Face brushes: there are thousands of different brushes out there for use with powder, blushes, bronzers, contouring products and highlighters. Obviously you don’t need all of them but each one will produce different results. All the everyday gal really needs is a good powder brush and blush brush, you CAN just get away with a powder brush but a blush brush is great for a perfect application of blush, bronzer and contouring powder.
How to Clean your Makeup Brushes
Brushes are one of the most important steps in makeup application, there’s no point having expensive makeup and horrible brushes. With the right brushes every makeup application can look great.
For brush cleaning I HIGHLY recommend the Masters Brush Cleaner & Preserver, which is designed for art brushes, but works fabulously for makeup brushes. It’s super gentle on the bristles, but removes EVERYTHING and leaves your brushes feeling super soft and smelling great. There’s a reason so many makeup artists love it.
Foundation brushes: There are hundreds of foundation brushes on the market all of which create different effects and finishes, you don’t need all of them but a good foundation and concealer brush are always handy to have (plus they can be used to apply a multitude of products!)
The Best Tools for Applying Foundation
When it comes to the application of foundation - fingers are one of (if not) the best tools. (Clean) Fingers are great for applying foundation as the warmth helps to blend the product into the skin easier - resulting in a seamless finish. Smooth your liquid foundation over your skin using your fingertips (as you would with your moisturiser) for a natural, dewy finish.
A flat foundation brush is fantastic for applying liquid and cream foundation onto the skin and generally tends to give great coverage. Using a “painting” motion and short, light strokes will help give you a finish that looks like your skin, but so much better. The bonus? This brush can be used for just about any cream or liquid face product.
Try: Beau-Make by Abbamart Cream Base Brush
If used right a foundation sponge can be fantastic for applying foundation onto the skin to give an airbrushed finish. Use a small amount of liquid or cream foundation on a large foundation sponge and use a “bouncing” motion on the skin, if you need more coverage than add another layer using the same technique.
Try: Beauty Blender Sponge
If you’re a lover of mineral or powder foundations then this one is for you. A kabuki brush is ideal for “buffing” mineral foundations into the skin and the short handle allows you to get closer to the face, allowing for more control. If you’re not a lover of powder foundation brushes don’t write this brush off just yet; spritz it with a little hydrating mist and buff your liquid or cream foundation into the skin for a dewy finish.
Try: E.L.F Studio Kabuki Face Brush
Best of 2013 - Tools
Another year is over which means another year of testing out brand new products. I’ve tried the good, the bad and the ugly this year when it comes to beauty products and whilst some products sorely disappointed be others greatly pleased me. Here are my all-time favourite products of 2013 which I have loved for months on end and get Makeup Tips seal of approval (for reference I have dry skin) Let me know what were your favourite tools of 2013?
When it comes to food, medicine and everything else in-between we take every measure to ensure we are hygienic, but we rarely do the same when it comes to makeup… Whilst it may not be food, it still expires. Using old, expired products are anything but pretty.
A: Never share your makeup. Whether it’s your best friend who needs a quick coat of gloss before she bumps into the guy who promised he’d call or your mother, sister, aunt grandma and anyone else in-between; sharing isn’t caring when it comes to makeup. Even if you’re blood related keep your makeup to yourself, the lending of a mascara, gloss or lipstick can result in eye infections or a nasty cold sore…
B: Clean your brushes. Yes your brushes do actually need to be cleaned so if you’ve been using the same grimy powder brush that’s been sitting on your bathroom counter for the past 5 years, it’s time you get a new one and some brush cleaner, stat. Brushes should be deep cleaned once a week with either a gentle shampoo or some good quality brush cleaner (avoid baby shampoo it contains mineral oil which can often leave a film over your brushes) After each use try to spot clean your brushes with some rubbing alcohol; it removes bacteria and leaves your brushes fresh and ready to use for the next morning!
Do you really Need to Clean your Brushes?
I’m Judge Makeup Tips and I’m about to bust you for believing one of the biggest beauty myth’s out; you now have the right to cleanse your brushes.
"Huh? You’re actually meant to wash your brushes?…" she said. When I hear of makeup brushes not being washed I cringe
a little. Your makeup brushes are full of lots of bacteria, and not just from your makeup; the dirt from your surroundings plus the oil and dead flakes from your skin, not cleaning them is acne on a brush! Makeup (especially creamy and liquid formulas) breed bacteria so letting them sit on your makeup brush and re-using it everyday is an obvious no-go zone. You wouldn’t go without washing your hair or your clothes so why would you not wash your makeup brushes; especially since they are touching your face daily!
Brushes are an essential item in every makeup kit and they can sometimes be more important then the makeup itself because if you don’t have good tools to apply them you might as well be using the worst products on the market. You need to use good quality brushes to achieve a good effect with your makeup and whilst it would be lovely if we could all afford to blow $70 odd dollars on a Dior Foundation Brush, this isn’t always an option… Beau make which is a brush range carried by Abbamart brushes are some that I use regularly and I have many brushes which I often reach for from them like these:
Short Tuff Duo Fibre Stippling Brush
One of my favourite brushes for applying foundation - densely packed and can make any foundation look sheer and natural without absorbing to much product. Also a full proof contour brush under the cheek bones, and to apply cream blush.
Duo Fibre Powder Blending Brush *
Nobody’s perfect and when your in a rush and still want to look pulled together it’s not unusual to go over the top with the blush, bronzer, contour or even end up with cakey foundation and this brush is the easiest and most effective way to tone down over the top makeup without reaching for the face wipes.
