Know the Basics – Makeup Brushes

We had the lovely Parvinder in the salon today who bless her, had become completely pickled and confused about Make-up brushes.  And who can blame her ?  With so many on the market, it’s hard to know which one does what, what ones to choose and even the simple things like how to care for them.
If this sounds like you – Dang girl !!! Put that brush down right now and pay attention, because it’s time to give you the top 10 things you need to know when it comes to makeup brushes.
  1. You DON’T need every different kind !!!! (We don’t even do that in the salon) Although it can seem like you’re missing out if you don’t have every brush, applicator or sponge, because there’s endless different makeup brushes that come in all different shapes and sizes  YOU’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO BUY THEM ALL !!!  (GEMMA, WE ARE TALKING TO YOU, YES YOU !!!)  In our opinion you only really need six brushes in your kit.  A foundation/concealer brush (its ok, we give you permission to have one of each) , a powder brush, a contour brush, a crease brush, a blending brush, and an angle brush.  With these in your collection you’re more than ready to create any look you want.
  2. Cleaning brushes often is an absolute ESSENTIAL: We wrote a note last year about the effects of dirty makeup brushes, which you can catch here.  Suffice it to say “Icky, Icky, Icky” and leave it at that. !!! Get into the habit of cleaning your makeup brushes once a week will help keep your skin clear, your makeup looking flawless, and your brushes lasting longer.
  3. To clean your brushes you don’t need a fancy cleaner: In fact, in the salon, we mostly use a gentle baby shampoo.   Just rinse the brushes in water, swirl them into the soap so it lathers up, massage it thoroughly so you’re cleaning all of the brush (not just the tips), and rinse them out until the water runs clear.
  4. Please, don’t Soak them when you’re cleaning them: They’re not paint brushes girl !!!  (we’re not exactly sure, but we don’t think you do that with them either)  Soaking brushes causes liquid to seep into the handle, which can then loosen the glue that holds the bristles together in place, making the brush fall apart. Although it’s a bit more labour intensive, just clean the brush face down in running water over a bowl made up with some baby shampoo.
  5. Once they’re clean, lay them flat to dry out: Once nice and clean, use some kitchen towelling to gently squeeze around the bristles so they’re not soaking wet. Lay the brushes on some more towelling  on a flat surface and allow the bristles to hang off the edge of the table. Placing them so that they’re not laying flat against the table will protect their shape. Remember to always lay brushes out to dry closer to windows or fresh air. If you leave them to dry in places with no sunlight, like the bathroom, they’ll grab onto a funny odour, similar to damp laundry.
  6. Synthetic versus Natural : There are two different kinds of bristles — natural and synthetic. Natural makeup brushes are typically made out of various animal hair, while synthetic brushes are made up of manmade bristles, usually from nylon or other synthetic fibres.  Natural brushes tend to be more expensive than their synthetic counterparts, many of which are now so fine, there really isn’t a lot to choose between them.  In the salon, most of the brushes we use are synthetic, with the only exception being blending brushes, which most of the girls prefer to be natural.
  7. Use Natural fibre brushes with powder products:  If you’re desperate or have a preference to use natural fibre brushes, you’ll find they tend to work best with powder products.  Everything from bronzers and blushes to eyeshadows and everything in between.  Natural fibres move freely, allowing you to not only pick up enough product in one swipe, but also to blend it out beautifully.
  8. Synthetic brushes are best for liquid and cream products: Unlike natural brushes, synthetic makeup brushes don’t have a cuticle, which makes them great to use with liquid or cream products because they won’t trap makeup. Synthetic fibres also tend to stick better to one another, making them ideal for precision application.
  9. Size matters: (Without wishing to be too rude) The longer the brush the better in our opinion.  The longer the brush fibre, the softer the application and coverage.  Shorter fibres are best for getting a fuller application and coverage.  We also prefer to have long handle brushes too, it gives more space to see what’s happening as you apply product, by keeping your hand away from the face.
  10. Nothing lasts forever !!! Even if you take great care your brushes, they won’t last forever.  Look for the signs.  If your brush is shedding, or the handle breaks, or you can’t get a brush clean anymore, it’s time to toss the brush in the trash.  Hell girl – what’s wrong with you – its time to do more shopping !!! WOOHOO !!!
That’s all from us on the subject of brushes, would love to know what you think though – do you have any preferences ?  Natural or Synthetic for example ?
Love always
Joanna

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