Who needs makeup brushes when you can use your fingers right?
The thing with makeup brushes is, they don’t just apply the makeup; they can achieve a make-up artist look. With the right tools, our makeup regime can become effortless: we can use less product, blend, sculpt and perfect our faces.
But as we know, makeup brushes can be daunting with their different uses, shapes, sizes and types.
And my first experiences with makeup brushes were disastrous.
With every sweep, I’d have bristles on my face instead of foundation. Instead of having a so desired ‘airbrushed’ look, you could actually see the brush strokes on my face. NOT COOL.
So I thought today, I’d try and decode makeup brushes and their uses… to make it a little easier for you makeup brush newbies, and to avoid any BMD’s (bad makeup days)!
When you are thinking about buying yourself makeup brushes, you need to ask yourself these questions:
Which brush is right for me?!
First things first, think about the types of makeup you use. Liquid and cream makeup will require different brush materials than powder makeup. Natural brush fibres (such as horse, squirrel etc) are best for the powder products as they trap the makeup better, meaning more product on your skin rather than lost in the air! Synthetic fibres (taklon or other man-made materials) are best for liquid or cream products. Synthetic fibres are also much easier to clean, meaning less bacteria, and kinder for people who suffer from animal allergies! So if you have sensitive skin, it is probably best sticking to synthetic.
Personally, I hate the thought of an animal dying for the sake of a makeup brush so regardless of the end product, I’d never buy a natural brush. So I guess another question you need to ask yourself is… how animal friendly are you? ha ha..
My personal favourites are the taklon brushes. They are what I’d like to call… superior synthetic brushes. They are manufactured to mimic the properties of a natural brush without the obvious cruelty factor. They are ultra soft, and like the natural brushes give a more flawless finish. And they feel great on your face – always a bonus.
How much coverage do I like?
Second of all, you need to ask yourself the type of face coverage you would like because each coverage demands a different brush density. For example, I like a lighter coverage with my liquid foundation, so I use a stippling brush because the looser brushes create a light, airbrushed finish. In contrast, if I were to seek a medium to high coverage, a flat foundation brush would be better because the flat denser brush means it will cover the skin rather than being buffed into it. Basically, the higher the coverage you want, the denser the brush you need.
What are you using the brush for?
Different brushes have different uses, which seems fairly obvious, but I feel that it is worth investing in a few key brushes rather than using one ‘do-it-all’ brush. As you can see from the picture below the blush brush is purposefully angled in that way to ‘sculpt’ your face, creating contours where there may be none. Another example is the eyeshadow blending brush, it is sparse (not very dense) to smudge and scatter rather than apply. If you aren’t so confident about reading makeup brushes in this way, the only thing I can recommend is research, research, research! Most online stores will tell you what the brushes are good for, or if you prefer, ask the sales assistants in store.
Expensive >/= inexpensive?
Do not fall for the big brand trap! There are PLENTY of good makeup brushes on the market without using all of your hard-earned cash! Personally, I love ecotools as they apply flawlessly with very little effort on my part but I’ve also heard equally as amazing things about the realtechniques brushes. They were designed by Samantha Chapman (a makeup god) and so you know you can trust them! And they’re made from taklon (hurrah)!
So in summary, think about why you are buying the makeup brushes. What product are you using them with? What sort of makeup do you want to achieve? I think the best advice I can give is to research what the brushes are good for before you buy them and read reviews! There is always something new on the market, and I can guarantee you that even the most experienced of makeup artists still research brushes every now and then 😉
I hope this has cleared some of the mystery of makeup brushes and their uses, and if you have any of your own makeup tips, feel free to comment 🙂 you might save someone from the odd BMD!