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Brush Basics Part 2: Brushes Needed To Create A Complete Make Up Look

DH Vancouver Staff Apr 03, 2014 7:49 am

When I first started wearing make-up I remember having a lot of difficulty when it came to using brushes. I could not figure out what the purpose of each one was so I just gave up and used my hands.  Little did I know that if I had used brushes I wouldn’t have looked like such a  disaster – yikes! The topics covered in last weeks post will tie into what will be discussed below – if you missed it, click here.

I am a firm believer in experimenting with techniques in order to achieve different looks and finishes. Just because a brush is labelled as an ‘eye-shadow brush’, doesn’t mean that you have to use it as one! For example – I find that fluffy eye-shadow brushes blend out under eye concealer like a dream! It isn’t necessary to have an arsenal of fancy tools to do a full face of make-up. In my daily routine I use 3-5 brushes/tools depending on how ambitious I’m feeling.

Duo Fibre – This is an extremely versatile brush that you can get a lot of use out of. It creates a smooth, airbrush finish when applied with a light hand. You can also use this brush to apply powder, cream and liquid products! When using this type of brush it is important to only use the synthetic bristles (they are usually white) to prevent streaking. When applying your base I recommended using small, circular motions to help give you a seamless, natural finish!  TIP: For those of you wanting full coverage, I would suggest using a brush that is more dense (this means that the brush hairs are packed into the ferrule tightly). The more sparse the brush hairs are, the lighter the coverage will be!

Blush Brush – When it comes to blush brushes there are a million and one different shapes and sizes available. Personally, I find that the larger the surface area, the better. I use my blush brush to set my base with powder, then to apply bronzer and lastly, to apply my blush! One brush used for three different things – it’s a life saver! TIP: If you’re going to use this brush to apply all three products, I strongly suggest spot cleaning it with a brush cleanser in order to get rid of all the colour before you use it again the next day. Also, when applying blush, try to lightly press and ‘shimmy’ it on to the apples of your cheeks instead of sweeping it. This technique will intensify the colour without having to layer the product on over and over!

Small Angled Eyebrow/Eye-shadow Brush – In my opinion, no make-up look is complete without eyebrows. You can use any angled brush as long as the bristles are packed into the ferrule (metal piece that connect the hairs and to the handle) tightly. A brush like this can be used to fill in brows, press shadow into your lash line to mimic a soft, yet defined eye-liner look and if it’s thin enough it can even be used to apply gel liner! TIP: When filling in my eye brows I use the press and shimmy technique mentioned above, all along the bottom of my brow and use a light ‘flicking’ motion to bring the colour up to make them look defined, yet natural at the same time.

Flat Shader – This brush can obviously be used to apply shadow all over your lid but it can also double up to be used as a detailed contour brush. I use this to contour areas such as my nose, the crease of my eye and sometimes I use it to amp up the intensity on my cheek contour as well. This brush isn’t necessarily an essential but it’s definitely a great one to have for those days you want to add some extra oomph to your look! TIP: When contouring small areas, such as your nose, use only the tips of the bristles to achieve more precision and buff out any harsh lines with a small blending brush like the one suggested below!

Duo Fibre Blending Brush – The MAC 286 is probably one of my all time favourite brushes. I use this baby to add definition to my crease and to blend every eye look I create. The reason why I love this brush so much is because not only does it blend under eye concealer like no other, it also gives the most natural finish when using a liquid highlighter! TIP: When using this brush to blend out concealer make sure to use small, circular motions to buff it out. Many people use a sweeping motion to apply but unfortunately, that’s not very effective. Sweeping any liquid/cream product on your skin will cause streaking and shift the product.

These are brushes that, in my opinion, could create any basic make-up look. The more you play around and explore different techniques and tools, the better you’ll get! Let us know what brushes and techniques work for you by commenting below or tweeting me @NavanArtistry.

Until next time, your friendly, neighbourhood beauty addict!



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DH Vancouver Staff
Daily Hive is the evolution of Vancity Buzz, established in Vancouver in 2008. In 2016, the publication rebranded and opened newsrooms in Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal. Send story tips to [email protected]

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