Recently I have been doing lots of one-on-one makeup lessons and I have been shocked to learn that no one seems to have any makeup brushes to apply their draws full of makeup. How I wonder can you apply makeup without any brushes? The truth is you can’t. Fingers and those little sponge brushes create a very limited and mediocre look. Don’t panic, you don’t need to go out and buy a whole brush roll, you will only need a few brushes to create any look. Once you have invested in good brushes they will last you a life time provided you look after them, I’ll elaborate on caring for your brushes a little later in the blog.
With these three eye brushes you can achieve any eye look:
Shadow/Crease Brush – Stila 15 brush. It’s a two in one and great value for money considering how well made it is, the goat hair means its nice and soft. One end is the flat shadow brush to apply shadow to the eye lid and the other end is a curved “bullet” brush which we use to apply shadow in the crease/socket to contour. It is $52 at Mecca Cosmetica but remember you are getting two in one!
Blending Brush – Mac 217 brush. This is my must have brush that I use on every single person, I cannot do a makeup without it. It is the perfect length and shape to blend and softly apply shadow in the socket or apply a cream shadow to the lid. Available at Mac Cosmetics for $37. It isn’t as soft as my still brushes but the shape makes up for it.
Liner/smudge Brush – Stila 28 brush. This double ender is one of my all time favourite brushes. I use the thin brush to create a defined liquid line by wetting it and then dipping in shadow and the other end I use to create a smudged line for a smokey look. It is $52 from Mecca Cosmetica. This baby won’t let you down.
*Pro Tip – If you want a really, really thin brush for liquid gel liners I recommend you get one from an art store. That is what I do, they last for ages and only cost around $5 because they are synthetic. Not suitable for shadow though I’m afraid.
Essential brushes for the face:
Powder Brush – A must have if you use setting powder or bronzer. Any powder brush will do although I definitely suggest you invest in a good one. The cheaper ones tend to lose more hair and aren’ as soft on the face. My favourite is Bobbi Brown Powder Brush. It is a bit of a splurge at $95 but it feels divine and is shaped perfectly. Shop around at Mecca and David Jones to find the one you like but be sure to check that it is real hair and not a cheap, synthetic blend.
Blush Brush – If you use powder blush you need the right tool to apply to with. No you can’t use your powder brush because they are too big. I suggest you look for a round shape (as opposed to an angle) made with either sable or goat hair. I love my Nars Kabuki Yachiyo brush which is $52 from Mecca Cosmetica.
Foundation brush – Forget the brush and get the Beauty Blender – I firmly believe that you don’t need a foundation brush, fingertips work wonders to warm and blend the foundation. Same goes for concealer, just use your finger tip and lightly tap the product into place. My secret little weapon for a perfect yet natural finish is my Beauty Blender sponge. Wet the sponge and lightly press continuously for the most perfect base ever. Yes it is $25 for a sponge, but it is worth every cent! http://modelrocklashes.com/categories/beautyblenders.html
Lip Brush – If you are applying a soft, sheer colour you don’t need a brush. If you are applying a bright, bold colour such as red then you definitely need a lip brush! How else are you going to get that perfect shape. I like the lip brush from Gorgeous cosmetics, brush number 32 which is $31. I also like the Mecca Cosmetica retractable lip brush. I have also found some great cheapies from Art stores.
Caring for your brushes:
Don’t let the sales girl at the counter convince you to buy brush cleaner. Artists such as myself need brush cleanser to sterilise quickly in between clients when we need the same brush multiple times in one day. To clean your brushes simply use a gently hair shampoo. It gets rid of all the product and leaves them lovely and soft. Your brushes are made of real hair so it makes sense to use shampoo rather than those strong alcohol based cleansers. Remember not to share your brushes with other people, especially eye and lip brushes. If you are going to share them then yes you should buy the brush cleaner. Pro tip – Don’t soak your brushes as we don’t want water to get into the glue, once you have washed them, squeeze out the excess water and lay them flat to dry (don’t leave them standing as the water will travel down into the glue).