The best makeup brushes
If an artist is only as good as the tools they possess, then you could also say that makeup can only look as good as the brushes used to apply it. For many people, looking your best often means feeling your best and makeup can play an important role in your appearance and self confidence. To create the look that you desire, a good store of makeup brushes, ones with the correct bristles and shapes for their purpose, is absolutely necessary. So here’s the skinny on the best tools of the trade:
Foundation Brushes and Sponges: While some makeup artists prefer sponges to apply and blend foundation, most use fairly large flat brushes with synthetic fibers like taklon. These work best because they don’t absorb too much of the makeup when blending the liquid into the skin. If you are going to buy a foundation brush, check for softness, and make sure there are no loose bristles that will detach during application and stick to your skin. If you prefer a sponge, the wedged-shaped ones are the easier to grip. Ones made of natural materials like sea sponges won’t work well with liquid foundation.
Concealer Brushes: For under eye circles and slight blemishes, get a firm, tapered brush made of synthetic fibers. The man-made bristles will prevent too much of the makeup from being removed by the brush when blending, and the tapered shape will feather the liquid around the spot so that it doesn’t clump up. Lightly dabbing in the concealer with a brush is the best way to create a flawless finish on your face, and since these brushes are smaller and less expensive than foundation brushes, a well-made concealer brush should a top priority for anyone investing in their makeup tools.
Powder Brushes: The finishing touch for many makeup artists is a final dusting with a large, full powder brush made of natural hairs. You can also use a brush with a combination of natural and synthetic bristles, but check for a firm, even feel that doesn’t irritate the sensitive skin, especially the areas around the eyes and under the nose. Although foundation brushes are not absolutely necessary, a coating of powder will even out any unevenness in the skin that wasn’t fixed by foundation or concealer. Powder also stays on skin best in the winter months and can create a look that is too “done” during the summer, so keep in mind that in mind if you are thinking about purchasing a powder brush.
Blush Brushes: To avoid war paint streaks, pick a large, full blush brush with natural hairs. A tapered brush will work best because it deposits the most makeup in the center of the cheek where most flush would occur naturally. A smaller brush will force you to draw the line across your cheekbone, while a larger brush allows you to just dot the blush onto the apple of your cheeks, where it will look most natural. Remember blush is an instant shot of vibrancy (The late and great Estee Lauder once said that every woman could use another dab of it), so make sure your makeup bag is stocked with a good blush brush.
Eyeshadow Brushes: The best eyeshadow brushes are rather small ones with natural fibers and a slightly tapered shape, enabling them to work in the inner corners and creases of the eye. Rub a potential brush against the inside of your wrist, where the skin is similar to your eyelids to check for softness and evenness. A well-made brush should also feel light and sturdy in your hand. For an added band to your buck, choose a brush with eyelash and eyebrow brushes on the opposite end. That way you need only reach for one tool when doing your eyes.
Weight and Length: Make sure you get brushes that aren’t flimsy but also aren’t too heavy. For precision application, you will be holding the brush up close to your face for a good period of time, so check the grip on the brush to see how comfortable it feels between your forefinger and thumb. A good brush will be long enough so that your hand does not accidentally brush against your face, messing up any of the makeup that you have already put on.
Synthetic versus Natural: The main difference between synthetic and natural bristles is the amount of product that each picks up. Manmade fibers work better with liquids, while natural hairs are more suited to powders. This is because the natural fibers attract a more evenly dispersed amount of makeup, and synthetic materials absorb liquids like foundation and concealer and then lightly layer them onto the skin.
Price: You can buy makeup brushes for almost any price, but keep in mind that the better the brush, the more natural your makeup will look. Good tools can allow you to put on makeup easier and save you time in the morning. So if you are someone who wants your makeup to look perfect, make sure that you choose brushes that can create the looks that you desire.