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Your Make-Up Kit: What Tools to Use

By Makeda

Hello, Beautiful People! I'm back again, now to talk about the proper tools to use when applying your make-up. Having the proper brushes,sponges,etc.,can go a long way toward giving you the beautiful, sophisticated look you're going for.

When picking a brush, if you can, rub the bristles against your skin. Good make-up brushes will always feel soft against your skin, whether they're made from natural hair or synthetic. Keep in mind - liquid make-up, like foundation, concealer, etc., are best applied with a brush made from synthetic bristles, which won't absorb as much of the product, while powder make-up is best applied with a brush made with natural bristles. Test the brush in your hand. Brushes usually come in different lengths - if you find the brush you're using doesn't feel quite right, look for one with a longer or shorter handle.

Sometimes, people (especially those who work behind the beauty counters in the department stores) will make you believe that the best brushes are those that are sold under the brand name of the higher-priced make-up lines like Bobbi Brown, MAC, etc. However, I was given a tidbit in make-up school - they don't really differ that much. Different brands have their brushes made by the same company. It's just that different names are imprinted on them. In fact, you could have brushes made right now and put your name on them, if you want. While I do love MAC brushes, I have not yet and may not ever shell out all the money it would require to buy a full set of their brushes. If you really want MAC brushes, buy the travel brush kits. You can also find cheaper, equally good options, at Sephora. The Sonia Kashuk brushes that are sold at Target are a good, economical option. I've also heard that the brushes you can find in art supply stores work well.

If you take good care of your brush set, it will last a good, long time. You should wash your brushes regularly - how regularly is up to you. I tend to wash mine every few weeks. Be very gentle when washing your make-up brushes. Wash with a very gentle soap - I use baby shampoo or baby wash. When washing the brushes, don't throw them into a sink full of water. Soaking the brushes in water will cause the bristles to fall out much more quickly. Put a bit of the baby wash into the palm of your hand, get the bristles wet, and then swirl the bristles in the soap. Once the bristles are quite lathered up, rinse them under running water until it runs clear. After the bristles have been rinsed, gently squeeze the excess water out, reshaping the bristles, and lay them flat to dry, with the bristles hanging freely, so they don't get squished in a weird shape.

A Good Brush Set Contains:
Blush brush - Never use the brush that comes in the blush compacts. Those tiny little brushes won't do anything but leave stripes of color across your face, which is never a good look. Look for a blush brush that is round in shape and wide enough to cover the apple of your cheek, where you want to deposit the color.

Eyeliner brush - An eyeliner brush should be thin and flat. You have two options: a thin, pointed brush which allows you to draw a thin line. A brush that's more straight across allows for a thicker line and also helps in creating a smokey look.

Eye shadow brush - Your shadow brushes should be soft and full. I also suggest that you get rid of those skimpy little sponge applicators that come in shadow compacts. There are three basic shadow brushes: a smaller one that can be used to cover smaller spaces like the lid, a larger one that could be used to apply a "wash of color" across the entire eye area and could also be used to blend color softly, and a crease brush which is used to apply a darker contour of color in the crease of the eyelid.

Eyebrow brush - Eyebrow brushes aren't really necessary, but it's nice to have them. As we age, it helps to define and darken the brows - it really wakes up your face. An eyebrow brush's bristles should be slanted, hard, and a little scratchy. You use the eyebrow brush to apply a powder shadow to your brows.

Powder brush - A powder brush should be the biggest, fluffiest brush in your kit. Such a brush should be able to distribute the powder quite well, without making it look caked on.

Lip brush - Lip brushes are good to have if you want to define your lips or be very precise with your lip color.

Concealer brush - It's always fine to apply concealer using a fingertip, but applying with a brush designed for this purpose makes it easier to get the concealer exactly where you want it to go.

Eyebrow brush/eyelash comb - These tools are usually combined into a double-sided brush. Use the brow brush to smoothe the brows into place. Use the eyelash comb to comb out any clumps you got from applying mascara.

Brushes aren't the only tools that are good to have in your make-up arsenal. Disposable sponges (you can buy great ones at drugstores like Walgreen's) are good. Don't try to reuse these sponges - you can get them cheap, so feel free to throw them out after one use. Powder puffs can also be bought at the drugstore. These can be washed and reused.

With these tools, you are well on your way to a professional-looking make-up application!

Perfume-scented hugs and lipstick kisses,

Makeda