Don't brush off
having the right tools for the job
For every woman out there who is still applying makeup
with her fingers (gasp!) or bemoaning the curse of bad
brushes that shed and streak, we've rounded up the top
tools of the trade, makeup brushes essential to a perfectly
applied look for any season.
Before you buy brushes, whether purchasing a collection
or just a few must-haves, make sure you aren't laying
down your hard-earned cash for tools that shed. The
shedding makeup brush is the bane of women everywhere.
Many good brushes may shed slightly during
the first use, but a quality brush shouldn't shed many
hairs and it shouldn't shed with continued use.
To test the brush you're considering buying, run your
fingers through the brush hair and then brush it on
your hand as applying blush. Do this several times.
If you see more than 10 hairs on your hand, opt for
a different brand.
biggest mistake that women make with their makeup tools
is not keeping them clean. Brushes need to
be cleaned frequently, since they harbor dirt and bacteria
that can adversely affect your complexion. To clean,
simply run the brush bristles under warm water and then
apply your favorite facial cleanser. Work up lather
and rinse with warm water until the water coming off
the brush runs clear. Frequent cleaning will also promotes
some natural shedding; assuring that brushes won't shed
on you! Another option is a professional makeup blush
cleaner such as Vincent Longo's Hygienic Professional
Brush Cleaner; $12.50 at www.sephora.com.
When looking for brushes, natural bristles such as
boar hair or sable are best for most uses. That's because
natural hair picks up more pigment, allowing more color
to end up on your face where it's intended. (The exception
to this rule is brushes used to apply concealers and
liquid foundations which are best as nylon, a synthetic,
because nylon is less likely to cake.) But if you're
allergic to animal hair or just opposed to it, there
are some synthetic options that are comparable to high-quality
natural hair brushes.
Opt for a nylon brush such as Jane Iredale's Foundation
Brush, crafted of Taklon Nylon. The shape of the brush
allows for even coverage in hard to reach areas such
as the sides of nose and corners of eyes; $35.80 at
Best in brow
Don't neglect face-framing brows; well groomed they
really can change the look of your face. Using the right
brush, well shaped brows are easily within reach. Tarte's
The Toolbox includes the perfect angled brow brush along
with tweezers, a brow pencil, brow stencils and brow
powder, wax and gel; $32 at www.tartecosmetics.com.
On a roll
For those who crave the best of the best, Kevyn Aucoin's
Brush Collection isn't cheap at $350, but the set has
a reputation as one of the best brush collections on
the market. The handcrafted collection features 11 brushes
including a powder brush, contour brush, sculpting brush,
flat tip eye shadow brush and more. The brush roll itself
has a separate pocket for each brush housed in a protective
fabric flap with a Velcro closure. Available online
For those who can't, or won't, splurge on high-end
brushes, try the Sonia Kashuk 5 piece brush set; $29.99
at Target stores locally. The collection includes blush
brush, eye shadow brush, eye shadow blending brush,
angled eye shadow/brow brush and a lash/brow groomer
housed in a faux snakeskin zip-up case.