Tuesday, January 31, 2012

All you need to know about: makeup brushes

The key to having a flawless makeup look isn’t necessarily the products you use; it’s the brushes.  Using the right brush to detail an eye look, apply foundation, or highlighter makes all the difference in the world.  I always say (and truly believe). “You can do more with good brushes and cheap makeup then vise-versa.”  Once you’ve spent your money on brushes you want them to last, so that’s what this post is all about-giving your makeup brushes a little TLC!  If you haven’t been able to find makeup brushes you love then check out some of my favorite brands at the bottom (I’ve included options for all price ranges!).

Do you have to clean your brushes?
Yes, you should be cleaning your makeup brushes regularly to protect your eyes, skin, brushes, and even your makeup.  Dirty brushes can harbor germs and bacteria.  If you don’t clean them you will be constantly reintroducing them back onto your skin when you apply your makeup.  The same goes for your makeup products.  Dipping dirty brushes into your makeup can also contaminate the products you’re using (especially creams, liquids, and gels).  If your makeup has bacteria in it, then even if your brushes are clean you will still be applying germs back onto your skin.  This in return can cause more skin irritation and breakouts

How often should you clean your brushes?
The minimum you should be washing your makeup brushes is once a week.  Since germs like moisture, it is especially important to cleanse brushes that you frequently use in creams, gels, and liquid makeup products (foundation, concealer, eyeliner bushes etc.).  If you have problem skin I would recommend washing these brushes daily to ensure you aren’t applying anything to your face to promote more breakouts.  Since powder products (such as eyeshadows, blushes, and face powders) aren’t as easily contaminated, you can get by with washing them once a week instead of daily. 

If you don’t want to wash your brushes daily another option is to apply your foundation disposable makeup sponges.  They’re super cheap and easy to find so you won’t feel bad about throwing them out after a single use.  TIP: When using a makeup sponge, spritz it with a little water before applying product to it.  This will keep it from absorbing (and wasting) too much of the product.

How do you clean your brushes?
There are cleansers made specifically for cleaning makeup brushes, you can find them at places like Sally’s, MAC, Ulta etc.  I personally like to use good ole baby shampoo.  It’s strong enough to deep clean even my dirtiest brushes yet gentle enough that I don’t have to worry about it harming the bristles of my natural hair brushes.  Plus it’s cheap!

To clean your brushes you want to dispense a small amount of cleanser (or baby shampoo) into your hand, wet the bristles of the brush by running them under warm water, then swirl the bristles in the cleanser.  Make little circles in all directions for a deep clean. Then rinse the bristles under warm water until the water runs clear.  Try and avoid getting water onto the handle or metal part of the brush, we don't want to weaken the glue holding the brushes together!

How do you dry your brushes?
There are a few options when it comes to drying your brushes:
  1.  The first one is to lay your brushes out flat on a towel and let them sit overnight, or a few hours until they are completely dry-yep, it’s that easy. 
  2. The second options are these cool little things called brush guards.  They help your brushes keep their shape while they dry, plus you can place them on your brushes and dry them upside down without damaging the bristles!  Why is this important?  You want to keep as much of the moisture as possible away from the base of the bristles because overtime it can cause the glue to become less effective (aka more shedding).  That’s why you never want to dry your brushes upright in your makeup brush holder.
This video talks about brush guards and also has some great tips for cleaning your brushes.  (Exciting news, brush guards are now available at Wal-Mart!)

Does cleaning brushes stop them from shedding?
The answer to this depends on the quality of your brushes.  I would recommend washing new brushes before you use them the first time, but that’s completely up to you.  It’s pretty common for new makeup brushes to shed a little the first couple of times you use them.  If they are good quality brushes it should be minimal and eventually stop after the first couple of washes. 

What brush sets would I recommend?
Good, even great makeup brushes can come at any price range!  Here are a few brands that I would recommend if you’re looking to expand your makeup brush collection:

  1. e.l.f (Target, eyeslipsface.com)- These brushes come for as low as $1! I don’t love all the brushes from e.l.f. (I would pass on the face brushes) but the eye brushes are great!
an essential makeup brush for only $1!
  1. Eco Tools (Target, Wal-Mart)- These are natural, eco-friendly brushes.  They are known for being super soft and they are very high quality without the high price tag.  They come in a wide range of sets and individual selections so you can get the brushes you really want.
  2. Essences of beauty (CVS)- These were some of the first makeup brushes I purchased back in the day, and I still use them to this day!  I love these brushes!  I think they are great quality brushes, they come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and they hold up over time. 
  3. Real Techniques (Ulta, realtechniques.com)- This is the brush line designed by Samantha Chapman from Pixiwoo!  The only drawback to these brushes is there are certain brushes you can only buy in sets.  You cannot buy all the brushes individually which is a little bit of bummer to me because I like to buy duplicates of the brushes I use a lot.
  4. Crown Brushes (crownbrush.com)- Crown brushes are probably one of the best kept secret by makeup artist.  They have a huge range of brushes starting around $2, or you can buy full sets.  They look sleek and professional and are truly great brushes.
  5. Sigma (sigmabeauty.com)- These are the brushes I use in my makeup kit and they are fabulous!  You can purchase them in different sets, or individually to get exactly what you want.  If you want to invest in good, high quality brushes to last you a while- these are the ones I would recommend.
The only brush I was not 100% in love with is the E40, it sheds like no ones business.  I have 3 of them (sigh) and they all do the same thing.  I like to use them for blending out concealer or cream foundations, but when the black bristles come off and get stick in the product it looses its effect.  Other then that one brush, I'm in love with my Sigma brushes!

I hope this answers any questions you may have concerning the care of your makeup brushes.  Let me know if you have any other questions by leaving a comment below or on my facebook page!

For the love of beauty and makeup brushes,
…Casey B

1 comment:

  1. Awesome post! :D I love that you have a cute picture to go with every brush you're reviewing. :) Thanks for sharing this post!

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