Mastering Makeup Brushes
“Quality makeup brushes are worth every penny,” says Dick Page, artistic director for Shiseido The Makeup and a favourite makeup artist of celebrities such as Catherine Zeta Jones. But figuring what brushes to buy and how to use them isn’t easy. The sheer range of brushes can be intimidating. Here is a “Makeup Brushes 101” to get you started.
The Quality Test:
Bobbi Brown says the best way to test the quality of a brush is to judge how the bristles feel against your skin. Running your fingers through the bristles will assure you they won’t fall out. Celebrity makeup artist Val Garland agrees and adds you need to see how the handle feels in your hand. If it isn’t comfortable, you won’t use it. Look for natural bristles such as sable, goat, pony, and even squirrel for working with powder-based products. Synthetic versions work best with cream-based products because they offer greater control. Regular cleaning will ensure your brushes deliver great results for years.
The Five Essential Brushes
1. Loose powder brush – Select a soft, dome-shaped brush to apply, buff, and polish powder into skin and over foundation to set. Dip, swirl brush into powder, tap off the excess and apply. Apply to the large areas of the face first and around the eyes last.
2. Eyeshadow brush – Choose a flat, wide brush with chiseled rounded tip. Hold the wide side flat and horizontally against the lid to apply and lay down an even, smooth layer of colour. Hold it perpendicular with the tips placed in the crease and follow the bone to shape the eye more with a medium to deep colour. Adding a large dome eye brush allows you to eliminate lines when applying multiple eyeshadow shades.
3. Concealer brush – Invest in ¼” wide, flat brush with chiseled tip. Holt it flat to the skin to paint strokes of concealer. The tip covers blemishes effectively while feathering the edges.
4. Eye Contour brush – Add this multi-use detailing brush to create controlled lines of colour either wet or dry. Fill-in, shape and colour eyebrows with feathery strokes. Wet brush with eyeshadows for quick eye lines.
5. Retractable lip brush – Slip this sleek brush in your bag for quick touch-ups. The flat, dense and chiseled tip applies lip colour expertly. Apply colour to the center of the mouth, spreading and painting the colour to the lips’ outer edges and corners.
How to clean your brushes:
If you gently clean your brushes each week, they will last upward of 10 years. All it takes is some baby shampoo and warm water. Swirl the brush head in the soapy water then rinse with clean water. Pat dry and leave to air dry.