Simple Tricks to Choose Makeup Brushes

Have you ever been so excited to go to your favorite beauty store, find yourself gazing at all of the makeup brushes and suddenly realize you have no idea how to select the brushes you actually need or can use? Have you ever tried to apply eye shadow with a foundation brush? It does not work so well.

Let us go through simple tricks to help you choose the proper makeup brushes.

What is the function of this brush?

When you see a brush and it says “bronzing brush”- what does that mean to you?

bronzing makeup brushTo start, consider a bronzer at its base, most bronzing cosmetics are powders and the primary use of a bronzer is to provide subtle color or warmth to an individual’s skin tone. A bronzing brush should be large and round in shape. A few newer brands are coming out with tapered brushes, which come to a point at the end. Make sure whichever brush you select the bristles feel soft to the touch and can evenly distribute product to you skin. Larger brushes with a rounded head and thicker base are great for covering larger areas of the body as such as the neck and décolleté. Kabuki brushes are great for facial areas such as the temple and high forehead.

What about concealer or foundation brushes?

A smaller dome shaped, condensed foundation brush with fit face shapes that have curves around the nose and mouth and are also good for covering acne and hyperpigmentation.

Concealer brushes should always be of smaller shape with a slight round top and easy to use. The bristles should hurt as this brush is commonly used on sensitive areas.

Newer companies are marketing larger flat top angled foundation brushes, which create an “airbrush” finish and can provide sheer to full coverage. These kinds of brushes are becoming popular and mainstream but generally only come in one size per manufacturer, so be selective the brand you wish to invest in.

Consideration for the function of other tools:

Sponges and high dense foam applicators such as a Beauty Blender are excellent for multipurpose applications and be used wet or dry. To test the grade and quality of foam or latex, apply a small amount of product (preferably liquid) and observe the absorption rate and how easily the product spreads. If the sponges or foam applicator has excess products that pools on its surface or absorbs deep into the material, the quality is either too soft or too firm. If you find the material flaking off or dragging on your skin, it will only smear your cosmetics.

What is it your brush made out of?

The construction of a brush is just as important is not more important than its purpose. Finding a brush that is well built and has the proper brush hair will ensure even product distribution and pigment retention whether you are looking to build or blend eye shadow colors or smooth out foundation. Companies can use fiber to mimic natural hair, sable, mink, squirrel, goat hair and many others. The quality of the brush hair depends on how it is prepared or cut for the tool. A higher preparation of hair (cut) provides the best and softest application to skin, often found in the first cut of new or virgin hair from its source. Firmer, often generic or low quality brushes are constructed from the lower portions of the fur. These can be prickly and sore feeling upon application.

How can I keep it clean?

Another important factor to consider in selecting your brushes is the ease and method of sanitation. Improper sanitation of your makeup brushes can spread and harvest bacteria. Product buildup also makes it challenging to get a smooth, even application. With small shadow brushes,you run the risk of colors bleeding, even if that was not your intention.

It is wise to use the directions on manufactures insert or product information found on their websites.  Never use harsh chemicals on your makeup brushes, harsh chemicals needed for disinfection can damage the bonding, glue, material and the integrity of your brush. Not to mention harsh chemicals are very unsafe for skin contact. If you are using a cleanser that is too strong, the bristles will become frayed and coarse.

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Does it fit the size and shape of my face?

Everyone face is unique. Everyone has a different shape. Brushes for liquids, creams, powders, and pressed powders are made to a standard size based up ease of use and general proportion of the human face shape.  When looking at brushes it is OK to find different sizes of the same brush or something similar. When you applying makeup, you have to be able to work with what you are using and you have to feel comfortable with it mobility. For example when applying cheek color, one can use a standard blush brush, which is smaller, sometimes flat and fluffy. You can also use an angled blush brush, which is thicker,angled and used to pack the color on the high cheek area and into the cheekbones. A standard blush brush is used to apply color to the apples of the cheeks, temple if wanted and can help blend out harsh lines. For individuals with round featured, using a softer fluffy blush brush will add color to the apple of your cheeks thus creating a more oval shape look as opposed to an angel brush, which will only provide structured colors.

Size and shape makeup brushes

A final thought on selecting cosmetic tools are reviews. The most popular beauty stores allow its consumers to leave product reviews. If you are unable to get to the store to feel or see the brush in person that is always recommended, read the reviews, from the lowest rating first to the highest. Many people are excited initially and leave complimentary ratings. The negative reviews tend to be more specific and honest about the function of the brush.  Other mediums such as YouTube and Instagram can be useful but be aware that not all brushes are created equal.

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