Thursday, May 30, 2013

Getting The Most Out Of Your Makeup Brushes

All Items In This Post Purchased By Me

Getting The Most Out Of Your Brushes

Makeup brushes are an important investment for every makeup artist.  With  a few simple tips, you can get the most out of your brushes. Here are a few that I swear by:
  • Cleaning your brushes regularly
  • Drying your brushes upside down
  • Protecting the shape of your brushes with Brush Guards
  • Being aware of leftover product on the brush
  • Using brushes for different purposes 
  • Using the right size brush for the area you are working on 
While all of these tips may seem like common sense, they are often overlooked. If you have spent your hard earned money on brushes, it is always helpful to know the proper way to use and care for them. For any of the points mentioned above, there are different techniques that people use. This post shares some of the things that I personally find helpful. 

#1. Clean Your Brushes - This is not only important for makeup artists, it's important for everyone that uses makeup brushes. So many people I know who only use their brushes for personal use, neglect cleaning them as often as they should. As a general rule, I spot clean each brush after use and deep clean once a week. Cleanliness is important. Especially if I am using a brush on someone else. However, even if your brushes are only for personal use, not cleaning them regularly can lead to bacteria getting trapped in the bristles, or product getting caked in the brush. In some cases, such as gel liner, a brush not cleaned pretty quickly can get ruined. Cleaning your brushes also helps prevent your colors from getting muddy. For example, if I used a black eyeshadow on a brush, didn't clean it, then went into a light color eyeshadow, the colors would not stay true and simply get muddy. Don't forget to give your handles a good wipe down as well.

There are a whole host of brush cleaners on the market. My personal favorite is this one from Cozzette: 

#2. Dry Your Brushes Upside Down - I recently purchased the Benjabelle Brush Tree, and it is honestly one of the best purchases I've made. This is absolutely the best way I've found to dry your brushes.  After washing your brushes, and squeezing out any excess water/cleanser, insert the brush into the slot, bristles facing down. If you don't have one of these handy contraptions, be sure to dry your brushes flat or on an angle with bristles angled down. You do not want your brush standing upright, with bristles facing the ceiling or else water or cleanser will get trapped in the ferrule loosening the glue, which can lead to a broken brush.

Here is a picture of my brushes drying in this genius invention:

You can purchase the Benjabelle Brush Trees here:  

#3. Use Brush Guards - Another good option for drying your brushes is using The Brush Guard by Coastal Scents. I don't use them when drying my brushes.  However I do use them to help protect the shape of the bristles. I have certain brushes that are pointed and I want them to keep that nice tapered tip. These mesh guards really help my brushes keep their shape.  Brush Guards can be purchased here: 

 Pictured Above: To apply the brush guard, slip on from the bottom of the handle to up over the bristles.

 Pictued Above: Cozzette S120 Diamond Blender Brush - one of my favorite pro brushes

#4. Be Aware Of Product On Your Brush - Pick up a brush that you used this morning to apply your makeup. Now rub the bristles on a clean white paper towel. What do you see? There is a good chance some product came off onto the paper towel. We often dip back into more product when we don't need to. Instead, work with the extra product on your brush. For example, I will often use an eyeshadow brush on the lid, then without dipping back into product, just take what is left on the brush and sweep it along the lower lash line for a lighter more subtle effect. Similarly, when bronzing the face I'll take whatever is left on the brush and buff the product down onto the neck or chest. Sometimes you don't want full-on product application. This is a good way to get the most out of your product and use your brush to it's full potential.

 These are a few of the brushes I used today. Note the product that is left on the brushes.

#5. Think Outside The Box - Some people like makeup brushes that are labeled with its intended use. For example, a large face brush might be labeled "powder brush" or "blush brush."  There is nothing wrong with this, and it can be helpful for beginners. However, we must be careful not to use the brush only for that purpose. Labels are only suggested use, and often what the brush was created for. However, throughout the years, I have found that some of my favorite brushes are ones that I use in  a way other than its intended purpose. An example of this is the Bdellium Tools #953B Duet Fiber Foundation Brush works great for foundation as intended. However my favorite way to use it is with cream blush. Specifically, I love it for cream blushes such as the Flower Beauty Win Some, Rouge Some or OCC Creme Colour Concentrate. These are great products, but the container is so small, that a traditional blush brush would never fit inside of it. For professional use I would simply scoop some out of the jar and onto a palette. For my own personal products, it is often nice to just dip right into the container and this handy little brush makes it easy to do so.

My friend Catherine from Buying Cruelty-Free also thinks outside the box. Find out which brush she likes to use to apply this product by clicking here: Buying Cruelty Free

#6. Size Matters - That's what she said. Just kidding. Seriously though, I often see people using brushes that are far to big for the area they are working with. As a general rule, the size of your brush head should match the area you are working with. For example, the Bdellium Tools #787P Duet Fiber Large Tapered Blending Brush is a great brush. However, it is far to large to use in the crease of most eyes. Therefore, I go back to rule number 5. Although it is too large to blend color on the eye, I find it works perfectly for blending concealer or applying powder beneath the eye.

I hope you found this post helpful. Please don't forget to subscribe! If you have any tips for getting the most out of your makeup brushes, please leave a comment below! 

Here are some other links you might enjoy:


  1. Indeed, I'm planning to change my old makeup brushes and I'm looking for affordable and awesome makeup brushes. When I saw your blog, I found the right makeup brushes. Thank you for sharing!

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