Choose the best make-up brushes

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

We all have secret weapons… the tricks we hide up our sleeves until we need them. Like a trusty joke to break the ice. Or the cake shop that packages their cupcakes in your Tupperware… To create flawless-looking skin, you’re also going to require a few secret weapons, some of the most important being a good set of brushes. The one’s you choose to use will have a big influence on whether you look perfectly polished or perpetually polyfilla’d. This is why I’m only too happy to share my four favourites with you.

The Kabuki brush
Used for: powders on medium to large areas.
The Kabuki looks fairly similar to a blusher brush… if you saw off three quarters of the handle. This short, stubby brush is designed to give you more control over your application and it’s ideal for applying mineral foundation. Grip the short handle like you would grip a pen, dip it in your product, and apply your powder foundation in circular motions. If you’re very low-maintenance, it can also be used to apply highlighter, bronzer or blusher in their powder forms. Just make sure to clean it between uses to avoid disaster.
Good value: The Body Shop Kabuki brush, R150

kabuki brush
The Body Shop Kabuki brush

The concealer brush
Used for: liquid and cream formulas.
Concealer brushes are tapered to provide precision application. This comes in very handy when you’re working to conceal under eye circles and redness in the corners of your nose. Simply apply some concealer (or even foundation if you’re traveling light) onto the brush, dab onto the problem area and blend until both the product and the problem are invisible.
My favourite: Smashbox Precision Concealer brush #5, R145.

smashbox concealer brush
Smashbox concealer brush

The slanted eyeshadow brush
Used for: powder eyeshadow (both compact and loose).
This multitasking little friend of ours can be used in quite a few ways. If you want a softer-looking effect than something you’d get from using an eye pencil, use the tip to create a line of eyeshadow just above your upper lash line. You can use the flat end of the brush to apply and blend colours on your eyelids to your heart’s content. The tip of the brush can also be used to dust eyeshadow into your brow line. This fills any gaps and creates a uniform brow colour.
Budget beauty: The Body Shop slanted brush will only set you back R90.

slanted eyeshadow brush
The Body Shop slanted brush

The powder brush
Used for: loose and compact powders – think translucent, blusher or bronzer.
This is also known as a face brush, or face and body brush. I prefer using a brush like this instead of a blusher brush which I find too small. The larger the blush, the more natural the application, so be mindful not to draw camo lines on your cheeks when you attempt to create a healthy glow; the 90’s are long gone my friends… Simply swish the brush around in the product of your choice, tap off the excess, and off you go.
Worth the investment: Guerlain powder brush, R620. It’s created with a mix of natural goat hair and high quality synthetics and promises to last a lifetime. 

guerlain powder brush
Guerlain powder brush

The foundation brush
Used for: applying liquid or cream foundation.
Foundation brushes are great in that they allow you to apply your foundation evenly to your face. Also, unlike sponges that suck up half your product, foundation brushes allow you to create medium to heavy coverage to areas that need it most.
We like: Bobbi Brown foundation brush, R420. (Speaking of which, have you seen Bobbi’s gorgeous new Tortoise Shell collection yet? It’s divine!)

Bobbi Brown foundation brush
Bobbi Brown foundation brush, R420

Natural VS synthetic
Brushes made of natural animal fibers are traditionally known to hold their shape better, last longer, and feel softer to the touch for longer. These guys can be made from sable, pony, squirrel, goat, and a few other furry friends’ hairs. Luckily synthetic brushes have come a long way in the past decade, so you need not throw your vegan lifestyle out the window in search of a good makeup brush – the choice is yours.

Keep it clean
Gently swish your brushes in a solution of lukewarm water and shampoo or foamy facial cleanser until clean. To rinse, do the same in a bowl of clean water. Shake off the worst of the water, and let them lie on a towel overnight to dry.

 

Written by

Chantelle loves the beauty industry and is a junkie for all things high-tech. A background in skincare therapy and a secret dream of becoming a copywriter steered her in the direction of beauty blogging. To read more of her writing, visit her blog NotAnotherPoppie.com.

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  1. Jaydene Fisher

    I love this website. It has the best tips and always teaches me something new!

    3 years ago •

  1. Sue1N

    Awesome brushes and thank you for the cleaning tips!

    4 years ago •

  1. Khensani

    I’ve always wanted to know where to find a good Kabuki brush.

    4 years ago •

  1. Nadine

    Appreciate the great info – thank you.

    4 years ago •

  1. Pannack

    I have a lot of the Body Shop brushes and they are amazing and work just as well as the more expensive options

    5 years ago •

  1. Charles

    A good brush can make the world of difference! I like the look of the Body Shop brush :)

    5 years ago •

  1. Sam

    Very informative article. Thank you for sharing.

    5 years ago •

  1. Rochelle Kay

    Thanks! I am so clueless when it comes to make up brushes!

    5 years ago •

  1. Maria Meyer

    Never thought brushes could make such a big difference until I splurged and paid for a decent set!

    5 years ago •

  1. Kersop

    MAC has some great brushes for applying foundation.

    5 years ago •

  1. diamond

    Great article, i have always been baffled by the array of brushes

    5 years ago •

  1. Zu

    Good make up brushes are investments and value for for money

    5 years ago •

  1. ricebunny

    lol i like to use the applicators that come with my compacts so i only have a lip and blusher brush and my gel eyeliner i brought came with a really nice aplicator

    5 years ago •

  1. Rochelle Stewart

    Brushes does make a difference. I have changed from using a spongy brush to an actual hairy brush and my eye make up looks a lot more refined.

    5 years ago •

  1. Debsie

    I do need the correct brushes to create the perfect look.

    6 years ago •

  1. Smal

    The key to smooth looking foundation is without a doubt a good foundation brush!

    6 years ago •

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