Brush Basics: Part One

Dec 19 2017, 10:06 am

Brushes, brushes, brushes! With such a wide variety of make-up tools out there it can be difficult and overwhelming when trying to decide what brushes to buy and how to use them effectively. My goal is to touch on the basics in order to provide you with the knowledge to make future purchases with confidence!

What is the difference between brushes made of animal hair, synthetic materials and duo fibres?

Brushes made from real animal hairs are best used for applying powders (face powders, blushes, bronzers and shadows) because they hold colour better and usually apply colours with more intensity. Because these brushes hold colour quite well, I wouldn’t suggest using them to use for foundation/concealer or any other cream/liquid because it will soak up and hold a lot of the product in the hairs; thus causing waste. These brushes also tend to be more expensive than others due to them being manufactured by hand.

Synthetic brushes are typically more affordable which is great if you’re just starting to play with make-up and would like to experiment. Once you get a sense of what your make-up style is you can invest in higher quality brushes that will help you achieve your look better. Personally, I find that synthetic brushes work well for applying liquid/cream face products and for applying gel eyeliner!

Duo fibre brushes are my kryptonite! These puppies are usually made of both animal and synthetic material. I find them to be extremely versatile and can be used for applying any product to create a light, airbrush finish. With that being said, duo fibre brushes work great for layering your base and building up coverage as well! Many will say that these brushes cause streaking – if that’s the case then you aren’t using your brush correctly or you might need one that is better quality.  When using this type of brush it is important to use a light hand and only use the synthetic (usually white) fibres to buff and blend colours.

How do I clean my brushes and how often should I do so?

This is a question I’ve been asked numerous times. There are several brush care products on the market – the 2 products I use to clean my personal set of brushes are Johnson’s Baby Shampoo ($6) and *Parian Spirit Brush Cleaner ($10-$49).  I use the Parian Spirit cleanser as a spot cleanser for the brushes I use for liquid/cream products. I pour a bit of cleanser into a shot glass, dip my brush in, and then gently swipe the product off my brush onto a towel. For the brushes I use for powder I don’t use any cleanser, I just swirl them onto some paper towel to get rid of any excess product.

*Available at Studio F/X – Located in Cathedral Place (West Georgia and Hornby)

A spot cleaner will get the product out of your brushes but it is still important to deep clean them once a week (or every 2 weeks depending on how often you use them).  This is to ensure that there is absolutely no product left behind; because if there is, it can create a breeding ground for bacteria and potentially cause breakouts.

When it comes to shampooing brushes I will dampen my brush with water and put a dime sized amount of shampoo in the palm of my hand and swirl the bristles into the product gently. Once I’ve created a lather I will run my brush under low running water and gently squeeze out the shampoo/product residue. It is EXTREMELY important to make sure the bristles ALWAYS face downward to ensure that water never gets in the ferrule (the metal piece that connects the handle to the brush hairs). If water does penetrate the ferrule, the glue inside can breakdown and cause it to expand. This expansion will result in shedding of the brush hairs and could potentially crack the handle as well. Once you’ve squeezed out the excess shampoo and product residue out, tap your brush on your wrist to allow the bristles to disperse and return back to their regular shape. Lastly, lay them down flat with the ferrule at the edge of the counter and the brush hairs extended past the edge to retain shape.

Stay tuned for next weeks article where I’ll be explaining how to use certain brushes and which brushes can serve a dual purpose! If you have any other questions you’d like me to answer leave them in the comments below or tweet me @NavanArtistry!  Xo



Image: Africa Studio 

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