I am often asked about the tools of my trade and the one’s I just can’t live without. As a makeup artist of over 30 years, I have had the opportunity to experience a few brushes and I definitely have a core set of essentials that I rely on, which allows me to execute anything that’s required of me.
I hope the information shared helps you to tailor your own set of essentials that will assist you in your makeup application routine/s. Customize your makeup brushes to suit your needs.
Not all brushes are created equal; price usually is an indicator to quality, as well as the bristle quality, hand-tied vs. cut-to-shape. You can test the quality of a tool/brush by running it over the back of your hand.
You are looking to see if the bristles all move in the same direction effortlessly indicating a quality design. If you experience a splaying of the bristles this indicates that the brush will offer little control in application resulting in frustration and inadequate makeup results. The length of the brush handle is really a personal preference, I prefer shorter for ease of travel and their ability to fit into a wider range of cosmetic bag options.
Hand-tied VS. Cut-to-shape
One of the distinguishing features of a good quality brush is the standard and type of natural hair used, and how that hair is shaped and attached to the handle by the ferrule. Good quality brushes are referred to as hand-tied. This means that hair is hand-molded to the desired shape and cut at the ferrule end (the metal collar between the hair and handle.) This maintains the integrity of the natural hair with its fine tapered end. All hair naturally tapers off to a fine point as it loses its keratin layers. This tapered effect makes the hair feel soft, picks up powders more efficiently, and disburses and blends them more evenly on the skin.
The type of natural hair chosen, the shape and the density (amount of hair used) all contribute to the performance of the brush and how it delivers the pigment onto the surface of the skin.
Hair that is cut-to-shape, however, results in blunt ends, which feel rough and stubbly on the skin; this also causes powder pigments to fly as they are applied. There is no comparison between hand-tied and cut brushes when it comes to results.
Powder Brush (Chisel Powder)
• A long, full, powder brush with medium-density bristles made of goat hair.
• The optimal tool for our loose powders.
Flat/Blunt Head Brush (The Handi)
• A flat-headed, long-bristled powder brush made of goat hair.
• The optimal tool for our pressed powders.
Stippling Brush (Blending Brush)
• A dual-length brush made from goat hair and Taklon nylon.
• The unique combination of natural and man-made fibers makes it extremely versatile and ideal for use with both powder and cream based products.
• A large, soft, rounded brush made of goat hair.
• Use with our loose powders or bronzers for body application.
• Excellent for touch-powders.
Blush Brush (Dome)
• A soft, medium sized, dome shaped, multi-purpose brush made of goat hair.
• Ideal for blush, bronzers, highlighting and contouring powders.
Fan Brush (White fan)
• A soft, long-bristled, fan-shaped brush made of goat hair.
• Use for blush, bronzer and shimmer powders.
• Excellent for cleanup of eye shadow pigment sprinkles under the eyes.
Concealer Brush (Camouflage)
• A small, flat, synthetic brush made with Taklon nylon.
• Use with any cream-based products.
Shader Brush (Large Shader)
• A long, flat, medium-density brush made of pony and ox hair.
• Use for shading when you want a wider stroke of eye colour or to prime the entire eyelid with powder foundations.
Crease Brush (Crease)
• A soft, long, tapered eye shadow brush made of goat hair.
• Thinner than the Eye Contour brush, use when you want to make up the eye with more definition.
• Every woman must own one, it will change your life!
Pencil Brush (Mini-Dome)
• A small eye shadow brush made of pony hair and Taklon nylon.
• Use for more precise application around the upper and lower lash line.
• Excellent smudge brush for dry eye shadows or cream/gel eyeliners (smoky effect).
Blender Brush (Oval Blender)
• A dense, flat, oval-shaped brush made of pony hair.
• Use to cover an area with foundation, with highlight or contour shades or blending eye shadow colours once applied.
Angle Brush (Angle Liner/Brow)
• An angled, eyeliner brush made of Taklon Synthetic.
• Use with cream/gel eyeliners for a thin precise lines or with brow powders.
Lip Brush (Retractable Lip)
• A retractable, small, soft, pointed brush made of pony and goat hair.
• Use with all lip products.
I wish you all the very best and makeup application success!
jane iredale-Beauty With Brilliance is Leapping Bunny Approved.