Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Building a Makeup Kit: Part 5

The Building a Makeup Kit mini series looks at brushes today. Please take a look at Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 for more on what items to stock your kit with.

Brushes are a personal purchase depending on the products and techniques you use in your work. Every artist will have their favorite go to brushes that they use on every job. You want brushes that feel soft to the touch so they don't irritate or hurt the skin when blending, you don't want brushes that shred lots of hair and you should get quality brushes that will last for a long time with a little TLC.

My kit has a variety of brushes from brands such as Kryolan, Ben Nye, MAC, Crown, MAP and Charles Fox. I haven't given any specific brush recommendations in this post but here is a picture of the staples in my kit to give you an idea of the shapes you should be looking for.

1. Foundation - I like a flat foundation brush for applying the foundation and a dual fibre brush for blending and buffing it into the skin for a flawless finish. I also have a small flat brush that looks like a giant eyeshadow brush for blending around the eyes and nose when needed.

2. Concealer - Small, flat, dense synthetic brushes for concealing under the eyes and a tiny thin brush for blemishes and more detailed concealing work.

3. Powder/Blush/Contour - Large tapered brush which is slightly flat for pressing powder into the skin, large rounded brush for blush and large angled brushes are perfect for contouring or blush.

4. Eyeshadow - You need a selection of eye shadow brushes, flat for pressing colour on to the lid, small and fluffy for blending and rounded brushes for contouring in the crease.

5. Liner/Mascara/Brows - You need to find the technique and brush that works for you when lining. I use either a small dense angle brush or thin liner brushes either straight or bent at an angle. You can use the tiny fan brush for painting the bottom lashes so if you haven't tried this trick for mascara give it a go. A grooming tool for coming the brows into shape is a must and a dense angle brush for filling in.

6. Lips - Find yourself the size you find easiest to work with which gives a nice clean line when working close to the lip line.

Don't feel restricted to use brushes only for the purpose printed on the handle. I have a shadow brush for lipstick, a lip brush for concealer....you get the picture.

If your building a brush kit from scratch a good place to start would be with a starter set from a pro store or good makeup brand that sells brushes. You can then build on your collection over time by adding different shapes, sizes and brands to your brush kit.

It is a good idea to have duplicates of your favourite brushes so you don't have to worry about cleaning between models but if you only have 1 set to start with make sure you have a good brush cleaner that sanitises your brushes and drys fast.

If you have anything to add on brushes for your kit share it with us and leave a comment!


  1. I found yopur post very, very usefull, thanks!

  2. Thats great Estrella thanks for leaving a comment. Im glad you found the post helpful :)

  3. Great post! I've been interested in buying more brushes was going to go the Michael's Craft store route however they're always sold out. Anyhow, what are your fave brands? I'm thinking of picking up a few SmashBox.

  4. Grate post as I'm having a bit of trouble in this department.
    Can you recommend a good brush cleaner?

  5. This is a pretty cool blog! I found it from your comment on the Problogger 31 day challenge website! I am SOOO not a girly girl, and only lately have I been getting into makeup, so this is a great tool! Keep it up, and I look forward to more of your posts!

  6. Monica, Smashbox make some great brushes. I like to shop around and have brushes from many different brands. As long as its soft and not scratchy it gets my seal of approval.

    Naomi Alecia, I use 99% IPA (isopropyl alchol) solution to clean my brushes between clients but I have also heard good things about cinema secrets brush cleaner. http://www.camerareadycosmetics.com/proddetail.php?prod=CS-BrushCleanerP21&cat=59

    Daria, Thanks for commenting and good luck if your taking part in the challenge too!

  7. Thank you, this was very helpful!
    I am a crazy fan of MAC brushes, but the price tags can be a problem.
    OH!... Article idea. hehe.
    Luckily there are some pretty decent substitutes (Sonia Kashuk brushes are quite nice).
    Happy blogging!