My makeup brush collection just keeps growing. I have extras because as a makeup artist, depending on how many clients I take on for the day, there isn't always enough time to clean all of the brushes used in between. I have duplicates of the same brush too because that's just how much I love them.
I have a fond appreciation for brush hygiene and cleaning my brushes bring me joy. Not all MUAs feel this way, and cleaning them after a long day is a tedious task. That's just unfortunate, and I get it. There are times when I wait a day or two until I can get to cleaning brushes just used, BUT I don't want to leave it too long, especially if they are my faves, not to mention that cleaning them prevents bacteria buildup on your face and on clients too. I am a firm believer of giving and showing love to all things to have deep appreciation for the tools that generate a great livelihood. This applies to anything, really but for this purpose, let's talk brushes.
Brushes are used to create and enhance your art, and in order to create well, the tools used have to be in the best condition possible. If you were painting your walls, you certainly would want to clean your paintbrush or rollers before switching to a different paint colour, AND you wouldn't use a dried up paint brush either if you want to have a smooth finish. It's the same with makeup brushes. There are many brands out there, and I have yet to try a whole lot more and share my thoughts and feedback about them.
Some of the best brushes are from the art store too, like for fine lines and creative patterns where you want to have the best brush tip to control the outcome for. Nothing like quality brushes for fine canvases, right?
Here are my current go-to's and favourites though:
Chanel has the softest eyeshadow blending brush I have used ever. Whenever I use it, my clients and models comment on how soft it feels on their eyelids. It's like a spa treatment for the eyes, and I discovered it when I took a course at Chanel's Beauty Studio at Harrods in London. I feel this brush is magic. Like Wonder Woman's cuffs, my capacity to blend and diffuse eyeshadow using this brush is like a super power. It's a great addition to your makeup brush kit, go check it out for yourself!
MyKitco.uk has awesome brushes altogether, used by a lot of other amazing makeup artists. A UK-based company co-founded by makeup artist James Malloy (who I also follow for his great skills and talent), and not only are they popular for their makeup brushes, their kit organizers are top-notch. A few of my faves include My Feliner 1.22 which is a small fine synthetic tip brush I use with a gel liner for creating a smooth, fine eyeliner and a sharp feline flick. Another essential is the Small Fluff & Buff 1.19 made with natural fibers, which, in conjunction with my beloved Chanel eyeshadow blending brush, I create seamless shadow action. My Defining Crease 1.3 is perfect exactly for what it is named - and brilliant results come from using this brush on the crease line for smooth definition and dramatic effects. I have used it with both cream and powder eyeshadows and while it works with both textures, it works better with powder. I also like to apply my foundation with a stipple brush for a more flawless application, and My Stippling Foundation 0.18 assists me with this when I use both liquid and cream formats. Then there's the contouring lineup of brushes and I have 3 of them from MyKitco that I feel I need with me all the time. Contouring is definitely an art, and quality brushes matter when defining and sculpting the contours of a face. The Small My Defining Contour 0.14 is made of quality synthetic fibres and is smooth like velvet to the touch. Easy to use with cream and powder, I especially love the results when I apply a cream contour with this brush. For powder contours, I love the My Defining Contour 0.4 brush because like a glove, it really does fit along the contours of any face structure.
Iconic London has a great small concealer blending brush which I also use for colour correcting. It creates the effect that a stippling brush has and results appear flawless especially where creasing is most prominent and blends well into the skin like second skin.
MAC Cosmetics has really come a long way with their cosmetics and accessories since my high school days. It was the brand of my first cosmetic purchase back in the day. MAC 239S is an absolute necessity in my brush kit. Made with synthetic fibres, this dense eye shading brush works great for all kinds of eye definition, I use it primarily for diffusing and gently pressing soft kohl eyeliner into the eyelid for perfect blending and definition.
Equally, Sigma's Firm Shader E57 dense brush is a great tag team duo with the MAC 239S. It is a smaller shaped brush that I use when applying cream and powder on the eyelid as well as blending soft kohl pencil.
My favourite makeup thing, if you will, is highlighter. It's honestly what I enjoy applying because it just radiates something special, if applied subtly and not overdone, of course, unless you want to look like a diamond bomb explosion. Funny enough, Fenty Beauty has a lot of great products, including their Diamond Bomb All-Over Diamond Veil if you want to shine bright like a diamond like RiRi does! Brush-wise, I love the highlighter brush. Its shape hugs the contours of the cheekbones perfectly. A fave of mine when I want an alternative to a fan brush, I swear, the effect is so pretty and I think of it as a kiss to the apples of the cheeks when as it gently glides across.
Smashbox offers great sculpting using their Contour Brush. It has a curved surface with tips to target a defined contour where necessary. Sometimes I use this for evening out coverage for a base foundation because it acts as a stippling brush as well. Talk about dynamic action!