Makeup brushes are like stationery, they can become a weird obsession. And before you know it you have more brushes than you can fit in your makeup bag and you’re not wholly sure what to do with most of them. So take January as your excuse for a fresh start and a clear out, or, if you don’t own any decent brushes, a time to stock up on a capsule wardrobe. We called on makeup artist Pablo Rodriguez who has worked on countless catwalk shows and campaigns to help us streamline our makeup bags once and for all. Keep scrolling for the only seven brushes you really need and more essential knowledge.
Choose a synthetic brush that you can use to really buff in your liquid foundation.
Opt for a versatile medium-round brush that you can use for both your bronzer and your blusher application.
Use this with eyeshadow when you want an intense colour and a more precise shape.
For anyone who likes a wash of shadow or a smudgy smoky eye, this will be your best friend. It’s made for buffing and blending for a seamless finish.
A dual-purpose tool, you can use this small sturdy brush for filling in brows and with liquid or cake liner. You can also use it to turn your dark or bold eyeshadows into liner, just add a little water.
A lip brush is of course ideal for creating a perfect pout, but you can also use it to target small blemishes with concealer.
This brush is ideal for applying concealer around the nose if you suffer from redness and for blending concealer under the eye for a seamless finish. You can also use it to buff in highlighter.
Synthetic vs. Natural
Synthetic bristles don’t absorb oils, which makes this fibre the right choice for liquid and cream formulas. Whereas natural bristles are porous, making them a much better choice for powders as they will pick up more product and will also blend them into your skin better.
Pablo recommends washing your brushes once every week. “You don’t have to be too strict though, I have to wash my brushes after each use but when you’re just using your brushes on you, you don’t have to be so strict,” he says. “Oil- and water-based formulas can breed bacteria so you should clean these brushes, whereas the ones you use for powder you don’t have to worry about so much.”
How many brushes do you own? And how often do you wash them? Let us know in the comment box below.