How to Choose a Good Brush
TEST: Start off by testing the brush on the back of your hand on the inside of your wrist. If the bristles feel scratchy, stiff, itchy or annoying when you brush it on your skin, ditch it. If the brush doesn’t feel nice on your hands it definitely isn’t going to feel nice on your face.
BRISTLES: When you first test a new brush try gently pulling at the bristles, there is no need to be aggressive. A few bristles may come out (which is completely normal for new brushes) but if you find the brush sheds more than a few times it’s not very well made.
PRESSURE: You need to be able to apply pressure to a brush in order to get the best results with your makeup, if you can’t the brush will be useless in makeup application. Try pressing the brush on the back of your hand or drawing imaginary lines, the bristles should have some flexibility to help with blending, but they should not “fan” out or move a great deal.
BALANCE. This is one of my favourite tricks for testing out the quality of a brush. Hold the brush on the back of your hand with the bristles facing down and lightly bounce the brush, this test the strength of the bristles. It is perfectly normal for the bristles to have a slight bend, but if they splay or flatten out they will not be any good for applying makeup.
FERRULE: The ferrule is a key factor in makeup brushes and needs to be good quality.When testing out a brush try applying large amounts of pressure to the ferrule with your index finger. If the ferrule melts, moves, dents, changes shape or looks any different after you’ve applied pressure, give it a miss as it is likely the brush will fall apart. Try and opt for brushes which have “dents” in the ferrule as these are often stronger.
MAKE: The brush head (the tip, bristles and ferrule) should not be loose, spin easily or wobble on the handle if they do; it means the brush is poorly made.
NATURAL VS SYNTHETIC: Natural bristles vs synthetic bristles have been in debate for a very long time, but in the end it all comes down to personal preference. Natural/Animal hair bristles contain a “cuticle” around them which helps them grip onto powder products more effectively and are fantastic for blending. Synthetic bristles on the other hand are cruelty free and great for liquid and cream products.
The Best Tools for Applying Foundation
When it comes to the application of foundation - fingers are one of (if not) the best tools. (Clean) Fingers are great for applying foundation as the warmth helps to blend the product into the skin easier - resulting in a seamless finish. Smooth your liquid foundation over your skin using your fingertips (as you would with your moisturiser) for a natural, dewy finish.
A flat foundation brush is fantastic for applying liquid and cream foundation onto the skin and generally tends to give great coverage. Using a “painting” motion and short, light strokes will help give you a finish that looks like your skin, but so much better. The bonus? This brush can be used for just about any cream or liquid face product.
If used right a foundation sponge can be fantastic for applying foundation onto the skin to give an airbrushed finish. Use a small amount of liquid or cream foundation on a large foundation sponge and use a “bouncing” motion on the skin, if you need more coverage than add another layer using the same technique.
If you’re a lover of mineral or powder foundations then this one is for you. A kabuki brush is ideal for “buffing” mineral foundations into the skin and the short handle allows you to get closer to the face, allowing for more control. If you’re not a lover of powder foundation brushes don’t write this brush off just yet; spritz it with a little hydrating mist and buff your liquid or cream foundation into the skin for a dewy finish.