A good set of brushes is a long term investment.
Testing for Quality
1. Is the brush soft? Run it across the inside of your wrist.
2. If you sweep the brush back and forth a few times, do bits break or fall out? (A brush that loses hair won't last and will leave fibres on the face).
3. Gently pull at the bristles from the bottom by the ferrule (metal part) to make sure it is glued properly.
How to Purchase the Best Brushes
1. Go for the best quality bristles you can afford. Look for brushes made of genuine squirrel, sable, goat, pony.
2. Squirrel/goat or pony hair is the softest bristle (powder and blush), sable hair has a natural "curl" that means it retains it's shape. Natural hair will hold a lot of powdery shadow (eye shaders), and Taklon (a synthetic) is perfect for creams and concealers because it is non-porous, so doesn't "drink" the product.
The Cut of the Brush
1. Straight: All the hairs line up evenly in a straight line. Perfect for eyebrows, eye lining, eye shadow.
2. Chisel: The bristles are slightly layered into the ends of the brush in a rounded look. Perfect for blending blush, powders, contouring, and eye shadows.
3. Tapered: The brush is flat, yet rounded out with a tapered cut. Perfect for lip or eye lining.
Looking After Your Brushes - Bristles
Wash your brushes once a month (personal) or once a week (professional). Brushes used to apply lipstick, foundation and concealer require more frequent cleaning as they become more sticky and pick up particles of dust and dirt. Wash brushes on luke warm water with pure soap or mild hair shampoo.
Wash the brushes gently to retain the shape of the brush. Rinse brushes thoroughly in clean water. Squeeze out any excess water and place the brushes on a clean, dry towel to dry. Do not use a hair dryer, as this will cause your brushes to frizz out and lose their shape. In between washes, spray a non alcohol brush cleaner onto a tissue and swoosh back and forth to remove bacteria and product residue.
How to Buy and Care for Make Up Brushes
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3 October 2006
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