How good your makeup looks isn’t all about the products you use.The tools you use and your techniques are just as, if not more important. There’s little point in spending £££s on the most expensive foundation, of your foundation brush makes it look streaky and patchy. I learnt this lesson the hard way after spending money on very poor quality, cheap brushes. Brushes are a worthwhile investment and getting decent brushes from the start will save you loads in the long run.
1. Foundation Brush
My process for applying foundation is to start with a brush to distribute foundation all over my face and then blend. The expert face brush is perfect for this because us has an almost flat top, and is quite densely packed. This kabuki-shape makes it blend very evenly, without streaking.
Tip: Use a foundation brush to spread foundation all over your face instead of a sponge. Sponges absorb foundation. After you’ve done the spreading, follow with a damp makeup sponge, to give a more natural look. The wetter the sponge, the sheerer the foundation will look.
2. Setting Brush
Setting my concealer with powder helps to prevent creasing. I prefer to apply a little dusting of powder instead of baking. A small, fluffy setting brush which fits perfectly on the under-eye area, picks up just enough product to set without caking, which can cause very visible creasing throughout the day.
The same type of brush can also be used for applying highlighter (which is why I got a second one). Some people use fan brushes, but in all honesty I’ve tried it and it takes so long to build up the highlight.
Tip: Patting motions are best when using setting powder. You don’t want to move your concealer around, you want to keep it in place, without causing any creasing or caking. Any excess can be swept away gently using the same brush, if you go a little overboard.
3. Blush Brush
Blush is probably my favourite makeup product and the more pigmented the better. Since I’m so drawn to intense color, I like to build up my blush and for this I prefer a fluffy, tapered blush brush, which helps me to apply colour precisely and build it up gradually until I’m happy with the intensity.
Tip: Apply your blush a little higher than the apples of your cheeks if your cheekbones, or you have a more mature face.
4. Contour Brush
A good contour brush will be tapered or angled. This is key because it’s so easy for contour to make your face look dirty if not applied where is should go, which is just under your cheekbone. My contour brush is tapered and dense to pick up a good amount of product and apply it precisely. The tapered end also helps to blend the contour shade easily.
Tip: Blend your contour/bronzer into your blush for a more natural finish and to remove any harshness.
5. Powder Brush
This is probably the most important of all the face brushes. I use my powder brush to set my entire face as the last step of my routine. It is dense enough to allow me to press a mattiflying powder on my skin, and fluffy enough to buff a finishing powder on.
Tip: Wait a little while for your foundation to dry before using a light buffing motion to blend everything together. This will prevent the liquid/cream products from moving.
Real Techniques brushes have been my ‘go to’ brushes because of their quality, and affordability. The entire Real Techniques range is made of synthetic fibers (cruelty-free) which are incredibly soft and work well with different textures of products (liquids, creams, powders). All the brushes I have in this post were purchased in 2012 (expect for the setting brush, which I have since added so I could have two), which is testament to how long they can last, with proper care. I would not hesitate to recommend the ones in this post, but the eye brushes I honestly think could be much better. All of them are part of the permanent line and are still available now.