First of all, make sure the brush is not made out of synthetic or man made hair. You can tell by the super glossy surface of the hairs, and the slight coarseness of the feel of the bristles. Synthetic hairs also have the tendency to get stiffer with use, not softer…so save your face by getting only the softest bristles in sable,goat, pony or squirrel, or a combination of these. It’s more money to start off with, but you’ll be rewarded with a makeup brush that will last your whole lifetime.
The best on the market are brushes that are made up of a variety of hairs….not just one. These feel the softest and last the longest. Want the softest brushes around? Squirrel hair is the softest you’ll find. Want durability in a brush? Try Sable hair that will last a lifetime. Need a brush to hold creams and concealers without soaking up the product? Try Taklon bristles, a cream colored hair that is strong enough to move the product around without absorbing it.
The Cut of a Brush
Straight Cuts are very similar to a straight hair cut, or a bob. All the hairs line up evenly in a straight line. These brushes are the best for any brush that you need to make a straight line with, i.e. eye lining, eyebrows, eyeshadow, etc. Look for your Eyebrow and Angle brushes here.
Chisel Cuts are those that are slightly layered into the ends of the brush. This brush has a rounded look and effect. These brushes are excellent for blending and for creating a softer touch when applying a dark color. Stock up in these for blush, contouring, powder and all eyeshadow brushes.
The last cut is Tapered. Where the ends of the brush are rounded out in a tapered fashion, yet the brush itself is flat. A tapered lip brush is a perfect example of this, and also the best lip brush you can find. Since the lip line is not exactly straight, this brush draws a great curved line. Check out this cut also in concealer brushes or Taklon brushes.
The 3 Tests all makeup brushes should pass:
- Before spending your hard earned money on a makeup brush, make sure it passes these three tests first.
- I call it the “Feel” , “Flip” and “Pull” Test.
Test 1. “Feel” How does the bristles feel across the inside of your wrist? This is exactly how it’ll feel on your face. Stiff and prickly? Don’t bother. Soft and light? Buy it.
Test 2. “Flip” Flip the bristles back in forth across your hand. Any stray hairs flying anywhere? Then don’t buy this brush. It means that the glue used to hold the hairs in is not very good, and after a few shampoos, this brush will fall apart.
Test 3. “Pull” Next, lightly pull the bristles away from the handle. Is there any give in the brush? If so, it’s loosely glued in as well, and it will fall apart very quickly.
Strong enough to pass all these tests? You have a winner.
- Exactly what brushes should I get?
- Faced with an amazing amount of brushes to choose from?
- Don’t worry, we’ve divided brushes into two categories.
- The Basics & The Optionals
The largest softest fluffiest brush you can find. Go all out and get the Squirrel hair Powder Brush. Your face will thank me for it.
The most important thing is that it must be the right size. Smile, and place the brush against the apple of your cheek. If it perfectly matches, you’ve got the right one. Too big? You’ll end up getting blush everywhere you don’t want it.too Too small? You’ll end up streaking your blush and not getting enough on. And you thought it was just the product……
3. Lip Brush
A sable (for durability) tapered lip brush. In a size large enough to fill in your lips with lipstick in several strokes.
Get a flat straight cut angle brush. Perfect for filling in eyebrows with eyeshadow, and applying eyeshadow on wet for a eyeliner look.
Perfect to fit the bone of the eye, (the area just underneath the eyebrows to the crease.) Use only to apply light and shimmering colors.
To fit the size of the lid. For applying colors, and large sweeps of color on the lid and in the crease.
7. Toothbrush That’s right, a regular baby toothbrush. Great for eyebrows and eyelashes……..
8. Eyeshadow Sponge Applicators Whether you get the disposable ones or the one on the handle, perfect for applying dark colors without spilling, and for blending.
9. Eye lash Curler Get the new plastic kind. Works fantastically without crimping your lashes.
- What you can get by without, but you’ll love it if you had it. (Brushes available at: http://cosmeticmall.com)
1. Taklon Concealer Brush
- For spot applying concealer. The right amount every time.
2. Super small Angle Brush
- In a flat cut, in a super super small size. Great for eyebrows, and tiny dot applications of liquid eyeliner and wet eyeshadow.
3. Super Delux Fluff Brush
- For eye shadows, the largest fluffiest chisel cut eyeshadow brush you can find.
6. Angle Blush Brush In an angle chisel cut, perfect for contouring the bone structure and cheekbones.
8. Baby size lip brush or concealer brush. For perfecting that lip line after you’ve applied your lipstick.
9. Plastic Eyelash Comb Plastic, not metal. So you don’t have to worry about poking your eye out.
10. Small Fan Brush A pro’s secret to applying mascara. For a very soft look, or for use with cake mascara.
11. Medium Chisel Brush
- Similar to the small Angle, but much thicker and bigger, with a chisel cut to the bristles. When it comes to doing the crease of the eye, you’ll love it. Makes it go on perfect every time.
To make sure you get alot of mileage out of your tools, just make sure to take good care of them. Since it is real hair that you’re using, wash your brushes at least once a week with a mild conditioning shampoo. This keeps the bristles soft. For in between cleansing, have handy a spray on brush cleaner. These can be found in most beauty and theatrical supply stores. Joe Blasco and Cinema Secrets both make excellent ones. The best part is, that it completely sanitizes the brush, as well as completely pulling out all the color and product out of the hairs. Just spray on the brush and wipe of on a Kleenex.
So now you have a working knowledge of your bone structure, an understanding of color, and tools. So what’s next? Application.