Professional makeup brushes are a bit different from the makeup brushes that are provided as “gifts” when you purchase a minimum dollar amount of cosmetics at the cosmetics counter. The free makeup brushes usually have synthetic bristles that break easily and may cause irritation if you have sensitive skin. The bristles are not tapered, so it’s very difficult to blend your makeup properly. Because of that, the length of time in which you will use those brushes is very temporary.
On the other hand, professional makeup brushes can be more expensive, and they are never given away as “gifts”. Fewer come with synthetic bristles, and the more popular types are goat, sable, or squirrel. They are also available in different sizes and shapes, which will allow you to properly apply makeup to the desired area of your face or body.
I have to admit that I am partial towards professional makeup brushes, and it simply comes from my experience with using them. Now granted I still use the wedge sponge and Q-tip whenever I need to, but makeup brushes allow me to apply my makeup with precision. Because I love eyeshadow so much, the blending brushes blend the colors together so well, that the look is flawless and complete. There are no harsh lines, therefore giving me a much softer (and professional) look.
There are several types of professional makeup brushes, but I will only cover a few that I think you will need for your everyday makeup application:
1. Application brush – It is usually synthetic and the bristles are straight and firm. This brush is used to apply eyeshadow and concealer to the areas needed. You can usually find them in small or large sizes, but choose the size based on your need.
2. Angle brush – This is my personal favorite because it is typically used to apply eyeliner and to fill in sparse areas of my eyebrows with eyeshadow. The angle brush contains synthetic bristles as well, and is very firm and slanted (at an angle). I highly recommend this brush if you experience difficulties in applying eyeliner because you can “connect the dots” in order to form a straight line.
3. Blending brush – Widely available in natural bristles, this fluffy brush is used to blend eyeshadows on the eyelids to create a softer look. Please note that the smaller brush heads are used for more concentrated blending, and the larger heads tend to spread out the eyeshadow pigment. Choose the head based on the result you are trying to achieve.
4. Powder/Blush brush – Also available in natural bristles, this brush is small enough to apply powder to the face, and large enough to dust blush onto the cheeks. Because the bristles are tapered, it blends really well, and the larger head makes for even distribution.
Makeup brushes hold bacteria and old makeup pigment, which can ruin them over time, and change the color of the makeup you want to wear. The best way to maintain your professional makeup brushes is to wash them at least three times a month in a very mild shampoo (preferably baby shampoo). After washing the heads, press firmly to squeeze out any unnecessary water, shape the bristles while wet, and lay flat to dry. Following this extra step will help you achieve the results you want for years to come.