brush-ology 101: my best makeup brush tips

brush-ology 101

Brushes are the bread and butter of every woman's makeup routine. So how does a girl choose the right brushes for the task when there are 1,000+ options?! I've narrowed it down to the five brushes necessary in every makeup bag, as well as how to choose the right brushes and how to keep em clean.

The five essential brushes that every woman needs..

  1. Powder Brush- Large brush with fluffy bristles for powder application.  This is great for powder foundation such as Bare Minerals, a finishing powder to set liquid makeup, or bronzer application.
  2. Angled Blush Brush- Slanted soft bristles fit perfectly under your cheek bones to contour without streaking. My favorite is the Sephora I.T. Angled Synthetic Blush Brush ($35, sephora.com).
  3. Allover Eyeshadow Brush- Flat brush head with medium soft bristles.  This one is great for sweeping shadow from lashes to brows, as well as held vertically to smudge a little shadow under your eyes for a fancy lower rim.
  4. Eyeshadow Blending Brush- A domed brush to shade the creases of your eyelids. It can also be used to blend highlighter along the tops of your cheekbones, brow bone, and ridge of your upper lip.
  5. Eyeliner Brush- Short, stiff, angled brushes will control cream, gel, or shadow liner application.  Hold the brush at an angle and apply liner with quick strokes for best effect.

How to choose the right brush..

  1. Be realistic- Spending large amounts of cash on eyeshadow & eyeliner brushes when you never wear eye makeup is a colossal waste of money. Keep your everyday look in mind when you head to Sephora to buy brushes.
  2. Be quality careful- Poor quality brushes can mess up your makeup. Swirl the brush on the inside of your arm to feel the bristles against your skin. If they feel scratchy, uncomfortable, stiff, or shed like your pet cat, stay away. They will drag and smear your makeup.
  3. Don''t forget your fingers- You have ten free fingers, use em! Certain kinds of makeup blend easier without a tool and your body heat warms up the formula so it goes on easier. Just remember to wash your hands before touching your face, especially if you are prone to acne.
  4. Utilize the compact brush- I used to to just toss em but I started keeping mine in a small dish on my vanity and they come in handy when you need a clean brush for a fresh color, using as an eyeliner brush in a pinch, or to dab concealer under eyes.
  5. Don't go overboard- You don't need the most expensive and every brush you see. Many brushes multitask and a good quality one will last you for a while.  No need to spend extra cash when it isn't necessary!

Above all else... Keep Em Clean!!! Clean brushes apply makeup better and keep bacteria from transferring into your pores.  Here's my four step, fast and easy process for clean brushes.

  1. Pick the right cleanser- I use the Bare Minerals Brush Conditioner.  It's gentle and my brushes feel clean and soft after each wash.
  2. Don't submerge them- I wet the brush under the tap and rinse off all loose debris.  Then I squeeze a dime size amount of brush wash into my hand and swirl the bristles into it then rinse into a shallow bowl of water.  You don't want to let water seep under the metal band, this will cause the glue that holds the bristles to erode and your brush will lose its bristles.
  3. Reshape the bristles- Gentle squeeze excess water out, then gently pull the bristles to realign them to get rid of tangles and kinks. Lay flat on a paper town and let them dry over night.
  4. Never use a wet brush- Make sure your brushes are 100% dry before using them for makeup application.  Using them while still damp will drag the makeup onto you face and also encourage bacteria to grow.

Brushes are one of the most important aspects of your makeup routine.  Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you achieve that flawless look every time!

-L