How To Buy Makeup Brushes

By Alexis Wolfer

The idea of buying makeup brushes can be overwhelming, if not all together draining (sometimes of both your mental energy and savings account!). But before you settle on the drugstore kit or overspend on designer bristles, read on to learn how to buy makeup brushes.

6 Tips On Buying Makeup Brushes

Natural vs. Synthetic. For any brush used to apply a powder (including blushes, bronzers, shadows, etc), most makeup artists (and non-professional makeup mavens) prefer natural bristles because they’re softer, fluffier and – even more importantly – have a cuticle (like a human hair) that helps to hold the pigments best. The best makeup brushes are usually blue squirrel, but pony, goat and sable are all great too. When applying creams or liquids, however, synthetic brushes work great!

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Domed vs. Flat. When buying brushes, look for a domed shape. It rolls across the skin (rather than dragging) allowing a softer application. Plus, it holds less pigment for a more accurate application.

Individual Brushes vs. Sets. While we all want pretty, perfectly matched brush sets (or at least the mildly OCD ones here at The Beauty Bean do!), it’s more important to have the right brushes for your needs than it is to have a matching set.

Wants vs. Needs. Any makeup kit needs a large powder brush (for powder), a slightly smaller blush brush (for blush, bronzer and highlighters), an eyeshadow brush (about the size of your index finger) and a small shadow brush for blending and smudging. Anything beyond these 4 is a want.

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Splurge vs. Steal. While it’s possible to occasionally find a great deal on high quality brushes, this isn’t where you want to try and save a few bucks. Rather, good brushes not only apply makeup best, but also can literally last for decades if you take care of them. So, always buy the best brushes you can afford, wash your makeup brushes regularly and build your collection slowly.

Quality vs. Quantity. 4 great brushes will serve you better than 40 not-so-great brushes so stick with high quality brushes and you’ll be able to achieve all your desired looks.

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