Today I am talking brushes, generally in my experience I find it to be so much harder to convince someone to invest in tools to apply their make up with. Having worked in beauty retail for a number of years I have sold umpteen bottles of foundation and yet it is still a rarity that they’ll walk away with the correct brush to apply it with. Now, I totally understand when you are already splashing out on a product adding the brush to you're basket can in some cases more than double the cost of the transaction, but applying your snazzy new product without a brush in most cases will cancel out its brilliance and in many ways will mean you can get away with applying more inexpensive products and making them look equally fabulous. Brushes for me are without a doubt the area in which I invest the most money and it is so so worth it and so let me share with you today my must have brushes. I am going to focus on base application brushes today, covering everything you would need to achieve a flawless complexion.
So firstly, foundation brushes. This is becoming a brush that most people have in their make up bag but for those of you that need a little more convincing, every foundation will go on better with some variety of foundation brush it is just finding the shape you prefer and the right one for the constancy of your foundation. By applying your foundation with your fingers the oils in your fingers will immediately begin to break down the pigment in your foundation meaning you are more likely to have to touch up come mid day. Plus using a foundation brush means you can tailor the coverage of your foundation with much more control through pressing and layering in targeted areas. The most obvious shape of foundation brush is a flat synthetic brush with a softly rounded edge, these are good for thicker, creamy foundations and can also be used to apply cream blush. I use the Bobbi Brown Foundation Brush, £32. My favourite brush to apply foundation with is a buffing brush, these are generally thicker and more rounded and as suggested in their title are brilliant to use in circular motions to buff the foundation into the skin. I find these brushes give a very natural finish and work the foundation into the skin so seamlessly meaning it lasts much longer. These buffing brushes work really well with very fluid, more lightweight foundations. I have two favourites in this category which I just couldn't choose between. Firstly the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, £11.99 is brilliant, it works well with most consistencies of foundation and makes application really quick. Also the MAC ‘130’ Brush, £30 is fabulous, I actually picked this up in the MAC store mostly because I have the bigger version and thought this baby one was really cute but its so much more than just cute, its nifty little size means it can get into all those hard to reach areas on the face and can even be used to buff in under eye concealer.
Next, concealer brushes. Concealer brushes are essential mostly for hygiene reasons, especially when covering up blemishes as using fingers will only add bacteria. I also find that using a brush you can work the concealer into the foundation giving a more natural, seamless finish. Often when concealer is just patted on with fingers it just sits on top of the foundation and can actually draw more attention to any pesky blemishes than conceal them. I use a Louise Young LY26 Brush, £10. This brush has a lovely tapered edge meaning you can pin point the blemish, its so easy it is like you are photoshopping yourself. For those of you that suffer with dark circles and so conceal under the eyes you would need a different shape brush to one that would be used more for blemishes or pin point concealing. I recommend the Bobbi Brown Concealer Blending Brush, £24. This brush has a curved edge making it perfect for getting really close to the lash line. Applying your under eye concealer with a brush will ensure even application and in the same way your foundation brush does will work to build up coverage. Most under eye concealers are very creamy and so applying with your fingers will mostly just move the product around leaving it looking uneven and causing it to settle where heavier in any fine lines or creases.
Now to set your make up, as discussed in last weeks post I would always recommend powdering. Generally powder brushes are really big, which I find I can be a little bit clumsy and heavy handed with. I prefer using a smaller fluffy brush so I can target oily areas such as the t-zone and set more delicate areas like under the eyes. I use the Real Techniques Setting Brush, £6.99, it is such a great size and very handbag friendly for taking out mid day shine on the go. I also use this brush for highlighting, at that price I picked up two!
Coming into summer time we are all reaching even more so for our bronzing powders, for best application use a large fluffy brush to give a natural dispersed finish. I love the Bobbi Brown Bronzing Brush, £35. It is big and fluffy and honestly quite often I find myself daydreaming just stroking my face with it it’s so soft. It makes application quick and easy and it’s size makes it brilliant for bringing product onto the décolletage and legs.
To add a pop of colour to your cheeks with powder blush a blusher brush is essential, most people I imagine apply their powder blush with a brush- at least I would hope or you might end up looking a little more Aunt Sally than blushing beauty! The shape of your blusher brush is so important to ensure good application, I'd always opt for a very round brush allowing you to simply press the product onto the apples of your cheeks. Also a blusher brush must be soft, this will mean blending is effortless. I find a lot of these more budget buy blusher brushes are very bristly which can be a little scratchy, we want your blusher to be adding the colour to your cheeks not from a harsh brush. I recommend the Laura Mercier Cheek Colour Blush, £39.
I hope that helps, most of the brushes mentioned above are more of a luxury buy. I would prioritise what brushes you feel you are missing from your routine and slowly build up your collection. Good brushes are an investment but if you look after them you will use them for a long time and so well worth it. I will follow up this post soon with how to clean your brushes correctly as that is so important. Enjoy x