Nothing irks me more than when I have a client or friend share with me a time they were told by someone to abide by a particular “beauty rule” i.e., “The lady at the make-up counter told me since I have blonde hair and freckles I can’t wear purple eyeshadow”. Okay, who is this all knowing beauty oracle and where is this supposed beauty rule-book that everyone keeps referencing? I want everyone to forget the concept of beauty rules! They don’t exist.
That being said, I do think there are some really great guidelines on how to maximize your beauty products, which is why I want to discuss make-up brushes: why you need them and how to take care of them. I love make-up brushes because when cared for properly they can provide a sanitary and beautiful application of all of your make-up from foundation to blush to eye shadow, liner, bronzer… you get the idea.
A lot of people ask me if they can just apply their foundation with their hands and I think that can only be answered on a case by case basis. With more sheer formulations and tinted moisturizers I think hands are perfect. Using your hands to apply such products help them melt into the skin beautifully…but clean hands please! You don’t want to spread oil and germs all over your face.
With medium to full coverage foundations, using your hands can give the product a really unnatural, slathered on appearance and can cause the make up to wear strangely throughout the day. Therefore make-up brushes are your new best friend. Synthetic bristle foundation and concealer brushes are really where it’s at for me because they are so easy to care for and for the most part are anti-bacterial, thus reducing break outs! I also love that they are animal cruelty-free.
If you’ve ever seen a beautiful eyeshadow look and thought to yourself, “I could never do something like that myself”, you probably don’t have the right brushes. As much as it pains me to admit it, a make-up artist is basically nothing without her tools.
I could go on for hours about the specifics of particular eye shadow brushes, and will on a separate post. In the mean time I’ll break it down pretty simply: Want a dense, thick application of eyeshadow? Use a dense, thick, short bristled brush! For a softer, subtler application, chose a brush that is medium in density, long and fluffy.
I’m sure you’ve heard someone say that the secret to good make-up is blending, but they should have actually said the secret to good make-up is a blending brush. If you’re having a hard time making your make up look natural, be it foundation, blush or eye shadow I can’t stress to you enough how much of a difference you will see if you take a clean, fluffy brush (large for the face, small for the eyes) and blend in small circular motions around the areas you’d like to soften.
As far as care goes, it’s a lot easier than it seems. Every two to three weeks, run the bristles of your brushes under some lukewarm water, gently lather them up with some mild shampoo or brush cleaner, rinse thoroughly and then lay flat to dry. I am super paranoid about break-outs, so I also spray my foundation and concealer brush each day with rubbing alcohol, which is totally cool on synthetic bristle brushes. Natural bristle, not so much.
Lovelies, how often do you clean your brushes? Do you have any favorite brushes?