A No Nonsense Guide to buying beauty tools for newbies

What does a plumber, electrician, roofer, or any handyman need to do there job?  Tools! If they are supplied with the incorrect tools they cannot get the job done correctly, Right?
Well before you suit up to beat your face you need the same thing, TOOLS!
bday pic
Photo courtesy of: askyourdadblog.com
I’m talking about make-up brushes of course so don’t get scared. Even though shopping for make-up brushes can be scary and confusing. I am here to give you some tips on how to make that trip to the cosmetic store less of a nightmare.

There are a TON  of make-up brushes out there and buying them can get expensive. Don’t let that deter you, you don’t need them all. As you grow and get more confident your “Tool Set” will too.
I will guide you through the steps to purchasing the correct tools and using them effectively.
This guide is split into three parts (Bristle type, Quality-Check, and Cleaning). After this your shopping experience should be a breeze.

First things first lets think  Bristle type.

There are two types of make-up brushes:
Natural Bristles (Squirrel, Goat, Pony or Sable)
Synthetic Bristles

Natural Bristles are soft and offer a more natural look (used for powders, blush, and eye shadow).
Synthetic Bristles are stiff and offer more control (used for creamy things; concealer, gel eyeliners, lip sticks, glosses etc).

(Tip: It would be best to steer clear of sets, and just buy the brushes separately for better quality).

YOU DONT NEED ALOT OF BRUSHES. A basic tool set consists of four brush types.

Blush Brush
Photo Courtesy of Allure.com
(Tip: Buy in the natural hair bristle)
The Blush Brush should be wide enough to fit the apple of your cheek.
What is that? Smile,squeeze the fat part on your cheeks; that’s your apple.
Eye Shadow Brush
Photo Courtesy of Allure.com
(Tip: Buy this in natural hair bristle)
Should be wide enough to cover half of the eyelid and should be angled to blend make-up.
Eye Brow Brush
Photo Courtesy of Allure.com
(Tip: Buy this in synthetic hair bristle)
Bristles should be short and dense. Use this to fill in eye brows or strengthen them. Also, if your short on cash, time, or your just ready to run the hell out of the store you can also use this as your eye liner brush as well.
Eye Liner Brush
Photo Courtesy of Allure.com
(Tip: Buy in synthetic hair bristle)
This is used to apply that fine line across your lashes. You can make it as dramatic or soft as you want. The Bristles should be dense and pointy.

(Side note: Make up lines like M.A.C  label their brushes by number. For example the brush above is called a “209”. Never mind all that confusion  ask or look for what you need “An Eye liner brush” and you will find it fine).

Now, let’s think about Quality
There are a lot of good brushes out there. However, when buying a set of new brushes for the first time it is best to see them up close and touch them. There are plenty of online sites that have perfect pictures of brushes but your first time buying you should be weary.
I suggest first timers to go to a cosmetic store. There you will be allowed to actually feel samples of the brushes. Brush it against your skin to see how it feels. Is it too rough? Does it make you itch?
Also, you need to test to see if the brush sheds. You do this by running your fingertips through the bristles, If it sheds DON’T BUY IT!


Quality brushes can last a long time if taken care of properly. One of the ways this can be done is by cleaning them regularly. Also, they need to be cleaned regularly to avoid infection and breakouts. There are several methods to cleaning brushes. But I will give you the cut and dry. They need to be cleaned at least once a week if you are  applying make-up regularly.

A cheap and effective way is to get some baby shampoo, a clean towel or wash cloth and COOL WATER ( Do not use hot water on brushes because the bristles are held together by glue and hot water will cause it to come undone YIKES).
Lightly wet the brush, add a small drop of shampoo onto the brush and swirl it onto the cloth in circular motions until the residue from the make-up is off.

Then place it on a hard wood surface letting the brush hang off the side and let air-dry. DO NOT LET IT DRY IN A CLOSED IN SPACE OR ON A FLAT SURFACE. BACTERIA COULD FORM. Just keep it simple.

(Side note: When I am switching up colors in between cleansing I use Sephora’s “Daily Brush Cleaner”. It comes in a small black bottle and is about 7$. You spray the cleaner onto the brush, swirl on clean cloth until residue is gone, and it dries right away. This small bottle usually lasts me a few months.)

I Hope this was helpful
Be Calm, Be Confident, and Know what you are looking for
Happy Shopping Beauty Warriors!

For more information on Make-up Tools Refer to Bobbi Brown’s “Makeup Manual” which can be purchased at Barnesandnoble.com

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