How to Choose Quality Makeup Brushes?
Are you a cosmetics aficionado? Do you know the difference between liquid foundations and pressed powder? Do you know how to make your eyes pop? If you own the perfect shade of lipstick and blush for every dress in your closet -- well, you probably know your makeup.
So, how can you tell if you're buying a winning makeup brush? There's one simple test to find a durable and high-quality brush: Rub it against your skin. The bristles should feel soft, not rough or scratchy. To test the strength of the bristles, run the brush against your hand to see if any fibers fall out. If they do, don't buy it. If the bristles stay intact and feel soft, it's a keeper.
Let's take a look at how to recognize a quality brush that can tackle your makeup case.
Recognizing a Quality Makeup Brush
You can own the most expensive makeup on the market, but if you don't use a quality brush, the difference will show all over your face. A good makeup brush consists of densely packed bristles, a solid handle made from wood or plastic and a shape that applies and blends makeup smoothly and evenly. It should transfer makeup effectively, meaning the brush shouldn't lose a lot of the makeup in transit to your skin. Sturdy brushes will allow you to work cosmetic magic for years to come.
While it's tempting to buy a professional set of 32 makeup brushes, hold off! The unspoken rule when building your collection is to purchase brushes a la carte. As you perfect your makeup application routine, you'll quickly figure out which brushes you need daily and which specialty brushes might also be added to your kit. If you travel a lot or like to reapply makeup during the day, think about keeping an additional set of basic brushes with you as well. Makeup artists recommend seven standard brushes to help bring your face to life. These include:
The price for makeup brushes is generally based on their size and the material the bristles are made from. They can range anywhere from $8 for a small eye shadow blender to $60 for a large foundation applicator. Prices can be even higher for brush bristles made from delicate animal fur such as squirrel or sable. They can cost as much as $150 -- for one brush!
Makeup brushes are sensitive items. Oil from your face combined with makeup residue will hinder brush performance over time, not to mention harbor bacteria. Wash your brushes with a mild cleanser (such as baby shampoo) to keep them clean and oil-free.
Synthetic vs. Natural Makeup Brushes
Makeup brushes come in endless shapes and sizes. The major difference with brushes for cosmetics is the bristles, the part of the brush that transfers the makeup from the palette and applies it to your face. Choosing which kind of brush is right for your skin is often a matter of trial and error.
Natural brushes, whose bristles are made with various hairs from animals, are more expensive than synthetic brushes. Natural bristles tend to hold color pigments better than synthetic offerings and create a softer, more natural look on your skin. Natural makeup brushes include bristles made from the fur of various animals, including squirrels, goats, badgers, horses, minks or sable, and the condition the animals are kept in is often less than ideal.
Synthetic bristles are man-made and are usually either nylon or polyester filaments. They can be created to increase their color-carrying ability by blending fibers. Often, synthetic filaments are dyed and baked to make them softer and more absorbent and are less prone to damage from makeup and solvents. And they're better suited for layering powders or concealers since they hold up more solidly to makeup. Also, synthetic-fiber brushes are a great fit for people with allergies to animal fur.
Just remember that regardless of your budget or the kind of makeup you use regularly, finding the perfect brush is a matter of personal preference. If you find a quality brush that makes you look your best, buy it and don't look back, and as long as you take care of it, it should serve you for years to come.
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