Friday Favorites: Makeup Brushes

Let’s talk makeup brushes. I know that there are some people that care a whole lot about the makeup brushes that they use and will buy really expensive ones.  They care about what the bristles are made of and the angle and sizes of the brushes and more. If you are that way, then this isn’t a post for you.  Up until about 5 or 6 months ago, I used some Mary Kay brushes that I got in a set years ago when I hosted a party.  They worked and that was good enough for me.  Now, I do clean my brushes regularly.  I didn’t just use gross dirty brushes for years.  If you don’t clean your brushes regularly, you need to. I can’t tell you how many people I know that have never cleaned their makeup brushes. You guys, that’s gross!  You have to clean them.  It is so easy to clean them too.  All you need is a little Johnson and Johnson Baby Shampoo.  Wet your brushes with cold water and add a little baby shampoo to each brush and gently rub the bristles between your fingers to clean and then rinse.  You may need to repeat this a couple of times to get all of the makeup off, especially if you have never cleaned them.  I usually do it until the water runs clear when you rinse it off.  Then smooth the bristles and lay it flat on a clean towel to air dry.  I typically clean mine every other week.  Some will say that you should do it weekly, but let’s be real. That’s probably not realistic for most of us. 

Now, lets talk about the kind of brushes that I use.  If you look up make up brushes on a site like Ulta or Sephora, you will see that there are a million different types of brushes. There are brushes that are fat, skinny, big, small, and some that even look like fans.  I won’t even begin to act like I know what to do with all of those brushes. I use 8 brushes every day and that is it, but I would say that not all of those are completely necessary. I have 3 brushes that I use for my eye shadow, an eye liner brush, a blush brush, an eye brow brush, a powder brush, and a liquid brush.  

Liquid Makeup Brush (R+F)

This one is new to me.  I haven’t worn any type of foundation in years and back when I did, I just used my fingers to apply it.  When Rodan + Fields came out with their new derma-cosmetic, Radiant Defense Perfecting Liquid (read about it here), I got the liquid brush with it.  The first time I used Radiant Defense, I didn’t use the brush because I didn’t really know how.  I just used my fingers like I had done in the past. Then I watched a few videos of other consultants using it and decided to try it out. Wow! It is so easy to use and so much better for my face than my fingers.  I highly recommend this brush or any other liquid brush if you have never used one before.  It makes the application process much smoother and really gives you a more even coverage. 

Powder Brush (R+F)

For years I used a Mary Kay powder brush with no issues.  I like a more matte look on me, so I always wear some sort of finishing powder. Plus, it helps keep the shine from my naturally oily skin at bay. Now I use this Rodan + Fields retractable kabuki brush to apply my mineral peptide powder. I love it.  It works great for contouring and highlighting as well because you can slide the bottom up to make the bristles tighter for packing around your eyes or down to make them looser. 

Blush Brush (Mary Kay)

I still use my Mary Kay blush brush because I like the angular shape that is has.  It makes applying blush so easy.  Again, mine is old, and the cheek brush that they have now is a little different.  It is not angled like the one that I have, but I am sure it works just as well.

Eye Brush Set (Target)

These are the brushes that I really want to talk about. They all came together in an eye set. I have had them for about 4 months or so, and I love them. You will never guess where I got them, though! It wasn’t some fancy makeup store. I got them at TARGET! I’m not kidding.  My old Mary Kay ones were getting worn and some of the bristles were falling out so I was in desperate need of new ones. I had been looking at sets online at Ulta and Sephora.  They were either too expensive for my taste, had way more brushes in the set than I really needed, or had lots of reviews that they smelled. Who knew that smell was something to consider when looking at brushes?  You would be very surprised by how many brushes have bad reviews because of the smell.   I thought that was very weird.   Anyway, one day I was in the makeup aisle at Target looking for some nail polish and saw this set. It was pretty cheap and I figured I would give them a try, not really expecting much.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that they work great. I really like them. Some people prefer to use brushes with real hair, but it doesn’t really matter to me. I honestly can’t tell a difference.  These are made out of nylon.  They are soft and great for blending and creating a whole eye look. They can be used with cream and powder shadows. The set comes with the following 5 brushes:

1. Brow Fill and Spool (Target)

The brow fill and spoolie brush (Target) is double sided. One side is designed to provided even color on your brows and the other side diffuses lines for a natural look.  I don’t really use the brow fill side of this brush because I use a pencil to fill in my brows, but I do use the Spoolie side to brush them out and in the direction I want them to go before adding a brow gel to keep them in place.

2. Large Shadow Brush (Target)

The large shadow brush (Target) is ideal for expertly covering the entire eyelid. I use this brush to apply color directly to my eye lid. 

3. Blending Crease Brush (Target)

The blending crease brush (Target) gently blends eye shadows, softens lines, and buffs colors for a smooth, effortless look. I use this brush to apply my darkest color directly to the crease between my lid and brow bone. 

4. Small Shadow Brush

The small shadow brush (Target) is perfect for applying shadow details. I use this brush to add a highlighting shade to my brow bone and the inner corner of my eye.

5. Eye Liner Brush

The eye liner brush (Target) provides precise application along the lash line. I cannot tell you the last time I bought or used a pencil liner.  It has been several years. I only use eye shadows as liner and this brush is perfect for it.  I can easily outline my eye at the base of my lashes and get the same look as a pencil or liquid liner.

This is the finished look after using all of these brushes.  The only thing that I added that is not in the videos is brow gel, mascara, and my favorite shade of Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink. You do not have to spend a fortune on a million different brushes.  You only need a few and there a many affordable options out there.  There are a few things to consider when looking for brushes.  First, you should make sure that they are soft.  You do not want to use a brush that is hard and scratchy on your skin.  Second, you should make sure that they are made well.  For example, you don’t want a brush that is constantly loosing bristles. Third, as I mentioned above, some people are concerned about the smell of their brushes. If smells bother you, makes sure yours don’t smell.  I can assure you that the ones that I have shown you today meet all of the criteria I just mentioned. They are my favorites.  Oh, and don’t forget to wash them regularly! 


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