Take your makeup brush game to the next level

Take your makeup brush game to the next level

You’ve got the essentials down pat and now want to really up your makeup brush game. But where to start? Read on for the seven things to add to your repertoire now.

While using your fingers obviously does the same thing, for a truly even and flawless base, a flat foundation brush is the answer. The synthetic hair bristles are perfect for applying liquid or cream foundation, plus BB or CC creams and even liquid or cream highlighter. For your base, start by dabbing the brush into the foundation and “paint” dots in the areas you need coverage (usually the centre of the face). The rounded tip helps to blend in tough-to-reach areas like around your nose and the flexible bristles ensure a streak-free finish when blending. Use downward strokes for the smoothest, most natural application.

QUICK TIP: Good (or even great) lighting is key when applying foundation. You’ll be able to zero in on any areas that aren’t as well-blended as others and smooth things out instantly.

A brush with densely packed bristles cut at an even length enables you to literally buff products into your skin for an airbrushed finish. The synthetic hair can work with powders, liquids, creams and gels – just gently swirl the brush over your face and watch how it blends everything with ease. For contouring, the angled head allows for precision and control. A buffer brush is probably the easiest to use for beginners, but regardless, you want a light touch so as not to overload on product. 

QUICK TIP: For extra coverage, try tapping the brush on your skin to add more product. If it’s foundation, you may find afterwards that you don’t need any concealer!

There are eyeshadow brushes and then there are eyeshadow crease brushes, such as this one. And they’re totally different! A traditional eyeshadow brush is too big for the crease and the shadow ends up spreading out far too much – the crease brush is smaller. The eyeshadow crease brush also has soft, fluffy bristles that help blend the shadow, and a rounded tip to help guide colour along the crease. Ideal for everything from a smoky eye to a no-makeup look with a subtly defined crease in a shade just slightly darker than your skin tone.

QUICK TIP: Crease brushes are also perfect for setting under-eye concealer, a notoriously hard to reach place. Using a clean brush (of course), simply dust your setting powder over the concealed areas.

Precision sponges are great when you want maximum coverage. We all know the drill – dampen, squeeze out excess water, apply product and then bounce away for streak-free smoothness. But what about those pesky places such as around the nose or under the eyes? A smaller, egg-shaped sponge, naturally! The tapered tip and compact size make it a cinch. It’s also multi-purpose since you can use the same sponge for concealing or even contouring. And if you’re into baking (the makeup kind, not the patisserie variety), a separate dry one is just the treat. 

QUICK TIP: Use a paper towel to make sure your sponge isn't too wet or too dry – it should be light and fluffy. The finish of your foundation will change if the sponge is too wet, and if it's too dry the product will absorb into the blender, making it harder to transfer onto your face.

There’s something delightfully old-school about the powder puff, but it does have modern-day use. One, it helps to mattify the skin longer than a brush by really pressing the powder in. Two, it doesn’t move the foundation, which a brush could do, exposing the skin you’ve just tried to cover. Just remember to use colourless or translucent loose powder, work the powder into the puff by folding it in half and rubbing the inside together, tap off any excess powder and press (don’t swipe) the puff into the skin. 

QUICK TIP: Instead of using the powder puff flat, fold it in half to create a taco-shape so you’ll be able to press more of the puff onto the skin, as opposed to just where your fingers are able to press down.

The kabuki brush is one of the most multi-functional brushes that you’ll ever own. With a short stem and tight, natural hair bristles, it’s great for buffing loose powders (setting or finishing, foundation, blush, bronzer, highlighter), but also for blending out any lines you’ve accidentally applied too harshly, or even applying foundation. Compared to a floppy, fluffy brush, you’ll have greater control and wider-spread coverage with a kabuki brush. Simply dip the brush in the powder and tap off any excess. Then dust all over the face in circular motions for a flawless finish.

QUICK TIP: Wearing an off-the-shoulder or strapless top and want to glow even more? Apply highlighter onto your collarbones and tops of the shoulder in small, circular motions and buff away!

We know it’s boring, but there’s simply no way around it: you’ve got to clean your brushes. Otherwise, you risk spreading bacteria all over your face (hello, spots!) or worse, infection. And the build-up of colours on a brush if you don’t clean means the shade you intend to apply might not be true. While a deep clean is recommended every week, spot cleaning after each use is a breeze with this brush cleaner spray. Just spray directly onto the bristles, wipe with a tissue and leave to dry.

QUICK TIP: Sadly, makeup brushes will not last forever. If you take care of them, they will last a good long time, but if at any point a brush smells, separates, sheds like crazy or appears to be growing icky stuff, throw it away!

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