This week I have decided to blog about brushes, there are so many brands out there, some cheap and nasty, some middle of the range and then we have the Rolls Royce type of brushes.

I must be honest, I don’t just use one brand of brush, I have an assortment of various brands. I have come to realise over time that I look for specific things in a brush. So I am going the share that with you, as well as some must have brushes to start you off on your make up journey.

What to look for in a brush

Firstly I always like to feel that the brush hairs are compact, I don’t like a brush where the hairs are sparse. If you purchase cheap brushes from china mall or places like that, they generally will be brushes that have sparse hair and won’t last very long. Buying a cheap brush, won’t really work out cheap for you in the long run. If the hairs are sparse, it won’t hold the product, I find this can most commonly be seen with eyeshadows. This will result in a lot of eyeshadow falling below your eye. Have you ever tried to do a smokey eye that you saw on a model and then end up looking like you were part of violent scene, in the next Rocky movie? This will more than likely be caused from fall out from your brush and also possibly a cheap brand of eyeshadow.

Secondly, does the brush feel solid? I always check my brushes before I buy them, buy rubbing my finger across the hairs and then brushing it over my hand as if I was applying make up, if some hairs fall out or it just feels loose, I won’t buy it. I can promise you that after a few washes your brush will look like it has mange.

Thirdly, don’t fall in love with the gimmicky colours or unicorn inspired designs. Myself and a friend, who is also a make up artist, saw these cute unicorn brushes on an online store, they were so cool, we thought. We both ordered them and were so excited to receive them. Hmmmmm, that excitement vanished quickly when they arrived. They were cheap plastic, the brushes were SPARSE, the hair was starting to fall out as I tried them out and they were just an overall disappointment. It was a classic case of buying something because it looked cool and cute.

I ended up giving them to my daughter to play with and I kept one for my make up kit, which I use to dust powder off the work surface. Almost every client comments on it with “Aahh that’s such a cute brush”, Ummmm NO! Its not!! Don’t be fooled by prettiness! That being said, there are some really pretty brushes out there, that are awesome, but they aren’t cheap.

What basic brushes can I buy to get started on my journey to “Hot-Mom-Ville?”

In my kit I have mostly MAC brushes, I also still have some brushes from when I did my diploma (they are amazing quality and have lasted 5 years) and recently I have discovered Real Techniques brushes. I must say, they are really really nice and affordable. Plus, they come in cool colours, so its a win-win for some of us. Below are the must have’s, that will get you started, plus the bonus is they can also be used for more than one type of application:

1. Foundation Brush

Use it to smooth liquid or cream foundation for streak-free application. Start in the middle of your face and blend the foundation outward to prevent harsh makeup lines around the edge of your face.

Can also be used to pat on under-eye concealer.

2. Powder Brush

The long, fluffy bristles evenly diffuse loose powders.

Can also be used to Sweep blush from the apples of your cheeks along your cheekbones.

3. Angled Blush Brush (my personal favourite)
The slanted bristles make it easier to apply products perfectly to your cheekbones.

Can also be used to apply contour powder (two shades darker than your skin tone) below your cheekbones to emphasise your natural contours and to make you look skinny 😉

4. Concealer Brush

A small, to pinpoint specific areas that need extra coverage, like small spots and blemishes.

Can also be used to clean up messy lipstick edges.

5. Eye Shadow Brush

Use an eye shadow brush to evenly apply powder and cream shadows.

6. Blending Eye Shadow Brush

Use the fluffy bristles to diffuse eye shadow in the crease of your eye, or use it to blend multiple shades of eye shadow together.

Can also be used to blend highlighter on your cheekbones, brow bones, and cupid’s bow

7. Angled eyeliner brush

This brush easily lines lashes with cream or gel liner or shadow.

Can also be used to fill in and define sparse brows with brow powder.

8. Lash/Brow Comb and Brush

Use this brush duo to comb, tame, and de-clump your lashes and brows.

You can also run the brush or comb through your brows to soften them if you’ve filled them in with too much product.

9. Fan Brush

Use this to clean up fallen product or gently apply powders and highlighters on your cheekbones, temples, and cupids bow.

10. Beauty Blender (yes, the one that looks like a sex toy)

The trick to using one of these most effectively is to squeeze it a few times under water first. After the sponge has absorbed a bit a water and expanded slightly in size, roll off the excess on a towel. This wetting process will not only prevent your sponge from soaking up all of your foundation (because it’s already full of water) but will also help blend your makeup as smoothly as possible. Use the sponge’s wider sides to apply the product on your face. Use the tip to reach creases around the nose and to pinpoint small areas.

Where can I buy decent brushes?

Real techniques and Cala sell brushes in sets for the eyes and face. Have a look at their website or at Clicks for their range of brushes

You can buy all the items individually at stores or order them online. I have provided the links for you 🙂

Real Techniques

Mac Cosmetics



Author: Mel Martin