Beauty News

Essential makeup tools

Good makeup brushes are a beauty investment. And while using your fingers is certainly cheaper, your skin contains natural oils so you’re not going to get as good a result.

“Fingers can get so messy, especially first thing in the morning,” says top makeup artist Amber Dreadon from oAC.

“It can be a challenge to achieve an evenly applied base with fingers. Plus, brushes can be used to change the look of your base, depending on whether you want a sheer or full coverage, and they’ll help your makeup last longer by working the product onto the skin.”

Buying your brushes

Brushes range from cheap to eye-wateringly expensive and most makeup artists use a mix of both. Natural or synthetic materials are fine – it’s the following that’s important:

  • The bristles should feel soft against your skin, not scratchy. Test the brush by running it across your face.

  • Run your hand through the bristles and make sure they don’t come out easily.

  • The handle length and width should feel comfortable to hold.

Amber suggests investing in three to four brushes to begin with. The basics are a flat foundation brush, an eyeshadow brush, a lip brush and a bronzer/blush brush.

As you become more confident with your tools and techniques, go to a makeup counter or store like oAC and talk to the artists about what brushes you could add. Amber’s favourite is oAC’s shader brush, which she uses for concealer, eyeshadow and skin highlighters.

Caring for your makeup brushes

Top US makeup artist Bobbi Brown recommends cleaning your brushes at least every two to three months, or more if they become dirty or tough to use. There are specialised brush cleaners available but you can also use a gentle baby soap or shampoo.

  • Dip the tip of the brush head in lukewarm water.

  • Squeeze a small amount of soap into your palm, then wipe the brush in your hand to pick up the soap.

  • Gently massage soap through the bristles.

  • To rinse, swirl the brush tip in water.

  • Pat with a towel and lay the brush over a counter edge to dry completely.

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