With regards to makeup brushes, my daily edit is quite extensive. I use as many different brushes as humanly possible for the simple reason that I don’t like cross-contamination – there’s nothing worse than going to apply some powder to your base to find that the brush is loaded with highlighter and you now resemble a nativity angel. But although I still keep a specific brush resigned for each product – I’m streamlining, and for that I’m looking at a basic kit of a powder, blush, foundation, concealer and bronzing brush.
I’ve learned throughout the years that there is a plethora of brushes with different materials, shapes, lengths and densities to help you apply your makeup better. For me, trial and error is key – you’ve got to figure out what suits your application style and desired finish best. Personally I’m a major fan of the Real Techniques brushes, but I’ll save those for another day!
Powder – For this job I look for dense but soft brushes that will pick up product well and apply it evenly over the face. A more fluffy brush will give a sheerer application. I like larger ones that will cover your entire face with a few brush strokes – mainly because I’m part of the shiny face club, and that’s got to be curbed with some powder here and there. I don’t want a cakey application so I still opt for lighter brushes when available but for everyday, Real Techniques Powder Brush, I’m looking at you.
Foundation – I’m a strong follower of the Louise Young LY34 – this is a thick, densely packed brush that is great for liquid foundations. It imparts a sheer coverage at first, but can also be used to build up a more full coverage look.
Blush – Many cheek brushes are fit for both cream and powder jobs. Although I’ve already mentioned my distain for product cross contamination, I do occasionally use the same brush to sweep on my NARS Multiple Stick and it does the trick. For this job I look for a fluffy but small brush that will impart a sheer wash of colour rather than a war stripe, and will also do a precise job of positioning the flush in the correct place *Top Tip: Never apply blush from your pupils inwards, always out*.
Concealer – I look to small, flat, usually eyeshadow brushes to do the trick. This is for the application of a potted cream product like the Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer or the MAC Studio Finish Concealer – then for blending I look to a smaller fluffier brush like the Real Techniques Contour Brush from their Core Collection.
Storage – For face brush storage, although I love Muji Acrylic Holders they are notoriously tricky to get hold of as they’re often sold out online. So I’ve taken to using any pretty pots and holders I can get my hands on… or even recycled candles from Diptyque. I also found clear jars from TK Maxx to be good for shorter brushes, tools or pencils. I’m currently using a large candle holder from IKEA.
Care and Cleaning – Now you’ve got two options here. How long have you got on the clock? In a rush then indulge in a quick spot clean, but if you’re down for a deep clean then get out the liquid soap and give them a good scrub. My favourite spot cleaner is The Pro Makeup Shop Hygiene Collection Makeup Brush Cleanser, it’s got the perfect spritzer on top so coats the brush (one spray for a little brush, two or three for bigger powder ones) and then you just swirl the hairs onto an old flannel or piece of kitchen roll and ta-dah – two minutes later and your brushes are dry and ready for action. For a wash under the tap, I use Dr Bronners 8-in-1 Magic Soap. All you need is a pea size blobbed into the palm of your hand massaged into the ends of a wet brush and rinsed out – you’ll be horrified at the colour of the water that appears. Dry off and place balanced over the edge of a table for an overnight dry-off.
So there’s your basic brush run-down… maybe I’ll do a spin-off for the eyeshadow offerings some time soon!