Jan 24, 2011

Brush hour: The 5 best makeup brushes

By: Karen Kwan Author: Elle Canada Credits:

Jan 24, 2011

Brush hour: The 5 best makeup brushes

By: Karen Kwan
Overwhelmed by the brush selection at your favourite makeup counter? Charlotte Willer, Maybelline New York's Global Makeup Artist, gives us the low-down on what to stock in your cosmetics case to get your makeup done right. "These five brushes are all you need--anything after this is luxury," she says.

A powder brush: A soft, fluffy brush so you can efficiently apply a light dusting of powder all over your face is the first must-have, says Charlotte.

A blush brush: A medium-sized brush with bristles that are fairly concentrated. "You want the product to apply evenly," she says. "If the bristles splay apart too much, you'll waste product and when you apply your blush it can start to look spotty in places."

A flat-edged brush: Bristles should be quite firm with a bit of sharp edge to the tip of the brush. "Use this to dab on colours," says Charlotte.

A softer-tipped brush: Similar to the flat-edged brush, this one has a softer, rounded tip. You need this type of brush for blending colours.

A lip brush: Charlotte prefers a slanted lip brush but notes that you can use whatever style of lip brush you feel most comfortable with. A lip brush allows for more precise application and effectively deposits more lip colour onto your pout.

Tip: "Invest in the best brushes you can afford," says Charlotte. "If you buy a inexpensive set, they'll only last you a short while," she says, noting that inferior quality brushes will make a makeup job difficult when it doesn't have to be. "But if you spend more on great brushes, they'll last you 20 years," she says. She favours brushes from Shu Uemura and Japonesque. Look for brushes with bristles that are well-tied to the handle with bristles that are soft but when applied with some pressure create a nice edge.

Read on for more bonus brushes to stash in your beauty bag ...You've already got your five essential brushes, but now you want to supplement your kit with a few more so you can pull off the hottest looks of the season--MAC Senior Artist Jane McKay shares her top picks from the MAC range.


#194 Concealer brush
With the bright pops of colour on trend for spring, you need a brush that gives you controlled precision, says Jane. This concealer brush does the trick--you can use it as a lip brush or do to a dramatic eye look.

Check out M.A.C's #224 Tapered blending brush here...

#224 Tapered blending brush
This brush is fluffy and soft enough to use to apply your powder, but it also offers great control so you can use it to highlight precisely where you want to highlight--down the centre of your face, the high points of your cheeks and at the brow, she says.

Check out M.A.C's #188 Small duo fibre face brush here...

#188 Small duo fibre face brush
This cylindrical brush, which contains a mix of both natural and synthetic bristles, is fantastic for creating dimension and contours, says Jane. You can use it in a buffing swirling motion to apply moisturizer, foundation or concealer. "The synthetic bristles are slightly longer and the negative space between the bristles allow not a ton of product to be applied, allowing you to blend efficiently," she says.

Check out M.A.C's #168 Large angled contour brush here...

#168 Large angled contour brush
"The convex angle on one side of this brush fall under the cheekbone well to create a contour right underneath and fading it up onto the cheek--this is the best brush for sculpting dimension."

Read more:
How to wear red lipstick
How to get flawless foundation
Eye do: Say goodbye to tired eyes
Bad beauty habits to break now!

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Brush hour: The 5 best makeup brushes