The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - Body&Soul -

T he run- up to Christ­mas is a high­light of the beauty cal­en­dar as the sea­sonal gift sets start to ap­pear, of­fer­ing great value on cult prod­ucts. This is the best time of year to in­vest in, or re­plen­ish, your make- up brushes. Many of the lead­ing brands is­sue great brush sets for less than they cost in­di­vid­u­ally, but what should you be look­ing for? Here’s what you need to know.

Foun­da­tion and con­cealer look more nat­u­ral and even when ap­plied with brushes, but if you’re the type to clean them once ev­ery six months, spare your face the bac­te­ria pileup. Use a sponge for a few ap­pli­ca­tions, then ei­ther clean it thor­oughly or dump it.

Brush size and firm­ness are im­por­tant; a brush that fits the face well will be eas­ier to use, and any brush that feels scratchy or flimsy needs to go back on the rack. The brushes you need for dry prod­ucts in­clude...

Pow­der brush A large round-headed brush for sweep­ing pow­der over foun­da­tion and con­cealer. This gives a more even fin­ish with less cak­ing than a sponge or velour pad.

Blusher brush This has a long, medi­um­sized dome head that’s de­signed to per­fectly ap­ply blush or bronzer with­out dis­rupt­ing the foun­da­tion. Bris­tles should be su­per soft.

Eye-shadow brush Be care­ful with size here: these short, stiff and squat brushes are for ap­ply­ing all-over lid colour, but some are very wide and tricky to han­dle. A medium size should do; the dense brush hair holds the colour bet­ter and lay­ers the lids faster with min­i­mal pow­der spilling onto the cheeks.

Con­tour­ing brush A must-have, this blends the edges of your eye shadow and is used to ap­ply deeper colour to the socket, cre­at­ing a de­fined eye. It has long bris­tles in a con­i­cal shape and is softer than the eye-shadow brush as it needs flex­i­bil­ity to work its magic.

Lip brush Short-haired and packed tightly, this brush will give a bet­ter fin­ish and deeper sat­u­ra­tion of colour to lips, per­fect for lip­stick lovers. Gloss-only girls can skip this one.

Fi­nally, when you get your dream brushes, treat them to reg­u­lar clean­ing, ei­ther with brush cleaner or a bath in some soapy wa­ter.


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