Beauty basics

Nov 15 2006 by
Categories : Beauty

Expert advice on caring for brushes, sponges and puffs properly.

In the chapters ahead, I’m going to talk about a variety of
beauty tools that you need to apply your makeup. These include brushes, foundation sponges, and velour powder puffs. Tools are available at a variety of price points, but the best ones tend to be on the expensive side. If price is an issue, buy only what you need. The tips and tricks in this book don’t call for dozens of different brushes, and you can certainly make some brushes do double duty. Do try to buy the best brushes you can afford. If you take care of them, and I’m going to explain how, they can last for years. The oldest brushes in my makeup kit are more than twenty-five years old!

Washing your brushes

Caring for your brushes means washing them on a regular basis, not using them for a year and then tossing them. If you wait until your brushes look dirty, you’ve waited far too long. Apply makeup with clean tools; it’s better for your brushes
and your skin.

Basically, there are two kinds of brushes: those you use with creamy products and those you use with powdery products.

Let’s talk about the first group, which includes brushes for
concealer, camouflage, eyeliner, lip products, cream eyeshadow, and
cream blush. These should be washed daily. This is a must for anything that touches your eyes or that you use to cover pimples because of bacteria. This probably sounds like a pain in the neck because you’re so busy, and the last thing you need is another chore. But once you get in the habit, quickly washing the brushes will become second nature. You can wait until you come home after work to clean them, instead of doing it right after you apply your makeup in the morning.

Image courtesy Simon & Schuster


How to wash your brushes and travel tips on the next page …


Copyright 2006 by Laura Mercier. Reprinted by permission. Excerpted from
the book The New Beauty Secrets: Your Ultimate Guide to a Flawless Face by Laura Mercier, published by Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

To get started you need some tissues and antibacterial dishwashing detergent. The detergent is perfect because it will disintegrate any grease or oil. Squeeze a little detergent on the brush and gently work it through with your fingers. Put the brush under warm running water and continue to work the soap through all the bristles in the direction of the hair, taking care not to bend the bristles. The soap will be creamy and opaque at first, then less so until you just have clear running water going through the bristles.

Put the freshly washed brushes on a paper towel or dish towel to dry, and reshape the brushes as necessary. For example, if a brush ends in a point, smooth the bristles back into a point. You can place the brushes near a heat source, like a radiator, but never directly on top.

For powder brushes, the directions are almost identical, with the exception that you don’t have to wash them as frequently and you should use mild soap or shampoo. Again, be gentle. It’s like washing your favourite La Perla bra, not scrubbing stains out of your jeans.

Sponges and puffs

You should wash your sponges with mild soap under warm running water after every application. You should wash puffs in the same manner every few days or each week. Some makeup artists throw their puffs into the washing machine, but I don’t recommend it. Most laundry detergents aren’t mild enough, and all the tumbling around can damage them.

Put your sponges and puffs on a paper towel or dish towel to let them air dry. You may need to reshape your puffs.

Carry with care

Do you travel with your tools? Maybe you take them to work every day, or perhaps you’re going on a vacation and want to bring them along. Make sure to have a nice case or brush roll in which to carry them. Don’t toss them into your makeup bag where they’ll get beaten up and dirty. Another option is to buy a travel-size brush kit that comes with a special carrying case.

Image courtesy Simon & Schuster

Read more
Say goodbye to age spots


Tips on wearing blush

How to wear red lipstick


Copyright 2006 by Laura Mercier. Reprinted by permission. Excerpted from
the book The New Beauty Secrets: Your Ultimate Guide to a Flawless Face by Laura Mercier, published by Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Categories: Beauty