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The Most Efficient and Compact Way to Dry (and Store) Makeup Brushes

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Benjabelle Original Brush Tree

Cleaning your makeup brushes regularly is a must, but the process can be cumbersome. Especially if you don’t have somewhere to dry them. We’ve learned from Wayne Goss that drying brushes bristles-up in a jar is a no-no; water can seep down into the ferrule and start to break down the glue and general construction. And what can you do short of throwing a towel down on your counter or vanity, spreading out your collection, and just sitting tight until all the bristles are dry?

Enter Benjabelle, a line founded in 2012 in Madison, Wisconsin by a couple, Ben and Jan (officially Benjamin and Jannabelle). Jan gets credit for the lightbulb moment, which came one night as she was going through her brush-cleaning routine. Having just washed all of her brushes, she spread them out by the bathroom sink, lying down, to dry—like she always did. Jan knew that doing so ate up a lot of space, and also that brushes took forever to dry horizontally. So she asked Ben, would it be possible to construct something that would hang her brushes vertically for drying? The pair sat down, worked out a design: a drying rack designed to dry an entire brush collection quickly, all at once, that’s also collapsible for easy storage. Benjabelle Brush Trees were born, and the rest is history.

To this day, Jan and Ben handcraft every Tree in Madison from American-made acrylic. Each “Treetop” has oval-shaped slots that are lined with peroxide-free silicone grippers, which hold brushes vertically, bristles-down in place, so they can drip-dry properly—without the risk of water seeping in. The Trees come in four different sizes (more on that in a minute) to accommodate brush collections of any size. No matter which you go with, from large or small, the construction is super compact: you’ll get a box with three black, flat, thin pieces (two legs and top), and it will take you all of ten seconds to put it together. You can also pick up one of Benjabelle’s Spinners to attach to the base, which enables the Tree to rotate. The Spinner also creates four small compartments where you can store extra essentials (like sponges, brush cleaner, etc.).

How to Use Benjabelle Brush Trees

1: First, assemble your Tree. Both leg pieces have grooves down the center. Slide one of them into the other until it clicks and locks in place.

2: The [remaining] top piece has a diagonal slit. Click that into place in the center groove at the top of the leg pieces. Once it clicks and locks, your Tree is ready.

3: Wash your brushes as you normally would, then insert them into the Tree bristles-down. Start at the bottom of the hole and push the handle up through.

4: Let them dry. Your counter will be so free of clutter that you may decide to keep your Tree out to use as a holder. But you can easily take apart the three pieces in seconds (reverse steps 1 and 2), and slip it into a drawer or linen closet.

What are you waiting for? It’s time to find which Brush Tree is best for you! When assembled, each tree takes up no more space than a standard hair dryer, and all four are collapsible.

Original Brush Tree

$34.95 | shop it 

holds: 14 large brushes or up to 42 thin eye or lip brushes
size details: when collapsed, about the size of a standard iPad

Sunflower Brush Tree

$39.95 | shop it  

holds: 4 large brushes, 6 medium, and 16 thin eye or lip brushes
size details: when collapsed, about the size of a standard tablet computer

Mini Brush Tree

$24.95 | shop it

holds: 24 thin eye or lip brushes
size details: same size as the Daisy; smaller than the Original and Sunflower; when collapsed, about the size of an e-book reader

Daisy Brush Tree

$19.95 | shop it  

holds: 2 large brushes, 4 medium, and 8 thin eye or lip brushes
size details: same size as the Mini; smaller than the Original and Sunflower; when collapsed, about the size of an e-book reader

In all photos: Benjabelle Brush Trees shown with Wayne Goss makeup brushes and Brush Guards, which help brushes keep their shape, and prevent dust and bacteria from setting in.