Friday, June 01, 2007

BRUSHES! BRUSHES! BRUSHES!

Your tools are going to make all the difference in the world when it comes to makeup application. I’ve been wanting to do a write up on brushes for a really long time since I feel that they are so important on how your final result is going to look like when your makeup application is complete. I can’t start to count all the times when I used to work at makeup counters and I would see people get their makeup done completely—they would buy all the products—except for the brushes—and would be back at the counter later all disappointed that they could not “recreate” the original look. BRUSHES people! It’s all about the BRUSHES! Make sure when ever going and getting your makeup done that your artist is educted on brushes and teaches you how to properly use them and take care of them. They are an investment--but I promise--one worth making

I have about a zillion brushes and sponges and puffs and yada, yada, yada but I usually find myself always going back to the same set of basic brushes. These are my gotta-have-it basic brushes:

A foundation brush—which I use to apply my moisturizer and foundation (when I wear it) It is always made up of a synthetic material and is a flat paddle shape. I love using a brush for moisturizer and foundation. Not only is it cost effective since you are using less product—but it feels like you are getting a spa treatment too. My clients love it!!! Some of them have even come close to falling asleep! Also your coverage is going to be more even and flawless. I recommend you foundation brush for your moisturizer, primer, foundation, and large area concealing.
A big powder brush is totally necessary. Not only does the powder brush provide a nice finish to your moisturized, primed, and nicely covered with foundation face—it also disperses the product evenly and not too heavy providing excellent coverage. You could also use this brush to apply shimmery body powder to your body! So of course you need a medium size blush brush. And if you are one of those people who don’t bother putting on blush—you should start. Blush is so pretty! Sometimes it’s all you need to look pretty and fresh. By dipping the tip of your blush brush in either a cream blush or a powder blush and applying it in light circular strokes on the apples of your cheeks is going to provide a beautiful hint of color to your cheeks and make you look pretty and fresh. You could also take you blush brush and sort of pinch the fluffy part together creating a thick and full line and dip that into your bronzer and go along from the top part of your ear slightly under your cheek bone and towards the bottom of the apple of your cheek in a very slight “J” motion to create a more multi-dimensional and defined cheek. Then let your brush go back to normal and blend out any harsh lines.
Now we come to brushes for your eyes. I think there are three basic brushes you have to have to be able to recreate any look that you want.

First is a medium or large shader brush. With this brush you would apply your eyeshadow primer and your base eyeshadow. It should be somewhat of a more dense brush so that you can pack on color if you need to—depending on the look you are going for. The edge is slightly rounded and the brush itself is not too fluffy or thick. Again, I like more of a paddle like shape. That way you can either blend with it or place color specifically with it using a patting method instead of a stroking method for blending.
Next—and I consider this a key tool for your eyes—you have to have a crease brush or also called a contour brush. I love this brush. This is so important when trying to create a classic look with a light lid and a darker crease. This brush is usually a little bit longer in length, not too thick, not too dense—but slightly, and comes to a mildly pointed tip. That way you could dip the tip of your brush in your eyeshadow—knock off the excess—and depending on the pressure you put on the brush, you can create a very defined crease. For example, with lighter pressure—just going back in forth in a windshield wiper motion or circular motion on the very outer corner of your eye. Now with heavier pressure, the brush disperses the eyeshadow in a wider area so your crease is broader and defined that way.
Lastly, for gotta-have-it basic brushes—we can’t forget about the slanted angle brush. This brush holds a dear place in my heart since it was the very first professional brush I ever bought. I still have it and I use it on a regular basis. This brush is so important because you can use it to either put on a liquid eyeliner or dip it in an eyeshadow and use it as an eyeliner. It’s great for getting product into your lash base and also for setting a pencil eyeliner. You know what I mean? After you apply a pencil eyeliner you could use your slanted angled brush dipped in a powder eyeshadow to “set” your pencil eyeliner. It really does help with increasing the length of time your makeup stays on. Also the slanted angled brush is an awesome tool for feeling in your eyebrows. It’s mainly the only tool I use on my brows.

So those are my favorite basic brushes. Six total! Of course you can get real fancy and buy all the different shapes and sizes but truly—those five brushes are phenomenal and can create just about any makeup look you want.

As far as picking a line of brushes you want to invest in I have an amazing company I would like to recommend. It is called Branded J and it is an incredible line—in several ways. There motto is “a brush with heaven.” And that’s exactly how these brushes feel. The whole line is completely synthetic—with a purpose! This is really unheard of in this industry—every line I have ever used has had a mix of animal hair fiber brushes and synthetic. But Branded J is different in a really big way. Don’t you just love a rebel?! Someone who thinks outside the box and goes against the flow?! I do! And that’s what Branded J Collections represents. This company has drawn a line in the sand that they aren’t crossing it and have deemed themselves as a completely animal cruelty free line—AMEN! There are absolutely no animal hair brushes in this line. This was foreign to me at first because I have always used brushes made out of animal hair fibers but once I was made aware of how some of those brushes are made and what those animals go through—I was seriously shocked. It’s more then a simple “ hair cut.” Then I started to use some of the brushes from Branded J and I was beyond pleasantly surprised at the results for being completely synthetic. They are so soft and silky and make makeup application flawless. So I completely stand behind the mission of Branded J and their product. It’s a win-win situation when you choose to use brushes from Branded J. Check out their website and read about their products and their mission at http://www.brandedjcollections.com/. Don’t forget to check out their “F.Y.I.” section—it’s very informative.

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