Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fashion & Beauty Ethos: Makeup Brushes 101 + How To Clean Brushes >> Video

I love everything about each look - It makes me want to experiment with color [source]

The key to achieving a flawless face is attributed in part to the tools you use. If you're in the market for new tools and don't know where to begin, read on for the deets. To keep it simple, we are only going to cover what I deem the essentials; the brushes every fashionista should have in her makeup arsenal.  

MAC 150 Brush: THE best brush for sweeping on loose or pressed powder, and barely there mineral makeup. In addition, the density of the 150 brush allows you to "buff" the product on to the skin versus just depositing it there which in turn yields more of a natural finish. 

MAC 217 Brush: A favorite amongst most beauty gurus, this brush helps blend out the harsh lines during your eyeshadow application which makes more for of a soft gradient effect. This is a must have for those that wear more than one color on their lid. Smokey eye gurus will find this brush indispensable!

MAC 239 Brush: MAC's 239 brush is amazing at picking up and packing on the color, making this the go-to brush for intense and matte looks respectively. It's also the must-have tool for defining the outer corner of the eyes and precise crease work. 

MAC 242 Brush: Definitely a multi-purpose brush; reach for this dense/stiff brush if you have a small lid space [it's great for packing on color] or want to apply emollients such as an eyeshadow base, cream shadows or concealer [my personal fave].

MAC 219 Brush: Another indispensable multi-purpose brush; you can use this for precisely sweeping color under the lashline, defining the outer-v portion of your lids, as well as precise crease work. 

MAC 187 Brush: This is a recent acquisition to my makeup arsenal, and it is steadily becoming the go-to brush for applying liquid foundation, blush and bronzer. Definitely recessionista friendly considering the 187 serves 3+ functions [use it as a blush brush, foundation applicator, highlighter and powder brush]. This brush is wonderful for creating a flawless airbrushed-like finish when used as a foundation applicator. If you are looking for an all purpose facial brush, this is your gem!

How to clean your makeup brushes:

It is imperative that you deep clean your makeup brushes regularly; as they harbor dirt, excess oils, dead skin, and bacteria. Skipping deep cleaning sessions could lead to breakouts, infections and also diminish the performance of your brush. 

Here are my recommendations:
  • Facial Brushes: Deep clean every 2-3 days
  • Eye Shadow Brushes: Deep clean once weekly
  • Eyeliner Brushes: Deep clean after each use
You Will Need:
  • Shampoo 
  • Conditioner
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Brush Cleanser
  • Small Bowl
  • Clean Towel
Add a few squirts of shampoo in a shallow bowl, with a few drops of Tea Tree Oil. The shampoo gently cleanses the oils, dirt and product, while the Tea Tree Oil acts as a natural anti-bacterial agent, gently killing any bacteria present in your brushes. 

In a circular motion begin to rub your brush in the shampoo + Tea Tree Oil mixture until the brush is clean. 

Carefully rinse your brush in lukewarm water, taking care not to get water in the ferrule area of the brush [as demonstrated in the video]. Water can loosen the glue causing the brush to shed excessively, and even corrode the metal area of the brush. Rinse well until the water runs clear, and is free from bubbles. 

Once you have thoroughly removed all traces of shampoo, add some conditioner to your makeup brushes and allow to sit for about 1-2 minutes. This maintains the softness of your brushes. You don't want stiff dry brushes rubbing against your skin! 

Rinse well following the same rules; until water runs clear making sure not to get water into the ferrule portion of your makeup brushes

Reshape your brushes back into their original state and allow brushes to dry overnight on an absorbent clean cloth. 

How to clean brushes between use?
My favorite product is Parian Spirit. It is absolutely amazing. The brush dries completely in about 3 minutes, and is ready for the next application. It removes all traces of oil, dirt, makeup and disinfects as well. You can find this brush cleanser at your local professional makeup store. 

Because of the cost of this product, I only use it during makeup applications when I need to quickly cleanse a brush. 

MAC Brushes A Little Too Steep For Your Budget? Try These Comparable Recessionista-Friendly Options:
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  1. Great Vid!

    Thanks for posting def RT!

  2. wow, your blog is so freakin' dope. i love it!!!

  3. love the tips! deff will keep my brushes lookin a lot better, longer!

  4. You. are. a. freaking. genius!!!

  5. just saw you and lo in the new issue of essence!!!! work it out girl! keep up the great site!

  6. Awesome! I tried it and it works just as well if not BETTER than MAC's cleaner!!! Quick question, do you use the same method for your Beauty Blender?

  7. as a makeup artist, i truly appreciate this post - theres no room to be lazy about keeping brushes clean

  8. Saw you and Lo in the new Essence. Congrats! Thanks for all the inspiration and tips.

  9. Thank you for the tips. I actually own a set of MAC brushes, but haven't used them since I became a Bare Minerals girl. So, I bought new brushes to use with the Bare Minerals makeup. For cleaning, I actually purchased the MAC Brush Cleanser, and I use the Bare Minerals Brush Cleanser at the moment.

  10. Great post..Is it best Facial Cleansers Product? Can I use it in Winter?

  11. @FaceFab; Thank you!

    @Nickie Dee; Thanks for the compliment! I appreciate it!

    @BreukelensFinest; You're welcome! With proper care, you can keep them for years and years!

    @LaToya; Awwe! Thank you!! LOL

    @Twila; Thank you!

    @CURLY+NERDY; Thank you!! Where are you located? I have been looking for a makeup artist as of late.

    @Anonymous; Thank you!! I picked it up last week! You're very welcome, thank you for supporting the site!

    @teachermrw; How do you like Bare Minerals? It is something that is on my must-try list, but haven't gotten around to testing it.

    @Nasheikah; Thank you!

  12. Fantastic post! I really need to step my brush game up! ;-)
    Really love your site, I just made a blog post about my first try with flexi rods and I referenced your vid!


  13. Ah, I love the bulky jewelry. So beautiful.

  14. I have the kit full of make-up brushes and I always keep them clean. I would like to say thanks as you shared good tips. Keep up the great job.

  15. Re: Bare Minerals: My mother gave me the starter kit as a Christmas gift in 2008. I was formerly a MAC girl. :) I like Bare Minerals. It is easy to apply and comfortable to wear. I think people either like mineral make-up or they don't. I do, however, like the dramatic appearance of the MAC color palette. Bare Minerals is great for daytime wear, but, MAC is my nighttime/going out makeup. :)

  16. Great post I use my foundation brushes the most as I don't apply heavy eyeshadow for work most times. I need to be better about cleaning mine though. My skincare routine and skin condition has greatly improved thanks to your tips and bits of information. Great blog, keep up the good work!


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