“Tools are to a makeup artist, what a brush is to a painter..”

I’ve just finished cleaning my brushes after one of my Makeup Essentials Class and decided to share what many of my makeup lessons have been full of lately…Questions about which makeup brushes are necessary for a basic kit, and which brush is used for what. It’s been done many times before, but here’s my rundown.

All about tools of the makeup trade…

The right makeup tools can make a significant difference in application, and there are so many more brushes and types (hair, shape, size) available in the market now – more than ever. I am so pleased that companies like Make Up For Ever (MUFE) have been opting to utilize the more sophisticated synthetic fibers over natural animal hair. With the options out there now, I really don’t know if there’s any excuse that would merit harming animals to turn their hair/fur into cosmetic brushes. Back to which brush is used for what..I get how confusing it can be. My advise is to invest in a good set that will last you for years to come and deliver the best results.

If you can’t afford to buy them all, invest in the absolute essentials:

My most used makeup brushes

  • Powder or Face brush (the largest of all- great for applying powders for a quick touch up and to remove shine. Also to blend powder foundation down neck and on chest/back when necessary. But best to use powder puffs for setting).
  • Blusher brush (a synthetic, flat-shaped, creme blush brush is different from a powder blush brush that appears to be rounded, and maybe even tapered in shape.    Tip: Make sure the head of the brush isn’t too wide when brushed against your cheek bones, or you won’t get a precise application. They come in different sizes. The creme blusher brush can double as a foundation brush because it is usually made of a taklon material (synthetic) and won’t absorb, and waste wet products).
  • Concealer brush (usually made of taklon. A flat or rounded brush to apply the perfect amount of concealer even in smaller areas like the inner corner of the eye, on blemishes, and around the nose to hide away imperfections).
  • Blender brush for the eyes (usually a wide and flat shaped, dome ended brush. Great for applying an eye base and for blending eyeshadows to avoid harsh lines).
  • Small eye color brush/Crease brush (dome or flat shaped, denser bristles lets you deposit color to eyelid below the crease).
  • A lip brush (saves on product and applies to a longer lasting finish than when applied directly from the tube. Small concealer brushes will also work as long as you don’t mix the brushes up!).
  • Brow brush and groomer (short, stiff bristled brush. Usually angled to make sure your brows are filled in, shaped and groomed daily)

Some brushes are pre-labelled with what they’re for. But once you’re more comfortable using them, you’ll realize that they can all be pretty multipurpose. Shop around and make sure you invest more in the tools and equipment that are worth aiming for higher quality in, than others.

cleaned makeup brushes

makeup tools brush holder

Do you have to pay an arm and a leg for good ones?

There are really cheap ones (uh, less than $2 for E.l.f. tools in Dollarama) and expensive branded ones that would usually cost you at least $40 for a single brush (example: Shu Uemura, Nars, Laura Mercier, Make Up For Ever..) but these days, you have the option of going for mid range (very reasonably priced) brushes that are pretty good quality! I’m talking about the tools available at Sephora, the M.A.C. brushes (some of my favorites are from M.A.C.), Shoppers Drug Mart’s Quo brushes, and my newly discovered anti-bacterial brushes from Bdellium tools (I love, love, love them! So well formed, weighted well to balance in your hands, applies and blends products excellently, and antibacterial- bonus! (Note: Doesn’t mean you don’t have to wash them!). There are just so many brushes to choose from!

And now, Canadians can get (or have already gotten) their hands on Real Techniques brushes by Samantha Chapman (of @Pixiwoo makeup guru fame) at just $18.99+tax per set (if you find them in stock at WalMart). I’ve tried her ‘On Location’- Travel Essentials Set, and the ‘Your Eyes/Enhanced’ Starter Set, and they’re not bad at all for that price!

real techniques brushes starter set

[From realtechniques.com] Eye definition goes high-definition with this essential set:

  • includes 5 full-size brushes + case:
    • base shadow brush: applies a smooth, flawless foundation of color
    • deluxe crease brush: soft, oversized design for effortless contouring
    • accent brush: designed for precision detailing, spotlighting, highlighting, and smudging
    • pixel-point eyeliner brush: tapered cut is ideal for dense or fine eyeliner application
    • brow brush: distinctive shape easily defines eyebrows
    • panoramic brush case is a 2-in-1 case + stand
  • look pixel-perfect even in harsh light
  • ultra-plush, synthetic taklon bristles are hand-cut and 100% cruelty-free
  • extended aluminum handles are light and easy to use.

Enter my contest here for a chance to WIN a Real Techniques starter set. The winner will be picked this Fri 22nd March, at 8pm- ish.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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