Monday, November 15, 2010

The Basics: Makeup Brushes

Makeup Brushes are one of the most important things when it comes to makeup. A good brush can help you to achieve that beautiful well polished look we all strive for, while a bad brush can waste your product and leave you blotchy and not very happy.

Two of the most frequent questions I see on boards are : What are the must have makeup brushes and Where can I get brushes that are good quality but without breaking the bank ?

Well let me start with my own personal brush collection. What do I have ? I have it all, my collection is not made up from one brand or one type. I have everything from high end to low end, real hair to synthetic. I have done a lot of research and tried lots of brushes to arm what I would call a great PERSONAL brush arsenal ;-) and let me tell you.. I use them ALL !

When I first started out I bought the best ( because I didn't know any better ) and although I do not regret my purchase I now know that you do not need to spend $ 50.00 for 1 brush because there are plenty of good brushes that cost less and give you the same results.

I do believe in investing in a good set of brushes that has brushes that you will actually use. This is a good foundation which to build on.

My suggestion for this set is the SIGMA Face and Eyes Kit.
You get 6 of the most used brushes ever.

Large Powder, Duo Fibre ( Stippling Brush ), Pencil, Eye Shadow Shader, Tapered Blending and Buffer ( Kubuki ) brush.

For $54.00 ( less than 10 bucks a brush ) you can't go wrong ! For the regular gal this is set has everything you should ever need and nothing that you don't. Sigma brushes are compared to MAC brushes but for much much less and I agree. I wish Sigma would of been around 15 years ago when I bought my first eye brush at MAC for almost $ 20.00 ( for what it's worth I still have that MAC brush as it's still good as new )

important note: To this set you will need to get a blush brush which you can get from Coastal Scents, ELF, Eco tools, MAC, or even Sigma. A good one that will work on mostly everyone is Sonia Kashuk Angled Contour Blush and Blush Brush or Eco Tools Blush Brush. If you contour you may need contour brush which can also be used for blush. I suggest the Sonia Kashuk Angled Contour Blush ( Target )

Now after you have your everyday brushes on hand you can get single brushes for your specific needs.

I mentioned before that I have a combination of Natural and Synthetic brushes, you might ask yourself why you need both. I will keep this simple and say that for emollient based products ( cream liners, cream shadows, paints etc ) you do not want to use natural brushes because you need something firmer but also because you can ruin them. That's when you use a synthetic brush. My favorite brush is my MAC 252 large shader brush and my MAC 242 Shader Brush which is smaller that the 252 for more precise placement.

I bought my 252 brush almost 15 years ago and it's still good as new. Although there are similar brushes I have not seen actual dupes so for this brush I would say buy the original.

Now for almost everything else there are brushes that have a low cost brother. This comes in handy when you want to have more that one eyeshadow brush but you don't want to spend $10.00 for each one ( for your travel set, work set etc .. yes I actually have a work brush set ) You can look to these companies for good brushes that although they will not last as long as a high end brush.. they will last you long enough to pay for itself.
Those companies are:
Coastal Scents
ELF ( eyes, lips, face )
Crown Brushes ( great brushes )
Sonia Kashuk *
Eco Tools **

* Sonia Kashuk I consider mid level brushes .. you have to get her " eyeliner bent brush " $ 4.00 the most amazing brush to use with cream eyeliner.. hands down !!
** Eco Tools can be found in most drug stores. They have great brushes you can use with mineral makeup. Highly recommended.

Now as you get more familiar with brushes and use them you will see what you need such as a smaller shader brush, a firmer blending one , a smaller blush brush.. the range is endless and the good thing about getting individual brushes is that you can customize your collection with brushes you will actually use.

A tip for someone just beginning. From the 6 must have brushes above, choose at least the powder, shader and blending brush. Then get the rest as you are able to.

I know this is a lot of info and although I have not covered it all, I think this is a good place to start.

I hope this helps !

Until next time- K

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