There are so many make-up brushes on the market that trying to know which ones to buy can become quite overwhelming (especially when they are named in numbers)! Here’s our essential list of make-up brushes to start your collection.
1. Foundation brush
Apply your cream or liquid foundation seamlessly with a flat foundation brush. The tightly packed bristles and tip allow you to be delicate with your application for perfect coverage and, unlike sponges, don’t absorb a lot of the product, so there’s very little waste.
2. Concealer brush
A smaller version of a foundation brush, these little brushes have densely packed and short, rounded bristles, allowing you to place concealer in the hard to reach places that need it most – under your eyes, along your nose and around your nostrils, chin crease or even over a blemish or pimple for precision concealing and a polished look.
Tip: Purchase an antibacterial brush or one that’s easy to clean if using to cover pimples so that you don’t spread bacteria between use.
3. Powder brush
Opt for a large, ‘fluffy’, loose bristled brush that’s very soft, with a dome or arched shape. These are essential for adding setting powders to your foundation without getting a caked-on look, which can happen with sponge application.
4. Blush brush
Smaller than your powder brush, a blusher brush should be about the same width as your cheek, with a slight dome and soft, loosely packed bristles. The tighter or denser the bristles, the harsher the colour will appear on application. Rather select one with long, soft bristles that allows you to build and blend colour.
5. Brow brush
On-fleek eyebrows are still a beauty must this year, so it’s worth investing in a good tool that can help you shape and sculpt the brows of your dreams. Look for a short, angled brush with very firm and densely packed bristles and a narrow edge. The finer the angle of the brush, the more subtle you can be when creating lines.
Tip: Buy two products in one by opting for a brush that also has a brow comb on one end.
6. Small eyeshadow brush
You can have a whole artillery of eye brushes, but keep it simple. You’ll need a small, soft, medium-dense brush with a rounded edge to highlight the arch of your brow and inside the corners of your eyes or along your lower eyelashes.
7. Medium eyeshadow brush
To apply eyeshadow to the main lid area and beneath the brow bone, select a brush similar in size to a finger nail,
with dense yet soft bristles that can build colour and work in the arch or crease of your lid.
8. Blending brush
A blending brush is essential for obtaining chic eyeshadow looks. Opt for a long, thin and flexible brush with a tapered edge that can work delicately instead of removing your eyeshadows or blending them too much.
9. Fan brush
If you have more space in your make-up bag, this brush serves a variety of purposes – it can gently sweep off excess powder or eyeshadow from your face or is ideal for adding a slight shimmer of highlighter to your cheekbones without it becoming too heavy. Use it to sweep bronzer across bare shoulders or the décolletage area for a summer-kissed skin glow.
Synthetic or natural?
Now that you know which brush to use where, be careful when selecting the type of bristles your brush has. Brushes with natural fibres (made from animal hair) are softer and work particularly well for powder products as the porous hair fibres hold more of the pigment. The bristles are also less dense and wonderful for blending. For liquid foundation, concealer or cream products, avoid natural fibres and opt for synthetic brushes. They don’t absorb the product like natural bristles do and are much easier to clean. Many environmentally conscious individuals are turning to synthetic brushes as often companies don’t disclose what type of animal hair is used in making natural brushes.
COMPILED BY TARYN DAS NEVES PHOTOS: FOTOLIA.COM