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Make-up brushes: choosing and using different makeup brushes

Make-up brushes: choosing and using different makeup brushes
Using make-up brushes should make applying make-up easier.
The advantage to using make-up brushes is that they allow you to use the right amount of product and achieve a more even application, in other words to have better control of your make-up and a better result.
But having to choose between different bristles (natural or synthetic), sizes and make-up brushes in every shape can make things quite complicated.
There are a whole load of factors to take into account and often, you end up making do with the make-up brushes already supplied with the palettes you've bought. But these aren't always the best quality.
What factors are important for a good make-up brush? Find out in our guide.

Choosing a make-up brush based on where you're applying makeup

The aim is to own the ones that correspond to the make-up you'll be applying and where you're applying the product.
The make-up brush should be supple but not too soft. But if you use waxy make-up, like solid concealers, go for firm brushes with synthetic bristles that will make application easier.

> Make-up brushes for the eyes

Sponge applicator -sponge applicator: to blend over the whole eyelid. For evening eye make-up with a touch of glamour, apply your eyeshadow on the lash lines, as a thin line on the upper eyelid using the edge of the sponge then bled out to the outer corners.
Eyeshadow brushes
- blending brush: considered to be better than a sponge, these are usually made of soft natural fibres and have a rounder shape. Eyeshadow brushes come in a range of sizes and contours to allow for more precise application or more general blending.
With natural bristles, it allows you to experiment with graduated colour. It's perfect for smoky eyes!
Eyeliner brush
- eyeliner brush: like a very thin paintbrush, these are used to precision paint on gel or liquid eyeliner. They normally have a pointy tip and are no larger than 2mm in diameter. They are generally soft and pliable to avoid irritation.

> Make-up brushes for the eyebrows and eyelashes

Eyebrow brush
- lash and brow brushes: they allow you to defiine your eyebrows as well as remove surplus mascara from your eyelashes. You can find specific lash brushes, brow brushes and 2 in 1s. They're either stiff little combs or resemble the applicator in your mascara.
Eyebrow contor brush
- hard and angular brushes: these bevel-edged brushes are perfect for applying shadow to the eyebrows to define. With an ideal shape for defining the shape of the brows, the bristles should be stiff and natural. You can also use this sort of make-up brush for eyeliner and for eyeshadow to achieve a specific line of colour.

> Make-up brushes for the complexion

For blushers, loose powder, bronzers, etc, use a make-up brush with natural and supple bristles.
Powder brush
- for a powder, bronzer or blusher: a big soft brush is a must for your make-up bag! It allows you to perfect your complexion by evenly spreading powder out on your face and neck. Choose a large, round, soft brush for loose and compact powders.
Choose smaller round or flat contoured brushes for blushers and bronzers. It will also help you to set off your cheekbones - the quick way to take the years away.
Kabuki
A Kabuki brush does the same job but has a tiny stub of a handle.
Foundation brush
- for primer, foundation or under-eye products: a flat and slightly rounded edge brush with synthetic bristles that allows you to apply your product evenly across your whole face. It also allows you to better gauge how much foundation you need, in contrast to when using your fingers. For under-eye products, choose a brush that's a bit smaller than a foundation brush.
Sponges
- for foundation: foam sponges allow you to spread your foundation evenly across all your face.
Fan brush
- for loose powder and finishing: probably the one that has the most people puzzling - A fan brushes is used for removing any excess powder from your face to avoid looking clogged.

> Make-up brushes for the lips

Lip brush
- Applying lipstick: generally pointed and thin, or flat and rectangular, it has synthetic bristles. It allows you to apply lipstick precisely and avoid clumps.
For perfectly defined lips, start by outlining your lips with a pencil. Fill in the rest of the lips by applying lipstick with your brush. It can also be used for applying make-up to the lash lines.

How to clean make-up brushes

Clean your make-up brushes regularly to stop them becoming a home to microbes!
Wash them with warm water and a mild soap. Alternatively, you can buy make-up brush cleaners in the shops.
Leave the brushes to dry overnight on a towel or tissue.

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Make-up brushes: choosing and using different makeup brushes
Published by editorial staff Beauty
18 Jan 2012
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