Makeup brushes 101
Who doesn’t want flawless skin, a perfect pout and smoldering eyes? The trick my friend, lies as much in the makeup tools you use as the products you apply. Think of makeup brushes as the right painting tools and your face the canvas. “Sure fingers work at a crunch but for perfection, nothing but the best tools will do,” declares makeup artist Arshis Jhaveri. “Using the right makeup brush is the difference between a makeup newbie and professional finish,” says Jhaveri. But before you rush out to buy a whole set from any one brand, take your time to understand your needs, then mix and match different brands to find your handy mix. Think of it as building your brush wardrobe; basically skimp on some, splurge on others and skip the ones you probably won’t use.
Go Natural or Synthetic?
Both work equally well but natural hair brushes (made with sable or pony fibers) are better for dry products like eyeshadow and blush. Meanwhile synthetic hair bristles are good for cream or liquid formulas like foundation and concealer because they soak up less product than natural hair.
Everything you need to know about brushes
This is flat shaped with long, tightly packed bristles and a tapered tip, designed to let you apply and flawlessly blend foundation. Dip the brush into the formula and apply in a circular motion. Start on the cheeks and blend back towards your hairline. Try Real Techniques Foundation Brush.
This one’s for areas you want to cover up. They look like smaller foundation brushes, making them easier to maneuver and cover blemishes and tricky spots like under-eyes. Look for flat, firm, tapered square head brushes for under-eye detailing and a tapered round end for blemishes. Dot it on and blend with short precise strokes. Try Kent TWMU7 Concealer Brush.
This big brush is perfect for applying bronzers and powders or evenly distributing product across your face or body. You could also use it to buff out harsh lines by swirling the brush around your face. Try Natio Kabuki Brush.
Perfect for dusting loose powder on your face to set makeup and reduce shine. They have soft, round, large bristles. Choose a powder brush over a puff for a more natural finish and less wastage of formula. Try Colorbar First Impressions Powder Brush.
These have angled tips to help shape and direct your hairs to the desired shape. Use them to apply powder, cream or wax to your brows. Try Kent TWMU1 Angled Eyebrow Brush.
Less stiff than eyebrow brushes, these have square heads to evenly apply powder and cream shadows to lids. Just what you need to create depth and definition in the eyelid crease, layer shadow and add definition to the outer eyelid. Try Natio Eyeshadow Brush.
This small, sharp tipped brush is ideal for creating a precise, even line with gel, liquid and powder eyeliners and for applying eyeshadow to the lash line. You can also use it to smudge out kohl for a smoky effect. Try GlamGals Black Eyeliner Brush.
This nifty duo is perfect for combing, taming and de-clumping your lashes and brows. You could also use it to smudge eyeliner gently with the brush bristles. Try Real Techniques Lash & Brow Groomer.
This trusty brush can be used to add color or definition to cheeks. It has soft, longer bristles that can apply and blend color, define and contour cheeks. A good blush brush has a full, large head with a slightly tapered head for even distribution of pigments. Try Basicare Angled Blusher Brush
Of course you can directly apply lipstick from its case, but a lip brush is a fantastic tool for building up pigment and defining your lips with greater precision for a striking pout. The tip is designed with short, firm bristles for a controlled application. Plus, it’s a great way to reach the remnants of a fave lipstick when it’s almost finished! Try Essence Lip Brush.
Cleaning your makeup brushes
Makeup brushes can be a hotbed of bacteria and dirt. Using unclean brushes on your face puts you at risk of breakouts and rashes. Ideally, wash them once a month, but upgrade your suds. Instead of using regular soap, stir up a few drops of baby shampoo in a liter of water to create a lather, rinse brushes and let them air dry. However eyeshadow brushes need to be cleaned at least once a week.
Write in and let us know which ones are your favorites!