Make-up Brushes

An im­por­tant part of your beauty ar­se­nal, these tools are of­ten ne­glected. Here’s how to get the most out of your brushes.

Good - - CONTENTS - Words Emma Peters

How to take care of your beauty tools

R ecently, a friend pulled out one of her make-up brushes to ask me why it was not giv­ing her the re­sults she wanted. She just couldn’t get it to blend her eye­shadow prop­erly. I looked at the brush and gasped – it had been re­duced to a stubby mess, with fi­bres stick­ing out hap­haz­ardly.

What was once a nice, fluffy brush had been re­duced to a chewed-up mess. When I asked her what she had been clean­ing it with, she replied, “Clean­ing it?!”

There are a cou­ple of im­por­tant rea­sons to look af­ter your make-up brushes. Firstly, if you in­vest in good qual­ity brushes, which I highly rec­om­mend, you want them to last for­ever – and they will, if you take care of them.

The sec­ond rea­son, and ar­guably the most im­por­tant, is hy­giene. Any time you touch your face with a brush, you are trans­fer­ring bac­te­ria to the brush. Af­ter a while, un­washed brushes be­come a breed­ing ground likely to cause break­outs, ir­ri­ta­tions and even in­fec­tions.

There are a cou­ple of quick and easy ways to keep your brushes clean. As a make-up artist, I need a good brush cleaner on hand at all times and I clean them be­tween ev­ery use. But for per­sonal use, sham­poo­ing your brushes ev­ery few days is per­fectly fine. Re­mem­ber to al­low plenty of dry­ing time be­fore the next use. Mix in­gre­di­ents to­gether in a glass jar, and trans­fer to a small spray bot­tle. Spray onto your brush with­out over-wet­ting and gen­tly wipe the prod­uct off onto a tis­sue. Voilà! You’re good to go again. Even if you use a brush cleaner, it’s still im­por­tant to sham­poo your brushes ev­ery few uses.

Syn­thetic or An­i­mal Hair?

In the past I al­ways went for an­i­mal hair be­cause the func­tion was su­pe­rior. There are com­pa­nies that claim to gather the hair hu­manely, with­out harm­ing any of our furry friends. I would love to be­lieve this, but I’ve yet to find out if this is a re­al­ity.

In re­cent years, syn­thetic brushes have made quan­tum leaps and de­vel­oped to com­pletely mimic an­i­mal fi­bres, even down to hav­ing a cu­ti­cle that al­lows for bet­ter pick-up of prod­uct. They also claim to be more hy­gienic and prob­a­bly are safer for those with sen­si­tiv­i­ties.

My quandary is that an­i­mal-free fi­bres are made from var­i­ous forms of plas­tic. I’ve yet to find con­clu­sive ev­i­dence that these are biodegrad­able, but I’m work­ing on it.

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