing Pad as a brush cleansing palette:


  • Only US$2.
  • Very tiny, so it’s easy to travel with.


  • Silicon cleansing buds are too small and tightly packed together, sometimes won’t effectively clean larger brushes (because of lack of space between the buds).
  • Grip is too small, will easily slip out of fingers.

Final Verdict: This is amazing for beginners or those who aren’t ready to invest in brush cleansing palettes. Great for personal and daily use, but not recommended for professionals.


Party Disposable Plastic Plates

For a much, much cheaper alternative, a textured disposable plate will work just fine! The prices differ between stores, but sometimes you can get a pack of 20 or 40 for as low as US$1! Best thing is, these don’t have to be disposed straight after use. You can reuse it a couple of times.

If you’re fussy about phthalates and chemicals found in plastic products, just make sure you get better-quality ones in higher end supermarkets. They still won’t be costly, just make sure the surface is textured and don’t get the paper ones (of course).

Real Techniques vs Sigma Makeup Cleansing Systems - Disposable Plate

Here are the pros and cons of using disposable plastic plates:


  • Incredibly cheap, less than 50 cents per plate!
  • Plate edges help avoid water pouring from the sides.
  • No need to hold plate on your hands, simply put it down on the kitchen counter or by the sink.


  • Textured surface/buds sometimes aren’t big or prominent enough to effectively clean brushes.




So, what’s YOUR favorite brush cleansing method? Have you tried any of the methods mentioned above?

Let me know in the comments below!


*Disclaimer: Some of these products were sent for consideration, however all opinions expressed are unbiased and of my own. No payment was received for this review.

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