I would say that most women who wear makeup on a daily basis are somewhat indifferent to using custom-specific brushes when applying makeup. Whether it’s for a work week or a date night, most women stick to what they know. This can be both good and bad. Good if you’re using stellar tools, bad if you don’t know how much easier your life could be.
In all of my years working at Sephora, I could never understand how some women didn’t know about this “magical, mystical, picture-perfect” world of using high quality brushes. My co-workers and I would shrivel when told “all I use for eyeshadow are those little sponge applicators I get in the shadow compact it comes with.” Sorry, but the reason it hurts so much is because those things are the equivalent of filing taxes in April. Seriously. Why would you walk 30 miles to work when you can drive a car? This might sound dramatic but it’s how I feel. These tools are life-changers and I will be an advocate for them until the day I
die hand in my brush belt.
What I did discover, were the two main reasons women why weren’t buying our brushes.
#1 the price, and #2 they didn’t know how to use them.
I am happy to say (not just because I am a makeup artist) that these brushes are well worth the money. Don’t get me wrong, there are several brands that can charge an arm and a leg for a brush, but with a little knowledge, you shouldn’t pay over $40 bucks for one. And remember if you are taking care of your brushes like you should, they will last you 10+ years.
$40 divided by 10? Well worth it.
I come here today with the bread and butter of my tool kit. These brushes are essential to a fully functional makeup arsenal. They save you both time and money as the right brushes will apply with greater control & desired intensity. They really do BLEND what you want to blend and smooth out any imperfections. Below are 3 brushes that I recommend that every girl have in their line-up. Their prices range from $14.99 (which is a set!) to $24 dollars, SO worth it.
1.) Sephora Pro Airbrush Concealer Brush #57 Available at Sephora for $24
This brush is for every woman that has a hard time getting her concealer to blend and stay on without looking cakey…so let me re-state that, this brush is for every woman that wears concealer. If you use any type of cream or liquid concealer you NEED to have this brush, mainly because with the right application technique, you will use significantly less product thus extending the value of your dollar. Take a pea size amount of concealer and drop it onto the top of your hand. Swirl the brush into the product for a few seconds, enough to create a little heat. This again helps the product melt into the skin preventing any unwanted cakeyness. You want to apply the concealer in an upside down triangle taking it all the way onto the lash crease line of your bottom eye. Take into the hollows of your eyes around your tear ducts, on the center of your forehead between your brows, down the bridge of your nose, on the center of your chin, above your lips onto the cupid’s bow, and on the sides of the nose (women are always red here whether it be allergy season or they just watched Steel Magnolias.) By the way, guess WHAT?? You just highlighted your face! Yes that’s right, you just concealed and highlighted in about 30 seconds. You can send me a check later girls. The last step is super important. Take that same brush and tap some finishing/setting powder onto your hand, swirl the brush into the powder and go over all of those areas once again with the TINIEST amount of powder. All of that hard work will go down the drain if you fail to set it and soak up the excess oil that melts it off by 11AM.
2.) Sonia Kashuk Instant Smokey Eye Brush Set Available at Target for $14.99!
Words can’t express how much I adore Sonia Kashuk’s makeup line sold at Target. I am all about makeup artist-created brands. They are the ones who have been on the working room floor and they know a gimmick when they see one. They don’t have time for fancy shenaningans that don’t deliver. I have yet to buy a single product from her that I don’t like and I love how easy her products are to use. This is probably why the #2 brush is a little bit of a “cheat meal.” It’s a set…and it’s only $14.99! Like seriously Dudettes, $15 BUCKS for 4 brushes that you will use every single day of your life. I have a few SK brushes that I’ve had for years and you cannot tell them apart from their Sephora bunkmates. You probably can’t tell in the picture but these brushes are a little shorter than average. This is a +/- for some. If you hold the brushes closer to the hair it will give you a darker wash so if you’re used to holding it far away you might not immediately love the feel, but I promise you’ll get over it after a few days. The first brush is great for applying a neutral shade over the entire lid…this can include highlighter colors that you apply all over for a brighter look. The 2nd brush is perfect for sweeping a darker shade directly onto the crease of the lid into the brow bone. You want the highest part of the brush closest to your eyebrow. There, you will just sweep your eyeshadow shade in a windshield wiper motion. Count to 4 while you’re doing it and donezo. The 3rd brush is supposed to be used for an all-over lid color but I personally like it for wiping out fallout under the eye or for using the tip for a dark shade on the outside of your eyes. The 4th brush, is perfect for wetting and applying your highlighting shades into the corners of the eyes and under the brow highlight. Or you can use it for softening pencil eyeliners. The great thing about these brushes is that there are no rules, if it’s easier for you to use it a certain way then do that.
3.) Sephora Classic Multitasker Brush #45 Available at Sephora for $24
I saved my absolute favorite for last. This brush, if I could only have one face product brush in the whole world, it would be this one. I feel like I should write a thank you note to it for all of the people and skin conditions it has helped cover. It can apply liquid and powder foundation, powder and cream blush, and even highlight and contour products if you need it to. Just like the concealer brush, you will drop a few drops of your liquid foundation onto your hand to warm it up and apply it with this brush. I start in the center of the face and swirl it out, if you’re doing it correctly it should take very little time to spread it and blend it out seamlessly. If you need fuller coverage in specific areas, apply a layer of foundation all over and then add a few drops on your hand again to go back over those specific areas. Don’t waste your time and money applying product all over your face when only need extra coverage on your cheeks. (This works great for acne, redness, and sun spots.) My only rule for this brush is that you try to clean it every single day with a brush spray cleaner. It takes two seconds to spray a paper towel with your cleaner and swirl the brush into it until no more product comes out. If you’re using this brush as a liquid brush it will acquire gunk like nobody’s business in no time. You can deep clean it with a MILD soap (non-antibacterial) and water once a week. If you fail to keep your brush clean it will actually make your foundation look worse and waste product in the end. Clean your brushes on Sunday so you know they’re ready for the week.
**On a side note, if you’re one of the 4.2 million people using BareMinerals and those brushes that come in the kit, STOP. Save your money and buy this brush and your individual foundation shade when you go in to refill your makeup. Those kits are a great deal but those brushes shed like crazy and they feel like ragweed and sandpaper on my face. (Sorry but it’s the truth!) This brush was originally labeled as a “mineral powder” brush, which is exactly what the BM foundation is. If you’ve been using BM for years you will see what a difference this brush makes.
Here are the links to the Sephora and Sonia Kashuk’s brush spray cleaners…I’ve used both and they are both great, Sonia’s is slightly cheaper but the nozzle sprays in more of a solid stream to whereas the Sephora one sprays more evenly onto the towel. I also have to leave you with these adorable Sonia Kashuk brush sets. They are SO stinkin cute and they make the greatest gifts for any woman for any occasion!!
Sonia Kashuk “Make A Face” Brush Set $24.99
Sonia Kashuk Brush Couture 5-Piece Set $16.99
Sonia Kashuk Brush Couture 4-Piece Set $14.99
Sonia Kashuk “Proudly Pink” Breast Cancer Awareness Set $14.99
Let me know below in the comments section about any brushes that you just can’t live without.