Over the years I have collected hundreds of makeup brushes. Call it an addiction if you will (OK, maybe it’s just an itty bitty one) but I call it an investment. I’ve invested my time and certainly a few dollars trying to find the best makeup brushes and tools to create beautifully blended flawless looks.
Now, I know that with so many different brands, shapes, and materials out there it can get quite confusing! The good news is that you do not need an arsenal of brushes like me...but you will need a nice set. I’m always suggesting to my clients to invest in a well-made set of brushes. At first, most look at me a little wary as if I’m a salesperson trying to pull one over on them. They are quick to claim that their brushes are “just fine” and they don’t want to spend the extra money. So, on the sly I pull a brush from my roll up and run the bristles across their cheek or hand, their eyes immediately light up and...Sold!! A quality brush is just going to be so much softer. It’s going to be better for your skin (aka: no irritation), you will have less bristle loss (I despise those pesky things when they stick to your face!), they’ll help make your makeup last longer by having to use less product, and if you take good care of your brushes, they will last you years and years! Some of my MAC brushes have been with me since the beginning and still look good.
Brushes do come in a variety of bristles and handles. They will either be natural which means they come from an animal or synthetic such as nylon. Handles can be made from simple plastic to beautiful bamboo. Natural brushes are great to use with powders such as blush and eyeshadows where synthetics are best for creams and liquids such as foundation. However, not all brushes are created equal. I am going to reiterate that you need to spend a little more for quality. That cheapo drugstore brush that sheds, splays, and scratches isn't worth a hill of beans...toss it!
Although I am always discovering new brushes, here is my current list of "must-haves" for personal use and some of my favorites of each.
These are a must!! Sponges can soak up too much makeup, are wasteful, and harbor germs. Your fingers, with their heat and moisture, can leave your makeup less than stellar. To apply, simply dip the brush into your foundation (I like to place a little on the back of my clean hand and work from there to keep those little germies out of my bottle) and buff into the skin from the center out.
To make sure that foundation stays put throughout the day and to keep your face from looking shiny, you’ll need to lay some powder and with that you’ll need a powder brush. These brushes are soft and fluffy and a little on the larger side. To apply, dip your brush in the powder, tap the handle on your palm to "load" the brush, and lightly “dust” it over your face.
These are always great for giving the skin a healthy glow or those cheeks a pop of color. They are smaller than the Powder Brush but still have super soft fluffy bristles....meaning they are not going to irritate the skin or disturb the makeup you just applied. Apply bronzer where the sun naturally hits you and apply the blush along the cheekbone using a light “swooshing” motion from hairline to cheek.
Eye shadow Brush:
Oh, Lordy!!! I love so many so I will try to keep it to a minimum. These are used for all over color from lash line to brow bone, highlight, and/or contouring.
MAC #213 $25.00
MAC #217 $25.00
MAC #239 $25.00
[R]evolution Crease $7.99
[R]evolution Detail $7.99
[R]evolution Eye Blender $7.99
How to Clean Your Brushes:
Oh, yes, my loves. You must clean your brushes!! Take care of your brushes and they’ll take care of you by lasting years and years...which means money saved!
To clean your brushes, place a small amount of gentle cleanser (I love Dr Brommers) in the palm of your hand and place your hand and brush under warm water. Swirl the brush gently in your palm until the water runs clear. Do NOT get the ferrule (where the bristles are attached) wet. Getting this area wet will loosen the glue and you’ll begin to lose your bristles. Now, reshape the bristles and lay the clean brush on the edge of the sink or counter to dry over night. I clean on a regular schedule due to all my clients. For personal use, I suggest doing this at least once a month.
I also wanted to share a quick on-the-go cleanser. My favorite by far is Cinema Secrets. It has a vanilla-ish scent and it gets my brushes clean and dry super duper fast. If you have some gunky build up on your brushes, pour a small amount in glass cup, dip your brush (only the bristles) into the cleanser, gently rub it back and forth on a paper towel until it rubs clean, and lay it to dry which it does fast. Do not oversaturate the brush as it will take a lot longer to dry.