Applying make-up like a professional is not only about good technique but also about having the right tools for the job.
Investing in good quality brushes is the key to creating that great finish.
Your make-up brush selection should be reflective of your style of make-up. If your make-up application involves highlighting, contouring and many layers of eyeshadow you will need a wide variety of brushes to achieve this look. However, if your make-up style is quite simple then you will only need the basic brushes.
You can buy your brushes directly from make-up shops, drugstores or even online stores at very good prices like crownbrush or themakeupbrushcompany.co.uk. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could buy brushes for just a few pounds online so definitely shop around.
High quality brushes can be made of animal hair such as badger, goat or squirrel hair as the hair is so fine and silky. However, synthetic brushes such as talkon especially those which are hand-made are also just as good.
A basic kit should consist of at least 10-12 brushes:
Powder brush- is essential to the even application of powder. It should be big and fluffy and firm enough to brush away excess powder. If you are applying mineral foundation then it is worth buying a Kabuki brush for this.
Blush brush- should be a medium dome-shape so the centre of the brush can hold the colour and the side bristles and blend for a smooth finish.
Foundation brush- should be quite firm but soft and smooth to touch. Applying foundation with a brush will give you that even flawless finish.
Concealer brush- should be small and flat with a pointed tip for precision application and blending.
Medium eyeshadow brush- should have a rounded head needed to apply colour evenly to the eyelid.
Eye-contour brush- should have a small tapered head to blend eyeshadow into the crease.
Small eyeshadow brush- should have a small angled but slightly rounded head to add definition and depth to the eye.
Medium blending brush- should be soft and have a tapered edge to add colour to the eye and blend well without leaving any harsh lines.
Eyebrow brush- should have angled firm short bristles that will groom your eyebrows. This brush is also great for applying eyeshadow to the lashline.
Eyeliner brush- should have a firm fine tip to apply eyeliner to the lashline with ease and control.
Eyelash comb- looks like a mascara brush. This is great for separating clogged lashes and removing excess powder from eyebrows.
Lip brush- should have a small slightly flattened head with bristles coming to a tip to apply lipstick with precision and to get into corners. This is also great for blending your own combination of lip colour.
How to clean make-up brushes
Hygiene is a must when it comes to make-up care. It is important to wash your make-up brushes regularly especially if you use them daily you should wash them every 4-6 weeks. This will not only stop bacteria from breeding but also keep your brushes well conditioned and soft. After cleaning always reshape brushes and lay them flat to dry for at least 8 hours or preferably overnight.
You can clean your brushes using a professional brush cleanser like MAC’s Brush Cleanser. Or a more cost effective way is to use a mild baby shampoo or mild facial cleanser and mild antiseptic solution.
Here are a few helpful tips:
- If using a brush cleanser- dab some cleanser onto a paper towel and sweep your brush through it several times as though you are painting. The advantage of using a brush cleanser is that the brushes will dry much more quickly- great if you need to use them soon after cleaning.
- If using a mild shampoo or cleanser dilute it and gently clean your brushes using tepid water.
- Instead of using an antiseptic solution you can dilute 2 parts water to 1 part vinegar and then rinse with tepid water.
- Never soak brushes or wet handles- this will cause wooden handles to swell and bristles will fall out.
- Never use a hair dryer to dry your brushes this will damage the bristles.