Eager to perfect your makeup regime? Brush up on your skills with makeup guru Kelly Bilimoria’s guide to brush etiquette, plus the must-have tools for a perfect cosmetic kit.
Synthetic or Natural Bristles: The Scoop
Makeup brushes today come with either natural or synthetic hairs, or with a mixture of both. Natural bristles are typically animal hair – goat, badger or squirrel hair, for example – and are best for using with powder products such as blushers, bronzers, eye shadows and so on. This is because the bristles move freely, so you can pick up enough product in one swipe to blend it on to the skin beautifully. They are a little bit trickier to clean than synthetic ones, though.
Synthetic brushes are manmade, usually from nylon or polyester, and dyed cream or brown. They tend to be more pocket-friendly, and you can find them just about anywhere in a range of prices and styles. They are easier to clean and work well for applying cream and liquid makeup such as foundation, concealer, cream blush or lipstick – this is because the hairs tend to come together, making them perfect for precision application.
Whichever brushes you prefer, here’s how to protect your investment by keeping them bacteria-free.
Spray brush-cleaner on to a tissue and sweep the brush back and forth to remove the makeup.
Try: Sephora Brush Cleaner, $10.
Deep clean (for extra dirty brushes!)
1. Add a drop of shampoo to half a cup of lukewarm water.
2. Swirl your brush around in the cup.
3.You may have to rinse the brush and repeat the technique a few times to clean all the old makeup off your brush.
4. If you feel it needs something more, try swirling the bristles on a bar of soap or adding more shampoo to create a lather; then rinse well.
5.Once you think the brush is clean, gently squeeze out the excess water and dry it flat on a clean towel for at least two or three hours.
If your brushes have a metal band on them, do not get this area wet – it can lead to rusting that could eventually destroy your brush!
If your brushes start to feel a bit stiff or prickly over time, try massaging a tiny bit of hair conditioner into the bristles and rinsing them in warm water. Dry them flat to bring back that soft, luxurious feel.
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