Not literally a small man dressed in green and red. Although that would be pretty awesome come Christmas time, what I actually got was some ELF cosmetics. A brand that I've never heard of was recommended by fellow bloggers after I put out a twitter appeal for a decent, reasonably priced brush cleaner for my mum. Everybody came back unanimously and said ELF - it must be good!
Now your brushes are absolutely ridden with bacteria and general goop so you should be cleaning them at least once a week, if not every time they're used. Realistically, who has the time or the patience to do this? Even so, you need to be cleaning them whenever you can or you'll be transferring all that skanky stuff back on to your face, causing spots or in my case a repetitive case of conjunctivitis! (It took me times to realise I should probably be throwing away my brushes... douche.)
So my mum placed an order at 3pm online - the cleaner arrived in the post the next morning! Not even using a 'fast option' this arrived quicker than you can say 'first class never means first class'. Add this to the fact it only cost £3.50 for a pretty big bottle (although some idiot in the NPD department hasn't replaced the xx's where the measurement is supposed to be) and it seems to good to be true.
All you have to do is spray a few squirts on your brushes, wipe the excess off with tissue and leave to dry. It has a slight disinfectant smell, but not overwhelming, so it makes you think this is doing the job. It claims to not only disinfect brushes but to revive them so you can get your money's worth, restoring them to as good as new. It really does - I'm super impressed.
My brushes are fluffy and soft again, smell clean and fresh and are applying my make-up as if they're brand new. This is definitely worth investing in (although at a couple of quid you can hardly call it much of an investment, more just a few bob well spent,) just to keep your tools in tip top condition.