I've taught you how to create your own makeup brush cleaning solvent in the past and I've even suggested a few of my favorite gentle professional brush cleansers. But after speaking with someone from pro brush-making company Hakuhodo, I learned a little something I'd like to share with you. Did you know that the best way to remove oily liquid foundation or waxy lipstick from your makeup brushes is by using dry corn starch? Here's what you'll need and what to do:
- Fill a plastic bag with corn starch (make sure it's the sugar and preservative-free kind).
- Drop the brush inside (hair down) and hold the mouth of the bag closed.
- Shake for one minute and then remove the brush. Dust off the corn starch and repeat two more times until all of the greasy residue is gone.
There is a different makeup brush for every cosmetic genre on the market, and each season even more brushes are developed to show up those from year's past. They come in all hairs, shapes, qualities, and travel sizes, and if you're not careful you can wind up with a lot of the same thing.
I'm a beauty junkie and I'd say I've got an excessive amount: somewhere between 20 and 25 brushes. How many different makeup brushes do you own?
I think this might be one of my favorite Beauty Mark It challenges. I'm always looking out for a good makeup brush set, especially as the holiday season moves forward. They make great gifts, and I like having one all wrapped up in case someone drops by with an unexpected gift. I just whip one out and give the gift—because really, who doesn't need a nice set?
Lots of readers had good suggestions, from fancy sets to budget buys. Steen found this Nars set, which rolls six brushes into a vampy leather carrying case. A more budget-friendly option comes courtesy of Rachi99, who says, "The Sonia Kashuk line of brushes is surprisingly good, and you can't beat the price." Check out the cool wavy handles and I think you'll be impressed.
Check out everyone's suggestions in this widget, and come back tomorrow for another challenge. (If you have a request, leave a comment — I'd love to incorporate your ideas!)
Kabuki brushes originated in Japanese rituals of geisha and kabuki theater, because makeup is an integral part of both. Kabuki brushes are great for blending, contouring and highlighting—and they're popular because they provide great coverage. In general, kabuki brushes are soft and strong, making them excellent tools for creating a buffed, glowy look.
The Nars Ita Brush ($38.50) is made from extremely soft black goat hair. It has a small, flat and angular design ideal for blending and contouring. Any intermediate or advanced level makeup junkie will know what to do with this brush once they see it, since it lies perfectly flat along your upper cheekbones.
For two more cool new kabuki brushes, read more
Makeup brushes are the most important beauty tools that you can own. With gentle and regular cleansing, quality brushes should last a lifetime. I hope that you've found my series on makeup brush hair types educational. Below is a six-post roundup that you can refer back to for help before applying makeup and shopping for new brushes.
Keep in mind that the firmer the fiber, the better the brush is for depositing and blending colour. Also note that makeup brushes have three parts to them: hair, handle and ferrule. The ferrule is the metal piece that connects the handle as well as holds the bristles in place. You want to buy ferrules made of seamless brass, copper or aluminum (nickel plated is ok too) since these are very durable metals — enjoy!
- Part I: Goat Hair
- Part II: Pony Hair
- Part III: Sable Hair
- Part IV: Badger Hair
- Part V: Squirrel Hair
- Part VI: Synthetic Hair
Welcome to my final installment on makeup brush hair types. Today's topic is synthetic hair. Sometimes faux is the way to go! Cosmetics companies make makeup brushes from a synthetic material like nylon as opposed to natural hair because this type of bristle is less expensive, and it provides a smooth and even finish for cream products. (Since it lacks a cuticle, it can't trap makeup.)
A common type of synthetic hair used to apply concealer, cream shadow, cream blush or cream foundation is taklon. This is a fine-grade nylon that is less absorbent than natural hair.
An excellent nylon brush is this Laura Mercier Creme Blush Brush ($36) which happens to be the perfect size to add natural definition to the cheeks. The downside of taklon is that it is less durable than natural hair brushes, and synthetic brushes also tend to become very stiff over time.
Part five of my six part series on makeup brush hair is about squirrel hair. This type of hair is durable, fine, thin and has a thick belly with a fine tip — that's where it gets its conical shape. Also, it's the softest natural hair used in makeup brushes.
The type of hair that coveted for these highly sought after brushes is from the long-haired squirrel, not the typical garden variety that you see running around in your backyard, so don't worry about your chubby lil' nut-stealing friends.
Squirrel hair is ideal for blending heavy pigment, which is why it is commonly found in eye shadow crease brushes like this Professional Platinum Natural Crease Brush from Sephora ($24). Squirrel hair is also often mixed with other types of hair to bring down the cost, so if you are buying something expensive, it is important to inquire about the origin of the hairs.
Badger hair has the firmest bristles, which makes it ideal for eyebrow brushes, fan brushes, bronzer brushes and for grooming. Badger hair typically comes from China and is similar to sable hair in the sense that it has a thicker middle and a thin top, tapering out into a conical shape.
High-quality badger hair has a light and dark brown color, while lower-quality badger hair is gray and is commonly found in shaving brushes. Although badger hair is extremely firm, it is also very soft and has an elastic quality so it will never scratch up your face.
This Shu Uemura Natural Fan Brush ($45) is a popular brush used for powder and liquid face color. It's great for blending and dusting with accuracy. Keep in mind that because badger hair is so soft and bouncy, it must be kept clean at all times.
Sable is the most durable and soft hair used in makeup brushes. They should be viewed as an investment since they'll last a lifetime if you take proper care of them. There are three types of sable brushes: Kolinsky is the highest quality, then red sable and then just plain sable.
Sable is popular because its brushes are very resilient, they snap back and they have pointy tips. The hair on sable brushes is long with a fine pointed tip and a thick middle so that it naturally creates a conical shape.
Kolinsky Sable is amazingly soft, golden brown and is commonly found in expensive designer brushes such as this Tarte All-Over Eyeshadow Brush ($24, pictured left). It comes from species of mink found in Russia and China and has the longest length of any of the sable categories (2.25 inches).