We all love makeup. We salivate over new eyeshadow colors, trendy lip shades and the newest in foundations. But I think a lot of us are guilty of neglecting what makes all of these wonderful products possible. What is an amazing foundation or blush without a proper tool to apply it?
If you are anything at all like how I was when I first started to acquaint myself with the world (more like universe!) of makeup, then you would spend hours researching the best makeup, and zero time researching makeups brushes and tools. I just bought an “all inclusive” pack of whatever makeup brushes was closest to the register when checking out and called it a day. When applying makeup, I just used whatever I assumed was the best brush for what I was doing. And then of course, I was almost always disappointed with my look.
“But I bought the best foundation according to the saleslady!” I’d think to myself. “This is the EXACT same makeup that Kim Kardashian uses, how come it makes me look splotchy and ninety years old!?” Well- duh!! Because I was using the wrong tools! I wouldn’t try hammering a nail in with a screwdriver, or try baking a cake in a frying pan. Both would end up with horrible (and possible life threatening) results. Makeup tools are no different. You need to use them for their sole purposes if you want the intended finish.
And so, I have taken it upon myself to help orient you with at lease the most basic of makeup brushes; their jobs and duties and even how to care for them! Hopefully this will help keep you from making the same rookie mistake that I did!
These brushes are used to apply all types of foundations, from cream to powder to liquids. When used correctly they help to smooth out the product and give you a flawless finish. Use the brush to pick up some product, then apply in a circular motion. If you notice streaks or an uneven application, try wetting your brush first and squeezing out excess water.
Use these brushes to lightly blend in face powders, bronzes or blushes or a softer more natural look. It’s evenly distributed bristles help to distribute the product.
To stipple: to engrave by means of dots and flicks, to speckle or fleck. A stippling brush does just that, dots and packs in makeup as opposed to streaking or wiping it across the surface. This results in a packed in and airbrushed finish. These brushes are particularly good to apply liquid foundations, and creamy blushes- especially on those of us who are blessed (not!) with large pores, as it really fills them in evenly as opposed to just covering them with a light layer.
These bad boys are essentially large powder brushes that generally have many more bristles, and sturdier bristles at that. They are used generally to apply powders, blushes and- you guessed it- bronzers. But unlike the powder brushes that leave a light and natural result, the bronzer brush should be used for a more dramatic look- think heavier face powders and rosier cheeks. Use for heavy coverage only.
Shaped perfectly to the cheekbone, use these brushes to color your cheeks with blush, contour with bronzers and to highlight areas of your face (generally the areas that naturally reflect light.)
Usually found on the end of eyeliner pencils, but can be found separately, these brushes do exactly what it’s name implies- smudges. When you want a less clean cut and more edgy look, use this brush to smudge your eyeliner. The end result is a smokey and sexy look!
Use to apply concealer to blemishes and pesky under eye circles! Also excellent for precision application of product to delicate areas- such as under the eye, around the brow, around your nose etc.
This slanted tip allows for easy eyebrow fill in and shaping. The bristles are generally very stiff to allow for precise application. Use head on to color in brows, or turn sideways to create flawless edges for a perfectly filled in brow.
These are just the brushes that I consider the basics!
Now- how to care for your brushes, you ask? It is very, VERY important to care for and clean your brushes. You are using them generally in more than one product, and applying it onto your face over and over and over… So many things going on in this scenario- mixing up of product, product buildup, creating a bacterial breeding ground. So here are just a few general rules to follow to help keep your brushes in tip-top shape!
1. Never directly apply the brush directly to your face if you can help it! Instead squeeze foundation onto a small dish or the back of your hand, shake out powders etc. and then pick it up with your brush from there. This will help to keep cross contamination to a minimum. If you absolutely MUST use the brush directly on the product- think blushes- it might be a good idea to purchase a brush solely for that purpose, and to clean it after every use. Which leads me to my next rule…
2. CLEAN YOUR BRUSHES ON A REGULAR BASIS! Regular meaning at least once to twice a week! Ideally you would wash them after every use, but we all know that is never going to happen… This will keep from product buildup which will keep your application flawless, and prevent bacteria from forming on your brushes- which your skin and immunity will appreciate! The best way to clean your brushes is to purchase a makeup brush shampoo ( I love Sephora’s). Wet your brush under running lukewarm water- never completely submerge your brushes in water as this will water-log the handle, which will make the bristles come out easily. Squirt a small amount of shampoo on your clean hand and swirl your brush into it. You will see all of the powder and color coming out of your brush (yuck!). Run water over it once again, squeegee all of the water out of your brush and repeat the process until nothing else comes out of your brush. Then either hang your brush upside down, or place sideways to dry. Usually 24 hours is more than enough time to allow them to dry enough for use.
3. Keep your brushes bristle up, and do not allow them to clump together! You want those bristles to keep there texture! And it’s best to keep your brushes from sitting next to anything else so they keep their shape. Try finding container and filling it with beads (you can also use dried beans, rice or even coffee beans) and sticking your brushes handle down into them. This will keep your brushes standing up, and is actually quite cute!
And there you are- I hope you enjoyed your makeup brushes 101! Hopefully this will help your complexions looking flawless and will have cleared up any questions you may have had on brush uses and care! Remember- these are tools and have a specific design and purpose.
Keep being glamorous beauties!