When it comes to applying makeup, the most important tools are your brushes. A good foundation brush will stop even the thickest formula from looking cakey or streaky, a well shaped blush brush will blend your blush in seamlessly to make you look like you’re glowing (and have great cheekbones to boot) and a well designed angle brush will make filling in your brows a breeze.
There are a few factors to consider when buying brushes. Many people will go for quantity rather than quality and buy an enormous set of brushes at a price they can afford, yet most people don’t need 72 brushes for the applications they do at home.
Here’s a quick guide to set you on the right track to having the best brushes for your budget.
1. Only buy the brushes you need.
We’ve all looked at the pro brush rolls and salivated over the sheer beauty of them all, but realistically most people need less than ten brushes unless they work in the industry. For self application, you need a foundation brush, large powder brush, blush brush, a large eyeshadow brush, a small eyeshadow brush, a blending brush, angle brush and a lip brush. That’s it. Keep them clean between uses and they’ll last a long time. Angle brushes are versatile because they can be used for liner and brows and lip brushes are also great for concealing, just clean with brush cleaner when changing the kind of product or colour you’re using. Too easy.
2. Repeat after me: it’s not all about the brand.
A lot of high end makeup brands have a cult following. A popular opinion is that certain brands are the only brand worth buying. This isn’t true at all! Don’t go out and spend $1000+ on a MAC brush roll just because they are a coveted brand, there are many brands that create quality products and MAC is just one of them. Do your research and buy the best quality you can afford.
3. Check the quality before you buy.
Go to a department store or beauty supplier and take a look at the brushes. Feel the bristles. Natural fibres should be soft and glossy. All the hair follicles should face the same direction. They shouldn’t scratch against your skin. Synthetic fibres should be soft, yet firm enough to apply the product you’re using. All brushes should be tightly packed with bristles and shouldn’t shed hairs if you gently rub then between your fingers or in a circular motion against your hand. If it sheds, put it down. Check the prices and move on to another counter. Repeat this until you’ve found your favourites, then buy them.
5. Consider what you’re using them for.
Synthetic fibre brushes are often cheaper, but unless you’re after vegan brushes for ethical reasons, you’ll be making powder product applications pointlessly difficult. Natural hair brushes are fantastic for powders, but not the best choice for liquid or cream products as they’ll absorb too much of the product (with the exception of eyeliner brushes, which are designed for this purpose).
6. Try as many as you can before committing to a purchase.
Brushes aren’t cheap. If you’re going to commit to this kind of investment, always make sure you’re 100% happy with what you’re looking for before going in for the buy. If a particular brush you like isn’t in stock, wait for it to come in, don’t settle for a product you don’t really want.
Their number 2 brush (pictured above) is the only brush I swear by. It seamlessly blends foundation for an airbrushed look. It’s quite pricey, but worth every cent. Laser cut for precision application and blending, this is a true investment.
Sigma brushes have a cult following with beauty bloggers due to their quality and affordable price tag. Many people compare their products to MAC in terms of design and quality. They’re long lasting and have every kind of brush imaginable. I personally like their blending brushes and dual fibre brushes. They even have a range for HD makeup!
Crown brushes were actually the brand of the first brush roll I received at one of the makeup colleges I attended. I still have and use all of them, years later, with no problems. They’re affordable, maintain their softness and keep their shape beautifully.
All those vegans out there, don’t think I’ve forgotten you! I love illamasqua’s products and their brush range is exceptional because they are all 100% vegan and possibly the best quality synthetic brushes I have ever had the pleasures of using. Worth every cent.
What are your favourite kinds of brushes? Let me know how you found this guide!
Do you have a product you’d like me to review? send me an email.