Guide: Make Up Brushes
Man made vs. Natural
Man made and natural brushes both have their place in a makeup bag, though their roles are different. Natural brushes, usually made of pony and goat hairs, are best suited to dry, powder products. Synthetic fibre brushes made of nylon or takelon are best for cream and liquid products.
Always test how a brush feels on the back of your hand before buying. They should feel soft, not scratchy, and the hairs should not shed excessively and wooden handles are preferable for strength.
Sponges and Blenders
An egg shaped sponge or ‘beauty blender’ are the favoured tool among makeup artists for achieving a flawless liquid or powder foundation finish. The edgeless design eliminates the risk of streaks and lines, while the pointy tip doubles as a concealer applicator. We love it to apply our LB Cream and Matte Bronze Skin Illuminator.
A small, angled brush with stiff bristles is best for brow powder and wax; the angled head makes for smooth, easy application, while sturdiness helps tame and define the shape of your brow.
Blending is key when it comes to a foundation brush. A combo-bristle brush with a dome shaped head, used in a circular buffing motion all over the face is best for achieving a soft-focus, airbrushed effect.
Blush and Bronzing brush
The difference: A blush brush is specifically designed for the shape of your cheeks, whereas bronzer brushes are larger, made to distribute product evenly across a wider area.
A fluffy brush with a domed shape and dense bristles is ideal for sweeping bronzer back and forth, depositing product evenly.
For quick contouring, we like to abide by the simple ‘3 shape’ rule; sweep your bronzer along your hairline, down across your cheekbone from the tip of your ear and back, and along your jawline.
For blush, we love a ‘kabuki’ style brush. The short, dense bristles achieve the smoothest result. Apply product using a circular buffing motion on the apples of your cheeks for the most natural look.
Brushes can be a magnet for residue makeup, oil and dirt, which get trapped inside the bristles. If you apply makeup with a dirty brush, this bacteria transfers onto your skin, leading to clogged pores and breakouts. To avoid this, it’s essential to wash them.
For foundation, blush and bronzing brushes, try to wash once a week. Clean them as you would your own hair – with shampoo. Simply wet the brush, take a drop of whatever you have in your shower and lather it in circular motions, rinsing and repeating until the water runs clear. For natural brushes, repeat this process with a silicone free conditioner every couple of washes to ensure the bristles stay supple.
For sponges and blenders, wash every two to three uses. Simply submerge them in a bowl of warm water and let soak for a minute. Then, rub the base with a soap bar in circular motions until lathered, rinsing until soapy bubbles no longer appear when squeezed.
For brow brushes, wash once a month. Dry-oil solutions such as Parian Spirit are particularly effective at removing powders. Soak a spare toothbrush in the solution and use this to gently clean until no makeup residue remains.
How long do they last?
This depends on how often you use them. However your brushes need replacing when the bristles start to fray, break, shed or lose their shape.