I haven’t always been the most discerning with my makeup brush choices, but I’m starting to realize that the right brushes can take your look up a notch (or two). You don’t need to spend a ton of money either.
Here are some tips for taking your brush game to the next level:
1. Know what you need and invest in a few good brushes that will help you achieve your go-to looks. For me, a good bronzer brush is essential (I like MAC’s angled contour brush). If you use face or body powder, a kabuki brush (like this best-seller from Bare Minerals) should be on your must-have list.
2. Remember the pointer sisters. Yep, I’m talking about your fingers. I apply tinted moisturizer, cream eyeshadow, cream blush and even illuminator with my fingers. No brushes needed. Another reason to go with your digits? A makeup artist reminded me that while sponges are a great way to apply creams, they also absorb them, so you could be wasting your product.
3. Experiment! Don’t splurge on brushes you’ve never used before. Try an inexpensive set to see what works best for you. Try Models Own Neon 5 Piece Brush Set (which is gorgeous, by the way) for less than $20. It comes with a large powder brush, an angled brush for eyeliner, a lip liner brush and smaller shadow brushes. Sonia Kashuk has some great options that are available at your local Target and range in price from $1.99 to $24.99.
4. Think outside the box. Sure, brushes — like everything else — are marketed a certain way, but that doesn’t mean you have to use the contoured blush brush to apply only blush. A great example is the fan brush, which has a number of uses from powders to moisturizers. Industry pros often use them to apply mascara on the bottom lashes to achieve a more natural look.
5. Take care of your brushes. That means cleaning them regularly and storing them well (read: not in the bottom of your purse). I just discovered Parian Spirit’s cleaning system ($23), which sounds super official, but is really just a natural cleansing formula with two practical ways to store it. It leaves a lovely mandarin scent on my brushes. You can also use a mild shampoo — baby shampoo works well — or a gentle body wash like One Love Organics Easy Does It Foaming Cleanser ($29). Just make sure you rinse and dry them fully before using them again.