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Makeup Brushes

Makeup Brushes 101

In the world of makeup, there are about as many different products as there are grains of sand in an hourglass. Foundations, powders, blushes, eye shadows, lip colors, you name it. Rarely do people talk about makeup brushes. Although the industry thinks we know what to use to put on all of their products, many times we do’t. What’s worse is that they often give us some kind of rinky-dink brush or applicator (which is factored into the product price!), only to realize it just is’t going to work well. I mean really?”¦ have you seen the size of the blush brushes that come in a compact? Yeah”¦ that’s not going to happen.

When I began to focus my attention on the world of glamour, one of my first investments was a good brush set. I’ve always told anyone who asks my opinion about makeup is that it only looks as good as the tools you put it on with. A good brush set is a long-term investment. Unlike mascara that gets cycled out every three to six months, brushes should be good enough to last many, many years. Think of them as a car: in order to get you where you want to go, they are going to need to be in good shape, be of good quality and will require regular maintenance.

Further Reading See:
Ultimate Guide to Makeup Brushes and Their Uses

There are a few tips to follow when deciding which kind of makeup brushes you will want to buy. Natural bristled brushes, such as goat, pony or sable, are very soft and allow for a more natural looking application. Synthetic bristled brushes are a better choice for makeup with a creamy texture, such as concealers or lip colors. Makeup brushes come in a large variety of sizes and designs depending on what they are being used for. So if you are just starting out, what are a few of the brushes that I think are “must have” purchases in your brush collection? Here are the ones that I started out with and use the most:

Foundation Brush: A full, flat, synthetic bristled brush which picks up the right amount of liquid or powder foundation to apply to the skin with a flawless finish. The bristles are often tight and dense to move smoothly across the skin. This brush can come with a rounded top or angled edge.

Blush Brush: This brush should be “fluffier” than your foundation brush and wide enough to cover the apple of your cheek. You will want to make sure its bristles are soft with curved edges. An angled brush works great for the perfect placement of the color where it needs to be darker or lighter.

Concealer Brush: Make sure your concealer brush has firm but super soft bristles since it will be working on the most delicate skin on your face””under your eyes. A shiny, synthetic haired brush will help the brush slide on your skin without tugging or scratching. A rounded tip brush is the most commonly found, but a tapered brush works great if you can find it as it helps to reach hard-to-reach spots such as the inner corners of the eyes.

1 or 2 Eye Shadow Brushes: You will want to find brushes with soft, rounded bristles that cover about half of your eye lid. You may want one a little smaller for accenting and crease coloring. Although fluffier brushes work well with most pressed powder eye shadows, a flat denser brush is better for putting on loose shadows to help reduce fall out.

Flat Eye Liner Brush: This brush is made very similar to the concealer brush, but is about half the size. It can be used wet or dry to make a precise line along the lashes. Although it can be found with a rounded top, the most popular eye liner brush is one with an angled edge.

Loose Powder Brush: This is brush that will be used to set your look. A natural-haired brush with a large, fluffy, soft head (sometimes beveled to a slight point) is designed to work great with both loose and pressed powders. This soft brush is great to dust your face from top to bottom.

Lip Brush: Most people think that a lip brush is a waste of money, but it certainly is not. Although you can put lipstick on without a brush, right out of the tube, it is a known fact that your color will stay truer longer if it is applied with a brush. Plus, if you want to blend and combine colors correctly, it is a necessity. This brush will have very firm, long bristles with a slightly pointed tip for precise color placement.

Sassy’s picks for great brushes: Sephora Collection Professional Platinum Brushes (Sephora retail stores & Sephora.com); e.l.f. Studio Brushes (eyeslipsface.com); Ecotools (drug stores & retail establishments); Stila Brushes (stilacosmetics.com)

Remember to do a little research on any brushes you might be interested in before you buy them. If it at all possible, try them out in person before you purchase any. Check to see if they shed (run your fingers through the bristles and see if any come out) and see how soft they are by running them across the inside of your wrist. If they shed bristles or feel rough, then those are’t for you. Once you get the ones you like, make sure you take care of them. Once a week, squirt some anti-bacterial soap in the palm of your hand and rub the brush around, loosening up any makeup in the brush. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and shake out any excess. Put the brushes is a short glass, handle side down to let them air dry to regain their natural shape. This will clean and disinfect your brushes, keeping your investment in the best condition possible. Treat your brushes good and you will have them by your side to help you stay beautiful for a long time!!