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November 7, 2007

Understanding Makeup Brushes

By Danielle Lemay

If you’re anything like me, you probably have hundreds of makeup brushes in your house, but have no clue what most of them are for. And while using your fingers may be great for you now, they are harsher than brushes and may not do as good a job.

So if you agree that it’s time that you got your makeup drawer organized and began applying makeup like the pros, then let’s find out what’s what when it comes to makeup brushes.

Choosing the hair on the brush

Before you run off to the first drugstore you find, you need to figure out what kind of hair you want to have on the makeup brushes you’ll be choosing. It is in your face’s best interest to choose natural hair.

Whether it’s badger, squirrel or goat, ensure that the makeup brush’s hair is soft and pliable, and use gentle strokes when applying any makeup to your face to avoid irritating your skin.

Understanding makeup brushes

Makeup brushes #1
Foundation Brush

Rather than use your fingers and miss a couple of spots on your face, opt instead to use a foundation brush that will ensure sheer coverage.

To use it, pour a small amount of foundation onto the top of your hand. Dip the end of the brush into the foundation and lightly blend the foundation onto your face and neck, starting from the middle of your face and working outwards.

Makeup brushes #2
Concealer Brush
Used to help you hide those tiny little flaws, this brush promises to cover it all up without leaving any area looking clumpy or overdone.

Again, dab the brush into a bit of concealer and apply it to the necessary areas for full coverage. Designed to work with the more opaque formula, yet still creates natural-looking results.

Makeup brushes #3
Blush Brush

Without a doubt the mother of all brushes, the blush brush can be used to apply powder to the entire face or simply to contour the cheekbones.

Brush tips differ: there are flat tips and round tips. They will both do a fantastic job of spreading your powder evenly so don’t fret about that. Remember to blow off the excess powder each time after you dip.

To apply blush, smile and place the color on the apples of your cheeks.

Makeup brushes #4
Eyeshadow Blender Brush
Whether your objective is to create a sexy, smoky look, or illuminate you eyes with some shimmer, this eyeshadow brush will help you create the look you desire.

Start from the outermost part of the lid and work your way in. If you plan on using this type of brush for very different colors (say, black and a luminescent color), then you should consider purchasing two.

Makeup brushes #5
Eyeliner Brush
If you have been applying eyeliner with a pencil all this time, using an eyeliner brush will change the way you look at liner from now on.

The beauty of this brush is that it can be used wet or dry. Dip it into a shadow. Apply the line against the roots of your lashes or opt to create a cat eye line. Either way, this brush will help you create a smoother or even subtler line.

Makeup brushes #6
Eyebrow Brush

Your eyebrows can make or break the look of your face and if they’re not filled in properly, it could leave you with streaks or a terrible mishap if you forget you’re wearing makeup and rub your brows.

An eyebrow brush coupled with a brow liner or brow mascara will fill your brows should there be any gaps and will help them set properly and without clumping or smudging.

Makeup brushes #7
Lip Brush

If you are committed to lip liner to define your “a little bit thin” lips, a lip brush will help make your lips look fuller and more luscious.

Using a darker lip color, line the outermost part of your lips. Then, dip the liner into a lighter color and fill in your lips. This will keep the lip color on for a longer period of time.

Cleaning makeup brushes

As important as it is to use the right brushes for the right area of your face, it’s just as important to take care of your brushes and make sure they last you a while (they’re not cheap).

Every month, make it a point to wash your brushes with a mild soap or shampoo. Color will run from the brush so keep rinsing them until the water is transparent.

If possible, hang them to dry naturally. Otherwise, just lay them on a cotton towel, flipping them every so often until they air dry.

Professional makeup application

Now that you know what kinds of brushes are absolutely necessary for a perfect face, invest in some great colors and you will look like a beauty queen every time you leave the house.

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