the brushes you use to apply your makeup are as important as the makeup itself. using a quality brush that is designed for applying a particular product to a specific part of your face is a game changer. when you're trying to apply bronzer with a small, dense brush, the product will go on too heavy and unnaturally--you'll probably look dirty. if you apply a base eye shadow color all over your lid with a small, dense angled brush, the shadow won't lay down smoothly. so, to do your makeup and to do it well, you are going to need a few brushes that serve a specific purpose. each unique brush shape, size and type of bristles makes a difference.
SYNTHETIC vs. NATURAL MAKEUP BRUSHES
the first thing to know is there are two types of bristles used to make brushes: synthetic vs. natural. each type of bristle is designed to work best with certain types of products.
synthetic bristles often look shiny and feel really slick. there are no strict rules, but brushes made with this type of bristle is best used with creams, gels and liquid products like foundation, concealer, lipstick, gel eye liner, etc. they just don't pick up powder products well.
natural bristles are made from natural hair from an animal. they often seem fluffy and soft, but some can be a little stiff and scratchy--don't get anything that doesn't feel good on your skin! these are best used with powders like eye shadow, bronzer, blush.
SIZE, SHAPE & DENSITY
so once you know if you need to be looking for a synthetic or natural makeup brush, you can move on to selecting a brush based on size/shape/fullness. i hate rules when it comes to makeup because makeup is an art, but here are some guidelines to keep in mind when selecting makeup brushes for a particular use:
the longer/"fluffier" the bristles, the sheerer the product will apply and the easier the product will blend.
the shorter/stiffer/more compact the bristles, the heavier the product will apply and the more control you have over product application
now let's talk about dirty brushes. i know a lot of us have these dirty makeup bags full of broken powders, cap-less creams that have leaked and our brushes are just floating around in there collecting all sorts of filth. or maybe you just haven't washed your brushes since buying them years ago. stop the madness! now i'm not perfect, so i know my personal makeup brushes go a bit longer than they should without a bath (don't worry, the ones i use on clients get a bath in between every person!!), but clean brushes make a world of difference.
for any of you who hate to admit that you've never washed your brushes, you will be amazed how much better makeup will go on and how much better those brushes will feel on your skin!
here are my thoughts on how often and how to wash your brushes:
- all brushes deserve a thorough bath every few weeks.
- brushes used for creams and gels (primer/foundation/concealer/cream eyeshadow/gel eyeliner/etc.) need to be washed more often--i recommend every other use since products that are moist (eeew that word!) can grow bacteria and also build up on brushes more so than powders.
- for quick, daily cleanings...use a makeup brush cleaner that you can spray directly on the brush or onto a towel. swipe the brush back and forth on the towel and see the product come off the brushes. not only do brush cleaners remove product, they disinfect the brush as well.
- for the more thorough brush cleanings, or "brush baths" rather...dampen your brush with COLD water and then use a pea sized amount of baby shampoo, clarifying shampoo or plain hand soap in the palm of your hand to swirl the brush around in it. suds up the brush and thoroughly rinse the soap/product out of the bristles. BE GENTLE. if you are careful with your brushes, they will last. so don't pull on the bristles and don't use warm water (it can loosen the glue at the base of the bristles and make the brush shed/fall apart). once you have gently squeeze any remaining water out of the bristles, lay the brush down on the edge of your countertop with the bristles hanging off so they get air circulation and will dry faster.
FAVORITE BRUSHES & BRANDS
stay tuned for more on the brushes i can't live without and some favorite brands of brushes to fit every budget. talk to ya soon! :)
have a great day,