Despite its popularity, makeup is very intimidating for many. Mostly because there is so much of it and so many tools to apply it all. And just when you think you have learned how to use one tool/product, another one pops up and you’ve got to start from scratch.
Most makeup users usually start the basics; foundation, eyeliner, mascara and maybe some lipstick and they apply the foundation with their fingers but that application method can be quite problematic.
Firstly, because hands and fingers carry bacteria so using fingers (even after they have been washed) for foundation application can worsen acne and other skin problems. Secondly, fingers just don’t offer the perfect level of overall coverage if you’re going to be applying foundation over a large surface area.
Which is where the benefits of tools such as make-up brushes come in. However, most makeup users shy away from brushes because there are so many of them with barely any info on the packaging to explain exactly what each is for. Don’t worry though, we’re here to help. Here is a list of brushed you can start with and exactly what each one is for:
The foundation brush
There are various types of foundation brushes and what works for you might not work best for someone else but it is advisable to start with a basic, flat foundation brush (that looks sort of like a paintbrush).
Remember to work with a clean, moisturized face for best results. If you are using a liquid foundation, pour a very small amount onto a flat surface (a makeup compact, the back of your hand etc) and dab the brush into the foundation.
Then, start by applying the foundation in the center of the face (the spot of your cheek next to your nose) so that you can blend outwards onto the rest of the face/cheeks - depending on where you need it.
If there are makeup lines showing after the foundation has set, you can blend them by sweeping a slightly damp beauty blender over the area.
The concealer brush
Very few regular makeup users include concealer in their routine but once you try it and see the benefits of using it, it becomes a must-have item.
Concealer is similar to foundation, but it is thicker in consistency and is used to hide different pigments by blending the imperfection into the surrounding skin tone. Advanced makeup users opt for using color corrector in addition to concealer to hide dark circles, age spots, large pores, and other small blemishes. Concealer is also used to highlight brows on fleek.
It is not used in large quantities so the brushes are smaller and more precise for perfect application.
The powder brush
If there is any brush that EVERYONE needs after the foundation brush, it is the powder brush. Powder brushes are the biggest as they are used predominantly all over the whole face and therefore need to cover the largest surface area.
They are also the simplest to use. You just dab it into the powder of your choice and pass it all over your face.
The blush brush
This brush is less commonly used as not everyone enjoys using blush, nor do they know how. I don’t know about the rest of you but for the longest time, I feared looking like noddy.
Blush brushes also come in all manner of shapes and sizes so they can be a little daunting and confusing. And then there’s the issue of face shapes. Celebrity beauty guru, Wayne Goss explans:
Picking the perfect shade can also be quite tricky for girls of colour. Beauty expert Melissa Hibbert has a few tips:
The fan brush
This is perhaps the most daunting brush of all because very few beginners know what it’s for or how to use it without feeling like you’re messing up or not making any progress at all.
According to American makeup retailer, Sephora, “the flat fan shape allows for even and soft definition, making it an ideal tool for gently sweeping bronzing powder, illuminator, or even tinted moisturizer on the face.” It can also be used to “fan away” excess product without leaving trace behind.
Clean your brushes!
Because it is advisable to use brushes to avoid bacteria, one must also remember that they need to be cleaned regularly for the same reason. Retailers like Clicks and Dischem sell specially formulated solutions for cleaning brushes but a great affordable alternative baby shampoo.
How to clean makeup brushes?
Fill a sink/bowl with warm (not hot) water, pour some baby shampoo/ cleaner into the water. Swirl the brushes around in the water, rinse them in clean water and lay them on a towel on a flat surface to dry.
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Main image credit: instagram.com/lungilethabethe