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Beauty Tip of the Week: Makeup Brush 101

Makeup can be overwhelming for many of us. Different brands, colors, consistencies and textures; creams, powders, liquid, stick, sheer, full… the list goes on and on. It’s even more difficult to know which brush works best with the makeup we love. Specialized makeup brushes exist to help us apply and blend colors to create different makeup looks. If you’re still using the tiny sponge applicators in the eye shadow compacts this one’s for you!

Allow me to simplify your life with a break down of which brush does what. There are several more professional brushes that I personally use for shoots and shows, but the following are essential for every lady’s beauty kit:

Foundation Brush: For liquid foundations, the brush is typically made of synthetic fibers with firmer bristles and a rounded head. For a more blended, “airbrushed” look (and also for stick or creamier foundations) a kabuki style brush (compacted, soft bristles and a blunt head) may be used as well as a softer brush with staggered bristles such as the 187 Duo Fibre Brush from MAC.

Concealer Brush: Designed to pick up more product, the concealer brush is basically a smaller version of the foundation brush. It allows you to cover harder to reach areas such as corners of the eye. As a makeup artist, I typically use my fingers for concealer placement. Keep in mind that your fingers are also great tools for makeup application (as long as they are clean).

Powder Brush: A large fluffy brush with soft bristles.

Blush and Bronzer Brushes: Similar to the powder brush with either a rounded head or slanted head. Also, with bronzers, to deliver more dramatic results, use a soft, bristled brush with a blunt head such as the kabuki style brush I mentioned before.

Eye Shadow Brush: With slightly stiffer bristles than a powder brush, the eye shadow brushes have square heads used to evenly apply both powder and cream shadows to eyelids.

Crease Brush: A fluffy, soft brush designed to fit in the hollows of your eyelids. Crease heads come in different shapes; angled or tapered. The shape you choose will depend on personal preference. Angled brushes will deliver more product to the crease than a tapered brush will. Test the brushes out on your eyelids and see which feels softest and fits the hollows of your eyes.

Blending Brush: As itys name implies, this brush is designed to BLEND. It blends different colored products and wipes out harsh lines in between colors. This brush head is tapered and the bristles are soft.

Smudge Brush: A short, firm, blunt shaped bristle brush used to smudge powders, creams or gel eyeliner underneath the eyes or to smudge out or soften eyeliner on the lids.

Choosing the Right Brush

There is a wide range of brushes from budget- friendly to $200. Keep in mind that if cleaned and cared for properly (I LOVE Ulta Professional Brush Cleaner), brushes can last for several years. Shop around and decide which brands suit your needs. MAC, Sephora, and Stila are a few of the brands that I purchase brushes from. They are great quality, with prices ranging from $20 to $50 per brush. E.L.F and Sonia Kashuk are less expensive and get the job done, but may have a shorter life span and shed their bristles more often.

Most important, have fun with it! Purchase some brushes and test them out. You’ll be surprised at all the different looks you can acheive with JUST the right brush!

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