This week, I will answer Phuong K, Pinklye and Sophia’s questions on makeup brushes.
“What brushes do you use to put in e/s? I know a lot of people use MAC brushes but they are expensive. Any cheaper alternatives or suggestions for just the essential ones? Can you also explain how to use the different brushes?”
After reading a ton of raves about MAC’s limited edition #226 Small Tapered Blending Brush ($24.50) from the Brunette, Blonde and Redhead collection that debuted earlier this month, I decided to go back to see what the hype is all about.
Today I will cover some of the brushes I use for my eyes.
MAC #212 Flat Definer ($20)
The flat shape of this brush along with its firm bristles makes it perfect for lining your lower lash line. What I do is I dip it either into my gel liner or eyeshadow, then I gently push the color onto my lower lash line and I have a perfect line – talk about easy!
MAC #213 Fluff Brush ($20)
This brush does an awesome job for applying eyeshadow onto the eyelid. The bristles are soft yet dense and pick up just the right amount of color. You can use this for a sheer application or pack it onto your lid for more color. I also use it to highlight my brow bone.
MAC #217 Tapered Blending Brush ($22.50)
This is made with the same dense fibers as #239. It is meant for shading or blending of color or creamy products. The oval shape also makes it perfect for blending out harsh edges.
MAC #219 Pencil Brush ($22.50)
The #219 has a firm pencil-shaped tip (hence the name) and its dense fibers work great in depositing color directly onto the crease. I also like using it to blend eyeliner for a smoky eye. This is definitely one of my must-haves!
MAC #224 Tapered Blending Brush ($28)
This brush has a dome shape and is perfect for applying eyeshadow onto the crease. The bristles are also very soft and deposit the right amount of color. All I have to do is dip it in to the eyeshadow, then go back and forth on my crease in a windshield motion and voila! a nicely defined crease.
MAC #228 Mini Shader ($18.50)
For some reason, I ended up with two of these (don’t ask me why). The firm and dense bristles along with the compact size of the brush makes it perfect for applying eyeshadow into the inner corner and other precise areas. The MAC ma also recommends using this for applying concealer.
MAC #239 Eye Shading Brush ($24)
I have heard so much about this brush and when I finally bought it, I can see why people are raving about it. #239 is the brush for eyeshadows. It is very versatile – you can use it to pack eyeshadow on your entire lid or swipe it lightly over your crease for some definition. The bristles are very dense yet soft and it will not tug your skin.
MAC #252 Larger Shader Brush ($29)
Unlike other brushes, this one has really firm fibers which makes it great for applying emollient-based products. I use this mostly to apply cream eyeshadows and MAC’s Paints. It can also double as a concealer brush. The only downside to it is when I wash it, I have to rub it a few more times to get all the product out of the brush. Other than that, it is a pretty good brush.
MAC #266 Small Angle Brush ($16.50)
I cannot live without this! I use it every day and it is *so* versatile! The slanted angle makes it great for lining your lashes and filling in your eyebrows. The firm bristles also help it stay in shape. Loves it!
MAC #316 Lip/Covered Brush ($18.50)
Although this is labeled as a lip brush, I use it for blending eyeliner and eyeshadow in the inner corner. The fibers are small, flat and firm and the tapered tip makes it perfect for those small-area application.
Sephora’s Long Handle Sable Eyeliner Brush ($8)
I *love* this brush and I use it with gel liners, powder eyeshadow and even liquid liners. It can create anything from a thin, precise line to something thicker and I really like the fact that it lasted through repeated washing – it stayed in shape and did not splay at all.
Metal Lash Comb
I have one from Sonia Kashuk (~$5) that looks very similar to the one in the picture. Sadly, it has been discontinued but it is great for separating clumps and all you have to do is run it through your lashes when you are done with mascara.
The one pictured is Tweezerman’s Folding Eye Lash Comb
This cute little tool is great for brushing your eyebrows upwards and blending eyebrow powder. I bent mine at a 45 degree angle (it is a trick I picked up from a makeup artist in Hong Kong) and it makes it so much easier to use.
I have gotten quite a number of questions about what brushes so today I will go over some of the brushes and tools I use for my face.
MAC #190 Foundation Brush ($32)
I absolutely *love* this brush for applying liquid and cream foundations. It gives me that airbrushed look and never looks streaky. A great thing about using a foundation brush is that it makes application less messy – no more dirty hands yay! – and it makes your foundation last longer. Plus you end up using less foundation when you use a brush. If you don’t own a foundation brush, please go get one.
A good set of brushes can last you at least a couple of years. In order to keep them in good shape, treat them with extreme care and keep them clean. You do not have to wash your makeup brushes every time you use them but if you wear makeup every day, you should definitely wash them once a week. Here is how to do it:
1. Gently wash them with a baby shampoo or a brush cleaner.
2. Once you are done, lay them flat on a piece of paper towel. Do not stand them up because the water will drip into the part connecting the handle with the metal part and this will mess up the glue inside.
3. Let them air dry. Do not attempt to make them dry faster by using a blow dryer. This will only damage your brushes.
4. Once they are completely dry, gently reshape them.