The dynamic duo behind Beauty Bender, Kathryn Romeyn and Alexis Johnson, have an impeccable eye for deciphering up-and-coming cosmetics trends and finding experts to give the lowdown on how to wear them. (It must be the decade’s worth of magazine curating experience they have between them.) We can’t get enough of their gorgeous site, and happily, for a whole week they’re sharing all of their beauty insight on our blog!
It’s hard enough finding the perfect shade of makeup to make us look our best, but picking the right brush—and knowing how to use it—is even tougher. We often find ourselves multi-purposing brushes willy-nilly to apply various cosmetics, but in reality, makeup brushes are designed to achieve specific effects on very targeted parts of the face. And they’re meant to be used with precise formulas.
“The variations in brushes allow us to customize [makeup] application to the differences of each individual, as well as the type of subtle corrections or effects we want to achieve,” says Jenn Karsten, Make Up For Ever’s director of education and artistry. Karsten suggests using brushes with longer handles for easier “balance and beautiful strokes” and explains that brushes made with synthetic fibers are best for creams and liquids, while those made from a blend of natural and synthetic fibers work better for “high-tech” products.
Each style in the arsenal has a very pointed purpose, such as angle brushes, which “are great for brows, but can be too rough for eyeliner,” and kabuki brushes, which “give lots of control due to their compact size. They are excellent for applying, blending and finishing with powders and liquids.”
For those looking to multi-task, Karsten suggests picking up a medium-sized flat “shader” brush like Make Up For Ever’s Eyeshadow Brush #12S (above, right), which can tackle everything from shadow and shimmer highlights to contouring and T-zone powder placement. And a powder brush like Make Up For Ever’s duo-fiber Powder Brush #55N (above, center) “is perfect for foundation, blush, and powder,” says Karsten.
Finally, a small conical “smudge” brush is “great for smudging pencils, adding inner corner highlights and defining creases,” says Karsten. For this, try Make Up For Ever’s Eyeshadow Brush #14S (above, left). “Each [brush] represents the best way to achieve a natural beauty look, focusing on great skin and the basics of grooming,” says Karsten. But in the end, “you can always supplement the basic brushes with sponges, sponge-tipped applicators, and even Q-tips.”
Still stumped about brushes? Here are the essential brushes that you need to have on your vanity.