What Makeup Brushes Do I Really Need?

Some people say that the best tools for makeup application are their fingers.

True in some cases. But let’s be honest, a good makeup brush makes a big difference. However, there are too many kinds of makeup brushes available out there, and it is just hard to decide which one to choose. What makeup brushes do you really need?

Professional makeup artist Sarah G. Best gave me some great tips in picking makeup brushes, and I would like to share all of them with you guys!

Image courtesy of Teeratas/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Teeratas/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Synthetic or animal hair?

Makeup brushes can be divided into two categories: animal hair and synthetic hair. The differences between these two categories do not mainly involve ethical issues (however, sometimes it does cause major debates about animal rights, but we are not concentrating on this topic for today), but how these two kinds of materials function.

Animal hair is better to pick up powder products. Like human hair, animal hair has cuticles covered from roots to tips. These natural cuticles and irregular crests on the hair surface can pick up any powder and pigments very easily.

Synthetic hair on the other hand, is often used to apply liquid or cream products, because it doesn’t have any follicles and it has a rather smooth surface for liquid products to glide through. Also, it does not absorb liquid or cream products like natural animal hair do, so you don’t need to worry about wasting products when using it.

** A note from Liuyi: The price for a makeup brush can range from less than one dollar to more than 300 dollars. Usually, animal hair makeup brushes cost more than synthetic hair makeup brushes. But sometimes a good makeup brush does not need to cost you a fortune. Real Techniques makes great yet affordable synthetic brushes.

Must-have makeup brush(es)?

Bobbie Brown Full Coverage Face Brush. It is a soft, synthetic, all-rounder brush for the face. It is great for liquid foundations or tinted moisturizers, but it’s also great for powder because of its shape and the tightly packed bristles.

More tips from Sarah

Brushes should be spot-cleaned everyday, every time you use them. You can buy those spray-on brush cleansers in Sephora. Just spray some cleansers on the bristles, wipe it off with some kitchen towel, and let it dry. Deep clean your brushes every week with baby shampoo and lay flat on a clean towel to keep them in their best conditions.

About Sarah G. Best:

Time in the makeup industry: 10 years

Favorite makeup look: Bridget Bardot’s look

Favorite makeup brand: Nars


Fall 2013 Makeup Trends

Want to discover the hottest fall makeup trend? Philadelphia-based makeup artist Jeanne Casale gives you a sneak peek of this fall’s sexiest color, texture, and product.


No matter what you are rocking this fall, graphic cat eyes or dark groomed brows, Black will always be the baggiest color this fall. Go bold by filling your brows with brow power or brow pencil, or exaggerate your eyes by lining them with black thick strokes.

Add metallic gold to your eyes, the center of your lips, or even to the high points of your cheekbones. Just remember, less is more.

Image courtesy of  imagerymajestic/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Yes you have guessed it. Metallic is back. Previously in the makeup industry, artists used to avoid using metallic on mature women, especially on their eyes. Because of its special light-reflecting surface, metallic colors could accentuate the wrinkles and fine lines on mature skin. But not this fall! With the arrival of new technologies, the cosmetic companies have developed a new metallic that has a sheerer texture, which mature women can also wear.

Hottest Fall Beauty Products

Estee Lauder Pure Color Gelée Powder EyeShodow 

About Jeanne Casale:

Time in the makeup industry: 15 years

Favorite makeup brand: Too Faced