Beauty

Your 6 essential makeup brushes

Geoffrey Ross Image by: Geoffrey Ross Author: Canadian Living

Beauty

Your 6 essential makeup brushes

An artist is only as good as her tools, but that doesn't mean having a ton of them will make her great. According to pro makeup artists, the right brushes make all the difference when creating a striking look. Toronto-based editorial makeup ace Jukka walks us through the six essential makeup brushes you need, plus how to wield them like an expert.
Essential makeup brushes crease eyeshadow brush
Make Up For Ever Precision Blender Brush, $32, sephora.ca.

1. Crease eyeshadow brush
Use your regular shadow brush for blending; this specialized brush smudges eyeshadow into the eyelid crease and along the lash line, adding dimension. "You want this brush to have a little more tension," says Jukka. "The bristles should gather into a pencil-shaped tip." It doesn't matter if they're natural, synthetic or a blend, as long as the shape is small, rounded and densely packed.
Essential makeup brushes - blush brush

Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Face Brush, $43, sephora.ca.

2. Blush brush

For a natural finish, use a slightly angled brush that's not too big, not too small and not overly dense. We love this dual-ended version with soft synthetic bristles. Its ergonomic design includes an angled brush with feathery tips on one end that just skim the cheekbones, so you can't overdo it. On the opposite side is a domed brush to highlight and illuminate when you really want your cheeks to pop.
Essential concealer brush

Cover FX Concealer Brush, $20, coverfx.ca.

3. Concealer brush

Fine densely packed bristles help cover redness around the nose, undereye darkness and blemishes. Both mixed bristles and synthetic offerings easily blend concealers into skin. Although a brush is usually preferred, Jukka admits that a finger is sometimes the best applicator. "In certain cases, I like to use my pinkie for applying concealer. There's a little bit of magic in the warmth of skin-to-skin contact."

Essential powder brush
Sephora Collection Pro Visionary Precise Natural Powder Brush #121, $48, sephora.ca.

4. Powder brush
Attempting to get a silky sheer finish but winding up with too much product on your face? Don't blame your makeup; it's likely the brush you're using. "For powder, I tend to favour a natural-bristled brush," says Jukka. Try a domed goat-hair brush or a high-grade synthetic fibre. Thicker bristles are great at picking up product, while the ample size of the brush covers a lot of surface with each pass.
Essential foundation brush
Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush, $35, shiseido.ca.
5. Foundation brush
There are two camps when it comes to foundation brushes: those who swear by the classic style (large, fanned and oval-tipped); and those who favour the new kid on the block (flat top with stiff bristles). We prefer the latter because it blends any type of foundation—liquid, cream or powder—seamlessly. Apply in half-circular motions for medium coverage or pat and press for full coverage.
Essential eyeshadow brush
M.A.C Cosmetics 217 Blending Brush, $29, maccosmetics.com.

6. Eyeshadow brush
Toss out those little foam-tipped applicators that come with your eyeshadow compacts; they make blending challenging and create harsh lines. For ultimate accuracy, look for a brush with fine densely packed fibres arranged in an oval. "Every woman should have an eyeshadow blender brush," says Jukka. Use a tapping motion when depositing colour for the most control.

Read more: 
Are you using the right hairbrush?
Five simply stunning celebrity makeup looks and how to get them!

This story was originally published in the April 2015 issue.

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