Brushes are a key element in executing a flawless makeup look. They are JUST as important as the makeup products themselves! Imagine wanting to paint a wall in your home. You purchase the best quality paint in a colour that you adore… and then paint the walls with your hands. YEAH RIGHT! Of course you want to use the proper brushes!
The fantastic thing about makeup brushes is that if you purchase a good quality brush (you WILL pay more for a quality makeup brush), with proper care they will last for years. And I do mean YEARS. I own brushes that are 20 years old that I use daily. Really. So, here’s a basic overview of common brushes used for makeup application and how they work.
Generally speaking, brushes are made from synthetic fibres mixed with natural hair like pony, goat, sable or squirrel. The stiffer the brush, the more product it will pick up and deposit on the skin. Softer brushes impart a softer application of colour.
Paddle shaped brushes (depending on the size) are great for applying eyeshadow all over the lid, applying creamy concealer anywhere on the face, or working with creamy eyeshadows. The product is picked up on the flat side of the brush and applied using small strokes or a patting motion.
A definite must-have. Angle brushes are magic, and can be used to fill in eyebrows with eyeshadow, or apply a soft eyeliner using powder shadow, or a defined line using Gel or Liquid eyeliner. Pick up product with the edge of the brush and line away!
These babies do all the work for you if you are doing a defined crease, or even a smoky eye. They are created to not only deposit colour on the eyelid but also to BLEND. They have a teardrop shape, and only the tip of the brush is used, both to pick up powder eyeshadow and to place that brush in the deepest part of the crease of the eye. Use a gentle back-and –forth or tiny circular motion to deposit the colour where desired.
These are great for creating a smoky, smudgy eyeliner above or below the lashline, or to make a very strong, 60’s inspired crease.
The name says it all: large powder brushes are used to set makeup and tone down shine using a pressed or loose powder. Many people also use them to apply bronzer.
The rounder, softer brushes are best for imparting a rosy glow to the apples of the cheeks, while the more stiffly-packed or angled blush brushes are best for contouring the cheekbones.
CARING FOR YOUR BRUSHES
It’s preferred that brushes are washed daily, but if you are using the brushes only for yourself on your own face, a weekly washing should suffice.
Wash your brushes using a gentle shampoo, like a baby shampoo. On occasion I will use a 2-in-1 with conditioner to keep the brushes soft, but too many washes with conditioner will cause your brushes to become limp.
I usually use a coffee mug filled half way with warm water, with a squirt of shampoo. Don’t let the water go above the ferrell (the metal part of the brush that holds the bristles) as you don’t want water damage to the handle of the brush, which is usually made of wood. Swish the brushes around until you see the product coming out of the bristles, then rinse under the tap. Again, don’t let water go above the ferrell. Squeeze the excess water out of the brush from the ferrell downward, and re-shape the brush so it sort of looks like it does when it’s dry.
ALWAYS ALWAYS lay brushes on a FLAT surface on a paper towel or towel to dry. If you put them bristles up to dry, the excess water will run back into the ferrell and loosen the glue that holds the bristles and will eventually destroy the brush! The brush will be dry the next day, so I always wash my brushes in the evening so they are ready to go in the morning.
Now you have a basic idea of how brushes work and where to use them. Go paint your face!
Love and false lashes,