A variety of brushes and other make-up applicators can help us apply makeup with more precision and subtlety. They can have a considerable impact on the way we look and investing in a set of superior quality brushes is a wonderful idea. It’s also economical in the long run.

Make-up Brushes

It makes good sense to buy high quality make-up tools. They will do a much better job than cheap and nasty tools and will save your face and ultimately your pocketbook. The brushes sold inside compacts are really pretty useless, especially the blush brushes.

Buy brushes with firm, soft bristles that won’t shed easily. Good brushes and better application create a more youthful look. There is a variety of brushes you can use.

 
 

A foundation brush has long bristles and is used to blend the foundation well into your skin to create the flawless look.

Concealer brushes are used to cover blemishes by blending the concealer into the skin.

There are a lot of eye shadow brushes! Use them on the eyelid to add highlights under the brow and to blend the eye shadow upwards at the outer corner of the eyes.

A blush brush has soft bristles, is very “full” and is used to add color to the cheeks in soft circular movements. Always add the color to the top of the apples of the cheeks and not along the cheek bone.

Use a lip pencil to outline the lips and then use a lip brush to apply the lipstick. The lip pencil should be the same color as the lipstick (not darker).

A lip brush provides a longer lasting application as it pushes the lipstick deep into the creases on the lips. You can use a layer of powder on the lipstick and then apply a second coat. Then, blot the lips with a tissue. The lipstick “stays” longer and is unlikely to run into the creases around your lips.

The bristles on a blender brush are usually cut at an angle, a shape that only works for blending. You cannot live without brushes that blend; buy several for different blending jobs!

Sponges and Pads

There are also many different types of sponges and pads which can be used for make-up application.

Silk sponges are excellent for applying a cream foundation. A flat, circular sea sponge (like a very small pancake) is good for removing makeup. You can also buy pads that are eye make-up or face make-up removers that contain a skin disinfectant or even moisturizer.

And instead of using reusable pads and sponges, you may choose to use disposable cotton balls or cotton pads and cotton buds.

Remember to Protect Your Brushes after Every Use

Clean your brushes at least once a month because they collect bacteria, dead cells and the like. If you don’t clean them properly, you may acquire some skin problems. Just wash the brushes in warm soapy water and let them dry naturally on a towel, or between two towels if you dry them outside.

And to finish, here are some of the most common mistakes that will make you look as though you’re wearing a mask.

The first mistake is not taking the foundation up to the hairline. Another is not blending foundation around the ears, neck, etc., as well as applying blush in a stripe along the bone.

Other mistakes include wearing too much foundation and blush or trying to conceal every freckle and line and imagined mark.

You also want to avoid removing all shine. Finally, avoid too much eyeliner and/or mascara, especially under the eyes or failing to apply concealer to dark shadows under the eyes.

If you would like my two top tips for looking more youthful through your make-up application, click here and read more about the importance of your brushes!

Do you use make-up brushes and do you wash them regularly? Do you have any favorites? Do you have any special tips and tricks you would like to share with us? Please join the conversation.

Penelope Jane WhiteleyPenelope Jane Whiteley is the self-appointed Queen of Aging Disgracefully. She helps other women to live their life on their own terms, to be true to themselves, to do and say what they want, to stop living within other people’s expectations and to abandon the quest for perfection with apologies to nobody. Please follow her on Twitter @the_pjwhiteley.

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