Monday, December 17, 2012

Choosing and Caring for your Makeup Brushes

Do you skip on buying a set of makeup brushes because the variety is intimidating? Do you apply most of your makeup with the same brush? Today I'll be covering what various makeup brushes are designed for, which brushes you need in your beauty arsenal, and how to properly care for them.

Makeup brushes are essential to great makeup applications and could be the deciding factor between having a not-so-great or a flawless face of makeup. 

Many women avoid brushes for the mere price of buying them, they can get pricey but it's an investment that's worth paying a little more. A good set of high-quality brushes can last you years, you might never have to replace them if you take care of them correctly. 

Low-quality brushes could potentially cost you more money than investing in a set of high-quality brushes due to having to consistently replace them. In a nutshell, here are the main difference between high-quality and low-quality brushes:

High quality:
  • Makes it easy to blend different shades and pigments
  • Creates a more natural and even-looking finish
  • Can last years on end
Low quality:
  • Ragged bristles mean uneven application
  • Brush bristles fall out easily
  • Bristles can be tough and irritating to the skin
  • Many brushes won’t hold their shape
On top of high and low quality choices there's tons are different bristle selections that will fall into two categories: Natural bristles or Synthetic bristles. Natural bristles are first choice for any brush you will be using for powder applications, not only are they the fluffiest and the softest, but they also have a cuticle—just like human hair—that really grabs pigment and holds on until you place it exactly where you want on the face. Blue squirrel is the best quality (hence, the most expensive), but pony hair, goat, and kolinsky sable are also good. Synthetic would be for the brushes you plan to use with creams and liquids. Synthetic brushes really absorb the product which makes them ideal for foundation, concealing and lip creams. 

The Essentials. If you want to shoot for some higher quality brushes but you're also trying to save a little money, skip buying the entire collection and go for the essentials. Theres 5 essential makeup brushes every girl should own. 1. A Large to Medium Powder brush. Used to apply foundation powders, setting powders, blushers and bronzers. 2. A Concealer brush. Skip the foundation brush, foundation can be applied with sponges or even your fingers (my method when applying my makeup) but a concealer brush will come in handy for targeting problem spots and concealing under-eye circles. 3. Blending Brush. Meant to blend out eyeshadow for the perfectly applied look, you don't want any harsh lines, especially with smokey looks. 4. Crease Brush. This is a slightly dome-shaped pointed brush no bigger than a pinky nail, meant to get into the crease of your eye lid to give your eye depth. 5. Eye liner brush. Pretty self-explanatory, this brush is meant for cake and gel liners.

  Cleaning and Care It's important to spot clean your brushes after each use and to deep clean them at least once a month, preferably twice a month. Brushes contain and hang on to dirt, dead skin cells, and bacteria which can all irritate and breakout your skin if you reapply them to your face during your next makeup application. 
Cleaning is also a very important step in making your brushes last! For spot cleaning just use a simple store-bought brush cleaner and paper towel, but make sure to read the directions on the brush cleaner as they can vary in technique. For a monthly deep cleaning use a baby shampoo or the Michelle Phan method using dial soap with olive oil (My preferred method). You want to rise your brushes, shampoo them, and gently stroke them back and forth on your palm to remove product before rinsing them with cool or luke warm water, never hot water. Once the water runs clean pat dry the bristles with a paper towel, reshape the hairs then lay them flat with the bristles laying just off the edge of the counter, like this:


Let them sit until completely dry and then put them back to use! For more info on Michelle Phans brush cleaning method and a nifty trick to dry your brushes upside down check out this video:

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