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.