They Want How Much? Lilumia Brush Cleaning System

Lilumia Brush Cleaning System

The Lilumia Brush Cleaning System is far from new. At this point, they’re on the second edition of the device which is, apparently, slightly more effective. Unsurprisingly to me, it’s ending up in TJ Maxx marked down over 30% off retail.

What is the Lilumia Brush Cleaning System?

In short, it’s a washing machine for your makeup brushes. A lazy makeup lover’s dream. This system is to your makeup brushes what a dishwasher is to your plates and forks. It can hold up to twelve brushes at a time, descends into cleansing solution, and agitates against a small, nubbed plate.

At first glance, this sounds awesome. I don’t love washing brushes; it is a tedious, joyless chore on par with hand-washing dishes (#tinyapartmentproblems). My initial reaction? “Shut up and take my money!”

So What’s the Catch?

Well… there are a few.

First: Capacity

Lilumia can only handle up to twelve brushes. Larger brushes take up more space meaning you can do fewer per cycle. That’s a bummer and means it would take multiple cycles for most people to clean their arsenal.

Second: The asking price!

I had assumed it would be in the $30-60 range but Lilumia charges $150 for one of their Brush Cleaning Systems. Who on earth were they trying to target with that price-point?!


One wouldn’t throw a Shun knife in the dishwasher. People who splurge on tools aren’t going to throw a Hakuhodo or Suqqu brush in here.

The Artiste

A makeup artist is going to have far more than the, “up to twelve,” brushes it can handle at a given time. By the time this thing could deliver the level of clean to the number of brushes their kit contains, they could probably hand wash all of them, slap on a face mask, and make a pitcher of margaritas squeezing the limes by hand. Now – if this could handle up to fifty? I could see it being more attractive.

…everyone else

It’s just too expensive for us mere mortals! Their asking price for the Lilumia Brush Cleaning System is damn near what I paid for my (extremely, extremely beloved) apartment-sized washer.

Third: Cleanser Restrictions

From the Lilumia site:

I comprehend that it was simpler and more efficient to test efficacy with their own product. Not to mention the fact that it drives another revenue stream for them. That said it is one thing to say, “we can’t guarantee performance,” and another thing to follow it up with, “Damaged devices due to use of Non-Lilumia soap will not be covered under warranty.”

I can’t see how they would be able to tell an issue was caused by a non-Lilumia soap. I get that using, say, Dawn dish soap in the thing is definitely not advisable and could cause issues (too much sudsing + compromising components/motor/etc, etc) but arguably that could also happen by using too much Lilumia soap. It just rubs me the wrong way.

The Bottom Line

$149 for the Lilumia Brush Cleaning System is lunacy. $99 is also higher than I could even remotely justify. It just isn’t worth it to wash only up to twelve brushes at a time. The price, the cleanser restrictions, the size of the device (it is huge). In the case of people with space constraints, it is going to be challenging to a) use and b) store. In my case, by the time I haul it out, prep it, use it for one round of up to 12, clean it, dry it, and put it away…I could have washed my entire brush collection by hand.

I love gadgetry, technology, and tools that make our lives easier. Reality is, though, that they don’t always and/or that the cost-to-value proposition just isn’t there! I’d rather just bite the bullet every now and then and give ’em a good scrub by hand.