Remember using those tiny sponge applicators with play makeup when you were a kid? It’s time to ditch those wee makeup brushes and wands that come packaged with compacts and eyeshadow palettes. Sure, they’ll work in a pinch, like when you’re running late for work or need a quick pre-date touch-up, but to get the most out of her makeup collection, a girl really needs the right tools for the job.
To create a work of art, whether on canvas or your eye crease, artists will often reach for a brush. Specialized makeup brushes exist to help us apply and blend colors to create different makeup looks. When it comes to makeup brushes, hoard them like pirate treasure! Buy as many different brushes as you can comfortably afford. You’ll use your brushes every day, and you won’t regret having a variety from which to choose.
We use ’em to apply foundation, concealer, powders and blush.
There are lots of eye brushes to choose from, which is a blessing for brush hoarders like me (I own over 30, yikes) but a curse for makeup newbies. Start your collection with the essentials.
At one time or another, most of us have applied lipstick straight from the tube. As much as I love my brushes, I have to confess: I do this all the time! Let’s face it, applying lipstick straight from the tube is much easier than reaching for a lip brush, and sometimes you just don’t have the time. However, when you feel like rocking a deep, dark scarlet or a bright matte fuschia, a lip brush is the only way to go. It provides more control and precise lipstick application than a tube. Like concealer brushes, lip brushes have a firm, thin tip. For on-the-go lipstick application, look for a covered lip brush, which comes with a cover to protect the brush head while you’re traveling.
Choosing the Right Brush
Brushes range from budget-friendly (less then $10) to uber-expensive ($250, ouch!). Save for ’em and cough up the dough, girlfriend, because they’ll get plenty of use. Buy the best brushes you can afford. MAC Cosmetics brushes have a good reputation, but shop around. Sonia Kashuk, sold at Target stores, is another good brush brand for the money.
How to Clean Your Brushes
Regularly cleaning makeup brushes extends their useful life. Some makeup lines sell liquid brush cleaning solutions, but baby shampoo and water also work well. Antibacterial wipes provide a quick way to clean brush heads in the car or wherever water would make a mess. After cleaning your brushes, reshape the brush heads with your fingers and line them up on the edge of a shelf or sink to dry.
Short- Versus Long-Handled Brushes?
Brush handles come in different lengths and weights, and which one you choose depends on your personal preference. Small hands might prefer short brush handles.
How to Store Your Brushes
For cheap, easy brush storage at home, stand them up in a glass (brush heads up). When you’re on the road, use a brush roll, which is a folding bag with slots for each brush. It rolls up like a sleeping bag.
Don’t let your makeup brushes get lonely! There are a few other tools you might consider adding to your makeup arsenal.