Clean Clean Brushes

Blog, Makeup

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I know, another post about brushes. Forgive me, they’ve been on my mind.

I  clean my brushes obsessively because I am a germaphobe (which is why I prefer to use my hands most of the time). I can’t stop thinking about the dead skin cells dancing around on my brushes after they’ve been used, and the bacteria having a field day, multiplying by the millions.

To counter that, I use a mixture of face wash (the makeup dissolving kind – currently it is clean and clear), and rubbing alcohol to wash my brushes almost on the daily for my most used brushes. Face wash because it dissolves makeup, and alcohol to disinfect the bristles (take that, bacteria colony!). When I dry my brushes, I elevate the handle so that the water has somewhere to go, and leave them to dry on a towel.

I used to use shampoo, but it made my brushes smell like the shampoo fragrance, which made me think that not all the product had been washed away.

How do you guys clean your brushes?

Travel With Me Brushes

Makeup, The Makeup Bag

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I mentioned the Anna Sui travel brush in last night’s post, a brush that can always be found in my makeup bag. This is a cool little blush brush that doubles as powder brush and contouring brush. I find retractable brushes essential for carrying around and I can’t for the life of me figure out why there aren’t more of them. Prior to buying the Anna Sui Retractable Blush brush, I was using the Too Faced Retractable Kabuki Brush, which I love just as much, if not more. What I like about the Anna Sui one over the Too Faced is that I can easily retract the bristles inside to adjust how big I want the brush to be. But in terms of fluffiness and dense-goodness, the Too Faced is definitely superior. Did I mention that they are both pink?

The other brush that deserves a mention is the MAC 316, a lip brush that has a removable silver bullet handle than allows the brush head to fit inside and be transported safely. I hear some people use this as an eyeliner brush as well, and I can see why. It’s almost the same size and shape (the MAC is a little bigger) as the Bobbi Brown eyeliner brush.

What brushes do you guys carry carry around in your makeup bags?

 

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Essential Mac Brushes

Blog, Makeup, Nail Polish, Reviews

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The MAC brushes that I seem to always come back to are the MAC (for face) 187, 168, 252 (can be doubled as an eye brush, but I use it for concealer mostly), (for eyes) 239, 217, 210, 208, and 228. I use a thin coat of clear/slightly sparkly nail polish on top of the MAC logos and #’s to protect them from fading. Otherwise, I find that they are prone to come off very easily (I use essie Pure Pearlfection).

The MAC 187 is a dual fibre “skunk brush” which allows me to not only use foundation sparingly, but also to almost coat it evenly on top of my face, if that makes sense. It’s like using an air brush, when you use the brush to tap the foundation and dot it on your face.

The MAC 168 is a contour brush that I am absolutely in love with. I have a synthetic fibre brush by Anna sui that refuses to pick up some formulas of non loose powders (it is however a fairly good travel brush), and after having dealt with that, I feel incredibly loyal to my MAC 168.

The 252 is a flat brush that works very well with concealer and makes a fairly good eye brush too. However, as I use my fingers for concealers most of the time (to warm up the product) and there are better eye brushes, this brush seems to get the least amount of action among the others I’ve highlighted in this post.

The MAC 239 and MAC 217 brushes are two of MAC’s most popular brushes for a reason. The 239 is an excellent little brush for patting on colour, and the 217, which is slightly bigger than the 239 (and fluffier) is great for blending everything out.

The MAC 210 is a fine point brush used for eyeliner and other detail work. I really like this brush for the firmness and how thin it is, which enables me to get a really good fine line with the right amount of product. Love. Surprisingly, I like this brush with the Bobbi Brown Long-wear Gel Eyeliner better than MAC Fluidlines.

The MAC 208 is a nifty brush for brows, and I purchased this to use with blow gels, but it works well for lining the eyes too. I prefer this to the 266, which is a similar sized, angled eye brush. The 208 is slightly smaller and not so angled.

Finally, the 228 is a small domed brush that I use primarily for lining my under eye area with eye shadow. It is just the right size and I often use it as an eyeliner brush too.

This being said, brushes – especially from high end brands – can be very expensive. Also remember that there really are no rules to how you use your brushes, and that they are not limited to only one function. I love a good multi-tasking brush, and excepting the finer detail brushes like eyeliner brushes and powder brushes, I am a true believer in using your hands. The heat from your hands can help “melt” the product, and it is also easier to be hygienic. I guess what I want to say is, do what works for you. At the end of the day no one will look at your face and say “oh my goodness, she used her fingers to put on foundation!” or “oh my goodness, she used makeup brushes!”

(Now that the tangent is finally over!) I hope this post was helpful for any of you looking to invest in some makeup brushes.

What kinds of tools do you guys use?

 

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