Monday, July 4, 2011

Personal Must-Have Brushes

Makeup brushes have gone through as much evolution as most species have.  When speaking of personal sets, these used to be very minimal and I'm pretty sure most of us learned how to apply eyeshadow using nothing but sponge applicators straight out of our quads.  With respect to actual brushes, these used to just consist of standard brushes for shadow and smudging and really thick powder/blush tools that provided little precision and kept very little shape after use for some time.

These days, there are several things to keep in mind when choosing brushes: hair/bristle type, shape, and touch/feel.  Firstly, natural hairs are your best option whether it be goat, pony, sable, squirrel, etc.  You will really notice a difference between these hairs and synthetic ones, not only because they are softer but also in how makeup goes on with them.  Secondly, you'll want to get brushes with rounded shapes, because they tend to keep their shape longer especially when it comes to post-cleaning and molding them back into their form.  Not only should you pay attention to the shape of the hairs, but also the firmness of the handles and their grip on the hairs.  Every new brush does lose the odd hair, but loss of too many hairs is a sign of a non-worthy brush. Lastly, the touch/feel test is very important, because the wrong texture can irritate skin and bottomline, you will want a brush that lightly tickles at its touch.

Now, of course, based on past articles, you'd have picked up that I absolutely adore MAC brushes, but there is a lot more out there too.  I do use predominantly MAC on clients, but for personal use, I have discovered some great brushes that I suggest each of you try out if you are on the search for brushes for yourself.  According to Mega's February 2011 back issue, what you should have for yourself are the following: blush, eyeshadow shade, eyeshadow blending, brow, and eyeline brushes.  In LEIF's personal kits, you get exactly that plus a great lip brush too.

Leif makeup brushes are made with Norwegian goat hairs and get top marks in all the aspects that I mentioned about considerations for choosing brushes.  Plus, you'll be delighted to know that this set retails for a measly $9.00!  So even if they are not available in Manila just yet (they're available at Nordstroms in the US), I've seen them on Ebay and they're still well worth purchasing online.

Given that we usually use our fingers for blending of concealer on self, compacts for powder (thus, sponges), don't wear foundation on the regular, and rarely go crazy on makeup applied on body; brushes for all these purposes are not mandatory for self use.  However, to let you in on a little extra, I have a couple more brushes that you may still be interested in.

Also from Leif, is a healthy-sized body bronzer brush that works great for additional glamorizing on nights out on arms and collarbones.  It is sized the way that it is for easy coverage on bigger areas of skin, but it works just fine for more localized spaces too.

As you can see, shape test - check.

Finally, aside from the trending makeup sponges by Sonia Kashuk, the makeup brushes are not too shabby either.  Take a look at their blusher and large powder brush and how you can automatically see how they meet the marks with shape.  They have the perfect rounded shapes, are made of squirrel hair and therefore, are ultra soft to the touch.  These are definitely worth checking out and you can do so on several online sites, including multiply and searches.

So there you have it. Brushes will continue to evolve and there is a high possibility for more and more different, hybrid types to develop.  Nevertheless, these are the brushes I feel are among the best for now and they will serve as great investments for many years to come.  In fashion, we are told to invest in quality staples that will last, so think of a good personal brush like a little black dress or the perfect pair of jeans that will be put to good use many times over.  Ladies, prioritize personal must-have brushes.


  1. wow! thanks for posting this monique. it is very helpful. i like that the brushes are named according to their use. this feature is very helpful especially for non-make up artists that are always confused which brush to use. many thanks! till your next post

  2. Glad I could be of help Sharon! Thanks so much for reading.