With so many makeup brushes on the market it can be difficult to know what’s what. You might find yourself turning to Google for help. But it can be a pain trawling through the Internet to find your answers.

To make life a little easier, keep reading! We bring you a comprehensive list of answers to your most Googled questions about makeup brushes.

What is the best brand of makeup brushes?

There are so many beauty brands out there that offer countless makeup brushes that it can be difficult to choose what to buy. We bring you the crème de la crème of beauty brands that sell incredible makeup brushes:

  • Zoeva
  • Sigma
  • Artis
  • Sephora
  • IT Cosmetics
  • Kevyn Aucoin
  • Bobbi Brown
  • Too Faced
  • Spectrum
  • Chantecaille 

What are some good quality affordable makeup brushes?

Beauty products can be expensive, and makeup brushes are no different. Here are some great, affordable brands to try:

  • ELF Cosmetics
  • Real Techniques
  • Smashbox
  • Morphe
  • Illamasqua

 How often do I need to wash my makeup brushes?

Most of us are guilty of not washing our makeup brushes as often as we should. But the ugly truth is that bacteria can thrive in dirty brushes and lead to breakouts. In fact, a deep clean should be performed every 2-4 weeks. The general rule is that brushes that you use for powder products can be washed less frequently than those used for liquid or cream products. So wash your powder and blusher brushes every 4 weeks, but your foundation brushes every 2 weeks. It is also a good idea to do a quick clean every week, or every couple of uses. You can use a quick drying spray brush cleanser and a paper towel for this.

How do I clean my makeup brushes effectively?

There’s no need to splurge on expensive products and tools to clean your makeup brushes. You can use a small drop of baby shampoo or mild soap mixed with some water for effective results. Put a tiny amount of product in the palm of your hand, add a little water and swirl the brush around your palm to clean the bristles. Rinse, and squeeze out excess moisture with a clean towel. Lay your brushes flat, with the bristles hanging off the edge of a counter, and let them air dry. Be sure to reshape the brushes if they have been squashed during the cleaning process!

Should I use makeup brushes with synthetic or natural hair?

This is dependant on both personal preference and the type of product you are using. Synthetic brushes are made of materials like polyester and nylon. While they aren’t as soft as natural brushes, they’re usually less expensive and less likely to shed. They’re also much easier to clean since they don’t absorb much product. In terms of application, they tend to work best with liquid and cream products.

Natural brushes are typically made from animal hair and fur. So if you’re looking for a vegan, cruelty-free options, or have allergies, synthetic is probably the best way to go! That being said, natural brushes are wonderfully soft and are also perfect to use with powder and pigmented products.

Beauty blogger Michelle Phan explains: “Brushes made with real, authentic hair, pick up pigment and distribute it in fewer motions than brushes made with synthetic hair. That’s because the hair follicle of an actual living thing has tiny little porous holes in it […] that can actually hold onto and cling onto the pigment.”

What is the best kind of brush to apply foundation?

A kabuki brush, or any soft bristled face brush, are great for powder and mineral foundations. For liquid and cream foundations, look for synthetic brushes. If you’re looking for full coverage and precision application, go for a brush with a tapered tip. A stipple or buffer brush can deliver a natural looking finish, allowing you to blend, buff and stipple a light layer of foundation on the skin.

What is the best kind of brush to blend?

They may look a little odd but the elongated oval shape and soft synthetic fibres Artis’ Oval brushes (or MAC’s Masterclass Oval brushes) are perfect for blending. Use them to buff in powder or blush for a flawless, pore-less finish.

What is the best kind of brush to contour?

A fan brush can be so versatile, especially in terms of contouring. The flat sides mean you can layer on light dustings of highlighter or powder. Meanwhile the edge of the fan can be used to create precise yet soft contours in the angles of your face. An angled blusher brush can also be a useful contouring tool.

What is the best kind of eye shadow brush?

For cream shadows opt for a synthetic brush, with tightly packed bristles. You could even try a silicone tipped brush to help pack on and blend some intense colour. For powder shadows keep a small, tightly packed brush to deposit the colour, and use a soft natural bristle brush to blend.

What is the best kind of brush to apply loose powder?

A good-sized kabuki brush is perfect to sweep a dusting of loose powder across your face. Although, any brush with a full and soft head will be up to the job.

What are the types of brushes I should have in my set?

For a well functioning makeup bag, add these brushes to your collection. Foundation brush, powder brush, tapered blusher/bronzer brush, fan contour brush, eye shadow brush, eye shadow blending brush. If you’re a fan of bold lip looks consider investing in a synthetic fibre lip brush. And if you love wearing gel liners, try a small, angled brush to get the perfect feline flick.

How do I know when to get rid of/replace my makeup brushes?

Makeup artist Bobbi Brown told Allure, that when bristles start to fray, shed, or lose their shape, its time to say goodbye. She emphasise that “the right tools are as important in getting the look you want as the actual makeup itself. If your brushes become too pinched or squashed, then they simply will not be up to the job.”

Words: Annie Simon

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