Large Fluff Brush *
I love this brush for setting my eye shadow primer and creamy shadows. It also comes in particularly handy for contouring underneath the cheekbones and down the sides of the nose.
Cream Shadow Brush
Cream shadows are one of my most used products and unlike most people I prefer to use a brush to apply them and this one is the one I generally use. It’s also great to use as a concealer or lip brush!
Precision Crease Brush
Having hooded eyelids definitely isn’t a blessing but this brush is, this is one of the very few brushes which fits into and defines my super tiny eye socket and means that I have more luck with creating defined eyes.
Fluffy Blending Eye Brush
These types of brushes are my most used, they are perfect for blending out harsh shadow lines and setting concealer to prevent creasing and mattifying a lip colour.
Flat Eyeliner Brush.
This is my go to whenever I want to tight-line my lash lines, it’s perfect for the push & wiggle technique and comes in handy when creating cat eyes or getting a precision lip-colour application.
Precision Eyeliner Brush
This brush is my secret to achieving a good and even cat eye, it’s so precise and you are able to create a flick easily at the outer corner of the eye!
Whilst this brush looks like a standard old typical lip brush I love it for it’s unique shape, it’s not to round or to square and it’s amazing at giving precise definition to the cupids bow
*This post contains a product/sample which was sent to me for editorial consideration in accordance with my disclosure policy, this does not alter the honesty of this review or the blog, all opinions stated are honest and my own.
What are your favourite budget brushes?
Brush off the bad.
These are a few tips that will help you to determine and to pick a GREAT not a good, but a great one from a bad.
- Feel. If you test a brush on the inside of your wrist you’ll be able to get a bit of an idea on the quality of the bristles themselves. If the bristles feel scratchy, stiff, itchy or annoying when you brush it along the inside of your wrist ditch it. If it doesn’t feel good on your wrist it’s DEFINITELY not going to feel good on your face, not only this but when you go to apply your makeup it will appear blotchy and uneven.
- Shedding. When you first test a new brush try pulling at the bristles and a few bristles should come out and shed as this is completely normal for new brushes but if you find the brush sheds more bristles then a few and continues to shed you know the brush isn’t well made.
- Ferrule. The ferrule of the brush is actually reasonably important (FYI: The ferrule is what connects the bristles to the handle of the brush, this is normally metal or plastic (metal is generally stronger). When you’re testing out a brush try applying large amounts of pressure to the ferrule with your index finger. If the ferrule seems to melt, move, dent, change shape or look any different after you’ve applied the pressure from your finger, give it a miss. Also try and pay attention to see if the brush has little crimps (these are normally two little lines at the bottom of the ferrule that are dented into the metal/plastic and are the same colour), if the brush has these it’s going to be stronger than a brush which does not have these in the ferrule. Often the glue used to keep the ferrule in place and to join the bristles and the handle together is not strong enough, so the indent helps to keep it in place better.
- Pressure. You need to be able to apply pressure to a brush, if you can’t then the brush is simply useless. When you’re applying a particular product you need to be able to apply a good amount of pressure (think eyeliner, brow enhancer, etc.). So try pressing down the brush on the back of your hand or try drawing precision lines on the back of your hand. If the bristles are going in every direction or are moving the brush will just be useless. The bristles can move anywhere from 1mm to 5mm this may not sound like a lot but when you are doing precise work it sure as heck is.
- Balance. This is a little trick I learnt and one that some of the best MUA’s in the world use. When you want to buy a new makeup brush, try balancing on it on the very tip of its bristles. Hold the brush vertically (with the bristles pointing down) on the back of your hand, then lightly bounce the brush, this will help you to test the strength of the bristles, if the bristles have a slight bend, this is perfectly fine and normally, but if they splay or flatten completely the brush will not be any good and will mess up your whole makeup application. (If a quick few of the bristles shed, this is fine and completely normal, new brushes tend to lose a few bristles at first, but any more than a few then you’re looking at a bad brush)
ALSO: The brush head (the ferrule as well as the way the bristles have been assembled) should not be loose, spin easily or wobble on the handle; if they do you have struck a bad brush.
Now after this you should be able to pick out a good brush a lot easier, remember expensive doesn’t necessarily mean quality, and inexpensive doesn’t necessarily mean bad quality. There’s probably still one question on your mind though…
Which should I buy, Natural or synthetic brushes?
For things like foundation, concealer and lipstick/gloss it’s obvious a synthetic brush would be the best option as these work easier with liquid/cream products.
On the other hand products which do not require synthetic bristles do not necessarily need to have a natural animal hair bristle used…
Most people are all caught up in Natural bristle brushes, and it’s often a first choice for many makeup artists as they do give a great application, synthetic bristles are often not looked as highly upon. Natural hair brushes contain a cuticle around them which helps to grab powder products easier while synthetic brushes do not, however nowadays many companies are coming out with synthetic bristled brushes which tend to look, feel and perform just like natural animal hair brushes (except you can use them with liquid and cream brushes to!). Such as one of my favourite brands To-Ray! (Available from abbamart).
My verdict is it really comes down to personal preference. If you find that animal hair brushes work better for you then great, they’ll be your best pick! But if you find that synthetics work better than they are a great option to (not to mention more versatile).
Just remember quality does not always mean the most expensive brushes.
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