You know the famous line from Mommie Dearest, “No Wire Hangers EVARRRRRR!”? Well, that’s exactly how I feel about those terrible little sponge applicators and brushes that come with drugstore makeup. Those “tools” are great for basically anything other than adequately applying and blending makeup.
So what is great for eyeshadow, and really all makeup, application? Brushes. Yes, you’ll have to spend a little extra money for them, but good quality brushes will last a long time and up your makeup game by a million.
Here are my favorites:
There are many different ways to apply foundation – fingers, sponges, brushes, etc. My go-to move is to apply primer first with my fingers (I believe the heat of my fingers helps settle the primer into my skin better) and then apply my powder foundation with a Sigma flat top kabuki brush.
The flat top on this brush really works the product into the skin and distributes powder evenly. It’s also great for applying BB creams and liquid foundation. Make sure to clean this brush regularly to keep bacteria at bay and your skin clear.
If you only want to buy one eyeshadow brush, buy the Mac 217. It’s the Holy Grail. The bristles are just stiff and compact enough to let you apply AND blend shadow with the same brush. I typically use this one most in my crease and outer corner.
The key to any good eye look is blending, blending, blending. The best part about buying good brushes is that they practically do all of the blending work for you. Especially the Sigma E40:
The E40 is a fat, fluffy brush that I swear has magical blending powers. The soft bristles sweep and blend shadow together without drastically moving/wiping away any of the product. If that makes any sense. Long story short – it’s awesome, get one.
Real Techniques deserves its own category because the brushes are just that good, and they’re inexpensive! RT kits and individual brushes are sold at most drugstores and online.
I highly recommend the starter set:
The blush brush:
Photo credit: vampyvarnish.com
And the expert face brush:
Photo credit: ulta.com
And no one likes to do it, but cleaning your brushes is key. I try to clean mine a minimum of once a month with a solution of warm water, vinegar and dish soap. Once they’re all clean, lay brushes out flat on a towel to dry overnight and feel smug with pride when you use your clean, fresh brushes the next morning.
What brushes should I add to my collection? Let me know!